Lower Baja

We left Abreojos fairly quickly for a reason, we wanted to spend some time catching the upcoming swell in Scorpion Bay. There were a few stops on the way we wanted to see and we were pressed for time, so off we went.

The desert road skirts along a small mountain range which contains from what we have heard, very good mountain biking and hiking, we will have to return to explore it another time. The Abreojos road meets with the main highway again in blistering heat. It was over 100 degrees for the first time of the trip.

We arrived in San Ignacio, a desert oasis, although still hot at least there was no humidity. We camped at a famous little Baja 1000 race stop, Rice & Beans. We had them grill up the grouper I had caught earlier that day, it was one of the best meals of the trip.

Grouper

We decided to check out the town itself the following day. We hadn't seen trees since San Diego, so this desert Oasis was a sudden surprise. It boasted a great mission, one of the first in Baja.

Ben and us parked in front of the mission.

Ben and us parked in front of the mission.

The mission walls

The mission walls

We proceeded to indulge on the local delicacy, fresh fig milkshakes a tasty treat in 100 degree heat. We investigated the river next, where the real Oasis is. We immediately regretted not camping here,  Ben decided to cool down on the rope swing, Dillon played some uke, and we chilled out for a few hours before heading to Mulege.

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It was a beautiful drive to Mulege with vast expanses of rugged landscape, drastic cliffs and contrasting colors.

Dropping

Dropping

Upon entering Mulege we found a broken down Westfalia and got the owner's story. He once lived and worked as a mechanic in San Fransisco, before moving back to Mulege in his Westy. Mulege itself is a nice little town on a river which flows into the sea of Cortez. It has quite the expat community for a reason; fishing, snorkeling, and good weather.

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Investigating the pop top situation. Believe it or not parts of this bus were in better condition than ours pre-restoration.

Investigating the pop top situation. Believe it or not parts of this bus were in better condition than ours pre-restoration.

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After a scenic first night on an abandoned private beach under palapas our new friends Mary and Rusty came over with their little Boston Whaler and we went out to an island for a day of fishing, snorkeling, and lounging.

We gathered firewood for the night out on the island. The boat was a little loaded :)

We gathered firewood for the night out on the island. The boat was a little loaded :)

We caught a few small bass but had to go further out to hook into the bigger fish. Not today.

We caught a few small bass but had to go further out to hook into the bigger fish. Not today.

Making ceviche out of grouper.

Making ceviche out of grouper.

We had a great fire and dinner that night.

We had a great fire and dinner that night.

We had to try out their CT90 Honda before leaving

We had to try out their CT90 Honda before leaving

After a few days longer than planned camping in Bahia Concepcion it was time to catch the tail end of the swell in Scorpion Bay, one of the most famous surfing spots in Baja. Here you can catch 2 KM long waves if the swell is just right. It just so happens the swell was just right, for the first time in years. Our route, however, was completely wrong. The map said it was the main road, but it took 7 hours to drive 60KM. We found out upon arrival there was a paved new option. The off-road remote trail we took is now used for Baja 1000 off-roading races, not for 40 year old buses with under body radiators.

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Ending up on remote roads like these in desolate Baja made us appreciate traveling with another vehicle!

Ending up on remote roads like these in desolate Baja made us appreciate traveling with another vehicle!

   

 

 

We loved this camp site...and it was free. Can't beat that!

We loved this camp site...and it was free. Can't beat that!

Glenn Horn, a Baja legend has been living down in Baja for many years after selling a surf shop in San Diego. He repaints his 50's 4x4 van every few years, it is quite the adventure mobile.

Glenn Horn, a Baja legend has been living down in Baja for many years after selling a surf shop in San Diego. He repaints his 50's 4x4 van every few years, it is quite the adventure mobile.

View from the back of Glenn's Van.

View from the back of Glenn's Van.

We then headed south toward the East Cape of Baja to meet with some of our friends who own a house there. Along the way is Todos Santos, La Paz, and Cerritos. La Paz was interesting, the bus was having trouble shifting and suddenly we were dealing with heavy traffic, crooked cops, and trying to book a ferry. We realized we had lost our title so we waited to deal with booking the ferry, but the delay was great as we were able to meet with Samba favorite SyncroBo who now is traveling the same trip in a giant Unimog!

SyncroBo's new video editing rig for traveling the Americas

SyncroBo's new video editing rig for traveling the Americas

We headed to Cerritos and Todos Santos where we met other great travelers and surfers.

This Argentinean couple was on there way up after six few years of traveling! They sell make and sell jewelry along the way to pay for gas...their little bus will soon be feeling smaller with a baby on the way.

This Argentinean couple was on there way up after six few years of traveling! They sell make and sell jewelry along the way to pay for gas...their little bus will soon be feeling smaller with a baby on the way.

We also met with Benji, outside of Baja Beans here. He has traveled from England to Alaska via Russia and other Asia countries all alone. He is now on the way to the southern tip of South America as well. Check him out, http://www.cornwall2capehorn.com/

We also met with Benji, outside of Baja Beans here. He has traveled from England to Alaska via Russia and other Asia countries all alone. He is now on the way to the southern tip of South America as well. Check him out, http://www.cornwall2capehorn.com/

We camped with him one night,  he has a pop top as well!

We camped with him one night,  he has a pop top as well!

We were then headed to East Cape for civilization. Cabo and San Jose Del Cabo were a world apart from the rest of Baja. Starbucks bordered the large supermarkets where we stocked up on groceries. Luckily our friends lived an hour down a dirt road near desolate surf breaks, and a swell just happened to be in.

Rich was ripping.

Rich was ripping.


We've never dealt with begging mules before.

We've never dealt with begging mules before.

Baja fun kit

Baja fun kit

I built some parcel trays while staying at our friends place. I used wood and oyster netting we picked up on the side of the road to carry everything usually sitting on our dash cluttering the view up.

I built some parcel trays while staying at our friends place. I used wood and oyster netting we picked up on the side of the road to carry everything usually sitting on our dash cluttering the view up.

We still stayed in the bus, but having access to the communal kitchen and Alaskan pals was perfect. The week we spent here really was a change of pace for us.

We still stayed in the bus, but having access to the communal kitchen and Alaskan pals was perfect. The week we spent here really was a change of pace for us.

One of the trucks at the Tampa Del Burro did not fare to well.

One of the trucks at the Tampa Del Burro did not fare to well.

Rolling around in these lifted astro vans, with no worries in the deepest sand was also a nice change. God bless 4WD.

Rolling around in these lifted astro vans, with no worries in the deepest sand was also a nice change. God bless 4WD.

After a week in the East Cape surfing and getting some much needed time with some Alaskans it was time to begin heading North to jump on a ferry to mainland. We spent a night in San Jose del Cabo and found the Baja Brewery. We found some good stuff there like Dogs on roofs and bacon wrapped hot dogs. We continued to Los Barriles where we met fellow overlanders Ebb&Road in their Westy.

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We moved on to La Ventana. This is a big ex pat and tourist wind surfing community that some other Alaska friends just happened to own a house. They brought some stuff we ordered on Amazon down for us, and even some slices of our favorite pizza from their Brewery / pizza place. It was a great surprise for Tessa's birthday. The campsite at La Ventana was absolutely beautiful, and completely desolate after the windy season.

Trying to find the sweet spot to camp. Shade, variable sand, there's many a thing to look for, but one thing is for certain you don't want to lose your momentum in soft sand.

Trying to find the sweet spot to camp. Shade, variable sand, there's many a thing to look for, but one thing is for certain you don't want to lose your momentum in soft sand.

We had a windy night and decided to turn the bus around and sleep downstairs. The view alone was worth it.

We had a windy night and decided to turn the bus around and sleep downstairs. The view alone was worth it.

We spotted this Westy from BC parked at a hotel in town. 

We spotted this Westy from BC parked at a hotel in town. 

Perhaps the best part of this camp spot for me was the haircut I received. I didn't know Tessa could cut hair so well, and I was more than due for one. But the view, the temperature, the beer (first IPA since entering mexico), well everything seemed to be just about perfect.

Perhaps the best part of this camp spot for me was the haircut I received. I didn't know Tessa could cut hair so well, and I was more than due for one. But the view, the temperature, the beer (first IPA since entering mexico), well everything seemed to be just about perfect.

After La Ventana we climbed a steep hill to drop back down immediately into La Paz. We will be posting a write up about the ferry next.