Ensenada to San Carlos

South of Ensenada, Baja becomes much less populated and we pass through many smaller towns that look like farming communities. Translating road signs becomes a fun game and we break out the dictionary every time we pass new sign. Most say things like ‘dangerous curves’ or ‘reduce your velocity’, and I decide this is a great way to learn Spanish.

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We both commented that we could be in Idaho...

We feel a lot safer here in the smaller towns and start to venture out and explore. We stop in San Qunitìn to see how alien daily tasks are going to be:

Exchanging dollars for pesos is relatively easy at the bank, I just nod and smile when the teller speaks much, much too fast for me. I can’t get my debit card to work in the ATM, something I’ll have to figure out another day.

Duke is keen for some ‘street meat’ so we stop at a taco stand and have egg & chicken burritos. We both eat a mountain of food for around $3 USD each. Duke’s superior Spanish begins to show, so I start picking his brain for everything I can.

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Jeep and Pacific

Buying gas turns out to be a simple matter and the attendant teaches me the word for full when I say ‘mucho’, which gets the point across. Regular gas here is 7.4 pesos per liter, not as cheap as I had hoped, but still not bad. Maybe it will be cheaper on the mainland, away from tourists.

We walk up and down the street a little and have a look in a couple of supermarkets. All the big brand names are represented, as is every kind of food I normally eat and a ton I have no idea about. Prices seem cheaper than the US, but not amazingly so. Soft serve ice cream from a street vendor is extremely tempting for 75 cents, but I remember a stern warning I was given about it.
We pass.

Everything goes smoothly, but I have an uneasy feeling in my stomach. It’s been a long time since I was this far out of my element and it’s going to take some getting used to. I need to learn Spanish – fast.

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Cacti are becomming more and more common

We drive down side roads to the beach in a few places, and quickly learn about dirt roads in Mexico. Potholes and huge ruts are common, and I can hardly hold 2nd gear. In the small town of El Rosario we are told we have to checkout the surfing hangout of San Carlos, not far away on the coast. We end up taking the long, roundabout way where the road gets crazier and crazier until I’m in low range 4×4 and pushing the Jeep pretty hard to climb hills. I feel bad pushing it this hard, but she seems to handle it just fine. (fingers crossed)

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Pushing the Jeep uphill

We round a corner and find ourselves at San Carlos, a world famous point break popular with wind surfers, kite surfers and the regular kind. We meet Kevin, the owner, and are given the grand tour and introduced around. We are hugely surprised by the scale of the great setup, with solar power, showers & tons of boards for hire & sale. A crew of professional mountain bike riders is kicking around filming, so we tag along and hang out for the day, laughing and enjoying paradise together. A couple of the guys have been coming down to Mexico for 20 years and I pick their brains on everything I can think of, always eager for more information about the road ahead.

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Progessional mountain bike photography

The sunset over the Pacific Ocean seems to take forever, through every shade of red, orange & yellow.

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One of our ocean side campsites - the wind is ferocious


10 Responses

  1. Luis Getter says:

    I am really glad you made it to Baja… we are still in the US, but should be in Ensenada Tuesday. Hope to run into you guys somewhere further south. How long are you thinking of staying in the peninsula?

  2. Carmen says:

    Long way from Whitehorse now, eh?! Great to read about the progress and pretty jealous of the warmth and the ocean.
    Take care…

    • Dan says:

      Yep – its starting to turn into that adventure I have been dreaming of !
      I hop you are doing great up there in the white world of winter 😉
      take care Carmen
      P.S. I forgot to ask what you thought of Jupiters Travels?

  3. Keith says:

    Hey Dan,

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve still been following your trip since the beginning. Its the perfect break from the material, everyday world, and I find myself eagerly awaiting every new post. It is definitely bound to get more interesting from here on out, and I’m (somewhat sadistically? :-P) looking forward to hearing about whatever funny situations you get in with the language barrier. I’m sure you’ll be fine in no time though, a month of forced communication in another language is the best way to learn. By Argentina, you’ll be a maestro.

    You should take some pictures of those west coast sunsets, us east coast natives don’t understand just how beautiful they can get. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned to appreciate during my study here in Fremantle. My adventure’s almost over though, spending 4 days or so in Sydney and then its home to Miami.
    But endings make way for new beginnings, don’t they? You’ve inspired my next plan: working up enough money to travel the US for a while. When the money runs thin, then I stop where I am and work up enough to get on my way again. The idea of not always living toward some future-oriented goal excites me.

    Anyway, I hope you’re met with the best of luck and stories on the road ahead! I’ll be following along, as usual.

    Peace and love,


    • Dan says:

      Keith – thanks for the great comment. I hope my home country is treating you well 😉 I have never been to Western Australia and will make sure I get there one day.
      There have been some funny situations already, nothing crazy, just a lot of shoulder shrugging and laughing. Everyone I have met has been great and totally willing to work with me, ie. speak really slowly and simply.
      I am so proud to hear I inspired your next plan! man that makes me feel good!
      I hope you have a fantastic trip & I would love to hear about where you wind up.

  4. Kori says:

    Hey hey Dan-O. So I guess this is a good spot for a little electronic interview. It seems you and Duke are making some serious tortilla land progress, I like what I’m reading. He might have told you I am almost finished with the article I am writing about your blog, however, my angle caters to my “georgia bulldog” audience. It is a personal feature about blogging and all of its benefits and I would like to include your blog as one of my examples. So, I have just a couple of questions: the first being, how has your blog benefited you personally and publicly throughout your travels? Second, is this the first time you have had your own blog? If so, what are some suggestions you have for newcomers? The tentative headline for this is: “Blogging: the new face-to-face.” It is basically focusing on how you can use a blog to get yourself out there to benefit your life–career, travels, personal relationships, etc. You can email me if you want at kori.price@gmail.com or I will just keep checking back here. Thanks so much for helping me out and I will send you the published article asap!


    • Dan says:

      Hey Kori – that sounds really cool.
      1. The blog helps me in a number of ways… It gives me a purpose on this trip, to make sure I always keep my eyes open and take everything in. It helps me keep in contact with friends and family and it gives me a real sense of achievement. This is the first time I have been creative in my life and Im loving it.
      This is my first blog – Im using WordPress for the software and hosting it on a paid account. I think wordpress is really fantastic and does everything I need. I did not look at any alternatives.
      My advice about blogging is to simply get in there and give it a try. It is amazing how many people around the world will find your site and share their thoughts as well. There is absolutely no harm in trying!
      Hope that helps, let me know if there is anything else.

  5. Brian12566 says:

    Awesome pictures…and thanks for the jeep ones!

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