Another adventure in the barrels area – a couple of hidden gems, we had heard about through other traveller/RV’ers and also listed as camping areas in the Baja Camping book that we use. Before we get to that though, we wanted to mention that…
Life in an RV isn’t all holiday fun, every minute of every day. We still have to do dishes, buy groceries, do laundry, maintenance on the Bus, clean her inside and out and the most time-consuming activity is planning – either figuring out what we are going to do where we are or where we are planning to go! Planning takes so much time. Depending on where we head, we take Cindy the Civic on a pre-trip excursion the day before, to see if we can get Ruby in to where we want to go. So, although we look like we are having non-stop fun (which we are!), we also have to do regular life stuff too, at it’s a chore!
So back to our water adventures! There were two places we wanted to hit, and they were really close to each other. One was a natural hot spring and the other was a waterfall. We gave Cindy a good talking too before we left, as I noticed that the book said only high clearance vehicles were recommended on the road to the hotsprings, so she had her work cut out for her! The drive took us through a cute town called Santiago. Here is the church:
About 2 hours later (45 km), we finally arrived at the Santa Rita hot springs. And although there were a couple of campers and a few artists doing some weird photo shoot, we were the only ones in the hot springs!
We had the pool to ourselves only for about 15 mins and then a few photoshoot people showed up. This is the best website I could find (http://www.bajacitizen.com/santa-rita-hot-springs-in-baja-sur/) in case you wanted to read about it.
We have been pleasantly surprised at the quantity of natural hot springs we have come across. This is the third set of hot springs and we could have hit a smaller one on the way back home. Definitely not something I expected here, in the desert.
After an hour or so, we got back in the car and ventured over to the waterfall. Again, when we got there, no one else was there. As soon as we were ready to dip in to the water, a crowd of people showed up (annoying helicopter parents and kids). Anyway, it was frickin’ cold water and it was just great to see a beautiful waterfall – we may have climbed to the top, and through the boulder gorge. It was all lovely. There were alot of bearded palm trees. We think they are cool.
You can see the waterfall from the top, here: waterfall
Our last full day in the barrels, we wanted to go snorkeling at the best place on the peninsula – called Cabo Pulmo – it’s a national park, and it comes highly recommended that you hire a tour guide and boat to snorkel. We don’t like to do that cause we have snorkeled quite a bit, can pretty much navigate ourselves and have our own gear. So we planned to drive down to Playa Arbolito, take the kayak and fill it with our lunch, snorkel gear and see what we can find. It had rained the day before and the trip included 15 km of sand road, and A LOT of deep-water pools along the road. Check out the road home video below.
We knew a lot of tours took people to this area, and that they limit the number of people per day, so our plan was to be there by 9:30ish. And we succeeded, there was only 2 other people there by the time we got there. We paid our 40 pesos to use the national park for the day and headed into the water with our loaded kayak. There were a couple of small remote beaches that we could pull the kayak up to and then snorkel in the area. We kayaked for about 45 mins or so, then pull over to a snorkel spot. Todd and I have both snorkeled a lot – and I would say that this snorkel spot is the best that Mexico might have to offer, and it was OK. This is not Maui snorkeling or Great Barrier Reef snorkeling – the colors aren’t there, although the green coral was cool and there are a lot of fish! Some new fishies we have never seen before, so that was cool and worth our 40 pesos.
After a quick lunch we went back in for another short snorkel to make sure we didn’t miss anything and then got the kayak ready for departure. But, that’s when we realized the kayak had a flat! We tried to find the kayak leak (it was a big one, since the entire right side was completely deflated and when we tried to fill with air to find the leak, it would not hold a spec of air!). Great, now what?! We debated leaving the kayak behind, hiking over the big hill (2 miles) or swimming it back. We tried getting in to the kayak to see if we could even use it, but NO, that was not an option – it would flip/capsize and all our stuff would be gone/wrecked. We brought the kayak back to land when I had the idea to use the life jackets and attach them to the right side of the kayak to keep it afloat, and then we can just swim (with our snorkel gear) and tow it back to shore. So that’s what we did. It took us about 45 minutes to swim/tow the kayak back to the main beach. Yes, that’s what i said – we swam our kayak back to the beach (1.5 km away, in the ocean) I took a video of our kayak – Limpy the Kayak
Got everything back to the car, going back home, when two shitty things happened:
- the battery light comes on in the car! Oh great, we’ve lost the serpentine belt – the battery won’t be charging as we drive back home. So we turned all unnecessary stuff off (air conditioning) and drove like a bat out of hell to get back home, before we lose the battery.
- i forgot my new sandals at the beach!!!! F@#$!!! they were brand new, i got them in Maui and it took me 2 years to find them. EFFFFF. We can’t turn around and get them because we don’t have alternator. Shit.
- Check out the road home video – Snorkel roads
Next stop, Cabo San Lucas…..