Baja in a Kombi
Up early as seems to be our norm now even though we don't own an alarm clock, we run to kinkos for final documents and copies (we are warned to have a dozen or so copies of all our documents…an odd but common request from the federales) and make a run for the border.
As expected, we get flagged for vehicle inspection but we chat with 2 guards while the other 2 make a quick look in the bus and were on our way with smiles. The guards chuckle as they ask about our plans to drive all of mexico "in this car?", and why we don't have jobs.
Immigration is as much of a hassle as we had read, but luckily we were the only two people going through the process, so the methodical back and forth between immigration, copies, banco, customs, copies, banco, etc didn't take as long as it probably could have with others in the queue.
Finally official, we head into Encenada- stop for currency, market and pharmacy (and a quick roadside cart for ceviche) and then on our way. We miss a turn to the beach we had read about and intended to stay, but assume we'll find another. We go to the next right hand turn and end up driving the last hour or so on a dirt road along the coast with nothing but dirt bikes and dune buggies only to realize later that the road is actually part of the annual baja 500 off road race. of course =)
We stop into an "rv park" that is really more of a mobile home park with nothing that has come or gone for years and the ambiance (and mean dogs) convince us to carry on despite the inviting beach. We continue winding along the dirt road questioning again why we didn't buy a synchro- and finally pull over along a cliffy section of the coast where several fisherman have been camping and fishing all weekend. They are all packing up to return to work, but we chat with a few about the area and decide to stick around and enjoy. There's no surf here but the waves are crashing into coral cliffs and hidden in between are small private mini-beaches. I broke out the spear hoping to snag a fish for dinner while jen soaked our veggies, but the crashing waves and current made for a quick retreat. instead, we harvest some mussels for dinner and relax by our own little piece of paradise far away from civilization. Turns out we have a military squad roughing it in the hills directly behind us, so it's likely to go down as our safest (or at least most heavily armed) camping spot in the trip.
We eat dinner while watching the sunset and free show put on by the pelicans dive-bombing for their dinner.
A day in, and mexico is just as we remembered and hoped (at least thus far)… friendly, all smiles and waves and eternally polite- more than we can say for any state we have driven through. And, as i bite into breakfast, the flavor of our foods may have just doubled with the local produce we picked up yesterday. Ah, chipotle, queso fresco, avocado, and crema…we shall have you with every meal.