To continue our Baja expedition, we headed to El Centro after eating a delicious Christmas dinner with family. The drive was not easy given the wet, dark, and sometimes low-visibility conditions. We were happy to pull into the Marriott parking lot at the end of the 2-3 hour drive.
The next morning, we drove down to in San Felipe. We were pleased to see that the campground was virtually empty when we pulled in, except for a couple of long-term Canadian campers. We found a great little palapa to pull the truck next to in the front row, right along the beach.
Later in the afternoon, a sweet van with two adults, two kids, and an energetic boxer pup pulled up. They were just as excited as us about the low tide and seashell situation unfolding on the coastline, right in front of our vehicles.
When we got to the bar, we were greeted by a friendly staff and a restaurant full of gringos. We bellied up to the bar and ended up sitting next to the US distributors of Maxxtracks! They were a great couple and had just arrived in San Felipe, starting their adventure through Baja during the holidays.
After a few drinks, we walked back to the campsite and climbed into the truck. We wrapped up and left the gate of the truck open to let in the fresh air and hear the sound of the ocean. Around 1:00 am we woke up to the sound of rain and realized that we were getting soaked. There is nothing worse than trying to sleep while cold and/or wet. We quickly ran around adjusting gear, closing up the windows, and trying to figure out how to stay dry for the rest of the night.
We woke up mildly cranky from the poor, wet night of sleep. But we were in Baja, how cranky could we be?! We made our standard camping coffee and proceeded to hang everything out to dry.
When we got about 3/4 of the way down the road to the beach, we hit some slippery mud. It was my first time driving in mud like this but damn was it fun! The truck kept moving forward we got sideways multiple times.
On our way back to the main road, we saw our Colorado friends pulling up to the rendezvous point. We had a quick chat to explain the road conditions, turned the truck around, and started to head back to mud.
Days 3 & 4
We love camping on our secluded beach! Ocean in front of us, the mountains in the distance in the other direction, no huge RVs, and some good new friends. It was perfect! Talking with our new friends from Colorado, meeting like-minded people, and enjoying the outdoors together is a great way to start a new friendship.
Low tide in Baja is always a queue to go and check out the shell situation. Even if you don’t find any cool shells, you see nature doing its thing with amazing patterns in the sand, or a cool little sea creature hanging out in a leftover puddle.
When we were in Ensenada, the beach we stayed at had a ton of smaller, sometimes live sand dollars. This side of Baja had more developed – and mostly dead – sand dollars. The patterns on each one were amazing to look at!
As with most of our adventures, there is always time to fly the drone. It is fun to get that perspective, check out what is around us, and hopefully capture some imagery that represents the feeling of the trip.
After a few days on our little strip of paradise, it was time for our Colorado friends to head south and for us to start heading back to the pacific side of Baja.
Luckily, our way out wasn’t as difficult in the sand. Once we made it through the sand and mud, we pulled over to air up the tires. Also known as the perfect time for some more chats and a beer or two.
For dinner, we went to a local steak house. There were only a couple other tables filled in the restaurant, but the food was delicious. It was a nice dinner after a long day of driving.
After our delicious breakfast, we started our day of wine tasting. First up was a winery that we hadn’t been to in years called Don Tomas. They have done a great job building it up over the years adding more dining areas and some new lodging areas.
Next up was Finca Altozano. We tried to go here a few weeks prior, but they were closed. What a great layout! They had a restaurant, coffee shop, food, and a full farm animal section.
Per one of the waitresses’ suggestions, we headed over to Hacienda Guadalupe for a New Year’s Eve dinner. We arrived a little early, so we headed over to their tasting room. We were able to catch the sunset while there and it was beautiful.
After our tastings, we headed to the restaurant. Our waiter was great. He was personable and was very excited to get to know us. He explained each dish very well and even started making us custom cocktails based on our preferences. It was yet another delicious, fun meal in Baja!
We headed back to our Airbnb after dinner, ready for a good night’s sleep before heading back to the states the next morning. When we got back, we could hear people starting to party around us, but nothing too loud of crazy. Fast forward a few hours and people were lighting what seemed like sticks of dynamite in celebration. Luckily we had earplugs with us and some melatonin.