Baja to Los Mochis

Los Mochis

16 January

Before commencing my travels, I spent a very relaxing 3 weeks over Christmas and New Year in Rarotonga (Cook Islands) with very good friends, Steph and Steve. From there, I flew onto L.A. and had the last night of luxury in a hotel before flying to San Jose, Cabo to meet Thomas, my eldest son.

A French man trying to squash a long haired pekingese dog into a holdall provided an Australian and me with some amusement while checking in at L.A..  Try as the French man might, that hair would not fit in! It was not a sight that we would have encountered in either N.Z. or Australia.

Thomas's truck
Thomas’s truck

Once on board a spectacularly empty Air Alaska flight, an extremely fast passenger announcement told us that the crew weren’t too worried about the insufficient cargo and passengers to balance the plane’s load and if anyone would like to change seats they had 45 seconds to do it, but they weren’t to go forward of the exit row! Hmmm….

The airport at San Jose (not to be confused with Costa Rica) was very new and modern, the Baja Peninsula having become, in recent years, an American playground.  In fact, it is always referred to as Baja California. Thomas was there to pick me up in the truck that he had driven from Alaska. He hadn’t quite had time to clean it so it was only just visible beneath the dust. Wonder why I put clean clothes on this morning?

Robert's house
The house where Thomas had been staying
Cactus outside house in Todos Santos
Cactus outside house in Todos Santos
Cafe in Todos Santos
Cafe in Todos Santos

We drove 70km through fields of cactuses (or is it cacti?) to Pescadero, which is where he had been living for the last 5 months at a house right on the beach that had rooms to rent. In theory, we were going to stay there but, when we arrived, there was no room at the inn, as the saying goes, so we watched the sunset and set off to find a hotel in Todos Santos, the nearest town.

The next day we pottered about and I had a walk around the town, which was a bit touristy but not overdone as yet. Later on, we went back to Pescadero with its beautiful beach, watched the sunset again and then Robert (whom Thomas had been working for) took us out for fajiitas. Food, so far, has been excellent and cheap (at least in the Mexican rather than tourist places).

Pescadero Beach
Pescadero Beach
Road to La Paz from Pinchinglue
Road to La Paz from Pinchilingue

Yesterday was a long day as we had to catch a bus at 7.15am to get to La Paz for Thomas to sort out his Tourist Card that he hadn’t got at the border 5 months previously and couldn’t leave the country without.  We then had to catch the ferry at 2.30pm.

I ended up sitting for 5 hours in a cafe, guarding the bags and nursing 2 coffees and an unwanted crepe, whilst he ran back and forth to various offices to obtain the document. He returned at 1.50pm and luckily we found a very obliging taxi driver prepared to ignore the speed limits to drive the 18kms to Pinchilingue and the ferry. Needless to say, we were the last passengers aboard, having made it by the skin of our teeth, and I had had one or two tetchy moments during the course of the morning! The otherwise uneventful ferry ride to Topolobampo was 7 hours so there was plenty of time to recover from the stress (mine, not Thomas’s).

On the ferry leaving Pinchilingue
On the ferry leaving Pinchilingue
Sunset on the boat
Sunset on the boat

We eventually arrived at our hotel in Los Mochis (somewhere we had been warned was a bit dangerous because of the drug cartels) at 10.30pm.  And so to bed, after not eating the most disgusting hot dog Thomas managed to find on a street stall nearby.


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