Well that didn’t last long!

We woke at the gorgeous La Pastora beach, in our new travellers community. We had been travelling with David and Katy for almost three weeks and managed to go one night by ourselves before finding ourselves in another group.

Our new Vanlife community

We spent the morning getting to know our new neighbours a little better. There was Danny, a guy travelling from New York with his dog bodhi. John and Ina, an American guy from New Jersey, travelling with his Norwegian girlfriend in their converted shuttle bus. Jerome and Meli, an Austrian couple, travelling with their dog Leni. Rachel and Ola, film producers documenting travels driving from Baja to Alaska. They too had a dog. A young pup by the name of Astro. There was also a Canadian couple, Luke and Emma, who had travelled south with their cat Tonto. It was our first real experience meeting another couple travelling with a cat. Aimee and Tonto weren’t quite sure what to make of each other.

We hadn’t really prepared for staying in a spot for more than a night, and we were pretty low on supplies. We had stopped of briefly the night before, to buy a bottle of champagne to celebrate our six months of travelling, but didn’t have much else. With no shops within walking distance, I set off on my bike towards the nearest grocery store. It was supposedly fifteen minutes away, but the majority of the journey was on soft sand, so it was a real struggle trying to cycle there. I did eventually make it there and back, the journey taking just over an hour in the end. Exhausted, I was looking forward to relaxing and enjoying a beer in my chair. However, during my absence, a small swarm of bees had infiltrated the camp and randomly decided to settle on my chair. One of the campers, who were at the beach before our group arrived, bravely picked it up and moved it away from the circle. The bees seemed unbothered by this though, and continued to chill on my chair. Clearly appreciating it’s quality!

New home for my chair
They seemed pretty happy

It didn’t matter too much, as our water tank ran out shortly after, leaving us with no choice, other than to drive out of Todos Santos to a water refill station. Driving down the road I had just painstakingly cycled down earlier.

With the water refilled, we stopped off for more supplies, as I had allocated most of my storage capacity to beer on my bike run. We then returned to our place in the van circle, almost making it across the soft sand, but stopping a few minutes from where we wanted to park. The evenings food event had started, so we had a nice crowd watching us grind to a halt. Luckily, it wasn’t too stuck, and I was able to push us back to the safety of our spot.

Pop up vegan food event

As the rest of the group were enjoying their vegan food event, we decided to cook our meal, which was similar to the group’s starter. We cooked smoked aubergine parcels, filled with mozzarella and served with a smoked aubergine mash. A favourite of ours! It is a simple dish, but the prep takes a way, so by the time we had cooked and ate it, the others when finishing our the last of their final course.

We joined everyone around a camp fire and spoke to a few more of our neighbours. We spoke to a young married couple, Matt and Sam, who were planning on shortly heading over to the mainland. There was also a local family at the event. Rob and Jennifer, who were there with their two daughters. They lived in Todos Santos, and were camping with is in their tents. As the night wore on, everyone mingled whilst the booze flowed. For people who normally seek isolation away from others, we were once again really enjoying being in the company of like-minded travellers.

Drinks around the fire

The next day, we actually managed to chill out. With nowhere else to be, we spent the day relaxing, catching up on our blog writing, which had fallen even further behind by this point! The beers were still on my chair, so I had to make do using other people’s, hoping that they would leave on their own accord by the time we decided to move on.

We decided to take a stroll down the beach to see more baby turtles released. It wasn’t that far to get back to Playa Tortuga, however it was actual quite hard work walking across the beach. The sand was deep and thin, grabbing onto our feet with every step. To our surprise, we spotted a whale just a couple of metres away from the shore. If the waves weren’t so violent, we could have easily swam out to it.

The waves were strong
Whale close to the shore

Once again, we watched as volunteers dropped the new hatchlings on the shore and watched as they scrambled to freedom, being washed back at their early attempts, before finally being rewarded with freedom.

Back at the camp, we enjoyed some more drinks around a fire, we were joined by some local farmers, who although they didn’t speak much English, they knew the universal language for ‘party’. We stayed up until the early hours of the morning, listening to music and bonding over stories. This socialising was turning out to be quite enjoyable!

Relaxing on a beach was all fine and well for a bit, but eventually, that twitchy, fidgety feeling started bubbling from within. Craving a change of scenery, the group decided that we would move to Cerritos Beach together. Supposedly, Cerritos had better surf, and we were with a few keen surfers. Surfing isn’t really a practical activity back home in Birmingham, and so I had never actually attempted to catch some waves. Having watched members of our group head out into the water everyday had definitely got me interested in giving it ago.

Before moving on, we decided to stop off at a local launderette, to get back ontop of our dirty laundry. Dropping it off, we popped to a vegetarian restaurant for lunch. Choosing a noodle salad and a peanut curry. The food was tasty, if not a little bit expensive compared to our recent taco experiences. The launderette was slammed, so we set off towards the main town to do some sightseeing.

Noodle salad
Peanut curry

Browsing through lots of cheap ‘touristy tat’, I did buy myself a new necklace, as I had carelessly lost my last one in the Borrego Springs golf resort. We also bought ourselves another sign for the van, showing our appreciation for wine.

Local artwork

We popped into a place named ‘Hotel California’ and out of curiosity, I Googled to see if it had any link to The Eagles hit of the same name. It turned out to be ‘the’ actual hotel and not some after named copy. Excited, we walked through the store, followed by an overly attentive sales clerk. Desperately seeking a sale, what he actual did was out us off and so we quickly fled, without buying the post cards we had hoped to buy!

The infamous hotel

From here, we moved to the town’s local brewery bar, Todos Santos Brewing, and we quickly joined by some of our new friends, who also fancied a tipple. Beer is a big hobbie of mine, and with so many options, it felt right to order a flight selection first, to help me decide which beer was best (they had almost 20 on tap!)

Picking my drinks
Such a great selection

Enjoying the sun, we enjoyed a few beers in the bar until we started to get hungry. John recommended a local fish restaurant which he claimed served incredible tacos. Pulling up though, we were disappointed to find it closed, so we all popped across the road to sample a different venue. I left them to order, heading off to collect our laundry. If I got it right, I would arrive just in time to enjoy some delicious, freshly prepared tacos. I didn’t want to consider what I would find on my arrival of I was too late.

As luck would have it, the food hadn’t arrived yet, and nor would it for another fifteen minutes. Quick service clearly not high on their agenda!

The tacos were alright, but definitely not worth an hour’s wait overall. Fed, we all returned to our vans. No one fancied driving to Cerritos at that time, and Matt and Sam had told some of the others about a secluded beach spot on the way. All we had to go off however, was that we needed to turn right after KM marker 58. As we now had our killer LED lights, we led the way, and quickly turned off onto the first dirt road after the mile marker, following it down to a barbed wire gate, surrounded by ‘private property’ signs. We assumed that this must be the place however, so opened the gate and followed it until it finished shortly before the beach. After a few drinks in Danny’s van, we sit the sack. In the morning we would try and check out the beach, before moving onto Cerritos.