We left around 8:20 after dumping. Stopped on the outskirt of town to fuel up then drove on south on Highway One. The road was very good all the way and wide until San Quintin where it became a bit more narrow. I should mention that the famous "TOPES" here are not like the mainland but consist of a dozen small rumbles followed by a gentle hump! Very interesting but also very frustrating. They are well marked and one is better to heed the warnings. Not sure which is worse!?
As we drove, we went over a lot of rolling hills. Nothing too steep but enough to slow me down. The road follows the contour of the mountains so lots of curves. Averaging about 38 MPH ( 60 KMH) We encountered our first Military check-point near Santo Thomas, approx 1 1/2 hour from Ensada. we came back to the Ocean again as we approached San Quintin. Very pretty with sand dunes and brushes. We stopped in San Quintin for lunch at a Pemex. Nice thing about them is that they all have BIG parking areas so lots of room to manoeuvre.
As we drove to San Quintin, we saw a lot of cactus farms. They were neat and planted in rows. As Val said, it was precise like a military cemetery. After lunch, we drove on and climbed again and then headed south on a plateau. We drove for about an hour then it opened up to a very nice valley. We went down at "very slow", Jake on, through switch backs and then across the valley to another mountain pass. At the top, it began going down again with switch backs all the way down into El Rosario.
It is very cool here. Never once did we go over 60 *F (15*C) during our whole drive. Rosario is a small village, muddy form the recent rains we had and rumble strips through the whole village. We found our camp site for the night on the East side of town, behind a small motel call "Mount Sinai". We paid 150 pesos for the night for sewer, water with no pressure and 15 amps electricity. The camping area was a half dried up mud flat with cement pads. As we were the only one here, we had our choice of where to park.
Another camper arrived with BC license plates. We met the driver, Tim, who was headed for Los Barilles, south of La Paz. His wife was flying down to meet him there. He said he left BC on Monday.....WOW! As we were chatting, another vehicle came in. A van with a young couple form Alberta. Yet later, another truck came in with Washington plates. So we had company!
Tim and us went to a local restaurant for supper. A neat place called "Mama Espinosa Place". They really good sea food. I had Burritos los logasta ( lobster) and Val had the same. The whole thing with beer cost us $40. us. I also filled up here 65.284 Litres @ .57 cents a litre.
Came home and read for a while then headed for bead. Early start schedule for tomorrow as we head for Guerrerro Negro. It's been a good day!
N 30* 04' 02" W 115* 42' 57"
Alt: 146 feet
Distance today 249 Km ( 150 miles) in 5 hours at an average of 58KPH (35MPH)
DEC. 14, Friday, sunny
We woke up to heavy dew this morning. Everything is soaked outside. We packed and hooked up the fifth wheel, ready to leave by 07:30 a.m. and.....no power to the motor for the lifting the legs. Checked everything and can't find any loose wires, checked the fuses inside and all is well there. Went into town to find a mechanic and brought someone back. He looked at it and shook his head negatively. Tried another place to no avail. Even stopped another BCer going by but he wasn't mechanically inclined, so he said. Back to the rig, I prodded in the small enclosure where all the wires are and BINGO!! Found a fuse. Of course, I had checked all my papers on the trailer but there was no mention of any fuse other than the ones in the main box. Got that changed and VOILA, the legs went up and we were on the road again by 8:45 a.m. We had no shower this morning as there was no water pressure to speak of so decided to wait until we got to Guerrero. WHAT A START OF A DAY!!!
We had been told that this section was going to be the most scenic and it was true. WOW! WOW! WOW! is all I can say. It was beautiful. The road was narrow but good, the mountains were bigger and higher and the road followed a valley for a while until we climbed to over 2500 feet and came on this plateau which was covered with all kinds of cactus, some unique only to the Baja. There were cholla, cirio or boojum tree is a unique cactus that looks like an upside down carrot and unique to the baja, we also saw guaves, bolla, sanguaro. We were driving through the Sonoran Desert Vegetation sector. The road in these parts and all other parts for that matter follow the contour of the land so there is a lot of curves and hairpin turns. They were however well marked and as long as I paid attention to the signs, there was no problemo.
We went through 2 military check point but were never stopped. What I hate about these is the fact that they force the traffic to get off the road and go around on this gravel road full of potholes, and not small ones either. One has to deal with the drop off from the road and getting back on so it is slooooow drive. They are all young boys and everyone has a rifle at the ready. I wonder if they have ammunition!???
We stopped at Cantivina for a break and had breakfast here. It was good. We had nothing exciting, just nuevos c/jamon (ham and eggs) scrambled. Coffee consisted of instant maxwell house. We drove on and came into an area covered with boulders, small, big and huge. It was really strange. Then we came upon this huge dried up lake and followed that around and then the road a slow descent and got straighter as we went which allowed us to put the hammer down and get up to a speedy 100 kmh. I was becoming concern with the fuel situation. We were down to les than 1/4 tank with only 54 km to spare before empty when we finally arrived in Villa Jesus Maria where there was finally a Pemex with diesel. Filled up @57 cents a litre. Took on 87.005 litres. That's the problem with having a small tank. We had covered 315 km by now.
We crossed the 28th Parallel about 30 km down the road and although we went around this traffic control circle, we didn't have to stop except to pay 20 pesos to have our tires spary for insecticite!????. Yes that is true. This place consist of a HUGE Mexican Flag, a military base, some communication tower and a BIG metal ensign of an eagle however seeing it from a distance, it looks like a U magnet rod. About one km down the road, there was a military check point and again we were not stopped. Guerrero Negro was another 40 km and we finally arrived at our campsite, the MALARRIMO Hotel and RV Park around 2:20 p.m. or 3:20 p.m. local time....we changed time when we crossed the 28th.
The place is half full. Most are here overnight only. The BCer's we had met in La Buforora are also here. One of them, with the motorhome, was driven off the road by a commercial truck who they figured was asleep behind the wheel as he was half way across into this lane. Anyway, he had to go off the road and did a lot of damages to the underside. One has to understand that going off the road on this highway is a big thing as there is a sharp drop off of at least 1 to 3 feet and some places, even more. He was able to come back on the road on his own and limp into here. The truck driver never stopped of course, no surprise there. Our neighbours are from Alaska and he's very chatty. Mid age couple living as full-timers.
N 27* 58' 05"
W 114* 01' 49"
Alt: 19 feet
Distance today 368 KM in 5 hrs and 45 minutes
DEC. 15, Saturday, sunny and warmer
Tried to get propane in town but they don't have the hook-up for our tanks. Oh OH! We went for a tour sightseeing the town and the old lighthouse which was actually north of the 28th and on a dirt road. There was an abandoned old salt mine and a couple of small crosses where 3 people died. Came back through town after going to another road that took us to an active salt industry. The dry the sea salt than turn it into useable salt and export it to Canada and the U.S.
Through town, we stopped at a side road diner and had fish tacos. Delicious. Tomorrow we head south to Conception Bay
I am sitting in the motel bar writing this and sending it via WIFI. Modern techno. We met a few Canadians here too. One couple we seem to be connecting with and have made arrangements to meet again in Mulege (mooh-lah-hey). They are from Yukon of all places and are both french but speak excellent english.
Life is but a journey filled with adventures