Kite Boarding

Thu, Feb 23, 2017

It used to be that wind surfing was the big deal.  Not anymore.

If you’re out there, it’s kite boarding.  Or kite foiling or hydrofoil kitesurfing or kite foilboarding.  Lot’s of different names.  And here’s a case where a picture is worth a thousand words.

This fellow peddled through our camp last week.  See that thing sticking up from his broad?  That’s a foil.  When he’s at speed, his board is out of the water and he’s barely making a wake.  Nice set-up, eh?  And love those fat tires!

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Today started calm but the wind came up and so did our man.  I watched him cruise by a few times and got a close up.  Here he is all foiled up.  Pretty cool, no?

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And a close-up.

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And a traditional board.  Look at the differences in the wake!  No foil for you!

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El Arco

Wed, Feb 22, 2017

Today was another Cabo classic:  warm, sunny and light winds.  So it was perfect for a paddle out to the arch on Lands End.

The locals clipped me for $30 for the kayak but I didn’t care.  On vacation and heading out tomorrow.  So I headed out.

The business operator said the charge was for the first hour and it’s unlikely that I’d be back before then.  Hmmm.  Now I wasn’t looking for a challenge and I wan’t in a hurry.

But I was a little nervous about the swells and taking photos with my iPhone.  Fear of getting the phone wet or losing my sunglasses but fear nonetheless.

So I humped it out there chatting with the other kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders.  Nice day all around.  And here’s the shot.

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When I got back to the room, Carol’s comment was ‘back already?’  I’d been gone barely an hour.  Maybe I should slow down and smell the roses.

Doing the Cabo Wabo

Tue, Feb 21, 2017

After a week on the beach at Los Barriles, we drove over to Cabo San Lucas for three nights to check it out.  I’ve never been here and was really looking forward to it. It turned out to be part Fisherman’s Wharf and part Bourbon Street. Fun at times but mostly too crowded and too commercial.

In Sammy Hagar’s book Red, he talks about a man stumbling on a beach and thought ‘he’s doing the cabo wabo’.  Wabo being a clever shortening of the word ‘wobble’.  The name stuck and became the namesake of his cantina. Carol and I were walking home from the marina last night and I was a bit overserved.  There I was, doing the Cabo Wabo.  But we never made it to the Cabo Wabo Cantina.

Beautiful weather down here.  Sunny, mid 70’s, light wind. Here’s a typical beach shot.

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And no complaints about martinis on the Marina.

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Agua Caliente

Sun, Feb 19, 2017

We’d heard there were some hot springs nearby and decided to take the plunge, pardon the pun.

The town of Santiago is about 15 mi south on Hwy 1 and we were told to ‘go into town, turn left at the square and follow the power lines’. So that’s what we did.

After about 3 mi, the road turned to dirt but the power lines were still there so on we pushed. After about 7 mi, and having driven through a few dry washes, we arrived at a man charging 25 pesos to enter. Scam I thought but then he handed us receipts. So the entry fee was $1.25 each. Welcome to Baja, señor.

We dipped our toes in the lower pool and it was luke warm. So up the hill we went but the upper pool was actually cold. Off to the side, though, was a section partitioned off with rocks where a gentlemen and his kids were relaxing. Sure enough, they were sitting in the hot spring.

We joined and the water shooting out of the rocks was very warm. Not too hot that you couldn’t keep your hands in it but very close. So we kicked back for some R&R.

And then there were tingles on our feet. Turns out the pool had small fish that were quite fond of your dead skin. Yummy. So we let them have at it and we didn’t pay $150 per hr like those places back home. Win win.

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Weather is on the Way

Fri, Feb 17, 2017

We’ve had nothing but blue skies during the past week of Baja.  But that’s about to change.

Yesterday afternoon, dark clouds built up in the surrounding mountains indicating increased moisture in the air.  Tomorrow’s forecast is for 100% chance of rain.  I’m skeptical but we’ll see.

The good news, however, is that the clouds generated a beautiful sunrise 🙂

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Baja Buggies

Thu, Feb 16, 2017

The preferred vehicles down here are ATV’s and UTV’s and they are everywhere.

ATV’s are the four wheelers that replaced the three wheels from back in the day.  Inexpensive and very popular but are single seaters designed for, wait for it, a single rider.  The manufacturers are the well known companies the likes of Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Polaris and Arctic Cat.

This family didn’t get the single rider memo:

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UTV’s, on the other hand, are larger and designed to carry two or four people.  They are produced by the same manufacturers, are street legal and come at a higher cost.

Here’s an example that belongs to my neighbor complete with an immobilizer and a layer of Baja dust:

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Our colleagues are planning to rent a UTV to go exploring.  You think there’s any chance I can talk Carol into it?  Didn’t think so.

The Baja Cuisine

Wed, Feb 15, 2017

We’re big fans of seafood and I love spicy dishes so you can imagine how happy we’ve been down here.

As I mentioned in my Mulegé post, the Gulf of California is rich in seafood so that’s pretty much all we’ve eaten.

Another wonderful thing is that the burritos, whether shrimp or chicken, are made with meat, veggies and spices.  That’s it.  No rice and no beans.  They’re excellent and exactly the way I like them.

Funny thing is, the side dishes are typically fries instead of, well, rice and beans.  Who’d have guessed that?

Here’s a shot of today’s half eaten lunch.  Yummy 🙂

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Hello Los Barriles

Tue, Feb 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone 🙂

After nine days and a thousand miles, we reached Los Barriles where we’ll spend the next two weeks.

We are camped at Playa Norte RV Park and it is an awesome place.  Huge 50 ft pull through sites with full hook-ups and 30 amp service.  This means that we can run our AC if we need it 🙂

The weather has been nearly perfect with a nice breeze for wind surfing and kite boarding.  With temps in the mid 70’s, who can complain?

Here’s a shot of the campground and beach.  You can just make out our Airstream on the far left by the palm tree.

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Here’s this morning’s shot of our Airstream and the Gulf of California:

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The Road to La Paz

Sun, Feb 12, 2017

We were sorry to pull out of Santispac Beach but we did and headed south to Ciudad Constitución for an overnight stay with full hook-ups.  So no worries about our batteries.

On the next morning, we were prepared for a long one as we were to cover 213 miles and that never goes quickly with a caravan.  After all, you move at the speed of the slowest person.  And the Lenny breaks!  So when I tell you that it took six hours, you’ll first think that I’m exaggerating but trust me, I am not 😦

The road to La Paz has been under construction for some time and the detour is a parallel dirt road.  With all of the Class A’s in our group, it was slow going.  Here’s a shot at one section where they are building a bridge:

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After clearing La Paz, we entered a mountainous section with a narrow road where it was 30 mph if you are lucky.  I’d love to show you a picture of the terrain but every time I reached for the camera, Carol threatened my manhood.  Be safe, my friends.

Dry Camping with Fried Batteries

Sat, Feb 11, 2017

After our second night on Stanispac Beach, it became clear that our batteries weren’t up to the task.  And there’s no excuse for it.

Modern travel trailers have power control units that distribute the 120 V power  to the AC and microwave and also converts the power to 12 V to run everything else. They also have an inverter to convert 12 V power to 120 V when you are not connected to shore power and must rely on your batteries.  This means that when you are dry camping, everything works except the AC and microwave which cannot run on 12 V.  No problem, right?

Well, not exactly.  For reasons that only a bean counter can justify, Airstream specced our rig with an inexpensive Parallax power control unit that uses a trickle charger to keep the batteries topped off.  This is fine for short periods but the constant 13.6V pushed into 12V batteries will fry them.  And it fried ours 😦

We have been traveling now for six months with full hook-ups every night so we haven’t relied on our batteries.  Although we didn’t know it, our batteries were shot even though they weren’t even a year old.  Now who puts a POS power controller unit in a very expensive travel trailer?

We were really exposed on Santispac Beach as there were no hook-ups.  We do have a 160 watt solar suitcase that we used but it couldn’t keep up with the demand.  Fortunately, we also recently purchased a Honda 2000 and had it converted to run on propane.  And it saved us on the last morning when we we woke up to see 8.8 V on our batteries, i.e., nothing worked.

Looks like we’ll be hitting Costco or Walmart for some batteries 🙂