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Baja Bound

Day 1 Dash Point State Park

“Where are you headed?” asked the border agent. “We are trying to make it to Cabo San Lucas,” Ray was eager to share. She smiled and looked behind us at the Ritz. I imagined her thinking “Now that will be a wonderful adventure,” but she just as well could have been thinking “these two are bat shit crazy.” It was hard to tell.  After a cursory glance in the window and a walk behind Ritz to check her plate she waved us through. Wait time included it took all of ten minutes. We are getting old.

January 26, 2023 – Day 1

I hate the process but bicker we must at the onset of any journey. Luckily it only lasts till we hit the road. It could have been the early hour, the leftover colds or the stress of making sure we haven’t forgotten anything important, but all THREE of us were unhappy this morning. Poor Tucker couldn’t go for a walk because surely we would leave without him. Luckily it all melted away when Cheryl walked by in the dark at 7:30 AM – coming to say adios to us.

We are delayed by over a week due to the plague that hit us like a ton of bricks. There’s still some residual sneezing and coughing but for the most part we are healthy.

Ferries

The first order of business is to get off the island. Our original plan was to take the Coho to Port Angeles, Washington. This ferry conveniently leaves Victoria from the inner harbour every morning and afternoon. Turns out it was significantly more expensive than BC Ferries.

Ray is old enough to ride the ferries free on weekdays, and the Coho was charging in US dollars. We booked a fare saver and made it across for the princely sum of $190. The Coho would have been $290. Ferries charge per foot so the Ritz pretty much doubles the cost of the crossing.

The US Border

At the last minute we veered off the main highway and crossed at the bus/truck crossing in Blaine, Washington instead of the Peace Arch. I think we saved a lot of time as there was almost no line-up.

The friendly border agent waved us through without any of the fanfare we got used to when driving the Westfalia. Tucker didn’t even have to show his papers. Just like that we were in the United States of America. I immediately gave Ray shit for driving too fast. “The speed limit is 60!”

A Word About Sim Cards

The Seattle Skyline

I ordered T-Mobile sim cards for the trip from Amazon and they came with a warning. “Do NOT insert this sim card while in Canada. Doing so could interfere with the activation of the card.” I’d spent $56 each and I wasn’t about to fool around with that.  There was another warning I didn’t read, though. This one told me to apply for activation at least three days ahead of time. That’s how long the process could take. Oops!

Long story short, we had to find our first nights stop without Google’s help and without our favourite app iOverlander. I had kind of earmarked Dash Point State Park, near Tacoma Washington as a promising location. We used the old fashioned method and followed road signs. Quaint but it got us here.

Dash Point State Park

Dash Point State Park

Nice quiet unserviced campsite for $20 (all prices will be in US until they are in pesos).  A bundle of firewood –  $8. Everything cash and in exact change. Showers are free for the off-season because there’s no one here to sell tokens.

Sim card activated at some point overnight, so I can blog, google map and iOverland to my hearts content. Good start to the Baja, Mexico adventure.

 

1 Comment
  1. Shelley says

    Hi there, fellow Canadian (Mission BC) with itchy feet,over 90 countries and long distant hikes under my belt. Nothing makes me happier then throwing on my backpack (feels like an old friend) or waking up in a strange place ready to explore. I will be following along your baja travels as the plan is to be heading that way February 14th for 2 months. My husband and I accompanied by our attached at the hip border collie,, Tessa have a 19 foot class c motorhome named Gary and have crissed crossed north America numerous times in his predecessor Lola using ioverlander and harvest hosts, stealth or wild camping. Last year we followed the gulf of Mexico as far as New Orleans, up to Nashville and meeting up with friends in the canyons in Southern Utah before heading home. My ex sister in law put me onto your blog ; she is travelling up the coast of mainland Mexico and writes the blog Come Travel with Me. This is the first trip I am feeling really ambivalent about the destination, maybe because we are not lay on the beach type of people and I am worried there are not enough opportunities to fill up our 50 or so days with active adventures like hiking kayaking, mountain biking etc. I maybe totally wrong and ignorant about the possibilities. None of our friends travel like we do, on a budget and out of most people’s comfort zone but we love it. Currently we have several friends in the baja for several months but they are drinking tequila, eating fish tacos, working on their tans with the occasional golf thrown in and sleeping in their secure condo or gated communities. Not our idea of fun. So I am looking for some inspiration from your blog as I have read your thoughts on travel and really felt connected with what you expressed. Safe travels maybe we will cross paths on some dusty road in the Baja.

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