Sunday, January 11, 2015

The downside of travel: Getting sick.

We have both been really sick this week with flu/cold symptoms of coughing, running nose, the whole disaster. These are the consequences of being stuffed into airplanes and buses with people from everywhere. It has been a completely lost week for us, mostly sleeping, taking drugs, watching TV and trying to recover the best we can.

The only bright spot is that the weather here in DC has been really cold and the roads are icy so we wouldn't have been riding bikes or doing anything outside anyway.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The long drive home

Nothing left but the dash back to California.

We stopped to see the California Grey Whales in one of the protected channels near Adolfo Lopez Mateos on the Pacific side of the Baja.

Two night drives in a row.

Hunter's bag being searched at yet another military checkpoint

 Simple menu at a chicken shack along the way.

 Goodbyes in San Francisco. Lyle - driver and owner, on the right. Natalia was on our Alaska trip, too,

La Paz, swimming with whale sharks, swimming naked.

La Paz! Internet, laundry, showers, sheets, and margaritas! We celebrated New Years in La Paz, wend swimming with the whale sharks, and added the Gulf of California to our lifelong list of bodies of water that we have gone skinny dipping in. 

Sweet sweet margaritas.

This is the Hotel Yeneca where most people stayed. Funky, strange and fun. They didn't seem to mind when firecrackers were lit in the courtyard.

 The "Malecon" is the main drag through La Paz and it had statues and sculptures every block. We liked this guy. 

 More of the Malecon

We went swimming with the whale sharks on one of the days. This is what the advertisements show:

This is the reality:

Still, pretty cool experience despite the really cold and murky waters. 

Todos Santos and Cabo San Lucas and the camp at Cabo Pulmo

We left the beach camp in the evening, transferred all of our stuff back onto the big bus, and drove overnight, waking up in the lovely little town of Todos Santos. Most of us went to the Hotel California for breakfast and then did a little shopping before shoving off for Cabo San Lucas. We dropped anchor at Cabo for about 3 hours - enough time for lunch, sightseeing, checking email and doing those things that people do in overly commercialized tourist towns.

After that, we got back on the bus and drove to Cabo Pulmo where we would spend the next two days. We arrived in Cabo Pulmo at night and had to set up camp in the wind and the dark. Sherry and I retreated deep into the sand dunes overlooking the beach and tried not to strangle one another as we set up a flapping tent using our headlamps.

 The bus at the Cabo Pulmo site.

Getting ready to cook

Our tent in the dunes

The view from the tent site

The view from the top of the hill near the tent

Hunter on the beach.

The Beach Camp!

After waking up on day three, we were getting close to our beach camp. The camp is down a road that is too rough for the bus, so we transferred ourselves and our gear to an old short school bus and were transported to the camp. Most of us hiked the last 6 miles or so to the camp, arriving mid-afternoon.

Our chariot for transferring from the big bus to the beach camp.

 All of us packed into the school bus for the bumpy ride

Here is a quick overview of the beach camp. You can view it directly in YouTube at this link if you want to.

The beach camp is about 2/3 of the way to the right of the photo, behind the "alligator head" point that is sticking out into the bay.

Hiking down to the beach camp - about a 6-mile walk. 

Brushing up on the local dialects.

About an hour's walk from camp, there is a natural hot spring that is only uncovered at low tide. You need to wait for a while for the seawater to heat up, and you risk burning your butt on the hot water flowing into the pool, but it was warm and cozy.

A lot of us took the mule ride around the area. Here are Hunter and Mike from the back.

More mule shots.

 Hunter getting ready to ride

Look ma, no hands!

Sherry of the Pampas.

 We also had the option of a pickup truck ride over to Agua Verde, the little town about 7 miles from the camp.