Thursday, April 7, 2016

Day 7 *Baja~ Tecolote. La Paz. Beach Camping

February 10, 2016
If this life is's ever-changing!
We woke up this morning and the wind was just as strong if not stronger than when we arrived last night. The sky was nice, clear and the bluest of blues, so we didn't think anything of a storm coming through. 


I couldn't even make coffee or breakfast outside due to a few factors, the wind being so strong I couldn't keep a flame burning if I could even get the stove to light at all and sand was being blown everywhere. I would have just made everything inside but after hanging out for about a half an hour, while feeling out the area and discussing options once again & what our goals were, we decided to pack up and scout out a different spot.

Playa Tecolote

We thought maybe the wind was so strong because of the side of the water we were on or maybe there was a storm coming, maybe the wind wouldn't be so bad on the other side of this hill....? There is a hill that is at the end of the peninsula where a house sits, there are a couple of roads that go up and around it. 

Last night, I had gotten up due to a bright light shining inside the van at 4 a.m...I thought someone was shining a flashlight into the side window, it was soo bright it startled me awake. I got to the front seat of the van to look out and saw the brightest light and thought to myself, I don't remember a Lighthouse up there...but it was kind of dark and I was driving. 

After sitting and looking at it for probably a half an hour, seeing it move around, I figured out that it was a 4x4 truck with Baja lights on those things are BRIGHT!

After telling my story to Jamie about the hill, we pretty much threw everything back in the van that we had to take out last night, and started driving to the other side of this hill, sans breakfast and coffee.
The views from the hill are just spectacular. We probably would have just camped where you see the van parked in the picture below, but there is a little house there that comes right to the road that wraps around the hill, so that wasn't possible. 

Once we started driving around the hill, it pretty much just turns into an ATV/off-road trail, but it looked easily passable for any vehicle. There is a small inlet looking area, where you could camp but there was an RV there and certain parts of this area were caution taped off, so we just kept on driving, not knowing if the RV and area closure were related. Driving on down the dirt trail, up ahead we could see some nicely built, big houses. We came to a guarded gate in front of a humongous house (I think it was a house), the guard came out to talk to us and pleasantly told us we would have to turn around to get back to the asphalt, we could not pass through this area....must be some high rollers in there! We turned around and went back down the trail but instead of going around the hill, we drove through the dune trail, until we were back on beach sand.

There seems to be a couple of restaurants and a bar here at Tecolote, none of them looked open but maybe it was the not so great weather and no one was out...but definitely looks like it could be a fun place if the wind had died down just a little bit. 

It also seems that they might do Whale Shark, snorkeling, Sea Lion and Island Tours by boat from here as well, as they had signs up promoting this.

From Tecolote we drove back to La Paz, the GPS taking us down a different road than the one we drove down last night. We saw a couple of more spots that we may have been able to camp at or at least make for an overnight spot, for they seemed to be popular spots and not that big of an area, but definitely beautiful. 

 As we drove, we started coming into big industrial areas and the Baja Ferry sits right in with these areas with a lot of Semi-truck and Federale Traffic, so we decided against coming back to camp around this area.

Back into La Paz we were, although it kind of feels like the U.S. with the Burger Kings, Office Max', Office Depot and Sears!!
We were able to drive down a few streets that were blocked off when we drove in due to Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), although the fair rides and tents were still up, the roads weren't all closed. 
 We needed to get online to check some things and update family so we went to where we thought the best, fastest internet would be...Burger King! Plus, we needed to eat since we were running low on blood sugar at the moment. We parked in the parking area for Burger King which is free to patrons but if you want to use the restroom it costs 20 pesos!

 The food seemed the same, although I couldn't relate what mustard (mostaza) was at the time (I didn't want it on my Whopper but got it anyway) but the soda was flat and even a little warm, but we didn't get sick, so that's a plus! The play area was the biggest play area I've seen since I lived in Orlando. 

After eating, I walked outside to get some pictures of the beach and boardwalk and thought it was funny that the cashier from Burger King was getting food from one of the Festival vendors!

The Burger King internet was pretty good it was definitely better than the hour we paid near Santispac! We decided after checking everything and updating everyone to go find a place to park, not only for the night but probably for at least a week or two. We left La Paz Centro and drove back North, where we came in from Hwy 1, and from there took a paved road that forked more toward the Gulf than inland at a Pemex station, to a really long washboard dirt road (probably 7-8 miles). 

Once you get toward the end of the washboard road, there are trails that lead everywhere from the beach to a more marsh-like area to what seemed like a private Ranch but could be a neighborhood. We decided to keep going toward the water and rode up a hill that either leads straight to the water or you can drive another 10+ miles on the graded dirt road to the South. 

The first time up this road, we went straight to the water. We could tell there is a lot of traffic through this area by the way the soft sand looks but, and it is very soft sand, so without our tires aired down, we punched through it and got to the sand down by the water which is a bit harder and easier to ride on.

We drove down the beach to the South about 10 miles, turned around and drove back North to the entrance, then another 10 miles or so. 

The North end of the beach doesn't seem to get as much traffic due to the "moving dunes" and rockier areas, that at high tide cut the dry sand out of the equation completely. 

After not really finding any good places that we felt secure enough to set-up camp, we turned around and went back out where we entered the beach area then drove down the washboard road another 7 miles South (toward La Paz) until we got to a gated area (this area leads to the condos). At this point, we thought we had wasted a whole bunch of time on a beach that we can't camp on, due to the tides coming up too close to the dunes, but when we got out to walk around and stretch our legs we found a really soft sandy road that drove right along the fence line. We figured we didn't have anything to lose to try it so, we turned down the road and drove. This road wasn't graded, nor washboard, it was a super soft, soupy, sandy road...I'm not sure the van had ever been on such soft sand before. Joon did pretty good until we got to a certain point of the road where it got just a little bit hilly and she started to have maneuvering issues. 

Airing down Joon's tootsies

We now stopped, aired down the tires to about 15 and went on with the drive...she now drove the road like, "What's the problem?"
  We arrived back on the same beach we had just left but the tide didn't look like it was coming up too high for us to park, so just in case, we tucked up into a dry area of the dunes with not too much leveling to do and turned her off for the day.

The dogs were sure happy to be out of the van, to run and play and smell all of the new smells! We were happy too, to be in a place we could (hopefully) park for a little while. 

All giddy

I think she likes it!

My happy babies

The place we are camped is great, doesn't seem to get much traffic and is pretty close to La Paz for supplies and our favorite word...FREE!!!!

I'll let you know how it goes. 

Until then...



  1. Great report! Keep the baja gods happy(hope you brought along a few sacrificial chickens). Keep safe.

  2. We like your post, Hello! how do you run your Dometic CF-35AC Portable Refrigerator / Freezer in your Van camper with What kind of 12V battery do you use?
    Thank you for your help in advance

    1. Sorry for the late reply. We run the fridge off of our solar (280 watts) Two 140 watt panels. Our battery is a 12v Universal Battery (UB122500) 12 volt and is connected to a Solar Boost 3000i Blue Skies MPPT controller. We have no problem with power and now with this new controller have even more power than we need.
      Hope that helps you out!