Road trips are often epic. They almost always include a sore behind and lower back, some kind of sweet treat, and a lot of bobbing heads to music (good music if you have a decent travel partner). However, they rarely include cacti 39 feet tall, turned over semi's with not a cop or pedestrian in sight, or checkpoints where a Mexican cop smells pretty much everything in your car- needless to say, we've been on an adventure.
Starting out yesterday we left the pristine utopia of Hotel Endemico for a hectic trip into Ensenada in search of money and gas. This was a hair raising experience that we survived despite crazy traffic patterns and getting bullied into some mediocre tacos that were more than off the beaten path. But, we managed through only because we did our banking at Scotiabank (yes, of Nova Scotia where we were married- apparently the bank has had a resurgence in Mexico of all places.)
After Ensenada we began our 3 hr journey into the mountainous region of Baja Norte. Gorgeous and lush I was stunned at the cliffs and hilltops we were driving over. Staying the night in the stop over town of San Quintin, we found a bar and a sweet hotel on the back of an orange plantation. "Jardines Baja" was the perfect stopping point and we were even treated to a Mexico vs. USA soccer game on TV. Good margaritas, a comfy bed, and a cup of strong coffee in the morning- we couldn't complain.
Waking up to what is bound to be a 7 hour driving day is never fun. But, we buckled in and made our way even further south to San Ignacio. Dessert landscapes, military checkpoints, and enormous cati pushed us through. Side note- Adam has done 100% of the Mexico driving this far and is a champion. I'm not sure if he is sparing me, or just fearful of how I might approach the random speed bumps in the middle of the highway, but I'm thankful for how graciously he has dealt with the misfortunes of Mexican roads.
After a good lunch in the salt mining town of Guerro Negro we pushed through and made it to San Ignacio by 3:30. Greeted by our inn host, Juantia, we waltzed into a garden paradise of a hostel. Our little room, surrounded by a sweet patio,
is lovely and the library inside the hostel is packed with books about our destinations and the history of this magical land.
During dinner we ran into two separate groups of retired men on their own adventures. All I could think of was my dad on the road trips he takes with his buddies these days. Dad- Baja should be your next stop. Obviously.
As we sit here winding down the day, Adam just ran out to get more tacos from the carne asada taco stand around the corner. Tomorrow we are out to see the gray whales and their calves and then 2 more hours south to Mulege where we get to camp out for five days in our own little cassita. If you can't tell, the Baja life is grand.