Note: This was written last Friday the 11th. We didn't have cell phone reception or internet while writing. We're currently in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico with decent internet! More on that in the next post (stay tuned!)
We're traveling today across the Baja from Santo Tomás to Bahía de los Ángeles. It's really beautiful country here. High desert with so many varieties of cacti. It is beautiful but I miss the ocean already.
The roads are narrow and have steep drop offs on both sides with no guard rails. Some parts of the ride today have made me very nervous, but we made it! The road is very curvy and changes elevation constantly.
For example they have a lot of vados (English: river fords). You're driving along on a flat portion of land, a sign appears saying vado 300 mts, and in 300 meters you drop 30-40 feet to cross a dry riverbed where the water during rains has often messed the road up. Then on the other side climb 30-40 feet back out of the vado. Then repeat every half mile for 10 miles. Some of these are small enough to be creek crossings, others can be a couple hundred feet long.
We have discovered that meeting other vehicles with their 4-way lights on means there is an accident ahead. We have seen 2 semi truck accidents in these curvy mountain roads just in the past 3 hours. One jackknifed in the sand on the shoulder of the road and another must have lost his brakes going down hill and was completely on its side in our lane! Crazy stuff.
Most of this area is open range but we haven’t really seen much livestock yet except when driving through small towns. Correction: We just past a herd of 6 wild burros crossing the road in front of us. Paul had fun hollering at them as they ran off the road.
We stopped for lunch in a small town called El Rosario and ordered tacos at a small stand on the side of the road. We were just beginning to pass food out to the kids when a 1/2 ton pickup pulls up right next to us and out jumps a 10 year old boy. He quickly speaks to the lady in the taco stand, climbs back in the truck and does a 3 point turn to get headed back out to the road (our trailer was in the way) and drove away like it was nothing. We all sat there astounded! The kids were totally amazed! Just think, Alia is only a year away from driving in Mexico :)
Our lunch order was 6 tacos asada (chopped and seasoned steak), 3 tacos pescado (fish) and 2 tortas asada (a version of tacos asada but on a warmed bun instead of a tortilla). They came with guacamole, pico de gallo and chopped cabbage. SO tasty and cheap! We fed our family of 6 for $16 USD. We've never done that in a restaurant in the US!
Our Spanish is getting better as each day goes by. We are gaining confidence in using it and also learning new words/phrases we need. The locals are very helpful in teaching the vocabulary we are missing and seem pleased we are desirous to learn to say it correctly. The kids are also learning a lot. They do their spanish lessons on their iPads and have also been asking lot of translation questions so they can say what they want to in spanish.
It's a long driving day today but no need for air conditioning as it's perfect with the windows down. We're looking forward to getting to Bahia (back to the beach). We have heard it has some of the best beach camping in the Baja...we'll see!
Update: The sunset was breathtaking but the wind off the mountains creates sandstorms that are painful and NO cell service at all (means no internet as well). So we are moving on tomorrow.