February 18 – 28, 2022.
Welcome to the second half of the February 2022 Nomad Report. Currently, we are back in La Paz at a nice campground with hot showers after having made a loop around the southern tip of Baja. We are beginning a meandering journey back north towards the US. But first, let’s catch up on where we went and what we did at the end of February!
* All pics are click to enlarge. Once you have them enlarged you can view them in a slide show. Also, you can hover over the pics to see captions.
Playa Agua Caliente
After our four-day stay in La Paz in the middle of February, we continued on our journey with our friends Liesbet, Mark, and Maya from Roaming About traveling south to Playa Agua Caliente. This beach, just north of the town of La Ventana, features hot springs – right on the beach! At low tide, you can dig out a spot and soak until high tide comes again and covers the beach. The springs are super hot!
La Ventana is known for its high wind and is a destination for lovers of wind sports. Hundreds of windsurfers can be found on the water every afternoon.
Next, we drove to Cabo Pulmo National Park. At the northern tip of the park is one of the official free campsites in Cabo Pulmo, Playa Miramar. Right on a sandy beach, it seemed iffy whether we would be able to camp in this location since we don’t have four-wheel drive. But we read a few reviews on our go-to camping app, iOverlander, and it looked like we would be fine. We weren’t. We got stuck in the sand. Really really stuck. Other campers pitched in, our friends arrived and tried to help but after many hours we decided that the beach was lovely and the van was level so why not just stay stuck where we were. We stayed stuck for three days.
Between fun beach walks, lovely sunsets, and hanging out with our friends, we came up with a plan to get BB on the road again. We’d build a rock path to back up on and get her wheels on stable ground. After many hours of hauling rocks and creating our little driveway when it came time to finally put our plan into action, all our effort failed. By now we had backed the van up enough that we thought we could tow her out. We borrowed a strap from another camper and El Burro (Greg’s car) saved the day, towing Ballena Blanca back onto hard-ish ground.
Horray! Horray! We were free. The last step was waiting for the big RV that had also gotten stuck to move enough so we could get around it.
BTW – every two-wheel drive vehicle that came to this beach got stuck (although not quite as stuck as we did). I have since left a review on iOverlander warning people of this situation.
From Playa Miramar we drove further down into the park, camping at a disused campground right outside of the town Cabo Pulmo. The town is the hub of the park where one can find lodging, restaurants, and dive tours. The park “is home to the oldest of only three coral reefs on the west coast of North America. Estimated to be 20,000 years old, it is the northernmost coral reef in the eastern Pacific Ocean.” (so says Wikipedia).
We didn’t do any diving or snorkeling – the water was still too cold for me. But we went on some hikes, ate in town, hung out with our friends, and made an excursion inland in El Burro.
Our inland excursion was to visit a waterfall outside of the town of Santiago. After the waterfall* we stopped in the town and then drove down the road a bit to see the Tropic of Cancer monument. On our way back we got an early dinner in another town, La Ribera, at Taqueria Los Pinches Tacos before heading back into the park. At Los Pinches I was served the best vegetarian tacos in all of Baja.
*Pics of the waterfall will come in a later post.
From Cabo Pulmo, we separated from our friends for a while. Since they have a four-wheel-drive vehicle they had more opportunities to explore the beaches that stretched from the park to the big cities of San José del Cabos and Cabo San Lucas. We stopped at a few beaches but not wanting a repeat of our experience at Playa Miramar we kept heading on until we found one with easy access and hard dirt to camp on, La Fortuna.
And in the midst of all this traveling, I had an interview published about my time photographing in St. Louis during the early 80s punk scene. Read the article on Razorcake here.
February Part 2 Camping stats:
11 – days free on the beach
I don’t have anything new to report about money for the latter half of February. Although gas is high and seemed to be going up in price as we headed further south, the price is staying consistent between 20.99 pesos to 22.99 pesos per liter – roughly $1 per liter or $4.50 a gallon.
If you miss our expense report and would like to know precisely how much a nomad spends in a month here in Mexico, check out our friends at Roaming About’s monthly expense report here.
I can’t believe I didn’t include this in my previous lists of tips because this is my number 1 tip! Download iOverlander to your phone. There is so much information in iOverlander about not only where to camp, but where to eat, where to get water, propane and other supplies, tourist sites, road warnings, etc.
We always buy our water in Mexico. Actually, we always buy our water in the US unless we are at a campground or a national park. It really sucks to get bad water in your tank. Finding water in Mexico is pretty easy – everyone buys drinking water here. In Google Maps just search “agua purificada” or “agua purificadora” and lots of places will pop up. Or even easier just look on iOverlander. iOverlander is helpful for reviews to find out things like does the water place also sell baked goods or do they have a hose. We get our water by filling up jerry cans but some people like our friends from Roaming About need a hose to fill their tank in their camper – and not every purificada place has a hose.
More tips next time –
Ok, just a few tips today because I’m too tired to think of them and it is time to leave our nice campground outside of La Paz with the nice hot showers for more adventures. We are off to find some mangroves to kayak in!