Day one started out with crossing the border at Tecate. 10 miles after crossing we would be airing down for the rest of the trip. The compadre trails high reaching pine forest awaited us. We stopped at the rope bridge to do a little exploring. It’s fairly secure with one person, but cross with 6 and it bounces like a trampoline! With a new sense of adventure we changed course and decided to get a little techy on the goat trail on our way to Vally T. Once there, we filled up on some authentic mexican food and gassed up for the next leg. We moved on to the El Diablo dry lake where we picked up some speed and serious dust clouds! On the way we ran across our first Federales check point. Not to worry, we shared some beer and took some pictures and moved right along. After passing through the dry lake and skirting through the slit beds we arrived at San Felipe. Our beautiful sunset was followed by some 4th of July fireworks that we enjoyed from our rooftop. Nothing like ending the day in a private house, cooking some carne asada for dinner, having a few beers, hanging out with friends and passing out.
Getting an early start on the second day we passed through town and headed to the Chanate wash. Since it was recently used in the SCORE San Felipe 250 it was a bit of a bumpy ride. We took the time to stop and explore some caves before moving on to follow the race course up to Mike’s Sky Rancho. Once there, we ventured out in search of a waterfall with only a few Spanish directions. With no guides, signs, or roped off access it took a little searching but we found it. The waterfall ran down into several individual pools, and after a quick dip we headed back for Mike’s famous wood-fired steak and tortillas, and of course margaritas!
Waking up on the 3rd morning we had some fresh coffee and homemade breakfast, with again amazing tortillas (why are those so good!) and we headed toward the Pacific via El Coyote and the Mellings Ranch. Good thing we love rocks, 4Lo, going slow for a change! We had some of the best company with cows, horses, goats, and ranchers. Passing through gates, cows in the road, and water crossing took the diversity to a different level. Then things got rocky and rough and we had to do some flexing and spotting. After spending a few hours to go only a few miles, and hitting the rock rails a few times, we reached highway. We immediately turned back onto dirt and drove to cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean! Driving right along the edge we followed the cliffs and ocean until we found the Shipwreck of Camalu! Moving on to the Hotel Santa Maria, which is right on the beach, we enjoyed a few beverages, sand dunes, and a celebratory birthday dinner!
After 525 miles of off road, most of that race course and way too much fun, it was finally time to head home. The drive back is always a little sad. We never want to leave Baja. So we cheered ourselves up sliding on the vineyard road all the way to Valley T. We made it to the border in no time for some churros and tortillas (Yes, again), and sadly left the beautiful freedom that is Mexico, until next time.