We are currently doing an exciting and adventurous RV caravan trip through Baja California, Mexico, led by a company called Baja Winters Travel Club. There is far too much going on to cover it all in one post, so we are publishing a series of informative posts about this trip. We hope it will be useful to anyone considering doing a trip with Baja Winters, or to anyone who might like to go RVing in Baja California, Mexico. We also want to share how much fun we are having!
Here is a video about Day 2 of our trip through Baja California:
On day 2 we drove 155 miles from Rancho Sordo Mudo RV Park to El Pabellón RV Park. It was not the longest drive of the trip, but it took a long time and was more stressful than most days, due to a long section of city driving through Ensenada, the second biggest city in Baja California. Baja cities have continuous stop lights and stop signs, some of them not very visible, and as foreigners we really HAVE to stop at all of them, rather than get into trouble with the local police. That means that drivers have to be VERY attentive, and co-pilots have to do everything they can do help. I have great respect for Juli, a woman in our caravan who is doing this all on her own, towing a travel trailer.
We left Rancho Sordo Mudo RV Park a little later than 9.00 a.m. This was because one of our group discovered a flat tire on their truck just before we left. That was a lot better timing than having a flat on the road. Once again, the strength of being in a caravan guided by Baja Winters saved the day.
John and Jerry pitched in to quickly and efficiently undo the wheel nuts and raise the dually truck onto one of its intact tires. There was a moment of serious worry when it seemed that the wheel had seized onto the rim, but then truck owner Richard announced that he had “read about that somewhere” and produced an ax. He swiped at the rim a few times with the ax head, and the wheel suddenly popped loose. That was a huge relief! So, we were ready to go!
On this day we continued south along Highway 3, and then turned left onto Highway 1 south. Just after this we passed through Ensenada, the second biggest city in Baja California. This entailed a long section of city driving, which is tricky, as there are constant stop signs and stop lights. We had been warned that the police are quick to ticket, so drivers and co-pilots worked together to make sure no one made any mistakes. Luckily, on the Baja, lights flash green before going to orange, so it gives you more time to stop a heavy vehicle.
Next, we passed by the three golden statues of the heads of Mexico’s past presidents in a park. Unfortunately, we only caught a glimpse of them, as we were so intent on watching the roads and traffic. But luckily, I did manage to capture them on video. Then we continued along a beautiful beach-side road for about two miles, before turning onto Highway 1.
Soon we encountered our first military inspection, which passed uneventfully. We were not required to show any papers. Most of these stops seem to be very cursory.
Next, we stopped for a Lenny break (washroom break) at the Baja 1000 Pit Stop, where we were able to run across the highway to use the washrooms at the Acambaro Market for a fee of five pesos. Like many things in Baja California, this is done on an honor system. First you use the washroom, and then you go into the authentic market to offer someone your five pesos.
Driving Through Baja California in a Guided Caravan
As on every day we traveled in Baja California, we relied heavily on the leadership of Wagon Masters John and Becky from Baja Winters Travel Club. They skillfully guided the entire caravan – two four-wheelers and nine RVs – as we wound our way along the narrow highway.
The best part about having a leader up front who can communicate with you via CB radio, is getting a heads-up about hazards. For example, cattle on the highway! This happens frequently, and is one of the very good reasons why you should never drive at night in Baja California. Would you have spotted this black cow at night?
Arriving at the El Pabellón RV Park
Then on we drove to the city of San Quintin. Fifteen miles past that we turned right off of Highway 1 onto a long (one mile) and horrible dirt road that took us the El Pabellón RV Park. The El Pabellón RV Park is right on a beautiful Pacific Ocean beach. You can park almost anywhere you like. Parking is easy, as it is a wide open space.
At El Pabellón RV Park you can elect to have a dry hook-up, or pay $5 for electricity and sewer (but no water).
We were told the hot (but salty) showers were good, but we were too tired to shower. We did take the opportunity to empty our tanks. We did not really need the electricity, as our roof-top solar was proving quite excellent in Mexico.
El Pabellón RV Park is on a beautiful beach, but unfortunately it was too cold to swim. Our dogs Ripley and Billy enjoyed running free on the beach.
We also enjoyed the beauty of the El Pabellon RV Park, right on the Pacific Ocean.
As had happened the previous night, the camp had very few people staying in it, but did have several dog occupants, who mainly just tried to make nice so we would feed them.
That night Baja Winters provided us with delicious margaritas and tamales, while the rest of us provided potluck meals to share. That turned out to be quite a feast, all in all. Maggie had planned to do a Caesar salad, but we ran out of time. Luckily, she had prepared a pot of chili to keep us going on the road, so she was able to reheat that. Of course, it was delicious, as was everything else I tried.
We ended the day exhausted, but happy to be in a peaceful and beautiful park.
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