We have spent little time on the West Side of Baja. The reasons vary but it seems like the pounding waves of the Pacific Ocean, making for often unswimmable beaches, is just a bit too familiar. Too much like our much loved beaches of the Pacific Northwest.
Instead, we are drawn back, again and again, to the more serene waters and tranquil beaches of the Sea of Cortez. However, when overlander friends decide to stick around for a couple more days and invite you to their beach- you head West!
Pete, Natasha and their pup Malta have been internet friends for some time, Malta even scoring an interview with the Black Dogs recently. With the same general route South in mind, we share a similar path in life and we were anxious to finally meet up in person. After a few wrong turns we pulled into camp to be told that Sunny, Karin, and their pup Gracie were also joining the crew for the weekend. Let the overlander party commence.
We found ourselves free camping at Surf Camp on San Pedrito Beach, an area much loved by the surfing crowd for it’s huge waves. And those waves didn’t disappoint. In our couple of days on the beach we spent hours watching surfers paddle out into the surf.
Somehow, we have spent much of our time so far in Baja just missing some of our overlander cyber friends and so we relished talk of travel and routes, of rigs and recipes. We all agreed there was just too much competition from some to make their trip somehow “right” or grander than another. We, personally, had been feeling like we should be searching out more free camping options, spending less time in populated areas, as though that was the correct way to drive the PanAmerican. Sunny and Karin had been feeling judged because they had spent a few nights in hotels or Air BnB’s. Pete and Natasha, surely the hardiest of our group, just thought everyone should do what works for them. An accurate statement to be sure.
We shared potluck dinners, stalked the shade, and admired eachothers choice of vehicle. Essentially, we did exactly what we had hoped we would do when we finally came upon some other like-minded souls. We connected.
Alas, the weekend was short and we went our separate ways. As lovely as the beach had been, we found ourselves with the same old question; to remain in the West or head back to our beloved Sea of Cortez. Intentions had been to camp in Todos Santos, a terribly scenic little art town that deserves it’s own post. However, the one campground in town had fallen into disarray from storms and other events and just struck as us a hot and dusty spot to while away our time. Instead, after a very short drive we found ourselves at Pescadero Surf Camp, a place so lovely it will also get a post all it’s own!
After a couple of days we decided we might as well head into Cabo San Lucas, a place we have never been overly fond of. The team at Our Road Life clued us in to a unique camping experience parked in the driveway of Martin and Lara’s Cabo Surf Camp. This lovely couple, along with their son Zion, live in a compound of sorts with much of Martin’s family. They also rent their Air BnB property in the same location. In spite of much enjoyable conversation, by that time Jim had gotten the same bug that plagued several of our campmates from Surf Camp and, combined with the heat, has us fleeing for ocean breezes after one night.
The southern end of the Baja loop is, sadly, greatly lacking in camping opportunities. With the overwhelming concrete jungle that is Cabo, and the corridor now a mass of construction projects, we unwillingly stopped for one night at Baja Serena RV Park. While still smoking hot, a bit of a breeze made for a slightly better night but the dogs were bored, the beach was nowhere near, Jim was still sick, and I was exhausted trying to take care of them all. And so, once again we headed East. Back to the Sea of Cortez. Back to Los Barriles, a place that has become somewhat of a refuge for us these last few weeks. Back to our favorite side.