We are cruising down Mex 1 on the Baja. The lanes are super narrow, there is absolutely no shoulder, and it drops off immediately on the other side of the white line. It is a relatively peaceful moment as both boys are asleep in the back and there is no oncoming traffic, so Matt isn’t as concerned about staying exactly in his lane. Suddenly, we both look over and there is a white semi passing us, his mirrors practically touching ours. We both gasp as Matt moves over a few inches and the semi passes us safely by.
In a few miles we can breathe normally again and laugh about our close call. But it is a good reminder about how quickly something can happen. Suddenly, I notice all of the roadside shrines. These are real people, someone’s loved one, who passed on too early.
We are relieved to see the beautiful Sea of Cortez as we crest the hills through the dry dessert, glimmering like a sapphire. We arrive in Bahia de los Angeles and find a place in an RV park by the water. It is a beautiful location, but it looks like it has seen better days. Everything is run down, garbage is strewn about, and it is super windy. We run into town for some groceries and decide to check out the place next door. We are looking for some place nice to spend Christmas. It is much nicer, with palapas on the beach.
On a whim, we decide to keep driving to the end of the road to check out the remote camping spot called Playa la Gringa. We get to the end of the pavement and keep driving on the dirt road. There are fewer and fewer houses. The road gets rougher. The kids want to get back to the trailer to play and the sun is starting to get low in the sky, so I tell Matt he can turn around if he wants. I don’t think we can get the trailer out here anyway. But Matt wants to keep going. We have come this far, we might as well see what is out here.
We cross a fence and after a while we come to a little house. Matt gets out and talks with the man there. He tells us we can camp anywhere along the beach or at the end of the bay. When Matt asks him how much it costs, he says it is Christmas, we can pay whatever, he just would like to have people to come out to enjoy it.
We drive around and pull up to the gravel beach. There are pelicans diving into the water. Not just one or two, but maybe 50. Seagulls are everywhere. Wait, there are also porpoise! We jump out of the truck and see whales blowing. It is a feeding frenzy. Seals are jumping in and out around the birds. We can’t even believe what we are seeing.
We decide to drive a little further down the beach to get a closer look at some activity further down. The whales are only about 20 yards offshore. Are they going to beach themselves? Incredible! The sun is quickly going down and we should get home before it gets too dark. But we just can’t tear ourselves away. We are enthralled. The wind is calm and the water is silky in the late afternoon light.
Finally the activity dies down a bit and we head out. As we get in the car I notice something along the side of the road. It comes toward us. It is a coyote. It seems unconcerned by us and trots by us.
As we drive away, Matt says, “We are coming back here! We will find a way to get the trailer down the road. This is where we are going to spend Christmas!”