Graysen and Rylan are riding their bikes in the parking lot of the tiny RV park in Guerrero Negro. There isn’t much space, but at least some of it is concrete. A big RV pulls up a few spots over and out pops a little boy. His name is Kane and he is 4, just like Graysen. His dad gets his bike down and the three boys are now a gang, terrorizing the other campers. They soon move to magnet blocks and duplos and are happy for hours.
Kane and his family are just a few weeks into a 3 month trip in the Baja. They are from Victoria, BC and are stoked to find kids for their son to play with. It’s difficult for him to be the only child on a trip like this.
In the morning we notice that the van that pulled in late next to us also has a child’s bike. Soon there are four boys riding up and down the parking lot. Albert, also 4, is from Montreal and doesn’t speak much English but it doesn’t really matter. They have a common language of play.
After almost 3 months of traveling, we have only met one other family with toddlers. Kids need to play with other kids.
Guerrero Negro seems like an unlikely spot to meet other families. It’s not the nicest town, but it is a crossroads of sorts in central Baja. It is on the southern side of the “gas gap” where there is many miles without fuel. It is also a jumping off point where you can go see gray whales in their nursery lagoons.
Kane’s family leaves mid morning to go find some salt flats, and we spend the rest of the morning chatting with Albert’s parent’s while the kids play. It is so nice to have people to chat with who are in a similar situation. We commiserate about how hard it is to travel with toddlers, we compare our rigs and talk about the benefits and drawbacks of each. We talk about food, and where we’ve come from and where we are going.
Albert’s parents are also traveling with a four-month old. They are on maternity leave (thanks Canada!) for 5 weeks and trying to make the most of it. They are putting in super long days and hoping to make it to southern Baja to meet up with some friends.
We decide to drive to the next town and camp out together so we can all socialize some more. With four adults, it is pretty easy to keep an eye on the kids. They play legos for a while and then go “hunting.” We make fish tacos for dinner. Everyone contributes and the meal is easier and more fun than cooking by ourselves.
The next day they head out for another long day of driving. We explore San Ignacio and then head down to Mulege. Our campsite in Mulege is fantastic. Quiet, grassy and surrounded by orange trees. We are the only ones there and the kids are having a blast. While I am fixing dinner I hear another rig pull up. It is Kane and his family. The kids are super excited to see each other again.
We all spend the next day at the same campsite. The kids play legos on a blanket in the grass or run around like crazy people. The adults get caught up with adult things and everyone gets what they need. We share a wonderful meal together and sit around the campfire until it is time to get the kids in bed.
We decide to go to Bahia Concepcion and spend New Years together. We share more meals and margaritas while the kids play on the beach and in the turquoise water. Matt takes the kids on a hike and I take them each for a ride on the paddle board.
After 3 days we decide to all go to Loreta. We need a few days here and they are on a faster schedule, so we have to “break up.” “It’s not you, it’s me.” “You’re just too nice!” “Let’s stay friends.” We exchange information and they are on their way. We know that if we are ever in Victoria, we could stay with them. And wherever we end up they would be welcome.
Avocado Orange Salad
- One head romaine lettuce, chopped
- One large shallot or half a red onion, minced
- One large orange, peeled segmented, and cut in thirds
- One large avocado, cubed
- Half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Squeeze half a lemon into a large bowl. Remove seeds. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and a couple grinds of pepper. Let sit a few minutes while you prepare other ingredients. Add shallot and romain, toss to coat. Then add avocado and orange pieces on top. sprinkle on a bit more salt and pepper to taste.