We are currently doing an exciting and adventurous RV trip through Baja California, Mexico, led by a travel group called Baja Winters. 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 they 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 that shows the highlights of Day 4. If you have already watched the introduction, feel free to skip ahead to minute 1:55.
On Day 4 we drove 235 miles from Rancho Santa Inez Campground in Cataviña to the Rice and Beans RV Park in San Ignacio, Baja California, Mexico. That was the longest driving day, and was very tiring. Also, many of these miles were incredibly bumpy, as we drove over seemingly endless miles of bad roads with many potholes.
We were very glad that being in a caravan guided by Baja Winters made the driving easier. For example, every time there was an oncoming vehicle, Wagon Master Becky would tell us about it. As in, “We have an oncoming 18-wheeler, followed by two 4-wheelers. After the silver SUV, we are all clear up ahead.”
This was useful because it meant that we always knew when the roads were clear ahead, even though they were usually too winding for us to see very far ahead. So, whenever we knew the roads were clear ahead, we could drive in the middle of the two-lane highway, straddling the white line.
This made driving on such a narrow highway with minimal shoulders and steep drop-offs less stressful. It also meant we could use the full width of the road to try to avoid potholes. There is much more about the experience of traveling in our videos, which will be added soon!
Baja California Sur Border
As we headed east, we got to the middle of the Baja Peninsula. There, we crossed the border from Baja California to Baja California Sur, and changed our clocks from Pacific Time to Mountain Time (1 hour earlier). Baja California Sur (South) is a different state from Baja California, but both are part of Mexico.
That border crossing was interesting. There is an army base there, a large eagle sculpture, and a huge Mexican flag. We were stopped by officials conducting what we thought would be an agricultural inspection. Apparently, Baja California Sur does not want any fruits or vegetables from Baja California, because of some kind of pest problem. So that morning, we had donated most of our fruits and vegetables to the caretakers at the Rancho Santa Inez. On the way to the border crossing, we ate all of our apples and avocados, so there was no chance of those being confiscated!
However, we were not asked about fruits and vegetables at all, and our rigs were not inspected. We just handed over 20 pesos to have our tires sprayed with some kind of fumigating agent. Or was it nematodes? I cannot find out on the Internet, so if anyone knows, please let us know in the comments! We were not asked to show our tourist visas. The crossing took just a few minutes.
Soon after we crossed the border, we drove past a woman riding a recumbent bicycle on the narrow highway, hundreds of miles from pretty much everywhere. We were astonished that she was doing that, and we very much hope she made it safely to her destination. I cannot imagine what it takes to be on a recumbent bike on such a narrow highway while 18-wheelers speed by.
Just before we got to San Ignacio we went through another military inspection. This one took a lot longer than the usual inspections, and many of us had our rigs and/or our vehicles searched. We had the strange experience of having our truck searched by an inquisitive, singing official.
Rice & Beans RV Park and Restaurant
We finally arrived at the “Rice & Beans” sign, and made a right turn into the park. At this park Wagon Master John and Tail Gunner Jerry organized our parking very carefully. This was because it was the first site where we all had to back in our rigs, rather than driving through. And the sites were very tight, and at 90-degree angles. They directed one rig at a time, getting everyone parked efficiently. Jerry helped Maggie with the parking, and she was able to back in remarkably quickly.
After our regular evening meeting and briefing from Wagon Master John, we enjoyed a meal at the Rice and Beans restaurant, which is right in the park. We had some excellent margaritas there.
The food at Rice and Beans was good, and the ambience was cheery. After that, we had an early night.
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