October 31, 2004


Cerritos sunset.

October 26, 2004
The weather has turned ugly so we decided to visit Todos Santos again for some tourist action. Dan and I have discovered the joy that is the llavenderia. I may never do my own laundry again. Marc bought some prints and Dan I attended to the blog and phone calls.

Since it was so ugly out we decided to all take a day off of surfing, but we did make camp at the beach. Our intent is to camp at Cerritos for the remainder of the week, and surf as much as we can. “We can” being dictated by how long our arms can stand to paddle out and how strong our will power is, especially since it is still raining out.

October 28, 2004
Life’s a beach

Cerritos beach.

Dan surfing at sunset.

Palapa at Cerritos.


Our campsite.

We’ve been here at Cerritos Beach for four nights now, and the plan is to stay a full week. Among the amenities offered here are a surf break 100 yards away, free camping a fish taco stand with very odd hours and friendly neighbors. There are no other facilities, but since it is free, who could complain. The big rigs started rolling in on Monday. So far there are five 5th wheels and class A’s, mixed in with the ten or so permanent residents.

Juan is still here, running his infernal generator all day, but thankfully not all night. There is a Texan turned rasta-surfer boy, names Mateo, who lives in a bunker/ palpa dug into the beach. Terry is a guy who came down here on vacation, went home sold everything, bought an RV and returned two weeks later. That was two years ago, he hasn’t left the beach since. Rob lives in a converted ambulance, he is a snow science guy, who rents himself out for various guiding jobs and manages a few months down here each year. Apparently this other guy manufactured all of the acid in the 60’s, “if you did acid prior to 1971, then he had his hand in it”, or so we are told. Finally there is Rick who runs a surf shop here out of the back of his van and camper.

Among the temporary inhabitants, are Troy and Rebecca, who are from Vancouver Island, and are our immediate neighbors to the south. Rebecca cut her foot badly on the fin of her surfboard yesterday and needed stitches, which she aquired from the clinic in Todos Santos for $10. To the north we have Forest and West, a father/ son team from So Cal, who are traveling together, surfing, kayaking, studying Spanish and home schooling for 6 months. And then there’s us, Dan and I in the big rig and our “guard Marc” camped in his tent out front.

Wednesday night we were treated to a full lunar eclipse and a pot-luck dinner for all of the Cerritos beach campers. The moon put on a heck of a show and the campers made a heck of a meal.

Today we had to drive the truck to Cabo to accept our civics award for the year. You see obtaining our absentee ballots has been a real chore, and today after weeks of turmoil we finally got them via an ungodly expensive International Priority Fed Ex envelope. We filled in the appropriate circles (no hanging chads or accidental Pat Buchanan votes) and dropped them off to be Fed Ex-ed back by Tuesday at 7pm.

Ahh but you say two little votes don’t matter, why go to all of the expense and trouble? I have never missed an election since I was old enough to vote and this one is the most compelling election I can remember. I honestly feel that it is my duty to vote, and Dan has succumbed to my infectious civic pride. Also for the first time ever Colorado could vote democratic, so we are registered in a swing state, which means that maybe our two little votes will matter. While I usually choose to not use this blog to promote my own political, social or personal beliefs on this occasional I will ask that since you all seemingly enjoy my little diatribe here, in form of payment I ask that you vote.

Back from the campaign trail we sit on our happy little beach waiting for our evening surf session, a dinner of fish tacos and for Dan to recover from his crushing defeat at chess. Sorry hon.

The eclipse as seen from our campsight.

Special blog shout-outs to the following. Barbara Marie and Patrick Lee Goddard, for the Fed Ex assistance, Deb y Jeffe Shultz for the original plan (what a shame you couldn’t hand deliver them to us down here), and the folks at Cabo Villas for loaning us an address to get packages mailed to.

October 29, 2004
Breakin’ through.

Last night Dan, Marc, myself, Troy and Rebecca played a vicious game of Uno, where Rebecca showed her true colors as a cut-throat competitor. We were all treated to a beautiful sunset accompanied by sounding whales making their trek down south for the winter. Theses were the first whales we have seen.

Rebecca, Troy, Forest and his son West.

This morning Troy and Marc tried their hand at spear fishing but alas the fish proved a tough match. Tonight we’ll be having chicken, not fish, for dinner. Dan and I opted for a morning surf session, which was not exactly ego boosting so I decided to try again this afternoon. It was the best I have ever surfed and I felt like I made some real progress. Of course when I got to see the pictures Marc took of me ripping it up, I realized that I was really on like a one foot wave, but no matter, I had a ball.

Only two more days here at Cerritos, then we begin our trip to the ferry and to send Marc back to Colorado, where he is hoping to ski the day after he returns- go figure, from surf to snow, I am almost jealous.

October 30, 2004

This morning we got to see a real show. A pod of dolphins surfing the same waves we’ve been trying to catch for two weeks. Needless to say they were much more successful than we have been. We could see them in the waves right before they’d break and then the dolphins would jump out of the water and back through the wave. What a sight. They were the biggest dolphins I have ever seen, and I find myself unable to look away from the ocean, even to write this, for fear of missing a repeat performance.

Yesterday we said goodbye to our buddy Dave, the English gent, seems he has hitched a ride to the mainland on a 60’ trimeran, complete with two beautiful women on its crew. Poor bloke. We wish him well. Today is our last full day here at Cerritos, while I am ready to move on and anxious to see my family, I could just as easily stay here for the winter. Life here is pretty good. Get up to a stunning sunrise, surf, eat breakfast, tan, read a book or crochet a ballena cozy, surf, eat $1 fish tacos, surf, make dinner, watch the sunset, play Uno with the neighbors, go to bed… not a bad way to live.

Fuel $23.03
Liquor $15.50
Treats $17.71
Repairs $-
Camping $10.63
Park Fees$(7.09)
Other* $35.43
Total $156.78
This week was our cheapest yet. Still we ate very well and drank when we wanted. Gotta love Mexico! The negative number under park fees was money we won off our English friend at poker, our first Mecian earnings.

October 25, 2004

Bright lights big city.

October 17, 2004
Pescadero to Cabo

Land's End, Cabo San Lucas.

The surf turned ugly yesterday morning and we all got trashed. Dan and I had our first collision and while his body faired better than mine, his board did not. Fortunately the local ding repairman was on the beach too and he is repairing the slice I took out of Dan’s board. I just ended up bruised from head to toe.

Dan's repaired board.

All of the Pescadero Surf Camp residents returned to the camp to recuperate by the pool. We ventured into Todos Santos for some administrative errands. Todos has phones, email and all of the gringo comforts.

Last night we had a fabulous communal dinner with the Colorado kids (Simon, Betsy, Derek and Creston) and Dave (the English gent). We all pitched in whatever we had and ended up making the best fish tacos I have had yet.

Today we are a bit slow on the giddy-up because yesterday we discovered the Ballena. Ballenas are big beers, sort of the Mexican equivalent of a 40oz. save for the lack of malt liquor. A ballena (Spanish for whale) costs 10 pesos, or about a dollar, and unlike the finer U.S. brands like Mickey’s and Colt 45, these are genuine Pacifico. Throw in a few limes and you’ve got a recipe for a late night.

Tonight is our last night at P.S.C. for a few days, we are heading to Cabo San Lucas tomorrow to pick up our buddy Marc, who will be traveling with us for the next week or so. It is always nice to get to see friends, since Dan and I running out of conversational topics, seems he has already heard all of my stories.

We also met Gus and Alicia who are from Australia, while staying at P.S.C. Alicia is pregnant and decided that she didn’t want to work while she was with child, so they took off for a nine-month vacation. Now if I got to travel for another nine months I might start to change my opinion on child bearing. Alas I still have eight months left on this trip and I don’t have to set up a college fund to do it.

Cabo San “Gringos”

Cabo is a stark contrast to Pescadero. Everyone here speaks English, and everything is sold in dollars, not pesos. We spent our first night here at a $17 RV park very close to town. It was a no frills kinda place, but it was fine for our needs. Dan’s sister owns a timeshare down here. Thanks to Tracy we are now staying in her condo for a few days. This place is pretty fancy for a couple of folks who’ve been living in a truck for three months.

The rig in it's upscale parking spot, taking a much needed break.

Condo living.

Dinner in the condo.

Beach peddlers

Last night after we’d checked into our high end digs, we set out to walk the beach and the marina. Guess what we found… a FREE beer stand accompanied by FREE food. Why you ask were we blessed with the opportunity to drink cervesa libre? Well it would seem that we had stumbled into the kick off party for Bisbee. Bisbee is a three-day sport fishing tournament. Dan and I were rubbing elbows with the crème de la crème of the salt water fishing world. We marveled at all of the trophy fish and trophy wives. Also since we have been surrounded by super fit surfer types we were slightly amused at the general physique of the professional fishing “athlete.” Now here’s a sport--you get sun and catch dinner all while drinking cold beer on a boat. Forget this surfing stuff--get me an Ugly Stick!!!

The Bisbee competitors in the start gate.

After we’d abused the free beer tent enough we opted to purchase a cocktail from the piano bar on our way home. What fun. We were the only customers in there, and we were entertained by Bernardo, a classically trained pianist who is finishing up a business/tourism degree. Bernardo even let Dan play the bongos with him.

This morning we sat through the time-share-mafia’s sales pitch. I am happy to report that we came away with a free breakfast, a free boat/snorkeling trip, and no desire to ever buy a condo.

In re-reading this I am beginning to think we sound like drunk freeloaders. C'est la vie.

October 21, 2004

As promised we had Marc on the waves by 3pm. The break we found here to surf is called Old Man’s which seems to suit us just fine. After a nice “welcome to Mexico” surf we returned to the condo for a little R & R. Afterwards we ventured back down to the fishing contest, where we learned that the biggest Marlin caught was 645lbs, and it was caught by a woman!

Tunnel to Old Man's

Long Boarders at Old Man's.

October 22, 2004
Yesterday we surfed all day. Old Man’s proved a nice and friendly surfing spot for Marc and I, but Dan may disagree. His last ride in before lunch he jumped off his board and onto the reef. He cut the bottom of his foot badly and he will have to stay out of the water for a few days. His self diagnosis called for no stitches fortunately and after a few butterfly bandages had been applied, he was able to hobble off to lunch with us.

Doctor Dan.

In the afternoon we all went on a grocery shopping expedition. Being in Mexico makes something as seemingly mundane as buying dinner fixings seem fun. We returned to watch the fishermen weigh their catch and today’s biggest was a measly 440lbs. One more night in condo-ville for us, then it is back to truck living. I am ready.

Bisbee catch.

October 23, 2004
Our last night at the condo proved an exciting one. Due to an unfortunate sewer problem we had to move rooms. Luckily this move got us out of the basement and into a room with a view. Unfortunately though, we were given about 5 minutes to vacate, thus resulting in Chinese Fire Drill type move. This was further compounded by the fact that we had just gotten off of a four-hour, self proclaimed, booze cruise. The nice part about the cruise was that there were enough true drunks onboard to make us realize that our own alcohol consumption is truly recreational and not professional. Also we had gone snorkeling and I even took a marathon swim over to a fishing boat to buy us freshly caught shrimp for dinner, so we were relatively sober. None of this though prepared us for the fire drill and the move proved a bit trying. Later we took our hard earned shrimp up to the restaurant for the “you bring it, we’ll cook it” special, only to learn that due to a very brief and light sprinkle they were closed, our reservation would not be honored. No worries, we cooked up our own shrimp in our new room and had a nice last night.

Los Arcos.

Me on the shrimp boat.

Our catch.

Marc, myself and Dan.

Since the condo folks had been so difficult during our stay, we felt no guilt in schlepping 5 gallon jugs full of their agua purificado from the tap in our room to our truck. It was with a full water tank that we said goodbye to sister Tracy’s condo and headed back to the haven that is the Pescadero Surf Camp.

October 24, 2004
Rainy Day

Today we are being treated to a rare day of rain here in Baja. Just the excuse we all needed to take a day off, let our bodies recover and catch up on some reading. The skies cleared after noon and we surfed some more. Back at the camp we played a rousing game of poor man's poker and I am happy to report that Dan and I earned $80 pesos, or about $8.


Fuel $ 41.63
Groceries$ 29.23
Liquor $ 20.81
Treats $ 100.09
Repairs $ -
Camping $ 35.43
Park Fees$ -
Other* $ 60.85
Total $ 288.04
Remainder$ 26.40 *we have a remainder because of carry over money from previous weeks.
*Other includes, surfboard repair, tips and car washing.

Note: As of today we are exactly on budget, meaning that we have just enough left to continue at $40/day through the end of June 2005.

October 16, 2004

Pescadero y Playa de Cerritos

October 11, 2004

A few last pictures from Bahia Concepcion.

Bahía Concepción a Norte de Puerto Escondido

We met a nice couple at the campground on the Bahía and we agreed to camp together the following evening at a public beach with no fees and thereby no services or security. Todd and Charlotte are embarking on a trip that makes us feel like failures. They quit their computer industry jobs, sold their house and are driving from South Carolina to Panama, from there they will be heading over to Asia to travel about. Their trip is scheduled to last two years. We had a very nice evening with them and our two refrigerators combined to make a very nice dinner.

Dan, Todd and Charlotte on the beach.

The next day Dan and I headed for La Paz hoping to get our ferry reservations all squared away. No one at the ferry speaks English which didn’t help matters. Through a series of drawings and awkward pauses, while we consulted our dictionary, we were able to figure out that the ferry ride will cost us somewhere between $300 and $500 and that we cannot buy our tickets until November 1st.

Additionally we need to procure a Mexican vehicle permit. This document ensures that we didn’t bring our rig down here to sell, apparently our explaining to them our motives, that this really is our only vehicle and our only housing, is woefully inadequate. Of course the place to get the permit is 17km out of town, it closes at one, current time 1:15, and tomorrow, October 12, is Mexico’s celebration of Columbus Day, they will not be open. So faced with the choice of spending two totally unproductive days in La Paz or continuing on down south where the promise of surf waves beckoned, I bet you can guess where we are now.

October 12, 2004
La Paz a el San Pedrito RV Park, sur de Todos Santos.

Our trusty Surfer’s Guide to Baja informed us that there was cheap camping to be had right at a surf break, south of Todos Santos; so this is where we went. The surf was big, really big, and far too big for surfers of our limited abilities. The camping however was fantastic, and we enjoyed a wonderful night on the beach.

Waves at Pedrito

Our palapa.


Side bar: The image that kept me going the last 18 months before we left on this trip, was of waking up, opening the camper door onto a beautiful white sand beach with good surfing right out in front. I am getting really close to this dream now and I can almost taste it.

The next morning we again consulted the Surfer’s Guide which led us to a more beginner’s friendly beach, which is where I am now writing this from. This beach, Playa los Cerritos (which I believe means beach of the little hills), is in fact a much better fit with our ability, or lack there of.

The campground here apparently only operates from November through the end of the busy season, as such camping here is currently free. There are about seven other rigs “camped” here, the quotes are because I don’t really think they ever go anywhere else, they seem pretty permanent. Our “neighbor” ,“Juan” (not his real name, seems he’s running from the law for a drug offense, I didn’t ask for specifics), told me enough about some of the locals to make me not feel great about being the only woman for a ten mile radius. Not to mention that Juan, “it’s only a probation violation”, didn’t warm the cockles of my heart either.

I had just about talked myself out of staying here when I was very pleasantly surprised to see Todd and Charlotte pull up. Also another couple we had met the night before, John and Amanda (from Telluride only an hour and a half from our home town) spent the night in the park too.

Our safety in numbers group.

I went to bed convinced I’d be able to sleep, which has been a bit difficult for me since the San Diego intruder incident. Well it seems that “Juan” is a bit of a movie buff, and he likes to watch them ALL FRIGGIN’ night. This requires the use of his rather loud generator. Free campgrounds don’t enforce generator hours I have learned. Since “Juan” was parked right next to us this proved to be rather a nuisance, by midnight it was more of a cause for attack and by 2am when I was still awake it had escalated in my mind to the worst infraction “Juan” has ever committed, one surely punishable by death.

At 3am I turned on our stereo to try and drown out the noise and save myself a murder rap. By the grace of God the movie show finally ended at 4:30, with the generator finally turned off I managed to get a lovely 2.5 hours of sleep. I awoke to find that the more senior residents had already let “Juan” have it, saving him from my wrath, which can be substantial when I am denied either rest or food.

Additional Side Bar: Dan and I have coined the phrase “Hangry”. Hangry is what other’s, apparently better tempermented than ourselves, might refer to as low blood sugar. Except when we fall prey to low blood sugar we get grumpy, hence Hangry.

The "campground" at cerritos and a patrol plane flying over.

Cerritos beach.

Well rested I got up this morning, drank a pot of liquid courage and hit the waves. I am not good. Granted this is my fourth ever time attempting this sport and I can stand up, but I am still very intimidated by the real waves and find myself more at home in the whitewash closer to shore. Dan and spent the morning riding 1-2’ swells, otherwise known as shore break, and then I decided to get some “color”. I spent the remainder of the day tanning and crocheting. Dan requested that I make him a bottle cozy and this presented a new challenge since can cozies are my forte.

Tally for the day: approximately 20 waves caught and two bottle cozies completed.

October 15, 2004

We have been happily camped at the Pescadero Surf Camp for four days now. This place is sort of a surfer's hostel and we have met lots of really nice folks here. E.Z. the caretaker is fantastic as is Laura. Her boyfried the camp's owner, Hymee, is out of town, but none the less Laura and E.Z. have made us feel right at home. Each morning we have been driving to the beach to surf with Dave, who just finished a four-year stint in Cambodia where he was working to remove land mines from their fields (Princess Di's charity). Additionally it seems everywhere we go we are running into Colorado ski industry employees who are enjoying the calm before ski season by surfing down here.

After five stright days of surfing Dan and I are ready for a day off. Surfing has awakened muscle groups that I had forgotten I had, and ever pointy part of my body is bruised. But this sport can be so much fun that scraped and bumps seem a small price to pay.

Off to enjoy a fish taco and a Pacifico. Adios Amigos.

Bungalow at the camp.

The gardens here are magnificient.

Our rig behind the communal kitchen

Dan catching a monster wave.

October 14, 2004

Information Breakdown

I have prepared for your reading pleasure a witty, smart and insightful diatribe. However, it seems that I cannot get it from my laptop to the Internet for your enjoyment. This may be the case for a few days and since I don't want you all running off and finding younger, sexier RV bloggers, I am throwing you a web site bone.

The link below is where we have been staying for the past few days. This place is FABULOUS! check out their site and just know that we look exactly like the surfers pictured there, only we aren't really standing up, or in the big waves, but otherwise JUST like.

Hope to be back soon.


October 10, 2004

Paradise Found

October 5, 2004
San Diego to Ensanada, Baja California, Mexico.

Dan got back late last night, I am happy to report that we both got a solid eight hours of sleep. Marcellus came down to join us for breakfast at the RV Park. We spent about two hours sipping coffee and telling stories. Did I mention yet how good it is to reconnect with old friends? After breakfast we said our goodbyes and Dan and I headed for the border. We had given a lot of thought to which border crossing to go to and finally decided to brave Tijuana. It turned out to be a piece of cake and we found our way to the toll road with no problems.

We easily motored down to Ensanada in about two hours. We made two stops in the town, the first to get our tourist visas stamped and the other to load up on groceries. It is worth coming to Mexico simply for the fresh tortillas that are sold in the grocery stores. For roughly .50 cents U.S. you get 10-15 fresh corn or flour tortas that are still hot.

All four of the Mexican guide books we have agreed that we need to stay at the Estero Beach Hotel and Resort.

They weren’t wrong, this place is an oasis. It is currently off season so the RV Park is maybe 10% full. We had the pool all to ourselves and now we sit in our beach front spot watching the sunset, drinking COLD Mexican beer with lime (gotta fight off scurvy). Life is really good.

October 8, 2004

Wednesday night we stayed at a remote beach just north of El Rosario. We ventured into El Rosario for lunch before camping and were treated to some wonderful Lobster Burritos at Mama Espenosas. The Baja Surf Guide book helped us find both Mama’s and our camp spot.

Dan had started to make us a nice enough dinner when a man we’d seen snorkeling in front of our camp spot came up with a net full of lobsters he’d just caught. We abandoned our original plan of tacos and for about $4 U.S. set out to make the best lobster dinner I have ever had!

We were up early and on the road. So far HWY 1 has been much better than I had expected it to be. However, it is VERY narrow compared to U.S. roads and each passing semi is cause for the driver’s knuckles to turn white. Yesterday we drove through miles and miles of cactus and Joshua Trees, as well as huge boulder fields and the periodic stands of palms. Things started to flatten out and the scenery became more of what I expected Baja to look like.

Iglesia de Santa Rosalolita

We set our sights on Santa Rosalolita because a friend of ours said it is a great little surf town. To get there you must travel 7 miles on dirt/ washboard roads. After about an hour traveling around 10mph and being jostled about like we were corn being popped, we arrived at the charming little pueblo of Santa Rosalolita. Much to our dismay however there were no waves, it was dead calm.

Iglecia De Santa Rosalolita.

Dan was a bit spent from hours of white-knuckle driving so we got him a Mexican Coke (Coca-Cola not the illicit kind). Now if you have never had one then put it on your to-do in Mexico list. As best as I can figure, Mexican Coke is similar to its American counterpart only in that it is brown and has the unmistakable label. Mexican coke, however, is served up in real bottles, it is less carbonated and perhaps sweeter than American Coke. Neither of us drinks soda regularly but Mexican Coke is a real treat.

Anyway now that Dan was sufficiently hopped up on sugar and Caffeine we returned the way we had come, and decided we’d spend the night Guerro Negro, a salt mining town
just south of the Baja California Sur State line. We are now in the lower half of Baja. We passed through our first federale check point with flying colors and did not have to resort to bribery with the ice cold cokes, water or smut magazines we keep on hand for such occasions.

October 10, 2004
Today marked our first foray into eastern Baja and onto the Sea of Cortés. We stopped in Santa Rosalia to check on the ferry system and learned that we need to obtain another permit before we book our ferry ride. We will be spending a day in La Paz later next week to get this all sorted out.

On the road from Guerro Negra and Sant Rosalia we hit our second Military Checkpoint and this time we did resort to gifts of cold bottled water and Coke. These Federales were more experienced in fleecing tourists it seemed and the only places they “inspected” were our cooler and under our mattress. Clearly they know where to look for cold drinks and smut mags. Fortunately for us we had been told to bring a stocked cooler and mags for such occasions. We forgot to get the mags, so the young man was sorely disappointed that there was nothing but dust under our mattress.

Rio De Mulegé.

Later in the day we visited Mulegé, which is the nicest little town we have seen in terms of architecture and because it has a spring-fed river running through it, it has a very tropical feel. There is a restored Franciscan Mission there and we toured it.

We have spent the last two days camped in a fabulous campground on the Bahía Concepcíon. For about $6.00 a day we have a private palapa on the southern point of this bay. There is a wonderful restaurant here run by the owners and we have treated ourselves to a few meals there. Aside from the complete solitude we are enjoying, there is also some pretty good snorkeling right off this point. On our snorkeling trips we have seen numerous rays, Puffer Fish, a Scorpian Fish, Sea Stars and I even got up close and personal with a Jelly Fish. We have had two wonderful days of complete rest and relaxation.