A 90km off roading trip in our little 2WD

That morning we sat outside Ruby, drinking our tea in the sun and watching whales as they swam up the bay past us. Definitely worth the $5 for this camp site, especially as they never came around to ask for any more money for the second night. We also conducted some more whale watching with the help of Steve.

Around midday, we packed up our things and decided to head off. David and Katie had already left to go and stock up in the town, something we also needed to do. Despite going there on the way, we forgot one crucial item; fuel. Without sufficient fuel to get to the next southern petrol station we had no choice but to head back up north. We also wanted to use the internet, and we only got signal once we were in the town.

It’s takes about half an hour to work your way out on the dirt road, so it wasn’t long before we were at the water station again having only got enough drinking water to last us a few days previously. This time we needed to fill our main tank, shower, and drinking water. We got the guys to bring out the hose and with a little trial and error, refilled everything, including the shower. Before too long we also had fuel and a few more groceries, it was an expensive day! We headed back to the café where Katie and David had been trying to use the Wi-Fi, but apparently it wasn’t very good. In the end, we were all sitting in the car park using our phone’s data on hotspot as it’s much better than the local internet.

It was no surprise we both realised that our next planned stop was the same place, we seemed to be a following a very similar route. We were both heading towards Bahia Asuncion, which is not far as the crow flies, but on Baja’s roads was a different story.

Deciding we wouldn’t make it all the way there in one go, we settled for an isolated spot besides some salt flats just off the main road. We arrived just as the sun had set, to a completely desolate and silent landscape. We were not the only campers out here but also the only living thing, including plants! Still, this would make for a quiet night which is always a good thing.

We spent our evening sat in Mister Taro (their camper), drinking a few beers and chatting. Katie cooked them a proper meal, while we ate cornbread and ranch sauce, as you do.

The salt flats have an odd kind of beauty to them, in the pattern that are formed on the surface and the crystals of salt.

As peaceful as it was, it wasn’t a spot to stay in for long, and by mid-morning we were ready to head out on the final part of the journey to Bahia Asuncion. Leaving the salt flats behind us and heading back to the main road.

Arriving in this small village, our main destination was the the local taqueria, however it was unfortunately closed. Everything looked fairly deserted, including the local school.

Nevertheless, outside we met Deri who welcomed us into the small restaurant despite the fact it was closed. He gave us the Wi-Fi password (which actually produced functioning Wi-Fi) and we got a few drinks.

The weather had taken a turn for the worse and was not only windy, but had started to spit with rain. Therefore, we didn’t feel like we were missing much by sitting inside. Deri brought us out some nachos, and also some of his mother’s homemade clam soup. I’m not entirely into clams, so Lee ended up with a doubly clammy soup, which he wasn’t entirely into either.

It was also pretty entertaining that Deri’s dog was called Lee too, and looked like this.

We spent a while making use of the internet, and it was coming up to 3pm by the time we decided to head off. From here, the plan was to take the dirt road down the coast to Punta Abreojos where we could come back inland and join highway 1 again. Having been reassured that this road was passable with only 2WD, we made a great start by being unable to leave the restaurant as we had sunk into the sand. After some digging and pushing, we were free and we set off down the coast.

We stopped shortly after hitting some nasty washboard to let some air out of our tyres and try and make the next part of the journey more bearable.

Nevertheless, it was still slow going. We were headed for Punta San Hipolito, which looked like a nice place to stop for the night, the dunes offering some shelter from the wind. As ever our main concern was could we get there, while not a problem for our 4X4 friends, we got stuck a lot easier especially in sand.

After only a few squishy bits, which could be solved by driving at them quickly, we arrived down at the water’s edge.

This was a truly picturesque spot to camp.

 We went for a wander around the beach and I was excited to see that there was a lot of washed up abalone shells here. While we were about to lost the light that day, next morning definitely called for a walk down the beach.

The morning we hunted around the rock pools for any stranded lobsters that we might be able to claim for breakfast, but didn’t have much luck. We did see a small octopus however, but I really don’t know how I feel about catching and killing one of those. I went on my wander down the beach and found a whole load more shells for my ever expanding collection. Lee looked slightly horrified as I began to stuff them under the front seat, “You’re keeping all of them?” He enquired. “Well, I might for now.” I replied nonchalantly, but we both knew it was a farce and that not only am I keeping them all, forever. I’ll keep picking more up at every available beach we get near…

Our stop off for the next night was around 35km away and would supposedly take us 1.5hrs, which gives you an idea of the road conditions. We left around midday and thought we would make our way slowly towards the next beach, trying not to destroy our suspension. We initially tried to follow the coast road as it hadn’t been as rough on the section we drove the previous day, but it wasn’t long before it turned into deep sand and we had to get pushed back out again.

While we didn’t get to any points where we thought we would get stuck after the first time, some of the road was quite rough and I scraped our already damaged sump a few times trying to get over some particularly steep ridges. Fortunately, this didn’t do any further damage and we reached small parking area around half a mile from the main road on the side of a huge beach, this was the bay of San Hipolito.

We camped up in a sheltered spot behind the dunes, as it was pretty windy, and we couldn’t go any further onto the sandy beach without getting stuck again. Lee decided it was about time we had another fire, and set off to find some wood. On returning, he told us that there was another car on the beach. It turns out we were not the only ones who got stuck today, and we ended up giving some friendly locals, with a cockerel in a cardboard box, a push off the beach.

Firewood gathered, and fire pit built, we sat outside in our chairs and made the most of it being warm enough to do just that. We ate our respective dinners outside by the fire, and listened to a bit of music. Just another chilled evening with nice people, again.

We had the last section of bad road to complete in the morning, although there was only about 12km left before we hit the town of La Bocana and from there it would hopefully be a better road. Getting pretty sick of some pretty hard-core washboard, I was glad we would soon be back on better roads. At one point we tried to avoid the very wash boarded road for a bumpy road instead. Not the ‘official’ road, but quite passable on the whole. We only got to one point at a small dried up river crossing which needed us to get out and check we could make it. Just about, is the answer, and it’s a good job I’m not precious about our front bumpers paintwork.

Soon enough, especially compared to yesterday’s drive, we reached the town of La Bocana. This was helped by a large section of road that was actually quite pleasant to drive. The compacted section at the back of the beach allowed us to fly down a fair section at the coast well over 30mph, which was actually pretty fun.

Aimee also enjoyed the breeze as we flew along the beach.

We carried on through La Bocana, towards Punta Abreojos, a little further down the coast. The roads at this point were surfaced again, and it was a pleasant experience for the driver and no doubt Ruby herself, after 90km of dirt road.

As we never got our fish tacos in Bahia Asuncion, now was the time. We settled for Juanita’s, mainly because it was one of the only places open. Parking up outside it felt strangely like being near an English beach, definitely something to do with the tacky plastic bins in the shape of dolphins and the street lighting. The main difference of course is that here it’s warm and sunny and you can also get a meal and a drink for £5. They were also the best fish tacos I’ve had so far, although in every place we’ve been it’s nice to see your food made in front of you to order. Everything is very fresh, from the lettuce to the fish which was no doubt caught that morning.

We settled for a free camp spot just up the around the point at the beach. There was a couple of other campers here, as well as a sign prohibiting you from catching certain seafood, but it was another beautiful spot, if a little windy.

As seems to be the way, the breeze died down in the evening, saving us from rearranging our entire living space to sleep downstairs.

When we had arrived the previous night we spoke to another camper to check we were allowed to stay, after seeing the ‘prohibido’ sign. He spoke of how the lobsters in their traps often wash up on the beach but that you aren’t supposed to touch them, even to put them back. Therefore, we went to see if there were any unfortunate lobsters that morning that we could sneakily liberate, regrettably for us though, the beach was empty.

Our next step from here was to re-join Highway 1, as it headed from west to east and started to descended further south. The road out to join this was tarmacked, but had plenty of bad sections which seemed to pop up out of nowhere if you weren’t paying attention. Definitely not something you wanted to hit at 60mph, so our journey was a little stop-start until we hit the main highway. The only good thing about the road was that following someone else gives you advanced warning of potholes, so I had a little more time to react as I watched Katie dodging some of the worst ones.

Shortly after joining Highway 1, is another military checkpoint. While there have supposedly been a few accounts of the guards here being a little light fingered, we had no problems as we pass through. It’s the first time we’ve had to show ID, but after a cursory check they let us go and we carried on towards San Ignacio.

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