We are driving down a very narrow road lined with trash. We hope we are on the road to Juncalito Beach, but we’re not sure because the road isn’t marked. We read in our book, Camping Mexico’s Baja, by Mike and Terri Church, the “bible” of Baja camping, that the road is half a kilometer south of the 97-kilometer mark. Brush is scraping the sides of the car and the trailer and I am overwhelmed by all the trash. Piles of household garbage, old furniture, mattresses, and building materials, mingled with other random stuff.
I have a bad feeling we are on the wrong road. Matt says to the road, “please don’t end, please don’t end…” Just then the road ends. Just like that. There is no turn-around. A great pile of rotten palm fronds lay next to us. Matt tries to turn around but we are not even close. We are 33 feet long, and we do not turn sharply.
I walk behind the trailer waving my arms like an airplane guide. Matt doesn’t really need it because he is backing up like a champ. I look for side roads or a wide spot where we can turn around. Finally there is a spot that might work. Matt backs the trailer in, scraping the sides on a scraggly bush. Then he pulls forward, running over some scraps of wood. I stop him, just before he runs over a nail sticking up. I throw an old drawer out of the way, and motion him to keep going. Then I notice the trailer is scraping the scraggly bush even more. I go and hold the branches back. They are thick and tough.
Finally, Matt gets the trailer turned around and I hop in. I let out a huge sigh of relief. “Well, I guess this isn’t the right road, but at least it is beautiful, besides the trash.” I say cheerfully. We decide to try one more time. There was a road right at the 97km mark that looked promising. It is wide and flat compared to the road we were just on. Could it really be this easy? Then we come to a place where the road dips downhill and the left side of the road is missing. I’m not sure we will fit, but Matt confidently maneuvers us around and down. We are driving in an arroyo just like the book said. Whew!
We emerge from the arroyo out onto the beach. It is rocky at first, but as we drive down there is more sand. There is no one else in sight. As we near the end we notice there is a palapa and a garbage can at the end, waiting for us. The water is turquoise blue and calm, sheltered by the rocky outcropping at the end of the beach. There are several islands in the distance and gorgeous mountains behind us.
This is it! What we’ve been looking for! We are all excited as we pile out of the car. The kids inspect the campsite as Matt unhitches and I clean up the books and toys strewn inside the trailer. No matter how hard I try to secure everything, something always falls down. Before I know it, the kids have stripped down and are in the water, laughing and splashing.
We spend a few days relaxing and playing. The kids get their first “swim lessons,” we hike, paddle board, read, write, and play games. Matt catches his first fish of the trip, a triggerfish, and we feast on fish tacos. We would stay longer, but there are so many more things to see and do before we catch the ferry to the mainland!
- One triggerfish, filleted (or other fish)
- Thinly shredded cabbage
- Guacamole (garlic, salt, tomatoes, cilantro, onion and avocado)
- Corn or flour tortillas.
- Fresh limes, quartered
Sprinkle salt and pepper on triggerfish and grill for a few minutes on each side until cooked through. Warm tortillas on grill. Put a few chunks of fish on each tortilla, top with cabbage and guacamole and a squeeze of lime.