10/7/2013 – Day 2 & 3 on the Baja run

Interstate freeways are really dangerous for me to drive.  They totally put me to sleep.  It doesn’t matter how much sleep I had the night before, it’s like the freeway hypnotizes me.  Before I know it, I’m feeling sort of catatonic and my eyes are crossing and it’s all I can do to keep them open.  The feeling eventually passes but it’s really bad until then.  For that reason alone, Mexico’s Highway 1 in Baja is safer than an interstate freeway in say, California.  No way you’d fall asleep driving this road.  There’s simply no time.  Things change so fast that, if you even closed your eyes for two seconds, you’d probably awaken to find yourself plunging over a cliff, Thelma and Louise style.  I actually prefer this sort of driving as it keeps me awake.

Yesterday we left the RV park outside Maneadero (the place with the castle) and drove to El Rosario.  The road was up and down and round and round.  Lots of shifting down to third gear and occasionally to second.  It’s a really good idea down here to learn how to drive as close to the right-hand side of the road as possible because the roads are generally narrow, have no shoulders, and you get to share them with big trucks.  As sort of scary as it sounds, it really wasn’t all that bad.  Granted, I didn’t do anything crazy like look in the mirror to see how close the trucks passed by us.  That’d just be too scary.  No, if the mirrors didn’t scrape the passing truck (and they never even came close), we were good to go.  Just had to take it on faith.

We passed through one military checkpoint along the way.  We told them we had come from San Diego and were going to La Paz on vacation.  That was all it took and they waved us through.

Last night’s stop in El Rosario was at the Motel Sinahi RV Park, pretty much the only game in town.  The RV sites were up behind the motel and were all amazingly level. There was 15 amp electrical service, a sewage hook-up and a water tap.  Of course, when we returned from dinner the water tap was no longer running but that’s not really all that unexpected.  There were bathrooms and showers available as well.  We’re back in Mexico so you have to remember to take your own toilet paper but we can easily adapt to that.  The shower rooms were lighted and there was ample hot water.  There weren’t any shower heads so you took your shower under a 1/2″ pipe running full blast.  I was a little put off at first but got used to it very quickly.  The park was $150 pesos/ per night ($12.00 USD).

We walked down the street for dinner at Mama Espinoza’s Restaurant.  It had been talked up in the RV guide we’re using.  Apparently their signature dish is the lobster burritos.  Lulu ordered those and I ordered the lobster chile rellenos and we split our dinners so we each got some of both.  It was all very good but a tad on the spendy side.  We didn’t regret having dinner there but we certainly won’t do that every night.

The trip from El Rosario to Guerrero Negro was going to be a little longer than our usual 200 miles per day.  Not much longer but still…  Since I like to have some unwinding time when we get where we’re going, we decided to get up early, hit the road, have breakfast along the way and get to our destination in the early afternoon.  I set the alarm for 0600 with plans to be on the road by 0700.  When the alarm went off we got up, made coffee, broke camp and headed out.  We were on the road by 0645.

We passed a number of loncherias along the way, any one of which would be suitable for breakfast assuming they were open.  But it was really hard to tell what was and wasn’t open so we pressed on until we hit the Hotel Catavina.  This is a pretty upscale place out in the middle of nowhere.  But, in spite of it’s isolation, or maybe because of it, there were quite a few guests moving around.  We had breakfast in their dining room.  Lulu had scrambled eggs (huevos revueltos) with bacon and I had my standard huevos rancheros.  It was all very good and, although we paid over twice what we would have at the Olympic Cafe in La Paz, the Olympic doesn’t have quite the ambiance as the Hotel Catavina.

After breakfast we pushed on.  Mile after mile of 2-lane blacktop unfolded ahead of us.  Long, straight stretches were the exception.  We climbed steep grades and descended down the other side, downshifting as needed.  When we approached a “curva peligrosa” (dangerous curve), we were reminded of it by the bumps in the road.  They put these mini-speed-bumps, maybe 20 of them, ahead of the curve.  They are spaced closer together the closer you get to the curve.  So, you slow down and hit the first ones: bump……..bump…….bump……  Then they get closer together.  By the end of them you’re going bumpbumpbumpbump just like on a corduroy (washboard) road.  Definitely gets you to slow down.

We had filled the main tank with gas at El Rosario since we’d read that there was no gas available between El Rosario and Villa Jesús María, almost 200 miles away.  Two hundred miles is about what we do on the main tank.  I’m sure we can go further but I seldom run the tank on the “E” mark for very long.  I wasn’t too concerned since I also had 30 gallons in our auxiliary tank but, if we hadn’t, I might have started to sweat a bit before we finally saw a Pemex station at Villa Jesús María.

After VJM it was only another 20 miles or so to Guerrero Negro.  We passed through another militery checkpoint and then had to open up the rig for an agricultural inspection when we crossed from Baja California to Baja California Sur at Guerrero Negro.  They didn’t take any of our fresh fruit, charged us $10 pesos for the inspection and then doused Flipper’s undercarriage with some kind of pesticide as we passed through.  No sweat.  Our first stop in Guerrero Negro was the Banamex ATM since we were running a little low on cash.  After that we doubled back and settled in at the Hotel Malarrimo RV park.  The price here is $176 (about $14 USD) per night.  We’re the only rig parked here so there shouldn’t be any competition for the showers.  We have full hook-ups including wifi.  There’s a well-recommended restaurant attached to the Hotel but, while relaxing with a couple of Pacificos this afternoon, we perused the menu. Yeah, I believe we’ll be eating onboard tonight.

Sorry, but for some reason photos aren’t uploading this afternoon.

Tomorrow we head to Santa Rosalita for lunch at Rico’s (assuming they open earlier since moving downtown) and then on to Mulege or Playa Santispac in Bahía Concepción.

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About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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4 Responses to 10/7/2013 – Day 2 & 3 on the Baja run

  1. Tate says:

    I don’t really have a tendency to fall asleep on a long boring trip but I do sort of short out and experience “white line fever”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_hypnosis

  2. charlesaperrone says:

    Are Yoders Afloat if they are driving on Terra Firme? Sleepy or not.

  3. Enjoying reading about your land based travels and food experiences. Makes me sort of pay attention to the RV parks around here and wonder what they charge!

  4. Dave says:

    We are following your trip with interest. Sounds adventursome, fun, and eventful. You are as good at land cruising as ocean cruising. Hope all of the events stay positive. It was great to be with you for some days in California. Hope we can shrare an ancorage in MX next summer.

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