Our trip north of the border
23 November 2019
The beautiful Baja drive
Our planned trip north to Washington for our usual fall visit kept getting delayed by one thing after another until we decided it wouldn’t be prudent to do the drive so late in the year. Early snows in some areas along with wildfires in California and Baja sealed the deal, so it was time for plan B.
We still needed to drive north because it was time to renew our 6 month FMM’s (tourist visas) — and we’d already prepared our “wish lists” of supplies that we wanted from the States so we decided to make a quick trip up the Baja to San Diego and back to take care of everything.
It turned out to be a rather enjoyable trip as Hwy 1 has had a major facelift over the last couple years and the terrible pot holes are almost completely gone and much of the road is freshly repaved and widened as well!
We also changed up our pattern and tried out a couple new hotels this trip. On the way up we pressed on past our usual stop at Guerrero Negro and stayed at the charming hotel at Cataviña. It made for a bit longer drive but it wasn’t bad with the improved road conditions. So the 2nd day we were able to go beyond our usual stop at San Quintin and stayed in Tecate (where we cross the border). That turned out great because we would usually reach Tecate late in the day when the lines to cross were the longest resulting in 1-2 hour waits. Being able to choose our time we crossed the border about 8 am (after the early morning crowd) and it only took us about 15 minutes! That was nice.
We spent 2 nights in San Diego shopping at Target, West Marine and, of course, Costco as well as getting new tires put on the car. We were stocked up and ready to roll!
We left at the crack of dawn and we were changing our driving plans as we went because there was a late Tropical Storm that formed and was heading to Baja! We weren’t afraid of Raymond turning into a hurricane but rather we wanted to be done driving before heavy rains hit making for nasty driving conditions — or even flash floods or wiping out roads.
So we bypassed our planned stop at our favorite Hotel Santa Maria with its great Long Beach on the Pacific Ocean and we pressed on all the way to Guerrero Negro, pulling into Hotel Terra Sal just as the sun was beginning to set. Another good day for a long drive.
We didn’t have to leave as early the next day because we didn’t have as far to go, but we also knew the rains were moving up from the south and had already started in Puerto Escondido. We made reservations in Loreto (only 20 miles north of PE) so we wouldn’t have to unpack in the rain after the drive.
We saw our 1st rain drops just north of Santa Rosalia but we were very fortunate to not hit “real” rain until a few miles outside of Loreto. We enjoyed a relaxing evening at the Hacienda Suites and hit the grocery store for some fresh foods before driving home the next morning.
We were able to slowly unpack the car between rain showers so it was easy to get everything stowed away. A good end to a great trip.
And I have to give a big shout out to Roadtrip Rosie who is a fantastic passenger. She has the routines down pat and I think she almost enjoys the trips. We have a traveling toilet for her in the back of the car (she’s trained to a toilet not a litter box) so we don’t have to worry about her if she doesn’t get a chance to go before we take off. She likes to curl up in a tub we put in the back seat and sleeps for most of the drive — but when we reach our destination we say “time to go inside” and she gets right in her carrier ready to go explore a new place.