In December we hit the dusty trail all the way up the Baja Peninsula for what we thought would be a two week road trip. Little did we know, this trip would lead to a long term change of scenery. (More on that later).
We rented a car and did our best to (over)insure ourselves as we knew we would be taking it into the States. We were honest about our intentions to take the car across the border, and we found Alamo in La Paz to be the most helpful and affordable under those circumstances.
Only a small portion of the drive was unpaved. Hurricane Odile damaged the main highway and repairs were underway.
Leg One: La Paz to Loreto
Our first leg was a little over a four hour drive to Loreto. Loreto might be the most charming Baja town. Our digs for the night were at La Damiana Inn (for less than $40 USD). La Damiana is a small property of colorful, roomy casitas. The host (I wish I could remember his name!) offered us jamaica tea and cervesa when we arrived, showed us around, and gave us a great dinner recommendation. With that, we made our way to Orlando’s and filled up on margaritas, tortilla soup, and chile rellenos.
La Damiana courtyard
Leg Two: Loreto to El Rosario
We knew the drive from Loreto to El Rosario would be a long one, so we left at sunrise. The rule of thumb when driving the Baja Peninsula is to only drive during daylight hours. Cows are a hazard as they wander onto the roads at night.
Our dock neighbor in La Paz recommended the stop in El Rosario to make the final leg with the border crossing shorter. He also recommended we stay at the Baja Cactus Motel, (again less than $40 USD). Both suggestions turned out to be good ones. The hotel is also right next to the popular Mama Espinoza restaurant where Baja 1000 memorabilia covers the walls. We had a quick and tasty Mexican diner style dinner there.
Final Stretch: El Rosario to Tijuana
From El Rosario, we had a about a four hour drive to Tijuana. We arrived at the border around noon, rolled down the window to purchase short-term car insurance from one of the street vendors ($25), and were visiting with family in Southern California by 2:30 PM. Not too shabby.
We spent two and a half weeks road tripping around the West Coast, and the majority of that time was spent in the Pacific Northwest. With Redwood National Forest as our jumping off point, we hit Portland, Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, and Seattle. Unusually sunny, warm weather followed us the whole way resulting in nothing short of a love affair with the Pacific Northwest. We took the ferry from Bainbridge Island into Seattle and watched countless boats zig-zag across the water. On land, everything was in bloom and everyone was outside enjoying the sunshine. It almost made us want to live there. Almost.
Next Door, Port Angeles, Washington
Port Angeles, Washington
Silver Falls, Oregon
Olympic National Park, Washington
Whew. We have been on the go, and not in our sailboat. In the last 8 weeks, we have been to Hawaii by air (maybe the next visit will be by sail!) followed by road tripping all over the West Coast. We’ll share photos from all of our stops, but here are some iPhone snapshots from our week long trip to Oahu.
We hiked to the top of Koko Head Crater – about a mile straight up on railroad ties. It burns. Our goal was to get there at sunrise, and even though we left our place at 5:30 AM, traffic was so terrible we didn’t get to the base of the mountain until 7 AM. Nonetheless, the view was amazing. Behind us is Hanauma Bay where we snorkled the day before.d
Jeff and I hiked to this waterfall and had it all to ourselves. We love opportunities to enjoy little slices of nature. And then – on our way out – we passed a charming couple who warned us about the dangers of leptospirosis from swimming in pools like this. Awesome. Thank you.
One morning we did a run/swim/run from the condo to this pristine lagoon. I could backfloat the day away in this water, I love it so.
Waimea Valley Botanical Garden.
Waiting for the right time to swim through the shore break at Waimea Bay. Wise old sea turtles at Laniakea Beach. Makapu’u