Retracing Our Steps North

A typical Baja town

Our RV caravan down the Baja is coming to a close. Our last stop is Ensenada, near the border, where we will spend our final few days, have a farewell dinner then head back to the good old US of A. First we have three straight days of driving ahead of us. By 6:30 AM everyone’s lined up on the beach in Santispac. We watched the sunrise as we hooked up the car and are the last to leave.  We go about 50 miles and stopped by the shoreline in Santa Rosalia for a breakfast break, then we drove back up Devils grade. It was much less intimidating going up than coming down and the ride was uneventful. At this point, having driven through Mexico for three weeks everyone is more comfortable with the roads and travel conditions. We don’t stop for lunch with the rest of the group in Vincineze. It’s only about 45 miles to camp, we are not hungry, Lissa is sleeping so we drive on through. The roads are very narrow and rough and we barely have room when an 18 wheeler comes by. The worst part is there is no shoulder, there is an immediate two-foot drop along the roadside, so if you go off you are in trouble.

Devil’s Grade, not bad the second time around

Military Checkpoint

We safely get to camp in Guerro Negro, but there are no whale watching excursions this time. We have time to run into town for some supplies then it’s off to Mario’s at 6 pm for a fish dinner and an early evening. We have another full day of driving tomorrow. When we wake up the water isn’t pumping at the campground,  so no showers again today. We have about a half a tank of water that we want to save for our next stop in Cantavina. It’s dry camping; no water, electric or sewer dump. On the way to Catavina we have to cross the border into Northern Baja, then we encounter an additional military checkpoint. Two federales board us. One guy opens cabinets while the other pets Lissa.  This has been a big advantage of caravan travel, the Federales don’t try and shake us down. Friends who have done this trip on their own have been pressured for bribes in order to get passed through. With the caravan they seem more interested in seeing the inside of the rigs.

The area around Catvina is one of our favorites of the trip, miles of boulder fields and cacti. We are back in the real baja desert, with the cacti and cirrios or boojum trees, that look like upside down carrots. We parked at the same campground in Catavina, turned on the generator and air conditioner and we have reached far enough north to now use our satellite dish. We caught up on the stock market, news and sports, did some reading and relaxing and Hubby fixed sausage and peppers for the evening’s pot luck dinner.  We have the usual assorment of nachos, pasta, cookies and cake at the pot luck. I’m craving fresh fruits and vegetables. We are home by 7, showered and in bed by 8:30. Hubby says he’s tired of eating with the same 40 people. Maybe they are tired of us too.

Unsafe at any speed

We left Catavina and had a nail biting ride up and down steep curves on narrow roads with no guard rails. This is definately the worst stretch of road. Some of the trucks we have seen look scary and unsafe, we should be surprised they are on the road, but after three plus weeks on the roads of the Baja, nothing surprises us. A few rigs stop for gas and sightseeing in El Rosario, but since we’d seen the town earlier we continue with others to our camp at Colonia Guerrero. This is our final stop before we reach Ensenada.  We have a meeting at 5:45 laying out the plans for our final three days of the trip and a buffet dinner at 6. We enjoyed the salad bar, veggies, mashed potatoes and chicken, a non-mexican meal. Things are almost back to normal, I even watched a Law and Order episode before turning in for the night.

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave

About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads


  1. Love your caption on the last image!!

  2. Great memories. Be well and safe travels, Ann and Jerry

  3. Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My site addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Awesome blog by the way!

  4. Arleen Henton

    We are making this trip south right now. Today we go from Guerrero Negro to Mulege (with luck).

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