About a year ago, our nomadic/hiker friends, BJ and Clara (also known by their trail names Shadow and Country Mouse) starting putting down roots again after 7 years on the road and purchased a casita on the peninsula of Baja, Mexico.
Come visit, they said! We will, we said!
Between its warm winters and cheap living, the peninsula of Baja is all the craze among van lifers lately. Most people think “Baja” is just over the Californian border, but it actually stretches down 760 miles.
Our friends live in El Sargento / La Ventana, which is more than 3/4 of the way down the peninsula and about 2 hours north of the southern tip of Cabo San Lucas (most people have heard of this popular resort area). However, their little town is devoid of any big developments with half locals, half expats. We thought about taking our van out for the long journey down the Baja to their house, but free time was actually short this winter for us, and thankfully flights from Denver are cheap and quick. Plus, Clara & BJ restored a vintage Avion trailer for their guest casita. So inviting!
While we intended to do a lot of relaxing, it’s hard for 4 hikers to sit very still. So we helped BJ & Clara explore new trails, go off road and compare different coastlines and moods of the Sea of Cortez.
Just to be fair, there was definitely some relaxing on their rooftop deck with views of the sea and in the local hot springs.
BJ & Clara are also the ones who introduced us to one of our favorite games, Monopoly Deal. There was no keeping track, but let’s just say the fact that we’ve played that game 90 million times since they introduced it last year worked in our favor.
While we thrived at indoor games, we lacked in outdoor games. More specifically, paddle boarding. Truth be told, Justin can hold his own, but this is probably the 3rd time I’ve tried paddle boarding and it confirmed that I should just stick to kayaking and canoeing.
This area of Baja is also known for kiteboarding because of the perfect winds and calm water, so their town is full of adrenaline junkies living to eat, sleep and kite. We were mesmerized watching and Justin was quick to point out how he could get into this sport. I told him not to get any ideas. One obsession at a time.
I think the thing that stood out the most from our trip was the local cuisine. It was delicious and cheap. FIVE fish tacos for $7! Muy bien! Why cook at home when you can eat so cheaply?
Also, Mexican tradition includes the celebration of the Epiphany 12 days after Christmas, which calls for a “King Cake.” When in Mexico … Anyway, it was our first experience with a King Cake, but according to Justin, it won’t be our last.
We ventured over to the nearby community of La Paz, which has a pretty promenade and nice coves for paddle boarding & snorkeling.
Justin & I have been spending lots of time apart and juggling multiple work projects, so the 6-day trip—complete with margaritas and vitamin D—was just the reset we both needed. The calendar may say winter, but the thermometer suggests otherwise! Mucho gusto!