After our drive through the desert we were very happy to see some beautiful beaches on the east coast of the Baja Peninsula. And extremely happy to see that we could camp within metres of the water.
We spent a couple of nights here at Santispac Playa Beach, just south of Mulége, and met some really nice Americans (this was also the scene of the odd Roy Orbison puppet show at the beach bar!). John was a particularly friendly guy, who had been on the beach for a couple of months while sorting out a lease on some local land – he had a lot of great advice, including where to find wi-fi and great tacos in the local village . John was also the first to mention that he wanted to see the weather report and check how “Hurricane Paul” was developing…. unfortunately this was all news to us….. Hurricane? What hurricane??
So on Tuesday morning we had to think about our hurricane strategy… most of the locals recommended we hunker down for a few days and let the weather pass, but our hurricane guru John ( he’s from Florida) thought we’d be fine to head further South, where we might miss the brunt of the storm. So, we packed up and headed down the road. We initially had quite a bit of rain on the drive, which just got heavier, as well as the wind picking up significantly. The next major town was Loreto, which we managed to make before the true force of the storm hit. We did have to drive through a couple of small rivers across the road, but nothing too serious.
Loreto was exactly where the hurricane decided to cross the peninsular. Oops!
In Loreto we found everything closed with windows taped up. We parked Ginger in the flooded main street, and settled down to wait out the storm (ie, we napped, and Dave tried to deal with a nasty Margarita hangover).
After our afternoon siesta we decided to be tourists and had a lovely wander around town in the hurricane.
When it looked as though the water levels might be dropping we decided to try our luck on the highway again, as our intended destination was only 13km further south down the road.
On the way we had to deal with many wash outs across the road, waiting for up to an hour or two at each one to see if the water would drop enough to let us pass.
The waits were not so bad, as the locals were out in full force to see the effects of the flooding and try their luck crossing the rapids – some luckier than others!
We managed to get Ginger through a couple of these flooded sections but were eventually turned back by a washed out bridge with boulders washed all across the road.
We headed back to Loreto in the dark and eventually found a nice hotel that would let us park and sleep in their carpark, as long as we had breakfast in their restaurant the next morning – good deal!
An early start with pancakes and brewed coffee, and then back on the highway… Only to be told by the army guys that the highway would be closed for at least another 12 hours. This time we managed to find a way to the RV park (a dirt road around the back of the airport) and enjoyed a quiet day by the pool, and walking the beach checking out the washed up debris.
The next morning (Thursday) we hit the road about 11am only to find we couldn’t actually get to the beach that we had hoped to stop at, as the dirt road was washed out … So an instant decision was made to continue to La Paz. An easy drive, but a good few hours away.
On the way into downtown La Paz we spotted a Walmart, so swerved across 3 lanes of traffic and straight into their carpark. We stocked up on everything. It was about 6pm when we left Walmart and headed to the local RV park that Christine had looked up. It was of course closed down. Oh crap! It was 8:30pm when we finally pulled in to an RV park we had spotted on the way into La Paz – though we did have an interesting night drive up the peninsular while looking for other options… New lesson learnt: stick with what you know! Oh, we also learnt that cows and donkeys like to wander onto the road at night as its warmer…
On Friday we headed to a Home Depot and picked up the supplies we thought we might need for our next Ginger upgrade… mosquito screens on the side and back doors. Since the rains we’ve been eaten alive, Dave especially! We now have a good supply of netting, industrial Velcro and magnets. This is tomorrows project, so we’ll let you know how it goes.
We are currently in Los Barriles, which is a quaint little fishing village on the East coast.
Christine wants a haircut. We both want to try fish tacos. We both want to chill out on a beach again after being forced into town by the hurricane. Hopefully this is the place!