The Adventure Begins December 1st.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

An Update to Our Adventure

 It's the middle of February and we are living in a one month rental in Todos Santos.
We arrived here on the 17th of January on a warm sunny afternoon. We immediately ran into a friend who lived on Bowens Island this past winter and spring, and Anna recognized him and his dog right away. He told us about this great surf camp that he was staying at, and we didn't think twice. The Pescadero Surf Camp was amazing. For $180 pesos each a night you get a Pool, hot showers, community kitchen, and a great place to set up camp. We met some amazing people there. Chris, our Bowens island friend showed us around, made sure we found the best taco spot, groceries, water, and town.
 Gaby and Russ from BC Canada, ended up becoming great friends with us. 

Leonard is this inspirational photographer traversing the Baja on his bike andstealing  photos and massages along the way. 

Fred is a great guy from New Jersey who had his first month long break from his wife in ten years! He found out about this awesome extremely long hike summitting a nearby peak that was perfect for the boys. Nick and Russ went along and camped two nights in the Mexican wilderness while Gaby and I stayed behind and had some girl time. 

There was Jacqui and Daniel from New Zealand, and I'm pretty sure Jacqui is one of my long lost sisters.  Johnny and Alison, Dave and Amy, Paul, Caleb and his dog Aurora, all from BC. Teemu from Finland who had been traveling for years after selling his company, and Oly from Germany that was working remotely while traveling the globe, getting sunburnt, and learning to surf. The list goes on of the cool people we met. 

Most importantly is Amigo, the neighborhood dog that I fell in love with.
The sweetest most loving heart that I ever met, and it makes me cry just thinking of him. Mexican dogs are so different from our view of dogs. They aren't let inside, or pet, or played with, or walked, or spayed, or neutered, or leashed, or loved really at all. They are more like property. The dog is there to protect your property. And they don't leave because you feed them, sometimes, but mostly you just ignore them. They wag theirs tails when you get home, and you just walk past. They mostly survive off of garbage and the hopes that someone left water out somewhere. 

Amigo had a busted leg with an infection, probably from getting hit by a car, and he was covered with fleas. I gave him a snuggle in the beginning and he clung to my side after that. It was so incredibly hard leaving him, but he had a collar and a family across the street (not that he slept there, he was outside my tent or casita almost every morning. 

We stayed at the surf camp for 10 or 11 days and then moved into our current spot. 
We had heard from a few people that the Tortugerous Las Playitas would be a great place for us to volunteer. We needed some stability and routine so we headed over to the turtle release and spoke with Fran the lady in charge. She not only needed us as volunteers, but also had this two story one bedroom casita available for rent. 

We rented for the entire month of February for $300. After spending an extra hundred to de-roach and totally scrub the place down, it's now finally starting to feel like home. 
The shower is just some walls in the corner, and the drain sadly is not at the lowest point, so water drains basically out into the bedroom while your showering.
Let's just say, in order to shower it's a two man job, with one person holding a squidgy broom pushing the water towards the drain. 
The bathroom is also in the room, with no door, so this experience has pushed our relationship to the limits. No privacy here, even for midnight poops. 

Along with the casita comes Honey, the dog that should live at the house next door. She's pretty awesome and definitely protects the place. Luckily she likes Jackson because he follows her everywhere.
She sleeps right out front of our place every night. 

We volunteer most mornings by going to the incubation tent at 8:30 and staying til 11:30. This usually involves finding turtles, reading, talking to people with endless questions about turtles and playing with Jackson in the sand. 

Sometimes we also go to releases before sunset and help stage the release of turtles into the Pacific. 

This has been a really interesting experience for us. It's very "hands-on" here and not what we're used to as far as letting wildlife do its thing, but it's great for educating people about turtles and we love hanging out with the babies. 

Two nights ago I heard crying throughout the night, but there are always dogs barking and roosters going crazy. I ignored it until about 5am when I couldn't handle it anymore. I set out with Jackson and Honey and found back up behind our casita this little munchkin. 

I searched for hours looking for her mom or owners. There is no reason a puppy would be this far out by herself, so we've made a big decision... 
Her name is Prieta, which means Black Sea Turtle and one of the kinds that you might find in the incubation tent. She's about 8 weeks old and is absolutely amazing. 

Back behind out house are endless roads leading deep into the desert.
Sometimes there are really nice houses, and other times there are half built, almost forgotten houses.
You can walk for miles investigating, but the best part is constant views of both the mountains and ocean. 

We are truly grateful for this casita. It is a dream and an experience that we will talk about for the rest of our lives. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

La Paz to Todos Santos

We just spent a full week at an awesome Airbnb in La Paz.

 For $38 a night we had our own studio and private yard. It was at the top of a pretty steep hill about a mile from the center of town. There was a great kitchen so we were able to spend about 650 pesos to last us the week in groceries. We went out to eat some delicious sushi one night, went paddle boarding on Friday morning, and Nick was finally able to find an IPA beer by the end of the week. 

The sunsets were incredible across the bay. I didn't actually make it out of bed to see the sun come up though sadly! 

The blue dot is Todos Santos. We're almost at the bottom of the peninsula!

We packed and cleaned up today and are now on our way to Todos Santos where a big surf competition is going on as well as a music festival. We're going back to camping on the beach, Jackson is most excited about that! 

One thing that we have seen that is really troublesome is how much garbage and unfinished real estate there is everywhere. I hadn't taken any pictures of it, because who wants to remember that? But my sister asked for photos so she can get a better feeling for what it REALLY looks like, not just beautiful sunsets and warm beaches. So here are a few photos from last night. I'll be sure to include some more as we go. 
A beautiful sunset watching spot, covered with garbage and broken glass.
Unfinished buildings lining the street. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bahia Concepcion

Anna here! We are posted up underneath an awesome Palapa on the beach for the next two nights. We are back on the east coast of Baja Sur on the Sea of Cortez. We are in the Bay of Conception (where the fish come to do their breeding) and the water is calm and beautiful. 

Last night while I tried to (unsuccessfully) sleep in the hammock, I could hear dolphins breaching and birds diving for fish. This is why people drive down the Baja. It's calm, beautiful, and the people are very nice. 

A recap: The last few days have involved a lot of driving. We left San Felipe and headed west towards Ensenada last Tuesday and stayed in a hotel because El NiƱo was on the rise. Wednesday we left and headed south on Mex 1 and stayed at Fidel's campground in San Quintin. Thursday involved wet tents and a long drive south to Guerro Negro, through the border crossing into Baja Sur from Baja California. We slept in the car at an RV park in Guerro Negro, and thank goodness because it ended up raining all night long again. But there was a beautiful double rainbow the next morning. 

Friday morning was an easy drive back east towards Mulege (still on Mex 1) where we had an excellent lunch of tacos and beer. All tacos are deep fried and so yummy. We drove another half an hour to where we ended up here on the beach for two nights, star gazing and laying in hammocks. 
Tomorrow we head for La Paz for at least a week. We could easily stay here longer, but we made reservations there already. We fully plan on staying here on the way back up though!! 

Dad, Check out Mex 1 on the map and watch how it goes from the west side to the east side and back west. This is the one main road through Baja. They are furiously paving more and more roads here to make smaller towns more accessible, but the Prius can only handle so much on the dirt roads. So we are primarily driving on Mex 1, which in some places is still totally covered in potholes, mudslides in the rain, and isn't even paved every once in a while!! 

Nick here...

In short we have finally made it to the paradise we were looking for. Warmer weather, beautiful beaches, Jackson is in heaven and most important, no rain. 

Just South of San Quintin, Mexico

After yoga, we left our cushy trailer on the beach in San Felipe on Tuesday morning.

 We spent the night in Ensenada in a "Eco-friendly" hotel, but I'm not exactly sure what that meant since we still haven't found anywhere that recycles. Apparently the liquor stores there have alarms that go off all night long... 

It started raining soon after we left San Felipe and didn't stop until Wednesday morning. We walked across the street to have breakfast, and Nick ordered something he couldn't pronounce and it ended up being amazing! Basically a big plate of Fritos covered in cheese, refried beans, and salsa. Every boys dream. Everyone is so infatuated with Jackson and refer to him only as Lassie. We ended up being quite a sight at breakfast as every waiter came out to oogle him. 

Then we headed south 3 hours to find camping. We had our first experience with how crazy the main road can be, but luckily they were already fixing and cleaning them off by time we drove through. The rocks create landslides in the rain and will just cover the road with rocks! 

We had a few different campsites on the list, but they are all about a mile off the main road on dirt roads. We skipped the first two because they had roads like this: 

Finally we decided on Fidel's because the road seemed passible, and honestly it was the last one... We made it 3/4 of the way before the Prius got stuck, but luckily two awesome Mexican guys and Fidel himself came to the rescue. And now we ended up here! 

Thanks for getting muddy for the Prius Nick.