Well we made it into Mexico! It’s been a rough ride, everything you’ve heard is true. We’re constantly on edge, worried about our safety. Seriously – you never know where the next cheap taco, friendly smile and stunning free beach camp is going to come from. Definitely one to avoid…
Whilst our border crossing experience wasn’t the smoothest in the world, everyone we spoke to had infinite patience and time for us. Speaking a little Spanish definitely helped smooth everything over but nonetheless there was a warmth about everyone we met which has absolutely continued.
Our first job once over the border was to seek out some food. We were hoping that the quality and price were everything we’d heard of, and even so close to the border this was true! We went to a local taco shop and got large burrito/taco crossovers for $2 each and were blown away by the flavour of them! It’s hard to understand how the local McDonalds survives… Then we headed to Rancho Bolleta.
We’d read about this place on iOverlander, an app we use to find places to camp. The two reviews were highly positive so we’d emailed the owners Raul & Caroline beforehand to ask if we could come and camp and we were gladly welcomed. The ranch itself is mainly a holiday ranch with ensuite rooms, a pool, horse-riding, quail shooting etc. It happened to be off season however so no one was at the ranch when we were there, and Raul & Caroline made special exceptions for overlanders to come and stay with them!
The road getting in was a little gnarly during the last 10km in our 2wd van, and 17km from the tarmacced main road but completely worth it. We passed about 10 horses on our way in through a very narrow road and just waited while they decided they would let us pass! We then settled into the unbelievable location and wound down.
Nestled between mountains the ranch is one of the most secluded and peaceful places we’ve been. With a small dipping pool, kerosine lamps at night and no sign of electricity or wifi it was a brilliant escape. When Raul came a few hours after us we spent the whole evening talking and had a good lesson in tequila tasting. It sure beats the tequila we’re used to at home! No need for lime and salt here…
Turns out Raul & Caroline are overlanders themselves, having explored all over Mexico and currently doing work to their van we had plenty to talk about! The following morning we were greeted with Pan Dulce (sweet breads) and beautiful coffee. Then we discussed the best things to see in Baja, and we’re incredibly lucky to have heard it from the horses mouth. We talked them through our solar set up as they were thinking of having a similar thing done, and stayed another night just to really enjoy the surroundings. It felt like too much of a beautiful opportunity to pass up.
The next morning Raul talked us through his truck which he had bought and it was looking ready for action. Then we headed off on our own two feet down the Baja Peninsular. That day we went to a recommended taco shop and again enjoyed a lunch to the tune of £3 for the both of us. It felt nice to be able to go out to eat and not break the bank, a big change from the USA.
Then we headed to La Bufadora – basically a big blowhole which has turned into a tourist attraction. The campsite we stayed at was lovely – if a little windy. Another thing we haven’t done in months is stay at a paid campsite, however we thought we’d treat ourselves to some toilets, a shower, running water and wifi when it’s only $4! The next morning we hiked to La Bufadora to avoid the parking fees and went to see the tourist attraction. The blowhole itself was a kind of ‘oh that’s cool’ moment, but you’d think it was a wonder of the world the way the market stalls had sprung up around it. No thank you sir, we wouldn’t like to buy a sombrero or pay tourist prices for a pina colada without alcohol (what even is that!).
The following day we put a long shift of 4 hours driving in to get to one of the most beautiful camp spots. Right by the ocean, we had the whole beach to ourselves only sharing it with some local fishermen scouting the beach for shellfish. The surf was good, the sunset was glorious and we saw dolphins in the morning over pancakes. This was exactly what we had hoped for and Mexico has been delivering time and time again.