El viaje de Baja
We begin our travels from San Diego unusually late due to surfing our local break early in the morning. After crossing the border, we noticed the conditions remain good for another go out.  It is glassy, and uncrowded, this swell being a combination of south and northwest.  We stop at one of our favorite spots south of Rosarito.  My two friends paddle out their short boards; I decide to paddle out my stand up paddleboard.  We have a great session, waves head high plus. 

El Viaje De Baja - Baja SurferAfter a few beers with some friends, the rain begins.  We start off south after dark, with the forecast of heavy rains.  The weather is coming via Pineapple express, forecast of 2 days of rain.  The three of us arrive at San Quintin, around 11:00 pm.  We pull up to the recently remodeled El Jardin.  El Jardin has always been known for the great food.  Guillermo the owner has built 12 new hotel rooms.  The rooms are large and very clean.  The new restaurant is larger then before, and quite beautiful. Grand opening February 5th; the wonderful food is worth pulling over from the main rood, one exit past the old mill and west for 2 kilometers, you cannot miss the large oasis. Established large palm trees and many different species of plants. 

Our second day starts at 6:30 AM, with some coffee and a sip of tequila.  After 2 hours of conversation with the very gregarious Guillermo, we begin heading south once more.  It has been raining all night and continues in the morning.   Our many journeys in Baja are generally getting up early and driving hard all day.  Depending on our destination, one day for Baja Norte, 2 days to the tip. Due to the weather we take things a little slower than usual.  The forecasted swell is for south swells, 196 degrees, as well as 210 degrees late in the week.  Being February, we generally anticipate north swells and surf the points along Baja Norte.  During the drive we decide to go for the south swells in Baja Sur.  It is very early for southern hemisphere surf, but if true to forecast, we will get uncrowded quality surf.  The rain continues all the way to San Ignacio, our destination for the day. 

We pull into the La Pinta, the hotels new name, is The Desert Inn.  The Pemex station in town is out of Diesel, we are told tomorrow-late morning.  Translating to most likely tomorrow later in the afternoon.  We get some information we can get Diesel 20 kilometers south at a restaurant that sells fuel across the street.  We plan on getting up early and filling up my truck.  For now, I am going to eat and have some Coronas.  After our meal, I need to look in the camper for some earplugs.  Both Bosco and myself are anticipating another loud snoring night from CJ.

We wake up the next morning and find out we have no electricity in our room.  We want to get going after a nice hot shower, but that is not going to happen.  The thing is, when you need a pump to get the water to your shower and sink, as well as the john. You need power in order for this to happen.  Next thing on the agenda is coffee, which is readily available, thank God.  We have our coffee and decide to head south for that diesel mentioned earlier.

After driving 15 minutes we reach the small town rumored to have some fuel.  Turns out this is not the case at this time.  We begin driving back to San Ignocio to pick up Bosco and figure out our next plan of action.  We return to the hotel and decide to have breakfast.  Part of the hotel has power; the circuit breaker that is not in service feeds only half the hotel.  We talk to the waiter and explain our predicament; he makes some calls on our behalf.  Turns out his cousin have some fuel at his llantera shop, (tire repair).  We drive to the shop to find out he only has 10 gallons, this is not nearly enough fuel to get us to Punta Pequena. 

We decide to buy the fuel and drive south to Santa Rosalita, where our waiter called and found out they had fuel for sure.  We did not ask Rene, the waiter’s cousin how much this was going to cost.  We assumed a little more than the price at the Pemex station.  Turns out the 10 gallons cost 50.00.  Always better to ask how much something is before giving the green light. Unfortunately a lesson not remembered from past experiences.  Rene was willing to take additional fuel for us from a tractor-trailer on site, but we declined his generous offer. We get in the truck and drive south to Santa Rosalita; we arrive after 45minutes to the gas station.  After fueling up, we stop at the Cervezaria for some chips and water.

While relaxing by the truck we decide to collect some of the Obsidian sand along the beach.  We collect the sand with some old plastic gallon jugs on the beach.  The sand has a unique sheen as well as being pure black with some miscelaneos small shells.  With a full tank, we head back north.  We arrive at the west end of San Ignacio lagoon around lunchtime.  Out of the cooler we pull out some yellowtail salad that is mixed in a zip lock bag.  Yellow tail caught a few days earlier in La Jolla.  We begin our journey south and stop at the south end of one of the many estuaries for the night, we want to fish before it gets dark.  We decide to camp on the backside of a large sand dune.  After not catching any fish, we start cooking dinner in the camper.  Dinner tonight is Boboli pizza, with some left over Prime rib from La Fonda on top. 

The prime rib served that night was huge, looked like something from a dinosaur. The next morning when we woke up it was gale force winds, the tail end of the storm.  We tried to fish again to no avail.  Best decision so far was to pack up and get away from all the sand blowing off the dune.  We arrive at third point at noon, the tide is going out and the waves we anticipated come through every 20 minutes.  After deciding what board to ride, I cannot get in the water fast enough.  Including myself, there is 3 of us out.  Bosco and CJ watch for 2 hours and wait for the tide to get out some more.  We all have great time surfing, and very happy we arrived when we did.  At dark we head to CJ’s property at the south east side of town.  After getting everything out of the camper and organized, we connect up to some electricity. 

This is always an adventure; we have an extension chord spliced into the neighbor’s meter and ran to the trailer.  After only getting shocked once, we now have power. We barbeque some steaks, drink cocktails mixed by Bosco, rum with a very little coke.  The next morning it is already Wednesday, where did the time go?  We surf the next 3 days, the surf gets smaller each day, and the boards get bigger each day. Thursday we head south for the day and fish the beach and the entrance to the estuary.  We catch some halibut, corvine and some bass.  Close to dark we head back to camp going over sand dunes and driving along the long empty beach.  CJ saw a washed up dead turtle on the drive down.  I told him we can pick it up on the way back, knowing that was not going to happen.  He does not have a problem putting stinky dead things in the truck, but both Bosco and myself do. I figured he would forget, I was wrong.  CJ mentions looking for the turtle on the drive back.  I nod at Bosco and say sure thing.  I do see it half way back, so I distract CJ telling him to look over the water at that beautiful Osprey.

      It is time to head back north; we decide to leave on Friday so we can stop at the wall.  It was a good plan, if we left early enough arriving at dark is possible.  After cleaning up the camp, organizing all the surf boards and items to be loaded in the camper.  CJ decides to pay his property taxes and look for some shrimp, as well as some other errands.  Needless to say, a couple of hours have now passed. The departure time is now noon.  After driving an hour or so we come upon a gate.  I stop so we can open this gate, while opening the gate, I noticed someone over the cactus and shrubs running towards us.  I am handed a note: We have very little water, and having a rough time.  Any donation given would be a great help.  We donate some money and decide to check out the rancho.  After meeting all of Roberto’s very nice family, and eating some tangerines, we head back to the truck. 

While leaving we are given a large block of goat cheese, the cheese taste great with the crackers we have in the truck.  We get back to the main road and fill the truck up for the drive up north.  It is late by the time we arrive at Guerro Negro, and decide to stay there for the night.  The next morning we start for the wall once again and arrive around 10:00AM.  The wind is blowing on shore, which is not unusual.  We surf around the corner at the point; surf is 4 foot and side shore.  After 2 hours plus and plenty of waves, we load up and begin driving along the beach, and dirt road up to Santa Rosalita.  I have not been there for a few years and wanted to see the new jetties and boat removal crane.  Next destination is back to San Quintin and El Jardin. We are running on fumes when we arrive at El Rosario, we fill up and still have over 100 Kilometers to go.  The next morning we have coffee again with Guillermo, and talk of our adventures.    

       After spending a few hours with Guillermo, it is time to head home.  We listen to the Super Bowl on the way home.  After Ensenada, we are on the toll road-heading north; I notice a larger presence of Federal police and army trucks during the drive to Tijuana.  This is to increase the protection of travelers in Baja.  We arrive safely home in time to watch the last quarter of the Super Bowl.  We all agree this was a great trip, and plan on doing it again very soon.

Baja Traveler (names were changed to protect the surf)

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