Mexico

Road trip and beach camping through Baja California Sur

Written by Tyler Cole | 28 May 2013

agua verde boat

 

After finishing up my first in a long series of medical licensing exams, I took off to Baja California for a much needed camping trip (and time away from a computer and email). Anna and I flew into San José del Cabo (click for map) and rented a car, then took off north with the primary goal of finding a beach to camp on. We spent the night in La Paz (click for map), a couple hours north of San José del Cabo, and then next morning took off to the incredible Bahía Concepción (click for map).

After spending a few nights there we really wanted to find an isolated fishing village, and Agua Verde (click for map) seemed to fit the bill. It was about 50 km down horrible dirt roads off the highway, and only mentioned in passing in the guidebook. When we got there it was just what we wanted: half the beach was fishing cooperatives, and the other half was open to camp on for free with plenty of wood for fires and not a gringo in sight (well, except us). This is not to mention in the incredible scenery, hundreds of pelicans dive bombing the water to catch minnows, and the convenience of buying fresh fish from fisherman on the beach for only 10 pesos a kilo higher than what they sell it to their cooperatives. I slapped together this video so you can get an idea of the place:

Puerto Agua Verde, Baja California Sur 2013 from Tyler Cole on Vimeo.

There was another beach/isthmus a short walk around some cliffs where a small house stood inhabited by an elderly fisherman named José. He was fun to talk with, as he had lived in Agua Verde for 22 years as a fisherman, only recently stopping because of sciatic nerve pain. When he was younger he became widowed and fell into depression and alcoholism, and in his forties decided to give it all up, save up money to buy a fishing boat, and become a fisherman. He didn't have much so we brought him snacks from the local tienda, and in exchange he entertained with stories of the village and his life.

The only major hitch in the trip was when I managed to bust the transmission fluid case on a rock when leaving on the tortuous dirt road from Agua Verde (we were in a VW Jetta). Just as the transmission was beginning to give out we rolled into a nearby city (Insurgentes) and happened to stop right near a workshop where they were able weld the hole in the transmission case. We literally could have broken down in the middle of nowhere, as that is what most of Baja is, but somehow ended up in the best place to break down. I hitchhiked into the center of town to get some replacement transmission fluid, as it had all leaked out, and by the time I got back they had finished the welding. We topped off the fluid and it worked like a charm, luckily without any damage to the transmission. I gave them $40 for the repair even though they wanted less; they were fun to hang out with, they taught me some automotive Spanish vocab, and I was happy the whole process only took a couple of hours.

We then made a stop in Todos Santos (click for map), checked out a few beaches there, and the crashed in San José del Cabo before catching a flight back.

 

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San Cristobal de las Casas, the Chiapaneco gem

Written by Tyler Cole | 15 May 2010

 

san cristobal EZLN zapatistas graffitiAfter forgetting in Guatemala what it was like to be able to walk a few steps without sweating, arriving in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico was an absolute delight. Strolling around town, venturing around the markets, smelling the street food...everything was better at a comfortable temperature. It´s the first town I´ve truly felt sucked into. I was hoping to explore more around Chiapas, but time is a bit short on the trip. I´ve been interested in the Zapatista movement for some time (mostly for it´s struggles for indigenous independence/autonomy, and less so their Marxist tendencies), Chiapas being it´s epicenter, but visiting those communities will have to wait until a later time. Hitching through Mexico back to the US is the focus now. Pictures are below.

 

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01/17 
start stop bwd fwd

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