Travel Blog 30: Baja California Sur
The ferry from Mazatlán dropped Blaze and I into the big city, La Paz. On the Sea of Cortez/Gulf of California, the temperature is extremely hot in the triple digits when talking Fahrenheit. A gas station attendant suggested I drive across the peninsula to Todos Santos, which sits on the Pacific Coast.
Todos Santos had artists, musicians, fishermen, surfers, and various styles of people living in their wheels spread along the beaches. Restaurants and hotels made the (mainland) Mexico prices I’d been seeing for the past five months feel like a distant memory. Cooking my meals on the beaches felt like home. Sunsets and the sounds of waves soothed my tired travel mind before I’d transition my way to El Pescadero to explore different beaches and attempt surfing again. My highlight on Playa Cerritos was hanging with the surf school that rents boards by donation. The local 27 year old is saving money to build a skate park for youth. He knew the local fishing boat that had just come in. The driver invited the local surf instructor to fill a bag with as much fish as it could hold. Since I had a grill rack and seasoning, we lit a fire on the beach to cook up the “huachinango” (red snapper) for all to enjoy.
Continuing south, I filled my 5 gallon drinking-water jug for 10 pesos, stopped at the vegetable market, and maintained my journey up the coast to find vacant beaches for sunsets and sleep to the sound of waves. Walking the entire length of beaches became a daily challenge to begin each morning. As the sun rises, meditation breaths led me to exercising my legs and expanding my mind by observing the gorgeous nature around every curve.
Circling the peninsula led me to Los Cabos. The two towns had their own attractions for any style of visitor, but the beaches were mind blowing. Snorkeling the underwater world gave me a reminder of how humans are only one aspect of life. Fish and rocks entertained my eyes while waves proved yet again that Mother Nature is far more powerful than anything else. Wandering the jagged rocks, I watched a 7 year old girl from Santa Barbara strengthen her feet by running barefoot before inviting hundreds of fish by dropping breadcrumbs in the water. Her smile proved joy comes through simple activities.
With several options for free vehicle-sleeping, I was delighted to turn the corner (on more than one occasion) to see my van friends, Los Carrascos, parked beside the water. When I spotted their wheels, my eyes lit up. I drove next to their vehicle to say, “Donde está el divertido?” (Where is the fun?). There’s no better feeling than seeing their excitement and the expressive “Carlos!” charged in my direction. For the next several days, we constantly bumped into each other to exchange various gifts of coloring rocks/shells, eating meals together, and a wonderful snorkel along the rocky shore. I helped the boys learn some English words while they challenged my confidence in speaking Spanish. The Argentinean family live in a way that prove anything is possible. Vanlife is not only for solo “dirt-baggers” living off the grid. They are getting their education through the internet while gaining a far more important education through observing cultures across multiple countries and continents.
Once I circled the Baja California Sur peninsula, I returned to the big city of La Paz. Reflecting on quiet beaches, incredibly genuine surfer minds, and a lifestyle that brings a grand smile to my face, it became time to drive north. Nearly 1,000 miles stood between me and the border to the USA. I had no idea what I was about to experience on my journey northbound, but I was ready!