The light rising over the bay bathed us in light, but it was the waves that had woken me. Not crashing onto the beach but like a whisper. Similar to belly breathing in Yoga with a long deep inhale culminating in a soft exhale. Thus began another day in paradise. This is life on the Baja.
The waves are again caressing the beach as I write this….the life of a freelancer, forever searching for an office with a view. The beach, however, is here at camp in Oregon, where I sit, furloughed and self-quarantined, along with the majority of the nation. Inevitably, my thoughts return to Baja and it’s almost jolting to realized I’ve written nothing about our latest winter getaway, so enmeshed as I’ve been in the state of the world.
For the last four years winter has meant a minimum of three, and up to nearly six months on the thousand-mile long peninsula that is Baja California. Part of Mexico, and yet its own animal, Baja is revered for fishing, the subsequent fish tacos, an easy-going lifestyle, and endless stunning beaches. We call it our second home. And the sunsets…oh, I do love the sunsets.
Our current situation allows for a mere 59 days away from camp each season but this year found us heading south of the border once again, albeit for an extremely short 30-day stint and our second Baja Amigo’s caravan. In spite of the abbreviated length, Baja still did what it does best; soothed our soul, put a bit of color on our limbs, and reunited us with friends up and down her length.
Aspen’s health weighed heavily on our minds prior to the trip. In late January her condition was such that we truly believed she wasn’t up for nearly two months of road time. Nearly halfway through Baja she again relapsed and there were serious discussions regarding saying goodbye to her in La Paz, where her amazing vets at Dogtor House had helped Porter pass back in 2015. What happened was nothing short of miraculous.
No, she is not “healed”. She is an old dog racked with arthritis. And yet, the magic of the sun and sand of Baja brought an added bit of life back to our best girl. This proved to be a very different trip than in the past where she swam every day and hiked herself tired. But the mere fact that she not only survived but flourished in one of her favorite spots is testimony to the power of the Baja. And the fact that she is still with us is a testament to her intense will and love and we continue to relish every moment we get to share with her.
The second biggest trepidation…concern over the state of the roads. Mexico 1 is THE highway running the length of Baja. It is a narrow, winding, mostly two-lane road with no shoulders for the majority of the route. Driving this path when the road is in disrepair is not for the faint of heart and, sadly, last year it was crap with endless kilometers of pot-holes and broken pavement.
Imagine our surprise to find that the roads were….good. We’re not sure what fate intervened to suddenly allow for road work on the entire length of the Baja in addition to finally finishing Mex 5 up to Mexicali but Baja road crews; we salute you!
Many more stories are to come. As this way of living becomes the new normal for a bit, the life and vibrancy of this country of Mexico will continue to inspire us. Dispatches from our adopted home, the very essence of our being, will continue to emerge.
Join us for travel inspiration and tales from the road. Stay tuned for stories and photos that will transport your spirit to past trips and feed your soul for more to come. Stay home. Stay safe. Be kind. Know we’re all in this together and we will emerge out the other side stronger for it.