We are exactly at the halfway point in our Baja adventure (insert tears!) and over the past 6 ½ weeks we have a way better understanding of this life than we did, our first week in. Here’s what we know now:
- Never refer to Baja as “The Baja”, its just Baja
There are A LOT of them from BC, specifically the island. Who knew that islanders needed to get away for winter? Being an Albertan, I was under the impression that Islanders lived on the island because they didn’t like snow in any other part of Canada, but apparently they like Baja better and come down here instead.
Surprisingly we have seen quite a few Quebecers on this trip (mostly surfers) and hardly any from the prairie provinces (AB, SASK, MAN). BUT, couldn’t get over the quantity of South Dakotans in Baja (specifically the Cabo/Los Barriles/Todo Santos area). We found out, there is some technicality in South Dakota, that you can still register your vehicles there, without actually having to live there.
When we boondock, we’ve met mostly people who are 20 years younger than us, cause all the “old” people tend to pay for RV spots. Of the boondockers we met – we are estimating that ¼ of them are young families – taking kids on life adventures, home-schooling and experiencing life and the other 3/4 seem to be co-habitating partners, living an adventure lifestyle on the road, many are living in their vans – working seasonal jobs or online jobs in order to live this lifestyle. Many come back here year after year, as the cost of living and beach environment is ideal!
I may have mentioned in a previous post, that we’ve met more people in the first 2 weeks of Baja RV’ing than we ever met in our house in the burbs in Calgary over 17 years. It is almost impossible to keep track of all the people we’ve met, as random people just stop and chat with us constantly, it is pretty cool. Just today, we met Joe and his 2 kids from Banff and Darren from Ft Saskatchewan – who just sold his Yamaha bike shop and retired. He came by in the nick of time, as we had Nick and Meg’s Yamaha dirt bike apart in the front yard, trying to troubleshoot why it wouldn’t start – when Darren checked a couple of things and diagnosed in < 2mins what was wrong! What are the chances of that?! Speaking of Nick and Meg (from New York), we met them in Tecolote a few weeks back, and they showed up on our front door 5 days ago, we have hung out with them a few times and had some great fun. Look forward to seeing you guys next time around!
You’ve never been to Baja unless you’ve been stuck (in sand). We learned this a few weeks ago and we were finally able to pay it forward, by unstucking a couple stuck in the sand with their truck, at La Pastora.
Sand gets everywhere, VERY quickly. We vacuum the floor at least 2-3 times a day because of it.
We’ve gotten better at shopping local and supporting the local community stores; however, this can be challenging because it means you might have to go to 4 different shops to get what you want. For example – you can buy produce on any street corner, but if we need coffee cream it might take us 3 different stores to find it. If we need fish, sometimes we can get it from a guy selling it out of the back of his truck, but when you really want to have it, there are no trucks to be found and you can’t find it, unless you know someone. Same with ground beef, for example, if we see it, we buy it, otherwise we just change our supper menu that week! Today we went to 5 stores – 1 for produce, 2 for milk/cream (1 was a fail), 2 for fish (and they were a fail) and another for ice.
We are also getting better at eating out (supporting the community). EVERYONE (locals and RV’ers) eat out, all the time, everyday and we don’t know how people afford this. There are so many taqueria’s on every street, sometimes theres 3 or 4 tacos stands, all set up side by side and each has 6-8 shitty plastic patio chairs full of customers AND they are setup right outside a taco restaurant?! What? how do they all make money and how is everyone affording to eat out?
For the past 6 weeks, we have taken our laundry to a laundromat and done it ourselves. This week in Cerritos, we thought hmmmm, we should probably just drop off our laundry and pay for someone to do it, to support the community, since this is another one of those jobs we don’t normally have at home (like grocer packer, Costco cart pusher and gas pumper). We weren’t entirely sure if we would get all our laundry back or if would all be pink or how it would come back. Dropped it off on Mon at 9 and picked it up Tues at 10 and they handed me 5 plastic wrapped and folded packages of clean and sorted laundry for $17. WHAT!! how did we not do this earlier?!! And we only lost the shower mat, which I think is a victory!
Must make a comment on this. We bought a Skyroam portable device, its supposed to work all over the world, piggy-backing on cell towers that they have agreements with. We used it in the US, on the way down and it was pretty good. But once we got into Baja, it was solidly sketchy in the northern Baja. I think mostly because there aren’t as many people / towers on the north side of the peninsula compared to the southern part. For the most part its been ok in the south, but I’ve put in a few “helpdesk” tickets with them when the service sucked and they said it was best to move to a better location! Thanks skyroam, that’s real helpful. They have also cut me off (without telling me), because I was uploading to much video. We ended up buying a Mexican SIM card in Loreto and that has been a lifesaver. There are places (coffee shops/restaurants and RV parks) that offer wifi, but I wouldn’t say that it works at the time you are there. Most of the time it won’t work. If anyone is planning on doing our trip, I highly recommend bringing a wifi box, and wifi booster and an unlocked phone so you can get a SIM card.
Anything goes when it comes to Mexican vehicles. We see alot of dune buggies, ATV’s and generally sketchy looking vehicles on the highways and beaches. We saw this one yesterday – believe it or not, he was fully stopped, waiting for a police vehicle to park.
We have spent an amazing 7 days here and are (begrudgingly) ready to leave Playa Cerritos, as we have ventured down all the side roads, enjoyed the beach and happy hour’d a few times with Meg & Nick and Tom & Lizzy!
Thanks for the fabulous time, next stop…San Carlos!