February 6th, 2019
Early each morning Jane met a group on the beach to meditate to the sounds of the waves washing onto the Gulf shore. It is something she has kept up each morning even after leaving Mexico.
One morning (the 4th) a small group of us got up at sunrise and walked to the north end of town where there is a mountain to climb.
The peak is in the distance of the 2nd & 3rd photos. There are a whole bunch of RV parks on the north side of San Felipe. Many of them are are no longer being used. Some of them have elevated decks beside where the RV parks. It looks like they were all built before RV’s had slides though as not many current rigs would fit into the sites.
It seems that our leader was unsure of the correct path to get to the base of the mountain and the trail up. We first ended up walking into a gated personal residence from the beach side. The grounds workers let us continue out the other side (past a really nice pool!) and back down onto the beach. We next went past a military building where we were told we would have to loop back as the path forward was blocked by a tall fence. At least that’s what I think we were told. Yo no hablo español. The fellow explaining this had a large quantity of ammo clips stuffed into his vest so best do what he says.
After a couple more misdirects and retraces we found the base of the mountain where the trail starts. Not exactly a hiking trail. More of a climbing/scramble trail. It is used by the military to get supplies to the outpost on the top of the 2nd peak. They supposedly watch for dolphin poaching from up there….. maybe. After we had gone about 50ft up, Jane and a couple of other girls decided it was more climbing than hiking and they went back down to walk around to the other side of the mountain while the rest of us continued upwards.
I stopped at the first peak while a couple of others went to the top peak. On the way back down I figured just going straight down the face of the mountain wouldn’t be that hard. Most of it was large boulders with some smaller scree spots. The first picture below is about halfway down. Mark followed me down and we both made it to the bottom with a minor scrape or two and nothing broken. That makes it a good hike in my books!
One evening, a couple of days before the end of the trip, we all headed into town for dinner and drinks at La Vaquita restaurant. At the center of town there were a group of locals moving down the beach with metal detectors. I went down to talk to them and the lead guy was the only one who spoke any English. He said they come out after the tide has been high and there have been good waves to look for coins and other stuff along the ledge created by the waves. They moved pretty fast and he showed me a whole pocket full of coins.As I walked back up past where they’d been digging I picked up a 50 centavo piece they’d turned up but missed. Score! A whole 3 cents US!
We all piled around the San Felipe sign for a group photo. I couldn’t find the picture anywhere so this is a capture from a time lapse video shot by Wobly.
We stopped at a bar along the way to the restaurant where we all got free margaritas. This had been arranged by JP (Xscapers lead) and it wasn’t the first time he’d arranged for us to get freebies in town. The meal at La Vaquita was very good. The margaritas were free and also very good. I don’t do food pictures but the Rollo Vaquita looked good and tasted great.
Spotted this truck on the street. Looks like it was moving day for these folks.
The water wasn’t very warm during our stay. Okay, it was rather chilly but no way I’m going to a beach area and not going swimming.
We were out in town for food and/or drinks a number of nights. One of the bars is Al’s Backstreet Cantina. It looked to be the spot for the expats as every one in there was American or Canadian whenever we went by. The bar has bra’s and underwear hanging from the ceiling that has been left by patrons. None of our group contributed.
We left San Felipe on February 6th heading back to Mexicali and the crossing back into the US. Some people either remained behind in San Felipe or planned to travel elsewhere in Baja. There was about 40 rigs in the caravan back to the US.
Some large auto recycling yards on the way into town.
This wrecked Boeing 727 was from a controlled crash done in Mexicali on April 27, 2012. It was fitted with crash test dummies, cameras and instruments to determine crash survivability. It was also filmed for television.
When we got into Mexicali we again had the police blocking intersections so that we didn’t have to stop until the border.
At the border there were two lanes reserved for us to clear through. We ended up in the left lane and the turn into the booth was very tight with steel pylons protecting the scanners. The fifth wheel in front of us made the turn with an inch to spare. I went as wide as I could going through and cleared without hitting anything. The couple behind us weren’t as lucky. We heard later that they caught the back corner of their trailer and tore the awning loose and a rear stabilizer jack. Not a good way to end a great trip.
Next stop Borrego Springs a couple of weeks.