Thursday, January 12, 2017

Driving from La Paz, MX to Denver, CO

1-5-17  La Paz- Santa Rosalia

We had planned to leave today for Colorado, and learned of protests in northern Baja as we were leaving.  The Mexican government raised gas prices by 20% and people were taking to the streets in protest, preventing gas trucks from delivering gas to the Pemex stations and actually shutting down Highway 1.  So, we left with great trepidation and hoped we would make it across the border without issue.

We filled up with gas right outside of Loreto, and just after that we received a text saying Loreto had no gas.  So, we were already on the right track.  That is, until Mike decides he doesn't want to drive through Loreto and I think a route on is another direct route to Santa Rosalia.  We take the detour, and it ends up being a challenging off-road route.  Baja 1000, BABY!  It was a slow-go, but I was so grateful that we had the opportunity to really take in the beauty of the desert.  Enjoy!

Gorgeous desert cactus
Old volcano?

Grove of palm trees 

Beautiful Bougainvillea

Folks opting for horses during gas crisis

Goat farm

The road less traveled

Go Tacoma

Steep and rocky road
Fresh water stream

Goats running across the road

Me completely enjoying our off-road experience

Socorro Cactus
We made it back to Highway 1.  We ended up hitting Conception Bay just as the sun was going down.  It was beautiful.

We ate dinner at a taco stand across from our hotel and had tacos al pastor.  Yum! We stayed at Las Casitas for another lovely stay.


Santa Rosalia to San Quintin

We awoke to a gorgeous sunrise.  

Las Casitas

As we left Santa Rosalia, the fog began to roll in over the mountains.  It looked really cool, like someone put dry ice behind the hills.  It moved in really fast.  This was the progression as we drove about 65 mph.

The entire drive was full of mountains, cactus and blue sky

Dr. Seuss Cactus (the boojum)
Horse and goat trailer

More Boojum

Purple mountain majesty

Even larger boulders
Large boulders appear from nowhere

The Pacific Ocean!
Mission Santa Maria- an off-the-beat hotel right on the beach was recommended to us by friends of ours.  It was a perfect place with a beach that courses for miles and is peppered with sand dollars.  Magical!

Sand dollar

View from our room
Sand dollars everywhere

Beautiful sunset

We walked about 4 miles on the beach the next morning before our drive to San Diego.  It was lovely!

A Mexican family out clamming

As we drove north from San Quintin, we encountered a peaceful protest of Mexicans marching south on Highway 1.  

We are supportive of their peaceful protests.  However, we heard later that day that policemen were injured in a protest up at the Pemex headquarters when a protester drove his truck into a line of policemen.  

New grapevines planted

It was a beautiful rest of our drive.  We had no issues getting gas, although we did see 3 Pemex stations closed.  We felt grateful that we didn't run into any roadblocks or run out of gas.  Our wait at the border crossing was 3 hours.  We stayed at Vineyard Hacienda again for a great evening.


We drove to Marina Del Ray to meet Mike's cousin Dana and her partner John for brunch. 

As we were driving to LA, I thought, Martha!  I have to call Martha!  I did and she was in town and available to meet us for dinner.  Martha is a friend who I met in the early 2000s.  We had such a great reunion.  It had been way to long....almost 10 years!


We had an appointment at the French Consulate to pick up our visas for French Polynesia.  Then we drove to Las Vegas and stayed at the Palazzo.  We met Mike's Uncle Denny for dinner and had a fun night.  That was my first time in Vegas.  I can't tell you anything else.  Sworn to secrecy.


Vegas to Albuquerque

We had an uneventful drive to Albuquerque.  However, the sunset and full moon rise was pretty impressive!

We watched President Obama's final speech from the hotel room.  I cried.


Our sunrise
We made it back to Colorado a day earlier than we anticipated.  It was a beautiful drive but we were happy to be home.  For a while, anyway.


First Mate Kate

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