I'm writing a cookbook geared towards camping, RV'ing, Boating and at home. Sign up here to get notified when it is published.

18 December 2016

Baja Mexico Trip 2015-2016, Part 12


Our First Month in Los Barriles, Baja California, Mexico


Liz walking on the beach in Los Barriles, Baja California Sur Mexico
Liz walking on the beach in Los Barriles, Baja California Sur Mexico

Camped at East Cape RV Park in Los Barriles.
Camped at East Cape RV Park in Los Barriles.
Los Barriles is a wonderful sleepy little town on the Sea of Cortez or Gulf of California.

The town has a population of around 1200 people give or take a few.

It is located about 100 km south of the capital La Paz and 65 km north of San Jose del Cabo.

Both La Paz and San Jose has good airports.

Los Barriles is known for its great fishing, and for wind and kite surfing.

Actually Los Barriles is know as Baja's Windsurfing Capital. The westerly wind averages around 35-45 km/hr.

Every year there is a big kite surfing, wind surfing and stand up paddle competition in town called "Lord of the Winds".


Local Fishermen in Los Barriles
Local Fishermen in Los Barriles

La Fogata Restaurant
La Fogata Restaurante

Open mike at La Fogata. Susan and Catherine performing, just wonderful!
Open mike at La Fogata. Susan and Catherine performing, just wonderful!

Anders out for a walk in Los Barriles.
Anders out for a walk in Los Barriles.
Tons of people from all over the world descend into town during this competition.

We worked as volunteers for the 2016 competition. So much fun and excitement.

Many avid fishermen come to Los Barriles to fly fish for Marlin, Rooster fish, Tuna, Dorado and more.

The town offers plenty of amenities with stores, delis, cafes, hotels, campgrounds and endless beaches.

Every Wednesday night there is open mike at La Fogata Restaurant and the proceeds go to the local kids for continued education.

School is paid for up to grade six, after that the parents have to pay. This money that is collected at open mike goes to the local families to help pay for education. A very worthy cause.

We stayed at East Cape RV Resort right in town. This is a great and well run RV park with full hook-ups.

The park has a lot of permanent people that come back every year, and if you choose you can participate in many functions.

There is also a pickle ball court next door to the RV Park. Great fun!

Here every Saturday morning the Farmers Market is on up till about 1pm or so. Come early for best selections of vegetables and other stuff.

We are lucky to have some good long-time friends in Los Barriles.

Lorne and Catherine built a beautiful home here just on the outskirt of town. We have spent some wonderful evenings at their place.

Lorne and Catherine are the people that enticed us to come down and visit. Thanks you two.

During our three months stay in Los Barriles we were introduced to so many people and made a ton of new friends like Susan and Brian.

We also found the best massage therapist,  Christine and also a fantastic Physio Therapist Dennis. Dennis and his wife are also fantastic two step dancers. Thanks for the lessons Dennis.

We even took Spanish lessons. Just so much excitement and lots to do.

From Los Barriles it is easy to make day trips down to Los Cabos (San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas).

Shopping is really good down here along the Corridor with many local stores including a Costco and Walmart.

If you have not been in Los Barriles, Mexico, add it to your bucket list. It is a very safe and quaint little town.

More pictures from Los Barriles.

Cheers,

Anders and Liz




11 December 2016

Baja Mexico Trip 2015-2016. Part 11


Ciudad Constitución to Rancho Verde and onward to Los Barriles


It is the 13th of December 2015 and we have a leisurely morning with a nice breakfast. We break camp, pack up and get the truck and trailer ready for the next trip.

Once we are packed, we go over our usual trip inspection to make sure all is ready and all the lights work as they should.

This morning many of the streets in Ciudad Constitución are closed off by Police. We realise there is some kind of race happening.

Wonderful Landscape as we Motor Along to Rancho Verde.
Wonderful Landscape as we Motor Along to Rancho Verde.
It is beautiful sunshine as we motor out of town towards Rancho Verde and Los Barriles. The road is great and absolutely straight up till Santa Rita.

In Las Pocitas they have built a brand new Pem-X gas station and Oxo store. Two years ago this was only a two building town, with a lovely older man selling odds and ends. Now it even has a coffee shop.

Village of El Triunfo
Village of El Triunfo

Lots of curves and mountain passes.
Lots of curves and mountain passes.

Incredibly beautiful landscape as we get close to Rancho Verde
Incredibly beautiful landscape as we get close to Rancho Verde
We drive around and through La Paz with not too much traffic.


You really have to watch for the stop signs in this town. Not easy to see in many places.


Once we get closer to El Triunfo and San Antonio the narrow road winds over mountains through lots of steep curves.


Liz is a bit uncomfortable, but all goes well and the truck gets a good workout.


We stop and spend the rest of the day and night at Rancho Verde RV Haven at km 142.5 or 32 km before Los Barriles.


This very well maintained RV Park is way up in the mountain, just off the highway.


There is lots of room to turn around inside the park. I believe this is still a working ranch.


There is water only available, so you have to be self sufficient otherwise.


This is of course no problem for us with the solar panels and even a generator as a back up.


We really like this RV Park, it is peaceful and beautiful.






Rancho Verde RV Haven
Rancho Verde RV Haven
Anders and Liz at Rancho Verde RV Haven
Anders and Liz at Rancho Verde RV Haven

Wonderful flowers all around the Rancho Verde RV Haven.
Wonderful flowers all around the Rancho Verde RV Haven.

Liz on our hike with cactus and trees.
Liz on our hike

Anders on the hike around Rancho Verde RV Haven
Anders on the hike around Rancho Verde RV Haven
We were the only guests here which is really surprising since it is so nice up here with all kinds of hiking trails.


We have a really good sleep and wake up to a cool morning; it's the 14th of December which is our anniversary. Happy Anniversary Darling!


I cook up some eggs and bacon as the sun comes up, soon it starts dripping from the roof gutters. We must have had a bit of frost over night.


After breakfast we go for a nice hike around the Ranch, just a wonderful area to hike in.


After the hike I head down to the ranch house to see if we could pay, nobody was able to collect money yesterday.


This time I had better luck, and I paid our dues.


We break camp. We only have a short drive today to Los Barriles.


Once in Los Barriles we check into East Cape RV Park. It is located on a street called "20th of Novembre".


This is wonderful park with all the amenities and with large RV sites.


More on this RV Park and Los Barriles in our next blog post.


Here are some more pictures from this part of our trip.


Cheers,

Anders and Liz




10 December 2016

Baja Mexico Trip 2015-2016. Part 10


Visiting San Juanico at Scorpion Bay, Las Barrancas, Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos


Going West Towards Las Barrancas
Going West Towards Las Barrancas

Work on bridge
Work on bridge

Cattle grassing along the river
Cattle grassing along the river

Incredible Sand Dunes That Goes on For Ever.
Incredible Sand Dunes That Go on Forever.
It is the 11th of December, and boy o boy have we already been busy today, and we are not finished yet. See our previous blog post from San Miguel de Comondu and San Jose de Comondu.

We have just arrived at Mex 1 at Ej. Francisco Villa from San Miguel de Comondu.

Here we turn north on Mex 1 for about 25 km.

Then we turn west toward Las Barrancas on our way to Scorpion Bay and the town of San Juanico.

This road is now paved. It is not going all the way to La Purisima like in the olden days.

The drive west toward the Pacific Ocean is flat and the cacti looks grey, almost dead like. We do not know what has caused this?

Otherwise the scenery is absolutely fantastic with the huge rolling sand dunes past the inlet of Boca San Gregorio.

Here the bridge is out over the inlet La Purisima, and we drive over a temporary contraption.

To re-enforce the bridge, by hand, the workers stack rocks in wire cages.

They then align the cages  along the bridge for support.

In San Juanico we are staying at the Las Casitas with John and Christine.

It is like a small motel with a common outdoor kitchen that all the guests can use.

This is a very nice and clean casita motel and the owners are very friendly.

Parking is inside the walls of the property.

San Juanico is a quaint little town that is completely off the grid and is geared towards windsurfing.

There are also lots of large fishing boats anchored in the bay.

We have a walk around town and take in the sights. Lots of houses are for sale here. The town is fairly empty and not much is going on. Apparently the surfing season here is from May through October.

Las Casitas in San Juanico on Scorpion Bay
Las Casitas in San Juanico on Scorpion Bay

Liz Overlooking Scorpion Bay
Liz Overlooking Scorpion Bay

Fishing boats anchored in Scorpion Bay
Fishing boats anchored in Scorpion Bay

Dinner at El Burros in San Juanico
Dinner at El Burros in San Juanico
That night we have dinner at El Burros and do some people watching.

We see all kinds of characters here.
In the evening some loud music kept us awake for a while, but we really had a big day, so it did not take us long to fall a sleep.


San Juanico on Scorpion Bay Back to Ciudad Constitución

We awake early the next morning. We sure had a good sleep.

We get dressed and go for a walk about to find a place for breakfast.

We end up at El Burros again, because we could not find anything else open this morning.

We had a nice breakfast. I had shrimp omelet with beans and Liz had scrambled eggs and bacon with rice and beans. Really good!

After driving around town and along the sandy cliffs we decide to leave San Juanico and work our way back to Ciudad Constitución.

We drive into Las Barracas. This is an old fishing town. Except for some workers at a local slaughter house there is not much happening here.

A bit sad and depressing.

We also decide to drive out to Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos (La Soledad).

The road out is good and straight. This is a sleepy little town now, but the high season is around the corner when the whale watching start.

We are told the the big Gray Whale mamas push the calves up to the boats so they can be petted.

In this town, most businesses are closed and are patiently waiting for the Gray whales.

Even the 100's of pelicans look bored.

Although most people we see seems happy, even though they don't have very much.

Back at Misiones RV Park in Ciudad Constitución we make supper and have an early night. But wait... it is Saturday night. The party starts in town with loud music, fire crackers or gun shots and it goes on till early morning when the darn roosters take over with their serenade.

Patti comes and wishes us a good trip as we head out.

Here are some more pictures from this part of the trip.

Cheers,

Anders and Liz







09 December 2016

Baja Mexico Trip 2015-2016. Part 9


Trip to San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu


Ciudad Insurgentes
Ciudad Insurgentes 
Mex 1 Construction
Mex 1 Construction


Driving in the ditch while the road is being built.
Driving in the ditch while the road is being built.
It is the 11th of December 2015, and we are camped at RV Misiones or Misiones RV Park in Ciudad Constitución.

We will stay here for three nights and do a one-day trip to San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu.

After San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu we will continue up north to San Juanico on Scorpion Bay and Bahia San Juanico.

Today then, we have a leisurely breakfast and pack some lunch and fill up our water bottles and coffee in our travel mugs. The trailer will stay put at RV Misiones for two nights by itself.

We stop at the first gas station and fill up diesel and ask the gas station attendant how the roads are going north from Ciudad Insurgentes.

He said with a smile, some good, some not so good.... and he was spot on.

Between Villa Ignacio Zaragoza and the turn off at Ej Francisco Villa to go to Comondu we encountered: narrow roads full of dangerous pot holes and wash outs.

We found about five km of new road "Mex 1" and then another five km of trail in a sandy ditch while they are working on the Mex 1.

Apparently the Mex 1 will come through here from San Ignacio straight down rather then going over Santa Rosalia, Mulege and Loreto.


Finished Section of Mex 1, North of Ciudad Insurgentes
Finished Section of Mex 1, North of Ciudad Insurgentes
The sign on this part of the road has already changed from BCS53 to Mex 1.

It will take some time to get all this done, but when completed it will be great.

We turn off  the Mex 1 to the east at Ej. Francisco Villa heading east into the Sierra la Giganta mountains. This road is mostly paved and is in good condition.

As we come up to the foothills, we encounter a good size creek that even has fish in it.



We climb up towards San Miguel Comondu and the scenery is just wonderful. San Miguel Comondu is a sleepy little town in a beautiful oasis.

Drive up to San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu. Watch for washouts.
Drive up to San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu. Watch for washouts.

Creek crossing the road to San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu.
Creek crossing the road


Small Oasis on the way up to Small Oasis on the way up to San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu.
Small Oasis on the way up to San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu.

The drive up to San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu offers some incredible scenery
Incredible scenery

Oasis with palm trees close to San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu.
Oasis with palm trees close to San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu.

Oasis with palm trees close to San Miguel de Comondu and San Jose de Comondu.
Ruins in San Miguel de Comondu
Ruins in San Miguel de Comondu 

A newer small hotel in San Miguel de Comondu

Liz walking the cobble stoned streets in San Miguel de Comondu

A renovated home.
A renovated home.

Another ruin. If only these walls could talk!
Another ruin. If only these walls could talk!
In San Miguel de Comondu we parked the truck and walked around the cobble stoned streets looking at old ruins and current buildings.

Some of the ruins in San Miguel de Comondu are from 1709; and from a Jesuit Mission that is probably from 1750.

Some of the ruins have been incorporated into a later dated church.

We observe old men and women walking and sitting around town. They seem to be enjoying a slow paced lifestyle.

Two young teenagers in tight pants walked by throwing candy wrappers on the sidewalk.

A loud Juke-box is playing Latin music for the benefit of half the town.

On a side street we find a sign indicating a wine cellar. We had to check this out!

A wonderful old man, I think called Mr Morales came out to greet us.

He asked if we wanted to taste his wine? Hello..... do I really need to think about this!!

Inside we went, passing the bedroom into the inner grand room completely open to the garden.

Mr Morales disappeared to his wine cellar and came out with a ¼ bottle of wine.

He gave us a taste in some small plastic cups. It was great, a bit like Port or a Sherry.

Since 100 years they have produced wine up here. Mr Morales said the vineyard is quite far away up in the hills.

He has been producing wine since 1960 under the Shangri-La, Vinto-Tinto Artesanal 100% UVA.

I asked if I could purchase a bottle and he said YES.... made my day.

$130 Pesos later, I now had a wonderful bottle of wine.

We chatted a little in his main living room.

The table was stacked with stuff, the old Singer sewing machine was standing in the corner, and the laundry machine was beside it.

The back wall is open to the beautiful garden with flowers and fruit trees.


One of Mr Morales daughters came for a visit, very nice lady.

Shangri-La Winery, Vino Tinto Artesanal 100% UVA desde 1960. San Miguel de Comondu Baja California Sur
Shangri-La Winery

Mr Morales pouring some Shangri-La wine.
Mr Morales pouring some wine.

Anders with his priced bottle of Shangri-La wine.
Anders with his priced bottle of Shangri-La wine.

Mr Morales and Anders in deep discussion about Shangri-La wine.
Mr Morales and Anders in deep discussion about wine. 
Anders with his priced bottle of Shangri-La wine.
Anders with his priced bottle of Shangri-La wine.



Drive through the oasis to San Jose de Comondu
Drive through the oasis to San Jose de Comondu

Wonderful landscape on the way to San Jose de Comondu
Wonderful landscape on the way to San Jose de Comondu

Sign saying Mision de San Jose de Comondu
Mision de San Jose de Comondu

Village of San Jose de Comondu
Village of San Jose de Comondu

Mision de San Jose de Comondu
Mision de San Jose de Comondu

Liz in San Jose de Comondu, Baja California Sur
Liz in San Jose de Comondu

Inside the Mision de San Jose de Comondu. Arched ceiling, wooden benches.
Inside the Mision de San Jose de Comondu
Very special.
He also has a daughter in La Paz who speaks English. Up here in San Miguel Comondu English is very limited or non existent.

We said good bye as new found friends. Mr Morales, you are a wonderful man.

We found our truck and drove through the palm forest further up into the mountains on a gravel road full of pot holes and rocks.

After about three km we arrived in San Jose Comondu.

Here there are some ruins left and a nice old church.

On the church wall are some old photographs of 1901 showing old colonnades and a bell tower which still existed from the 1750's.

Many inhabitants of this area are still fair skinned descendants of early Spanish pioneers, though by now many are inter-mixed with Mestizos from mainland Mexico.

We were eating our packed lunches in San Jose Comondu and were people watching.

One can not imagine living in some of these homes or running one of these so called businesses.

I think we have to shift paradigm, people are happy, they laugh, they talk, they sell gas out of a 45 gallon drum. If you own a pig, you tie him to the tree...

People are very happy with what they have.

After lunch we returned back to San Miguel Comondu and drove back down the mountain to Ej. Francisco Villa.

What a fantastic day we have had, just love the friendly folks and the wonderful country of Mexico.

From Ej. Francisco Villa we headed north for San Juanico and Scorpion Bay.

More on this in our next blog post.

Here are some more pictures from San Miguel Comondu and San Jose Comondu

Cheers,

Anders and Liz