Road Through Baja


The problem with having an incredibly comfortable bed for a while is having to adapt to anything less then that.  I guess fixing my thermorest (which got a hole in the first week) would help, but realistically this will probably not happen.  We did figure out that having Ella squeeze on the front seat makes for a more comfortable sleep and she seems to like the privacy and space or there lack of, but in 35 degree heat we cannot banish the dog to such tiny quarters. 

New sleeping arrangement, chosen by Ella, happily accepted by us
Back to old sleeping arrangement

After ten days in San Diego, doing not sure what, we finally mustard the courage to stop reading internets horror stories and just drive across the border.  We found Tijuana’s border to be a largely non existent entrance into Mexico.  There was no passport check, no any kind of indication that anyone cared we were coming through. It was almost a bit rude after getting ready for so long.  We did manage to back track and get the tourist card and car permit which we knew would come in handy later on, once we actually get to the mainland, which is apparently the real border crossing.

Greetings to Mexico

First stop was El Suazal, a small town just outside of Ensenada.  We found a hostel on a hill overlooking the ocean.  This was our home for three days while we practiced Pimsler’s Spanish Lessons in the local stores and relaxed.

Hostel El Suazal safegards our home while we take a rest from van sleeping.

Maria the hostel owner directed us to a mechanic specializing in radiators, as Brett predicted that are continuous overheating problems were due to a dirty radiator.  He was correct, three hours and forty dollars later Astrid was a new and improved van, we would never (so far-knock on wood), see her temperatures rise above 100.

We continued down Baja on its one and only Highway 1, which is the only road connecting north to south Baja and  veers from west to east coast.  While the road itself is in good condition the lack of the shoulder and narrow lanes make for an interesting drive.

Brendt’s truck taking the lead


Luckily we caravanned up with Brendt who was heading South to surf.  This proved to be a good idea as for the first two days the drive was deserted in terms of traffic as well as landscape. 

Along the highway

We created make shift meals from food we bought back in Ensenada for dinner and mostly fasted during driving hours.  Evenings were spent gazing at stars.

Camp in Catavina, our two cars are the only visitors

First stop was the desert of Catavina, where we stopped and filled an RV camp with our two vehicles.

As we drove on the cactuses got bigger as did the rocks

Next was San Andreas, a small town next to Rasaliita, itself a small town of about 7 homes and two stores. The road to this deserted beach camp which was about 7 km, took an hour of offroading.  Again having a companjero with a sturdy pick up definitely gave us a bust of confidence to keep going.

Road to the beach camp

The camp was a deserted beach with 2 homes and five folks visiting, we were three of those.


Brett and Brendt’s fishing excursion proved a success.  Brett caught a 5 pound Crooker on his ice fishing rod and we had a feast.

Shore fishing
Catch of the day
The feast about to begin
But first we needed firewood. Except there was none so we burned cactuses

The east side of the coast, which we were warned multiple times was hot, really was as hot as they said.  The Sea of Cortez, I would underestimate was about 28 degrees celicius, perfect temperature for my liking. 

A much greener east coast

The next morning we parted with Brendt and with a short 2 hours drive stopped in Loreto a normally touristy place in season but currently deserted by both tourists and locals who seek cooler temperatures. Next stop: La Paz.

Brett’s new look: tank tops and sombreros





  • Jesse

    August 25, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Nice fish & sombrero Brett!

    • bpainter

      August 26, 2015 at 12:22 am

      Thanks! It was a bit of a fight for that guy with an ice fishing rig with 4lb line!

  • Goran

    August 28, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Brett, what a fish but what a grate smile. That is what I like better then grate chatch

    • bpainter

      September 20, 2015 at 2:39 am

      Thanks, hard not to smile with a fish like that.