Thursday, January 25, 2007

Camping in peace

Travelling north heading into strong winds while enjoying the beautiful landscape Baja California is offering.
Ciudad Constitucion and Alma and her daughters have been left behind and next visit will be to Tioga George who is residing in his motor home in the small town of Santa Rosalia.
But at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon it was feeling that enough driving had been done for the day and a place to camp and spend the night was being looked for.

Driving in Baja California is rather exhausting. The road, 1500 kilometres (932 miles) from La Paz to Tijuana, where is the border with the USA, is very narrow and big trucks and buses drive at high speed. Each time a monster approaches the most extreme right hand side of the road must be looked for to avoid a serious crash. Meanwhile, ordinary cars tend to drift to the centre of the road as well. Especially in curves. They drive at high speed and can’t manage the centrifugal forces affecting their vehicle. Many are the car wrecks to be seen along the road. Another morbid sign how dangerous this road is are the many crosses with plastic flowers planted at spots where people have died in traffic accidents. Often rests of the car wreck are placed around the cross to make it even more lugubrious.
High concentration is needed to drive in Baja California in order not to loose a side mirror or worse.
Exhausting is also the condition of the road. Large parts are having deep potholes making it a bumpy trip.

After 5 hours of avoiding becoming a cross along the dangerous and bumpy road as well, it was time to stop and camp.
This is an art: finding a good place to spend the night. There are certain conditions a good spot must have. And to find it intuition is needed and luck. High on the list of conditions are that the spot must be quiet and having a beautiful view.
A tranquil camping spot can only be found a good distance away from the road. Therefore, a side road with an acceptable surface must be found. It is convenient if the sea is nearby because that usually offers camping places with a good view. But usually other campers as well. Often campgrounds with many other campers and a charge. To be squeezed in between other motor homes for which needing to pay 200 to 400 Pesos (14 to 28 Euros-18 to 36 Dollars) is not an attractive proposition although accepted by many people travelling in recreational vehicles.

Today was successful. A track to the beach was found at 2 kilometres (1,24 miles) from the main road south of Mulegé. A place called Punta Arena. Recently this beautiful seaside at the Bahia Concepción, with a view of the Cerro Vinorama, has been bulldozed into a flat area where tourist housing will be build.
But it is still peaceful, beautiful and without noise except for the sound of the gentle waves landing on the beach.

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