We left Todos Santos unsure where we would end up for the evening, but with Cabo San Lucas just 50 miles in front of us, we were excited! It was an easy drive that we enjoyed after our three days on the beach in Todos Santos. Traffic picked up quickly as we approached the city so we did the logical thing; we left! Its tough to find decent camp spots near Cabo and, since we arrived four days earlier than we had planned, we headed east towards San Jose del Cabo where we had a camp spot lined up.
Our Delorme is wonderful in certain ways but for navigating through the city, it is probably better to just figure out your cardinal directions and point the truck that way. Laughlin has the tough job of navigating when most of the roads don’t show up on our GPS and after passing our road twice, we finally headed towards Zacatitos, but were out of luck when we figured out the coastal road was chained off. Tired, we stopped at a cantina where we ordered a pizza and asked the waiter for some camping information. He said the road was closed as the Mayans had purchased the land but if we continued further down the main road, we would be able to find some great beach camping. We did find some great sandy beaches, so sandy that we broke out our sand ladders before sinking our five ton truck up to the axles. It was a good night’s sleep near the tip of the Baja Peninsula.
Sitting on the beach the next day, a man in a dually with South Dakota plates arrived asking us if we had been down the road towards our original camp site. We explained that the road was blocked off and he explained that he drove his four wheeler under the chained fence and was promptly followed by a brand new Black Escalade and when he stopped, two men hopped out with guns telling him to leave. We were a bit shocked when he told us this but he said he finished his beer while they sat there, then headed back. At this point, we decided it would be better to find some extra folks to camp with and ended up meeting our friends Gary and Ilene from Colorado.
As a side note, South Dakota plates are on probably 25% of the vehicles in Baja. We asked the guy in the dually and he said that plates are so expensive in California and quite a bit less expensive in South Dakota so there is a man who has been accepting a small fee to license people there. Interesting!
Gary and Ilene indicated that they have been coming to the same spot east of San Jose del Cabo for over 20 years. They brought their own shade, which was the only thing missing on the beautiful beach, along with their camper, tents, and everything else they needed during their stay. We took their kayaks out for an hour on the ocean which was way different than floating the rivers and lakes that we are used to. We enjoyed our visit, but said goodbye to them and their adorable dogs, Buddy and Annie.
Round two of driving to Cabo San Lucas was terrible. We attempted a left turn from a main road which is illegal in Mexico and were promptly pulled over by the Mexican Federales, but let go with a warning. Next, we nearly got hit by a bus that I didn’t see while merging into traffic. Finally, we nearly got stuck in a parking garage at the Walmart after running over a curb. That was all within about a 15 minute window. Some valuable lessons were learned that day and we hope to avoid a repeat in the future!
We camped on a free beach between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo for a few days. Our first night we pulled out the sand ladders and helped 5 vehicles get out of the sand and met our friends Max and Claudia from Quebec and Angel and Edward from Lewiston, ID. It was a great place to stage while allowing us to visit Cabo.
Many people told us we wouldn’t enjoy Cabo after driving through Baja, but we really did enjoy being “spoiled tourists.” It was a nice change of pace. We were able to snorkel for our first time on New Year’s Eve, have some cheap drinks in the cantinas, enjoy a tequila tour, etc. We camped in a downtown spot that was somewhat expensive, but we enjoyed hot showers and Wifi for the first time in nearly a week! Oddly enough, the other folks staying at the same place were mountain bikers who rode down to Cabo from Lander, WY. We met up with our friends Martin and Rike and Kurt and Elisabeth for some beers on New Year’s Eve. Laughlin and I went the cheap route for the evening and grabbed two big bottles of Pacifico and watched the fireworks with our feet dangling off the wall of a high rise resort. It was wonderful!
Our camp spot in downtown Cabo.
Our Swiss friends and us on New Year’s Eve!
We had no idea cruise ships came to Cabo. This one was huge!
Our computer was due to be arriving in La Paz on January 9th, so, with a few extra days to kill, we saw some hot springs and camped just north of Cabo Pulmo for a couple days. It was a perfect beach with Palapas, nice sand, and, best of all, free! It was quite windy while we were there, but we were still able to enjoy a couple of days filled with nothing but reading, soaking up the sun and a beach fire at night.
We were told Cabo Pulmo was a place that couldn’t be missed if we were in the area so we took a day drive and really enjoyed the town. It appeared to be a snorkeling/diving/surfing paradise and we both instantly noticed the appeal. We popped in for some fish tacos and Wifi for lunch and our email confirmed our computer had arrive in La Paz five days early! Excited to meet Lappy Dos (the name of our new laptop…with a Spanish flair), we camped one more night and headed to La Paz to stage for our departure to Mazatlan!