Palpable excitement filled the vans as we departed Portreo County Park, a pretty park just across the border from Tecate. The previous night we rendezvoused at the park with fellow Sportsmobilers, Chris and Chris. Prepared with visas and paperwork, we approached the border crossing to begin a month of exploration of Baja, Mexico. After inspections of the vans, stamps on the visas and topping of the fuel tanks, let’s go! First stop, Baja’s booming wine country.
Mexico’s Baja California peninsula is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Gulf of California to the east. From 2002 through 2003, we explored the peninsula via sailboat. Seeing the peninsula via campervan resulted in a completely different perspective.
Mountain ranges are everywhere. The Sierra de Juárez, the Sierra San Pedro Már including the peninsula’s highest peak at 10,157 feet, the Sierra de San Borja, the volcanic complex of Tres Virgenes and the Sierra de la Giganta delivered stunning views.
Four desert areas fill the peninsula – the San Felipe Desert, the Central Coast Desert, the Vizcaíno Desert and the Magdalena Plain Desert. The abundance of cacti delighted. With over 120 species of cactus in Baja, displays of reds and greens left us awestruck as we drove down Mexico 1.
Mountains, deserts and beaches. Baja has it all. The peninsula is 775 miles long. The width varies from 25 miles wide at its narrowest to 200 miles wide at its widest. There are 1900 miles of coastline. Thanks Wikipedia.
You want surf – go to the west coast. You want snorkeling, kayaking, wind surfing and paddle boarding – go to the east coast or the west coast or both in one day.
One of the tricky bits in Mexico is cooking and water. Veggies need to be cleaned properly and water needs to be purchased. Duncan acquired up a cool water pump system for filling our tanks with purified water.
Another tricky part of the Baja are the roads. Road conditions vary to say the least. Shoulders do not exist. Sometimes roads are eroded. Potholes. You do not know potholes until you’ve driven the Baja.
We tried to take a 4WD road over to San Juanico near Scorpion Bay. Here is the result. Please forgive the bad sound and music.
We found a sweet spot to camp on the cliff above the beach. San Juanico and Scorpion Bay is a haven for surfers. Scorpion Bay also deliver great walking beaches and beautiful water. Every day, we’d say “Let’s just stay one more day”. That went on for five days.
Can you go to Mexico without visiting a mission? I say no. San Francisco Javier Mission is twenty miles west of Loreto up in the Sierra Gigante mountsins. The mission was founded in 1699 and abandoned in 1817. The well preserved building was finished in 1759.
Yes, there is a sense of humor in Mexico.
Both natural and man made beauty made a few nice photo opportunities.
Ah Mexico, you continue to draw us to you. Generous, kind, unspoiled, colorful, delicious. Gracias.