Northern Nevada south through California where spring brings green vistas and blue skies. Our goal – 1600 miles away near the south end of Baja California Sur.
We prefer to cross the border into Baja, Mexico through Tecate. The wait time is mostly nonexistent and the excitement of the Ruta del Vino is a good start to any road trip.
We expected the border crossing might be congested this time. The December landslide north of Ensenada had people who would normally cross through Tijuana using the Tecate border but to our surprise we were the only car there!
The Mexican immigration officer waved us over to the inspection area (the last time we drove down the immigration officers failed to show up at all) and motioned for Bill to open the back of the Jeep. Seeing that our car was stacked like sardines with household items he less than enthusiastically decided that asking if we had cigarettes would suffice as a job well done. With a quick “no” we were on our way.
It felt to so good to be back. Back where the edges are a little rougher and life more colorful. Back to reaching into the depths of my brain to find the correct Spanish word. Back to “real” harina tortillas and pico de gallo like no other.
The north brought fields of crops ripe for the picking and 18 wheelers bound to parts unknown.
In Mexico not an ounce of asphalt is wasted – shoulders are a luxury known only to the neighboring country to the north. There’s barely enough room for 2 trucks to meet at the same time on the same patch of pavement without the occasional loss of a side mirror – it is imperative to pay attention.
Traveling up a narrow curving turn – a hill on one side and a drop off on the other we encountered an out of control 18 wheeler headed in our direction – in our lane. The driver skillfully maneuvered the cab of the truck back into his lane only leave his container on our side sliding towards us, ready to roll over and wipe us off the map – we had no where to go – slow motion…
Since you are reading this you know that by the grace of God we narrowly avoided being wiped off the map. Bill said that he hoped the container was full of watermelons. Not sure if that was to lessen the blow or for us to have the sweet taste of watermelon on our lips.
Green farm land turned into my one of my favorite parts of the drive the Valle de Los Cirios – thousands upon thousands of funny trees – some standing straight and tall, some crooked and sprawl, some ready to fall – straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.
“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!” ― Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Next beautiful stop Cataviña (the middle of nowhere) for a photo op. Rocks bigger than the car spread all over like marbles on a sidewalk. I, with my camera in hand, tip toeing over cactus plants trying to find the perfect shot as the car begins to screech from the loss of power steering fluid. Hours from a gas station.
Let the good times roll… You’re not in Mexico if you don’t have a situation that you have to figure a way out.
A few bottles of transmission fluid later (duct tape wouldn’t work this time) we lost the power steering. Bill muscled the remaining 1,000 +/- miles and got a good work out.
North of Loreto are the turquoise sleepy bays of the Sea of Cortez – RV’s and old fish shacks line the shore.
Road construction beyond road construction south of Loreto – white out driving through the dust. We guaranteed this when we stopped to have the power steering fluid washed off the car an hour earlier.
Then the barren nothingness of the sticky, flat, rocky, thorny, dry terrain until we reached La Paz where the city bustles to life.
A short drive thru the sleepy town of El Triunfo to San Antonio, San Bartolo and homeeeeeee………
4 days later and undoubtedly $$$ at the Jeep dealer in Cabo – life is good.
Oh, and the 88 degrees with calm seas aren’t bad.