Just before we left Loreto yesterday, we stopped at a couple shops for souvenirs and then at El Pescador for groceries. Walking back to the camper, it was actually pleasantly warm, almost hot. Little did we know how much that was going to change.
We weren’t more than a half hour out of Loreto when the clouds rolled in and the north wind began to blow. By the time we reached the southern end of Bahia Concepción, it was blowing seriously. The sky was completely covered with big grey clouds and there was a stormy feeling about it all. Our goal for the day was a campground just south of Santa Rosalita and, fortunately, by the time we got there, the sun was back. However, the wind, if anything, was stronger and colder than before.
We had a heck of a time finding the RV Park. We had entered the coordinates into Dora and she led us there, more or less. The turnoff seemed very unlikely. No signs and a tiny dirt road. Certainly not what we would expect of someplace that the guide said was “suitable for large RVs”. But, we kept going and eventually found an RV park. It was on the other side of the fence from where we were so we started driving along the fence. The road was even smaller than before. We finally came to an opening in the fence which just happened to connect with a much larger dirt road coming from the other direction. Whatever, we were pretty sure this was the place.
There was no obvious office so we just kind of drove around a bit. We found a guy sitting outside his Jeep reading a book so I asked him if he knew anything about how the place operated. He introduced himself as Don. He and his wife, Melva, have a boat, a Pearson Triton, moored at Sanispac in Bahia Concepción and were doing a little land travel with their friend’s Jeep. Anyway, he said he’d been here the previous year and, as he remembered it, you just pick a spot and someone will come around sooner or later to collect. Good enough. We explored a little more and came across a woman whose trailer clearly looked like it spends the whole season here. Not quite like this one, but similar except with more awnings:
She talked to us quite a bit. Told us much the same thing that Don had said except that she told us how much they charge ($10 US per night although they have reduced prices for weekly and monthly stays), that there was no electricity, where the bathrooms were, where the showers were, that the showers are hot, which shower was the best one and which faucet was the hot water (the opposite of what you would assume). She said that Miguel (I think that’s what she said) would be around sometime to collect. We’d recognize him by his cowboy hat although, in this wind, she wasn’t sure he’d be wearing it.
Completely filled in, we drove around a chose a spot. There was no such thing as a spot out of the wind so we just made sure the door to the camper was on the leeward side. Let me tell ya, that wind was honkin’! Blowing stink, as the sailors say. And it was a cold wind as well. After checking out the facilities we hunkered down in Flipper, out of the wind. Every now and then the camper would rock side to side as a particularly good gust hit us. No way did we dare to raise the roof vents for fear they’d be ripped clean off. Not that it was warm enough to need to vent the camper anyway.
We whiled away the afternoon (we got there about 2:00) eating chips and bean dip, reading, doing crossword puzzles, etc. Towards evening, we noticed a lighted sign come on over at what was supposed to be a restaurant/bar but just looked like a deserted plywood shed. Then I saw a guy come out of the bar and hang a sign on the door. Naturally I couldn’t read it from the camper so I wandered over to take a look. I’ll be damned, it said “Abierto, Bienvenidos” (Open, Welcome). We decided to wander over and see what’s what just for a change of scenery.
There was a small generator running between the bar and the second set of baños. This was supplying juice to the restaurant/bar as well as the baños. We joined Don and stepped inside. Let me backtrack for just a second. Don and Melva were sort of out camping. Their “rig” consisted of the Jeep and a small mountaineering tent. A VERY small tent. By the time we hit the bar, there was no way Don was going to pry Melva out of the sleeping bag in the tent. She was finally warm and had no intention of coming back out into the cold. So, we joined Don, sans Melva, for a couple brews.
Inside the “shack”, it looked like a bonafide, albeit quite small, restaurant bar. There was the obligatory flat screen TV showing a football game and the standard plastic chairs and tables that are ubiquitous in Baja and probably everywhere else that Pacific and Corona are sold (one of their names is stamped on almost every chair you see). The proprietor said he wasn’t opening the kitchen tonight but the bar was open. Lulu and I ordered a beer each and Don ordered a margarita. We talked about various things but Don and I mostly talked ukuleles. I’d spotted one in his jeep and asked him if he played. he said that he’s trying and I said so was I. There wasn’t a comfortable place or time to play together but we did chat about ukes quite a bit.
After Lulu finished her beer she decided to go back to Flipper. It was cold in the bar and she had this great idea to bake a loaf of bread because a.) bread is good, and b.) the oven would warm up the camper. I stayed for another beer before heading back. A few minutes after Lulu left some other campers (all guys) came in to watch the game and have a drink or two. Then a few more came in. This second group had a pot of something hot that turned out to be meatballs in BBQ sauce that they shared with everyone, Don and I included. They all obviously knew each other and did this often. Probably from some of those trailers that look like they’re hunkered in for the season. After my second beer, I excused myself and headed home. It was dinner time.
When I got there, the bread was just about to come out of the oven and the camper was toasty and smelled really good. We ate fresh bread slathered in butter and then Lulu heated up the leftovers of the shepherd’s pie I’d made for dinner the night before.
After watching our shows (thankfully the computer’s battery held up through them all), we climbed underneath a pile of blankets and called it a day.
When I got up this morning about 7:00, the wind had dropped off but it was still cold. Good time to try out the furnace. It lit great, ran great, and heated up the camper pretty fast. However, once the thermostat turned it off, it couldn’t restart until I relit the pilot light which had apparently blown out. I had noticed that the pilot looked pretty anemic. I suspect I just need to ream out the jet to get a better flame.
We left the campground around 9:30. This time, when we got to the gate, we decided to take the other dirt road. It definitely was larger and much more likely to be friendly to big RVs. Sure enough, it led us right out to the highway, about 100 meters further down the road than where we had turned. And, there was a big sign pointing the way to the RV park. Guess Dora just picked the first possible way to get there. If we’d been coming from the north, we wouldn’t have been able to miss the turn-off but, from the south, not so much.
We stopped to fill the propane tank just north of Santa Rosalia and also had to stop for gas and a military checkpoint along the way. Other than that we just drove, arriving in Guerrero Negro around 1:15 PM. We checked into the same place we’d stayed on the trip south, the Malarrimo Hotel and RV Park. The weather here is much better than yesterday. It’s sunny and warm and not a breath of wind. It’s almost hot out in the direct sunlight and it actually is kind of hot in the camper right now. Guess we’d better suck it up while we can. I just looked at Weather Underground and I see it’s warmed up a little in Silverton and is supposed to warm up more over the next couple of days. We can only hope.
Oh, BTW, there was no cell service at the RV park last night, or at least not enough to post a blog. I did manage to get enough of a signal to download e-mails this morning but that was about all.
Oh, yeah, and Miguel, at San Lucas Cove RV Park, did finally come around early this morning to collect $10 for our stay.