"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Monday, December 30, 2013

More Beaches and then Travel

Not much happening as we make our way farther south.  For those that noticed the road north of Ensenada, that was not the road we took in. We can across the border at Tecate and traveled south. We can not be blamed for everything.

Just so you know...sometimes it is cloudy on our beaches here in Baja.

Tenters snuggled down in the dunes....with the mountains off in the distance.

More mountains. There is a lot of land down here and great empty spaces.

Down the road we stopped for lunch at a restaurant highly recommended by the Church's travel book on Baja.   These two guys stopped by for a bit, also.  Think their vehicle is packed for some fun farther down on the beaches?

Liz waiting with me for Mitch and Beth to arrive.

Then we drove on down the narrow two lane road past more desert and cactus..... 

The we started finding the neat stuff....too bad you had to watch the road.  So much of these different landscapes remind me of the scenes of an old B Western, Pictures from a Dr. Suez book of strange lands and trees, or an old Star Trek TV scene of some alien planet.....   Our world is such an interesting place.

Then we made it to our campground for the night. This is what 80 pesos can get you.   A large dusty parking lot away from the highway but with a view.

But I nice dry wash to walk the dogs through.....

Liz and I are hoping to see whales tomorrow.  We will catch up with Mitch and Liz in a day or two down the road at the beach.    There may be kayaks in some pictures eventually.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Beach Camping and Other thoughts

We made it to the deserted beach.  The dogs have all had their promised long walk and to all of our surprise we have internet connections!  (Thank you again Carol for your suggestions for Telcel.)

Again I want to suggest for folks that don't already know that Liz, Beth and Mitch have their own blogs, that you wander down the right side of the page and look up their blogs. I did finally get all three of theirs linked. Liz, originally from FL,  fulltimes in her rig and is retired. Beth fulltimes in her rig and workcamps between her adventures. Mitch lives in TN when she isn't out traveling in her rig. You will find a repetition of some of the pictures but you will also find that our cameras catch different things.   As in we all more often catch each other in pictures rather than ourselves.   Liz and Beth have "real" cameras and as in the dolphin photos from yesterday evening, they are able to zoom in much more than I.  With my pictures you are going to have to take my word for it. There really was a large pod of dolphins slowly cruising up the shore snacking on their dinner and being chased by the busy gulls.

Random thoughts....

One is left over from California.  Ever see those "Happy California Dairy Cow" commercial?  Well seems that not all the California cows get those pleasant pastures.  On the way to Sharon's I did past a huge Dairy operation with thousands of dairy cows standing out in extra large dirt and mud feed lots. I am thinking that their agent didn't get them the photo op.  Sure enough, there on the sign at on of the gates to the farm was a bright "California Dairy Farm" sign.

Driving the roads in Alaska is a good practice run to driving in Mexico, especially the Top of the World Highway.  There is a lot of road construction going on (see pictures on Liz's blog) and those road are slow going. Well slow going for this gringo, not so slow for the cars and trucks passing me.  No china (or corel ware) was broken...so far.   You look donw at your gps and it says 71 miles to destination.  45 minutes later you look down and it says 67 miles to your destination. Then you remember that you have been driving about 5 miles an hours.  The beach was worth the drive and that is our statement!

Most of us have been reading the road signs well.  The stop signs sometimes appear to be randomly placed but ALTO means stop and so far we have caught them all.  The speed limit signs frequently change limits quickly and I found myself constantly scanning the sides of the road to be sure that I was legal.  It was the ones that said that I could go 80kmh (50 mph) that I pretty much ignored.  Forty or forty-five seemed speedy enough on most of the good highways. 

Most of the roads between towns are two lanes. Sometimes there are shoulders, sometimes there aren't.  Liz and I were traveling partner yesterday and we both tried to pull over to the side when there was a side so that traffic behind us could pass.   The roads are often curvy and winding up and down small mountains.  Those lines painted in the middle regarding passing and those frequent signs by the side of the road with the "ghost buster" red circle over two cars side by side...meaning NO PASSING.....are clearly only suggestions to most folks driving in Mexico.   It didn't matter where the curves were, or the hills...or the size of that transport truck, they are past you and gone.   Liz and I spoke later and both were very glad not to be towing our cars.   After the first miles of traffic, we both agreed that we relaxed. We knew where our rigs were on the road and we were traveling at speeds that felt safe to us and we depended on the driving skills of those passing us to know what they were doing. They appeared very experienced at ignoring the signs.....

Now back in town, the exciting things are different.  There isn't much green to graze your horse on down here and tethering them on a long rope tied loosing around their neck and connected to some fence post provides access to what little greenery there might or might not be around the sides of the roads.  Well and sometime those ropes come off.    Again our friend Carol had warned all of us to drive slowly and watch for "things" running out onto the highway.  She was right.

Horses are still a means of transportation for many people in Mexico and riders can be observed making there way along the highways and through towns. 

Most all dogs are loose dogs.  Who knows which ones may have owners and which ones don't.  Some dogs are dead dogs along the side of the road.

Poverty is everywhere and I understand what makes people risk their lives and pay huge sums of money they can't afford to try and make it north to the USA.

The people we have met have been wonderful and helpful. 

Three of the Baja Babes heading down the gauntlet of vendors to find the restaurant for lunch.  (Mitch, Liz and Beth.)

This vendor had a nice little snake you could meet up close and personal. I watch as he had the young boy sit down in a nearby chair and he wrapped the snake around the chair and the boy.   I asked if anyone in our group was interested in trying it and got no takers....

Okay, in two trips I never really saw all that much excitement in the water that was spouting from the "blow hole."   Must have been a calm surf.  I did see families and tourist all out for a memorable afternoon both times.....

Traveling on down the highway the next day to our first campsite actually on the beach, we passed many more barren and dry lands.   ...And, yes, this was taken at one of our "potty break" stops for humans and dogs...not while driving down the highway.

As mentioned above, Liz did take some pictures of the bumpy, jiggly roads.  We were all muttering not nice words under our breath but like childbirth....all that was forgotten when we arrived at the night's destination.    I will say that Mitch and Liz ventured back out today to visit town...Mitch mentioned something about finding more fish tacos....and returned safely from their adventure.   I only want to see the road into the campground once more, on the drive out.  Mexico Highway 1 , will of course still be there to greet us as we head back north latter but by then we will have more beautiful beach time to fortify us.

Beautiful and deserted beach...well except for someone's little white Abby dog.
And looking the other direction.

"Remi, Remi, what is this stuff? Doesn't taste like water and it is chasing me and trying to get me all wet!"  whispers Audrey.

At the last campsite we were able to watch a couple of whales spouting.  Here we watch a huge pod of feeding dolphins leisurely work the shore line.   I will refer you to Liz or Beth's blog to find better pictures of the dolphins.  But they were just right out there for all to see.

And the end to another day in Mexico.....

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas with a View

We made it safely across the border and are now just south of Ensenada. Tomorrow (or later today given that it is 3 am) we head off again  in search of a beach.  Our current sites have beautiful views of the ocean but no long walks for the dogs or people.  

The four of us that are traveling together all went into town and purchased Telcel sticks for our computers which will allow us to purchase internet time monthly.  We won't have service away from any of the larger towns but it it only cost $30 US dollars for 4 gigs and will allow us to do any necessary banking securely.   Everything was very slow this afternoon but funny....in the middle of the night when you can't sleep the internet runs much faster.

Another observation is that blog comes up with Spanish commands when using the Telcel system.  

How many women does it take to find a missing hose?  Luckily Beth had more than one.

Mitch is ready to take off for the border.

The getting the paperwork completed at the border was uneventful but took some time.  Louis at the border helped us complete out paperwork and found it interesting that two widows, one divorcee and a married woman were traveling together.  He was not a Pedro.....but he did seem to be especially nice to Beth and let all of us know he was single.  We managed to get get some money from the ATM get back across the border to pick up our rigs and drive south. 

The land we covered looked a lot like the dry southwest.  There are big stretches of nothing.

Just short of Ensenada  we stopped for the night at the Deaf Ranch.  The ranch offers electric and water sites for a donation. The sign said to pick a site and they would be over later.  No one ever came and there was no place to leave a donation.

 The campground is situated next to a vineyard.   Luckily there were no grapes or we might have lost Mitch right there.

Remi enjoyed being off lead.

Stuart took his Christmas Morning walk in the sunshine.  Did I mention that it seemed as soon as we crossed the border the temperature seemed to cooperate much better.  We were all in shorts by the afternoon that first day.

The mornings however start off a little brisker but quickly warm up and the layer get abandoned.

"Don't worry about all the stickie things getting caught in your coat. Just follow me Audrey. There are good sniffs to be found!" mentored Stuart.

In Mexico not much get wasted and fancy is not necessary.  You want fence posts? Collect some sturdy sticks.

Yes, Mitch those are all grape vines over there!

Our campsites the next night at Campo Cinco have great views but not quite as good as the top of the nearby hill. It helps to have 4 wheel drive to park up there.

Looking back at our rigs from the big hill.

No prize money available, but who wants to guess what these women are doing? (Hint, it is usually only Liz that has this hobby....)

Thoughtful Miss Abby brought presents for her friends.

The small village of le Bufadora down the road from where we stayed.  It was busy all Christmas Day with tour buses from the Cruise Ship in port in Ensenada that day and Mexican families out for a holiday in general.

The houses where the folks with money stay....

Sunset on Christmas Day...from chairs in front of our rigs.

The hill next door is again popular, this time for a family to watch the sunset.

Until next time......