First thing, the first day of the new year, was driving into Mexico! We entered in Tecate, and had fun driving the crowded narrow streets… The city seemed to go on forever, and we thought the roadways with all the crazy traffic challenging. Little did we know what lay ahead!
Ensenada was our first stop. We had an interesting little campground, right on the beach. Well, pretty much… there was about a 10 foot cliff, leading down to a narrow rocky beach. But it was pretty!
Our rig was a little too large for one corner in the campground, which added to the excitement, but when it was time to leave, we backed around and went out successfully a different way.
There are several RV’s “wanting a little care” in the park. I include a picture of this one, because my uncle Hollis had one like it when it was brand new. It was a high end luxurious ride in those days!
We drove into town looking for a restaurant to celebrate in, only to find most everything closed for New Year’s Day. We ate well at our own rigs!
Next stop a bit further south was right on a gorgeous beach! We just had some tiny dunes between us and the ocean, and the beach was fabulous.
A bit of a walk south led to some bigger dunes…
I loved the fascinating patterns in the sand. Some were 3D, others just mixed colors in the sand.
As we got going, it was fun to watch Jeff refuel his rig. They not only pump the gas for you, but this guy climbed up on his wheel to was the windshield.
Some great views along the way… to make up for the excitement of driving on those super narrow roads! I think it is good cardiac exercise – your heart rate doubles every time a big truck driving the opposite way clears your mirror by millimeters!
We had a campground with no services whatsoever, but they did have a little restaurant. This wooden guard was at the door.
Jeff was trying to be funny when I took this picture, saying “which lens am I supposed to look at?” The result shows he guessed wrong!
This “campground” was more like a junk car repair place. But I’ve never seen this before… a car propped on its side, with guys working on what should be the underside. I’m guessing they were just removing parts and would leave the car for scrap, but still…
Some fueling stations are smaller than others…
More roadside attractions:
Guerrero Negro means “Black Warrior,” and this town was named for a ship by that name, that got stuck in the harbor in the 1500’s or so. This place feels like a big city! We had lots of fun checking out the town.
I’d heard that the laundry places in Mexico are great. Give them a bag of dirty clothes, they wash, dry and fold them for you, all at very low rates. So we tried it. It got done, but one blouse was ruined with bleach and several shirts had dirt or mud on them! But they were neatly folded… I think we picked the wrong place. Still fun!
Our campground here had a very nice restaurant, and we enjoyed a nice dinner. Jeff had the sun in his face for my picture, so he looks like an alien! Oh, I guess we all are aliens here… but Jeff really looks like one. That picture is not photoshopped!
The world’s supply of Grey Whales comes from this lagoon! The whales eat like crazy in Alaska, then migrate down here to this lagoon. It is shallow, and probably from evaporation, it has a higher salt content than the adjoining ocean. The high salinity makes it easier to float, and Mama Whales can keep newborns at the surface more easily, until they learn how to breathe and hold their breath underwater. Isn’t that amazing?
So Whale Watching is a big thing here. We tried it out… and had a great time!
We got to wear life vests, and were offered slickers to wear over them. The boats sped along pretty quickly, so the slickers were helpful to block the wind and occasional spray.
We zoomed to the entrance of the lagoon, and soon saw several whales. A couple came right up to and under our boat! We were privileged to get covered in whale snot!
We also saw several dolphins, and one flirted with Jeff for quite a while!
The sand dunes surrounding the lagoon were beautiful.
We passed a barge loaded with salt on our way out to the lagoon entrance. On our way back, we approached more closely to look at the freeloading sea lions.
I put together a very short video of our Whaling Adventure:
Cherryl made what she called the world’s smallest terrarium. A tiny plant in a small seashell. Very cute!
It apparently wouldn’t be fair for the whales to exclusively enjoy the super salty water, so there is a salt harvesting company here. They produce 9% of the world’s salt! And most of it is industrial salt, not table salt. We took a tour to see how it’s done.
This is a pillar of salt. We were not told how it was formed, but it’s big and hard and weird. And I’m pretty sure Lot’s wife is not inside.
There was an adorable family on the tour with us, and they spoke english pretty well. Three beautiful daughters, the youngest, Neila, is just 4 years old. She was especially fun!
The Salt is harvested from 72 huge lakes. Saltwater is pumped in, then let to evaporate until they can scoop it up with huge trucks. I think the drying process takes a few years!
We drove past this mountain of salt yesterday, on the way to the whale watching. I was glad we got to play on it now!
There is also a huge area of waste salt. I’m not sure why it is waste stuff, but it makes for some interesting patterns. It looks like snow, or ice. It is very hard, and you can walk on it easily.
The little “ponds” are reminiscent of Yellowstone, but contain no boiling water! Actually, I think it is oil in the water that makes the salt crystals not form in some spots. Putting your fingers in it gets them definitely oily.
Perhaps the highlight of the trip was on the bus back, when little Neila asked her mom for pen and paper. She wrote us this nice note, while bouncing in the bus. Mom helped her with a few of the letters by making the shapes with her hands… I’ve never seen that done before. Very cool. But Neila wrote this nice request for us, and we are thrilled! Neila, I hope you’re reading this! We definitely want to be your friends!!