We left Grand Canyon and headed towards Joshua Tree National Park. We camped in the park among the Joshua trees and cool rocks. It was quite cool and very deserty. The next day we did a tour of the park, mostly by car and a bit of hiking.
We then headed for the coast and San Diego. Enroute we remembered someone telling us about Salton Sea, which is the largest lake in California. Not a natural lake as it was created around 1905 by flooding of the Colorado River and the breaking of a dam. It was a huge tourist attraction in the 40’s and 50’s, with more visitors than Yosemite. But the lake started to become more salty as the years went on and was a bit of a dumping ground for chemicals and pollutants. Needless to say it’s not a very nice place now. It’s a graveyard of old buildings and trailers from the glory days and smells dreadful because all the fish they stocked it with that are dying because it’s too salty for them. We passed through here pretty quick!
In San Diego we found a nice RV park a bit north of the city in the Pacific Beach area. It was expensive but had a pool, jacuzzi, laundry and was right on the water. We booked in for 2 nights so we could really celebrate Dave’s birthday on the 10th – the big 38!!! We had a cake and some wine and a great day biking and relaxing. Thai was Dave’s choice for his birthday dinner.
We made it to Mexico! We crossed over the Tijuana border on Thursday. We were all prepared for the “busiest border in the world” and expected huge wait times. However we pretty much rolled right on through, in fact we rolled too far through and missed getting all our tourist and vehicle permits – ooops. So we parked on the street and a security guy said he’d look after Ginger while we walked back to sort out our stuff. We got our tourist visas and then went on a search for our vehicle importation permit. As luck would have it the office at this border was closed so we had to somehow find our way to the unmarked and obscure office at the Otay de Mesa border crossing, about 20km east. It was a difficult task and I’m still not sure how we found it but we did. Unfortunately our GPS was utterly useless. No sweat with getting Ginger’s permit and we were on our way south shortly after midday. Our goal was the coastal town of Ensenada and we found a gorgeous hotel/RV resort on Esterico Beach complete with pool and jacuzzi.
Another bonus was that we were the only RV’ers in the entire place! Lots of preparations going on there for the big season of snowbirds/nomads coming up though.
Friday we did a bit of shopping at a Walmart of all places! Quite similar to the ones at home except for the taco stand at the entrance. We set out for a short driving day and ended up in San Quintin at a hotel that also has some RV spots with hook ups.
Maybe not the best hookups, as Dave was shocked numerous times from the electrical connections, but it did get the fridge cool! We even got in a bike ride to the beach and over the huge dunes.
We weren’t alone on the beach though as we were approached by a military jeep with mounted machine gun and 5 guys all decked out with camo and bulletproof gear and carrying machine guns. Doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy! We got out of there and went for some yummy Mexican food at the restaurant at the hotel. Our first taste and we were lovin it! Bring on the food!
Saturday we went inland from the Pacific coast. We stopped at Mama Espinoza’s which is supposed to be famous for their lobster burritos. Have to admit it was very yummy, with generous lobster meat, but the price maybe inflated for tourists – $15!
We got to the desert town of Catalina a couple hours before sunset. Huge cactus and vast desert. We camped down at a ‘campground’ that was just a desert area/parking lot with a couple of trees. There was water and a flush toilet though, all for$7 USD.
Gas here in Mexico is the cheapest yet! About $0.79/litres. Our most expensive to date is Quebec and California at a high of $1.439/litre.
We’ve also just seen our most bizarre moment to date, at a bar on the east coast of Baja… We went in to find about 50 America retirees watching a puppet show… of a shark in sunglasses… singing only Roy Orbison songs… and they loved it! Though to be fair – after a couple of margaritas it did seem to make a lot more sense!
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