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22 February 2016

Baja Mexico Trip 2015-2016. Part 6. Is Mexico Safe?


Is it safe to RV in Mexico?


Liz and Anders hiking at Coyote Beach, BCS.
Liz and Anders hiking at Coyote Beach, BCS.
Living in Canada, we hear all kinds of horror stories about RV'ing in Mexico and holidaying in Mexico.


We have now been three times in Mexico, and we have yet to experience any such thing.

We feel totally safe when traveling down here. No difference then traveling in Canada or the USA.


I was tickled, when I came across the article in the Los Cabos Magazine, written by Sandra A Berry about Mexican safety concerns.


Here it is, re-written with permission from Los Cabos Magazine.

Why Los Cabos? – Longtime resident Sandra A. Berry responds to concerns about travel in México


Why would anyone miss a chance to visit Los Cabos on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula? Unfortunately, some people have been scared off because of misleading, sensationalistic reports in the media.

The entire country has been shown in a negative light due to isolated instances that have, in some cases, been taken out of context. Los Cabos—as well as many other parts of México—is actually safer than other popular tourist destinations around the world and safer than many U.S. areas. Does bad publicity in New York City preclude vacationers from going to Cape Cod? What if México published warnings not to visit the United States? Would this help the relationship between the adjoining countries?

Despite the bad hype, thousands of visitors still visit Los Cabos, but there are those who are missing what Los Cabos has to offer. They are reading and listening to negative reports about the entire country. Not only is Los Cabos safebut there have been no safety advisories posted by the U.S. State Department for travel to Los Cabos. In fact, much of México remains unaffected by violence, and statistics prove there is less violence in México overall than in the United States.

Let’s think about the positives. Why would celebrities not only continue to have Los Cabos on their annual getaway list but also invest in real estate in what they consider a paradise? Some possible reasons:It has beautiful beaches; it is a haven for relaxation with a plethora of beachfront villas, condos, and hotels; it offers an abundance of year-round activities like golfing and fishing 360 days out of the year; the people are friendly and most speak English; and last, but not least, it is safe. The who’s who list of international celebrities who continue to visit includes such names as George Clooney, Jennifer Anniston, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, and more.

 Here are more questions to ponder. Why would filmmakers spend millions filming in Los Cabos? Why would anglers come annually for the biggest fishing tournaments in the world? Why would an international television series like Destination Baja Sur be filmed for the entire world to see the positive side of Los Cabos by viewing the people and places and getting to know the culture of Baja California Sur? Why would many of the famous golfers such as Jack Nicholas, Robert Trent Jones, and Tom Fazioput their signatures on the world-class golf courses in Los Cabos? Why would countless brides select Los Cabos for their destination wedding? Why would film stars such as Reese Witherspoon attend the annual Film Festival in Los Cabos? There are several answers, but the primary one: Because Los Cabos is safe.

Some visitors think they can throw caution to the wind when visiting México. They think there is no drinking age limit—that’s not true—and they overindulge in alcohol, many times in public places.That can lead to getting involved in incidents they would never dream of doing on their home turf. And, yes, they will get into trouble. As a rule, if someone is looking for trouble, he will find it. The best way to enjoy any vacation away from home is to take the usual precautions you would if you were going into an unknown neighborhood in your hometown. Lower your profile. Avoid displaying evidence of wealth. Stay within the well-traveled areas.

Los Cabos welcomes its visitors to come and enjoy the beaches, the sunsets, and myriad activities for the entire family. Don’t miss out on what can be the vacation of a lifetime. Who knows, you may want to consider Los Cabos as not only an annual vacation paradise but as a place to retire in a safe and secure environment.

End of article.

So there you go. Take it from someone who lives and works down here. When traveling here, use common sense and precautions just like in any unknown area.

Here is a link to some more information on safety in Mexico.

We love to vacation in Mexico, and we are sure you will as well,



13 February 2016

Baja Mexico Trip 2015-2016. Part 5. Day Trip to Santa Ines, San José de Magdalena and Santa Rosalia


Day Trip to Santa Ines, San José de Magdalena and Santa Rosalia


The Road Less traveled. Wonderful country side and the Baja desert is so green. Road back from Playa Santa Ines
The Road Less traveled. Wonderful country side and the Baja desert is so green.
Road down to Playa Santa Ines
Road down to Playa Santa Ines

Playa Santa Ines, BCS. MX
Playa Santa Ines, BCS. MX
It is the 25th of November, and we decided to take a drive, and check out some of the little towns and the country side.


Liz was not 100%, she was battling an upset stomach and headaches.


However as the good sport as she is, some Tylenol and Pepto Bismal will fix things up. I promised to drive extra slow!


We head north from Coyote Beach. After Mulege, we drive another 15 km north then turn right to Playa Santa Ines.


The road is very rough, but the landscape is very beautiful with the cacti and desert.


The beach at Playa Santa Ines is miles and miles of white sand. It is so beautiful and not a person in sight.





Anders on Playa Santa Ines. Can barely stand the crowds.
Anders on Playa Santa Ines. He could barely stand the crowds.
Road up to San Jose de Magdalen
Road up to San José de Magdalena

Road up to San José de Magdalena with a few wash outs here and there.
We walked the beach for about an hour and collected a bunch of really nice sea shells.


We were thinking of driving out to Punta Chivato but the washboard road was so bad, we decided to turn around and drive up to San José de Magdalena instead.



This is where the farmers grow a lot of garlic.



San José de Magdalena is a quaint little village high in the mountains and it was founded in 1774.



Originally it was supposed to be a mission to serve the Cocimi Indians. It did not last that long, it was closed in 1828 when the mission in Mulegé closed.








Garlic fields in San Jose de Magdalena, BCS. MX
Garlic fields in San Jose de Magdalena, BCS. MX
Had to drive through a river to get to San Jose de Magdalena.
Had to drive through a river to get to San José de Magdalena.

Coming back, there is beautiful vistas of the Bay of Conception.
Coming back, there are beautiful vistas of the Bay of Conception.
This is a pretty good drive with paved roads just about all the way, except through the river and into the village.


Nothing was open when we got there.... Siesta I think!


So we just had a quick look around and headed back down to sea level again.



From there we drove into the city of Santa Rosalia.


Santa Rosalia was named after the Saint Rosalia. The reason for the name is not quite clear.


The Misión de Santa Rosalía is not located by or in the city, but rather in the town of Mulegé, about 100 km south, and the local parish is devoted to Santa Bárbara.... I give up, just too confusing.

During a pit stop I noticed a self threading screw in one of the back tires.
During a pit stop I noticed a self threading screw in one of the back tires.

Luckily, it did not go through the whole tire so no plug needed.
Luckily, it did not go through the whole tire, so no plug was needed.
The metallic Iglesia de Santa Barbara in Santa Rosalia
The metallic Iglesia de Santa Barbara in Santa Rosalia

Walking around Santa Rosalia.
Walking around Santa Rosalia.
Santa Rosalía is a port city, and a regular ferry connects this town with Guaymas in the state of Sonora, on the other side of the Gulf of California or Sea of Cortez.


In my books Santa Rosalia has the roughest through road on the Baja. Just go slow, and I mean slow.


Now the town is pretty funky with some French influence. When you walk around in town you see all the houses made out of wood, like a small French village.


The town was founded in 1884 by a French mining company which ran a copper mine here until 1954.


The mining company built houses and installed the metallic Iglesia de Santa Bárbara. This is a very nice little church.


The legend has it that the church was designed by Gustave Eiffel who designed the Eiffel Tower. He was also involved in the design of the Statue of Liberty and many more structures.

We drove around and walked around town for about an hour. We picked up some fresh bread from a local bakery, and I even got myself an ice cream.

Moon in coming up over Coyote Beach.
Moon rising over Coyote Beach.
Back at the camp, a swim is in order, then it's time to fire up the BBQ.

For more pictures check out our web album.



Baja Mexico Trip 2015-2016. Part 4. Kids Visiting us on Coyote Beach


Coyote Beach With Family


Sunrise on Coyote Beach, BCS. Mexico.
Sunrise on Coyote Beach, BCS. Mexico.
Mark having a rest while Ryan, Lisa and Sarah is out on the water. Coyote Beach, BCS. MX
Mark having a rest while Ryan, Lisa and Sarah are out on the water.
It is the middle of November 2015, We have been on Coyote Beach for about a week.


Some of our kids and grand-kids came for a visit.


There are several connecting flights to the town of Loreto about two hours drive south of Coyote Beach.




It is time to go fishing on the Sea of Cortez in the Bay of Conception. Leaving Coyote Beach
It is time to go fishing on the Sea of Cortez in the Bay of Conception.
The ice cream truck arrives on Coyote Beach. This is not to be missed.
The ice cream truck arrives on Coyote Beach. This is not to be missed.
Loreto is a nice little town with about 15,000 people and was founded in 1697.


It is always so nice when family can come and visit us where ever we travelled to.


This time our son Mark with his wife Lisa and children Sarah and Ryan came for a week's visit.





Mama getting a hug from her son. Coyote Beach in the back drop.
Mama Liz getting a hug from her son Mark. Coyote Beach in the back drop.
Rush hour on Coyote Beach, BCS, MX.
Rush hour on Coyote Beach.
Coyote Beach in November is beautiful and the swimming is great.


The kids and grand-kids really enjoyed their time.


One of our neighbours came over with his small catamaran sail boat and paddle board.


Well, the kids loved it.





Lynne, Dave, Mark and Lisa just chilling.
Lynne, Dave, Mark and Lisa just chilling. Lynne and Dave are Lisa's parents.
Mark, Lisa and Liz on a morning walk. Baja Mexico
Mark, Lisa and Liz on a morning walk.
Unfortunately they all got a bit of a flue, and it did put a bid of a dampener on things.



We did manage to go for some really good hikes, and have some wonderful dinners on the beach.



A week goes way too fast, two weeks is a must. But anytime together with the family is great.




Panorama of Coyote Beach, BCS. MX
Panorama of Coyote Beach, BCS. MX



12 February 2016

Leveling Your RV


Leveling Your RV, Front, Back, Right and Left




Our trailer parked in Los Barriles, BCS. on sloping ground.
Our trailer parked in Los Barriles, BCS. on sloping ground.
How important is it to have your RV level? This really comes down to your comfort level.


If it is just for one night, and you are on the road the next morning, well you can probably sleep through a tilted unit.


For some RV owners leveling the unit is not an issue. Their coaches are self leveling and have all kinds of fancy controls.

RV set up on strong sloping grade.
RV set up on strong sloping grade.

View from the back of the trailer. RV set up on sloping grade.
For those of us who have a trailer of some kind, leveling is a whole different kettle of fish.


If you campsite is a cement pad then most of the time you only have to worry about front and back leveling.


This is easy to do with your landing gear on a fifth wheel trailer, or the tongue jack and the smaller jacks on a travel trailer.


When you camp on the beach or a camp ground with gravel, dirt or sand surface, most of the time you will have to level from right to left (or passenger to driver side) or left to right.


I assume you have a small level attached or glued on somewhere where it is easy to see.

Digging a hole or removing dirt on the high side makes leveling an RV easy
Digging a hole or removing dirt on the high side makes leveling an RV easy
We installed one just inside the door where it can be easily seen from the outside (with the door open) without having to walk into your unit (I'm thinking if it is raining and muddy).

Now consider this if you are two inches high on the driver side of the trailer, most of us put these plastic leveling pads out and back up the trailer on them. Now this is fine and fast and easy. 


Liz in San Juanico, BCS overlooking Scorpion Bay
Liz in San Juanico, BCS overlooking Scorpion Bay
Leveling your RV. Digging out small holes for the high side of the trailer makes is very solid.
Digging out small holes for the high side of the trailer makes is very solid.

Use leveling blocks to shorten the landing gears and jacks when leveling your RV
Use leveling blocks to shorten the landing gears and jacks when possible.
However if you are going to stay in the same place for any length of time, you may want to consider digging or removing some of the sand/gravel/dirt with a shovel and lower the high side.

Why?

Well, first of all, the lower the trailer sits the less rocking or movement you will get. We actually dig out holes for the wheels to go into when boon-docking or camping in areas with softer ground surfaces.

We have a tandem axle on our trailer. It is surprising how much more solid the trailer feels when you dig two holes for the tires to fit into.

When you back up the trailer on 2-3 inches of plastic leveling pads or 2 x 8 boards, you raise the center of gravity, and you get a lot more rocking and movement of the trailer.

With a 5th wheel trailer the front jacks or landing gear will also add to the rocking. Here is where a good leveling block comes in handy. You can make one yourself or purchase a set from your local RV store.

The shorter you can keep your front jacks or landing gear the less rocking you will have.

Hope that helps.