Today we finally reached our interim destination, Chula Vista, California. It’s right on the Mexican border and is the gathering point for our caravan south down the Mexican Baja to Cabo San Lucas. No more snow or ice, just warm sunny Southern California weather. The drive from Yuma brought us first through the Imperial Valley of California. The waters of the Colorado River have turned this desert area into a garden of eating. This is a primary source of many of those California-grown fruits and vegetables enjoyed across the country. Then it was over some mountains and through the Manzanita Indian Reservation where Hubby’s mom grew up. It was a pretty stark, unappealing area so we could see why she left when she was 16. We saw more windmills and were hearten by another sighting of this growing clean energy source. Before we knew it we were in San Diego and maneuvering down the 805 to the Chula Vista RV Resort.
Chula Vista Resort is another of those urban campgrounds. The sites have cement pads, no trees and just enough space to back in and open your slides and awning without touching your neighbor. Its saving grace is the location, next to a beautiful park, a marina and the water.
It will be our base of operation as we prepare to spend 28 days caravanning down the Baja. A caravan is a preplanned, fully scheduled tour joined by up to 25 RV’s. There are several companies that run them and you can join them to tour Alaska, New England, Canada and dozens of others places. We have never been on a caravan before, preferring to plan our own trips and go at our own schedule. Mexico was a different animal, as they say. The Good Sam people who ran the tour had been doing this for years. They knew which campgrounds had drinkable water, they knew the roads, the language, the places to stop and ins and outs of passing the military checkpoints we would encounter. They also had the experience to deal with any number of issues that might come up when traveling in a foreign country.
We attended a welcome lunch to meet our trip leaders and the other caravan participants. We looked around the room and wondered how it will be to travel with these 40 people for the next month. While reading through our itinerary of scheduled stops, tour options, dinners and planned outings we hoped we wouldn’t regret giving up our usual travel flexibility. When they announced we would be lining up to leave at 7 AM and that would be our usual travel routine, we had a feeling there might be too much structure on this adventure. Concerned we might have made an expensive mistake signing onto a caravan we headed back to the RV to pack up and get ready for that early morning reveille. Cabo San Lucas here we come.