10/9/2013 – Back in familiar territory

Yesterday’s run wasn’t going to be very long, maybe 134 miles or so, so we were in no hurry to get up and get going.  After showers, breakfast and such, we rolled out of Guerrero Negro about 10:30 or so.  The sky was completely covered in clouds and it was just a wee bit on the cool side.  Not cool enough to fire up the heater in the Toyota but certainly cool enough to close the vents.

The first part of the trip, and the bulk of it, was across the Vizcaíno Desert.  The road ran very straight through country that was, at first bare, then covered in cactus, then covered in cactus and green grass (gasp!), and finally covered in cactus, datilillo, and yellow grass before crossing the lava fields from the Tres Virgenes valcanoes.  There was almost no traffic most of the way and the climb up to the pass through the mountains was very gradual so it was a really mellow ride.  Also, I found that I totally love the 80 km/hr speed limit out on the open road.  That’s about 50 mph and is a really comfortable speed to drive Flipper.  We passed uneventfully through two military checkpoints along the way.

As we passed over the crest of the pass, we left the clouds behind.  The sky turned blue and the temperature rose noticeably.  We had two pretty steep downhill stretches of a couple miles each.  Wait, I take that back.  We had one pretty steep stretch and one REALLY steep stretch.  The really steep one even has a name:  “Cuesta del Infierno” (Grade to Hell)  .  It’s the steepest stretch in Baja and probably, other than a few driveways in Marin County,  the steepest thing I’ve ever driven.  I bet much of it will be in first gear going back up.  I stayed in 2nd gear going down.

Soon we passed the propane place outside Santa Rosalía and we were home.  Everything from here on is familiar.  We pulled into SR, got some gas and then stopped in at the marina to visit our friends.  Only Toby and Jim were there but we shot the breeze with them for awhile.  One of our main things in Santa Rosalía was to have tacos al pastor at Rico’s.  Rico’s used to not open until evening but we were hoping that, since they’d moved uptown they might be opening earlier.  We asked Toby (seeing as how he’s a big Rico’s fan) and he said they don’t open until 4:00.  Bummer. Turns out it didn’t matter because they’re closed on Tuesday anyway.  Seems like this is the same thing that happened to us the first time we visited Santa Rosalía last December.  Well, we weren’t about to hang around SR for an extra day just for tacos so we said our good-byes and headed down the road to the San Lucas Cove RV park.

As we approached the turn-off, we decided that it was way too early to stop so we pressed on to Múlege, just under an hour away.  We chose an RV park from our Traveler’s Guide that was just a bit over a mile from downtown, along the river.  Hotel Cuesta Real has about 10 RV spots, some of which are filled with full-timers.  But it does have a few that are open for short-term use.  The book recommends parking at the top of the hill and walking down to see if there’s a space available.  It’s tight quarters and you wouldn’t want to be trying to turn a 30-footer around so you wouldn’t have to back up the steep driveway to get out.  I wasn’t worried as we’d been the only or at least the first RVs to arrive in the parks we’d been hitting so far.  And, I’m pretty confident that I can jockey little Flipper around anywhere that someone could maneuver a full-size pickup.

The place is a small hotel so some of the available RV sites are used for guest parking and, as I said, others are rented out to full-timers.  But there were several sites available for us and the owner directed us to a spot at the end of the hotel.

IMG_1783We backed in and checked for levelness.  Let me tell you, those little RV levels that I installed in the cab of the truck have made getting set up so much quicker and easier.  We found we were pretty close to dead-level so we stopped, hooked up the water and electricity and looked around for a sewer hook-up.  The owner said that there was one there somewhere but the banana tree had messed up the ground enough that she wasn’t sure where it was anymore.  However, she showed me where the main dump station is so we’re fine.  She gave me the internet code and told us we were welcome to use the pool.  Did I mention that there’s a pool?

One of the best parts of this place is that it abuts the dirt road that runs along the river so we can walk into town without having to walk on the highway.  Nice.  And so we did.

IMG_1784

It’s a very pretty walk and, before we had gone 1/8 of a mile, we happened upon Jungla Jim’s Bar and Restaurant.

Hoonglah Heems?

Hoonglah Heems?

The doors were wide open and it was full of ex-pats, all of whom obviously knew each other, drinking and yakking.  What could we do except stop off for a cold one?  The bar was completely full so we grabbed a table and ordered our beers.  As we sat there drinking them, the waitresses started passing out little styrofoam cups with plastic spoons stuck in them along with little paper trays of tortilla chips and saltine crackers.  Apparently we had happened along either during happy hour or just when they decided to give everyone a treat.  The cups were filled with ceviche which, if my eavesdropping was correct, was made from a sierra that one of the customers had caught earlier in the day and donated to Jungla Jim’s.  It was probably the best ceviche we’ve ever had and the price was certainly right.

Afterwards, we continued on into town where we had dinner at Scotty’s where the waitress remembered us from our visits last February or March.  It pays to have a wife who hands out hand-made friendship bracelets.  She tends to be remembered and since I’m along with her, they sort of remember me too.

The walk back was pleasant and there are a lot of really nice homes built right along the path.  However, after knowing about the devastating floods that happened a few years ago, I can’t imagine owning one of these places.

IMG_1787

Last night was our first hot night since we’ve started our trip.  Started out sleeping with no sheets or anything but fortunately, in the wee hours it cooled enough to warrant at least a sheet.  One of my projects for later today when we stop at Santispac is to install the fans we bought for the camper.  My other projects are to install the inverter and wire up the solar panels.  So far we’ve been able to plug in every night but there are no hook-ups at Santispac so we’re on our own.  Be good for us – we’ve been taking it too easy.

Also, no internet at Santispac.  We will be there tonight and maybe tomorrow night as well.  Our next dispatches will be from the Tripui RV and trailer park at Puerto Escondido.

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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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