We contacted our garage in NL on Friday 11/11 to make arrangements for shipping a new clutch set. It arrived at the workshop on Monday and Tuesday, 15/11, they delivered the package to DHL. It is now 20/11 and the 19 kg package has arrived in Mexico City and waiting for custom clearance and then still has to be sent over to La Paz. The delivery schedule shows late Tuesday 22/11. I hope it arrives in time especially since it is now weekend and we have not received any update on its progress. Moreover Monday is a national holiday…..
In order to make the best use of our time we rented a car for 3 days to drive to the southern end of the Baja California peninsula. We took the old Hwy 1 going south through the mountains. It is a lovely drive. The more south you get the more beach towns there are. These towns are mostly at the mouth of a wide (now sandy) river. In the riverbed you see many tracks made by off-road bikes, buggies or 4×4 cars. Everywhere you can rent them for such an off-road tour. We drove on to San Jose del Cabo. There we found a small hostel in the middle of town next to a busy road. Since we are used to seeking a camping spot, this is a new experience for us (searching for a room to spend the night). The early morning traffic was loud and you wake up from a dream of the quiet campsites we had in Canada and the USA. The city is a major tourist attraction for Americans who want to escape the cold northern winters. Along the beach there are large hotels with their own private section of beach. For us to reach the beach we had to walk through an alley in-between these large hotels. The beach is however wide enough, so there is still a public beach area. On the large city plaza, there were many evening stalls selling sweet donut style food. We wandered around trying to find a small food stall. Instead, we bumped into an American/Spanish couple (Tony and Irene) whom we had met in the guesthouse in La Paz and who had shared their catch of fish around. Such a reunion had to be celebrated so we dived into one of the nearby drinking holes. Later on, since they had their own arrangements, we had our own dinner in a Japanese restaurant for a change.
The following day we followed the coastal road further south to the even more touristy town of Cabo San Lucas and from there north again along the Pacific ocean. The beaches going north are known for their large surfing waves which attracts a lot of young surfers. Every beach is being developed into a beach resort of some sort. Our target was Todos Santos. The town is however not directly on the beach and we did not find a clear (sand) road down to the beach where we hoped to find accommodation. We drove a bit back south and turned off on a bumpy sand road at El Prescadero towards the beach. After 1 km we stopped at the Libra guesthouse/campsite. David, the Canadian owner, is trying to convert this small piece of desert into a guesthouse. He has been busy for several years but only managed to place 2 containers on the site and convert 1 to a guest room (which was already occupied). In order to have more accommodation he recently installed a large 4 persons tent (dorm style) where we could use 2 of the beds. It was nice and relaxing. No serious road noise and an outdoor feeling. Especially since there was no electrical power and the compost toilet is a steep climb up the hill over a narrow path through the cactuses. On top of one of the containers, David had created a large open veranda from where you could see the ocean, 2 km down the sand path. After dumping our luggage in the tent we drove down to the beach. There is a nice spot to camp with your camper there by the beach, but unfortunately we no longer travelled with our camper. There was a fair amount of people spread out over the beach and many were practicing their wave riding skills. Around the beach there is a lot of development going on. Condo’s and hotels are in various stages of completion. Also along the sand road towards the beach there are several small restaurants selling food and drinks.
On the way back to La Paz we stopped at a lovely busy roadside restaurant. It was a clear favourite for the locals and for good reason. The food and snacks were tasty and not as pricy as everything south in the touristy “Cabo’s”. We also made a short detour to stop in the old mining town of El Triunfo. The gold/silver mine has been closed for years. They had a very modern museum showing the local history and the development of the mine. Unfortunately the outdoor remains of the mine were not impressive. You could arrange a visit to the underground section of the mine but it did not look like we could arrange that on the spot.
We have now been back at the Peace Centre in La Paz for 7 (more) days and hopefully the end is in site (i.e. another 3 – 4 days). It is a great place to stay. We have a large room with toilet and (hot) shower. The WiFi connection is good enough to watch a Netflix movie each evening. There are also several other guests who are staying here for several days so you get to know each other and go out for a drink/meal. Rudy rented a bike for 3 days and cycled up and down the promenade as well as several times to the camper (garage is about 3km from where we are staying) to pick up more clothes etc. We had also booked ourselves on a boat trip to a marine park. There you could snorkel around seals sunbathing in the water and observed the fish swimming over/around the coral. On the white sand beach the tour guide set up tables and we had a lovely lunch with large amounts of Ceviche (fresh fish or prawn cured with lime juice, tossed with onions, cilantro, tomato and cucumber).
Since it was the last night for one of the couples (Michael and Anya) before they left for Mexico City, we decided to walk to the Malecon (beach boulevard) for drinks and dinner. It was a Mexican long weekend so the boulevard was very busy with people, music and traffic. We had a great time.