This is a replay of our month-long trip to Mexico earlier this year (which was the inspiration for our current plans to leave for the Pan American Highway as soon as we can).
This was the third post, originally posted on 1-1-12 on my now-retired travel blog. We had left the Bay Area and were headed from Tijuana to San Quintin. We had, as I left you last, just crossed the border into Tijuana.
Our plan: skip the sketchiness of Tijuana and drive straight through to San Quintin, with a stop at Porto Nuevo. Who, after all, can resist stopping at a Mexican town famed for its lobster? That wouldn’t be us, for sure.
Giddy with glee at simply having crossed the border as we were,
we my One True Darling kept missing turnoff points and wound up going around, around, round. Finally reaching the tollgate for the pay-highway, we realized we didn’t have any pesos – ha! – and had to turn around yet again, go back into Tijuana, hit up an ATM and then wrap ourselves back on that highway.
There were two roads: one, free and the other, not. Mikey had read that it was best to use the road-for-pay as it was said to be safer, cleaner, swifter and well, better. Those sounding like agreeable things, we thought we would fork over the $2 to use it…and did. And then noticed while riding that the free road looked like a lot more fun. For one, you could stop at any point and have a look-see. For seconds, you could stop and sample wayside fares of apparent deliciousness. It looked safe enough, looked just as smooth as the road-for-fare, so we did ditched the road-for-fare and just went the free route.
It was more fun.
And when we reached Porto Nuevo, we were hungry and ready to find us some lobster.
$18. 3 lobsters, rice, beans, beer, tortillas and fish ceviche.
Oh joy. What a perfect way to spend the final day of 2011. What utter joy.
Those lobsters were perfectly cooked, by the way. Lovely.
Heading back on the road in our Beast, we noticed a lot of glum. I can’t say that the coastal areas of northern Baja are a place I’d head for as any sort of destination other than a means to a different end. Everything seems for sale, everything seems empty, neglected and rather sad. It seems like a place that was headed for a big fancy development party and then got left behind.
You get the sense of the sad girl standing in her party dress with her hair and makeup undone, quietly standing by the corner, crying as her car to the prom goes by.
We drove and drove and drove and saw the changescapes of the Baja, the surprising grey.
Then the sunset it’s glory.
Right before a sludgefest of fog swiftly enveloped us in it’s incredible murkiness.
Intense, amazing and for me, frightening.
It was only 5pm and I wanted OFF OF THAT ROAD. No more driving, nada.
Done. We saw a hotel, snagged the last room available (a single to boot!), My One True Darling went to a shop closeby for some food and we camped on the floor.
Probably one of the best days in the whole of 2011 for me. Lots of adventure, new-ness, with my loves, my loves with me and good food galore. No idea where we were, definitely not San Quintin, but it was a bed and we were whole and most of all, happy.