Life on the road is all about balance. It is for us anyway. Busy town life needs to be balanced with nature. Roughing it complimented by a little comfort. That's how we rationalized our next stop anyway. After we left Todos Santos, we rolled into Cabo San Lucas for a quick stop at Walmart for supplies. Then we saw all those nice hotels on the beach, and well…we checked in. We both had rumbling stomachs; and the call of a really good shower was just too strong. Plus, it was free. John and I have accumulated a bunch of hotel loyalty points from all our work trips, but we rarely stayed in big hotels so we never used them. They have finally come in handy. We had an oceanfront room, two days at the pool, and an evening of sushi & a 49ers game. It was a little slice of heaven. However, Cabo San Lucas is a busy, concrete, generic place so we were happy to shove off again.
View from our oceanfront room. Hey, don't judge us...
Wine & cheese anyone?
We headed inland to the mountains of Sierra La Laguna. This area is only about 40 kilometers north of Cabo San Lucas, but it is a world away. It is a beautiful mix of tropics and desert, with rivers flowing through deep canyon gorges. Palm trees grow along side cactus. About 10 miles down a sandy dirt road we came to the Rancho Ecologico Sol de Mayo. We camped by ourselves at the trailhead to the cascada - a pristine waterfall and swimming hole. Most of the day and evening all we heard was the clang of cow bells worn by the donkeys grazing around the property (a nice change to the barking dogs and roosters we hear most nights in town campgrounds).
Road to Rancho Sol de Mayo
Our camp at the trailhead to the waterfall.
The falls were a 5 minute walk from our camp.
Giant cactus on the trail
Flowers and thorns coexist
The donkeys roamed free but we always knew where they were
The owner of this little resort has two Mexican hairless dogs. The Xolo as they are known, are the national dog of Mexico and very rare. And very ugly. The owner told me they are considered to have mystical powers and are decedents of similar dogs from Eygpt. One of them came around every morning & evening, and as much as I tried, I couldn't bring myself think she was cute. Or even dog-like. John took one photo of her that made her look like Gollum from the Lord of the Rings. Creepy. On the much, much cuter side we also had a chocolate lab hanging around.
The Mexican hairless Xolo dog. Whoa...
Gollum: "my precious"
You are cuter but you're too big to come with us.
Our day there was spent hiking up the river and swimming in granite pools with no one around. We grilled fresh ahi tuna steaks we got in Cabo and fell asleep to the cow bells again. It was the perfect antidote to “Cabo Wabo”.
john taking a dive into the lagoon
Catus and palms trees
Fresh ahi steaks on the grill
From there we headed back into the fray in the gringo town of Los Barriles. This town is kite border/windsurfer/mountain biking/ATV riding/fishing meca. Hectic, dusty, noisy, and overrun with ATV’s on the sand roads. This town was started by the people coming here for the water sports so the norteamericanos definitely outnumber the locals. The beaches are nice and the wind blows consistent all winter long. We rolled into the farthest campground past town and saw 3 rigs of overlanding friends from Loreto, so we decided to stay. We were surprised by the great mountain biking trails here, so on Christmas Eve we were up and out early. The trail system winds up from the coast into the mountains with miles and miles of technical single-track. This ride had a whole new dimension we don't have at home. Cactus. No room for error since one false move and you ended up a pincushion. We called it the razor blade ride. Fortunately for us we came through with only a few scratches and pinpricks. Afterward, we had a yummy brunch in town on the busy main drag. That evening we hooked up again with our Canadian buddies on bikes, Chris and Heather, for Christmas Eve dinner at the local restaurant down the road.
Our camp at Playa Norte in Los Barriles
Thorn bush on the razor blade ride
Caleb's Cafe for post ride brunch
Christmas Eve dinner with Heather and Chris
The next morning our camp neighbor and new friend, Maureen (Mo) offered up her ATV quad so Christmas Day took an untraditional turn (hey, if you can't beat 'em....). Mo is a fun-loving, badass, super sweet, Irish Harley-Davidson riding first grade teacher from Dana Point, CA. Loved her. The quad was super fun too…we cruised up the along the coast and had a little picnic on the beach. On our way back we ran into Mo on the street and ended up at a beach bar followed by dinner. So, Christmas dinner was at a Mexican restaurant with John and I still in bathing suits, and a random gathering of fun people. We had traditional turkey dinner with burritos and pizza, and lots of wine. All strangely delicious.
Christmas morning at our camp on Playa Norte
Christmas morning walk on Playa Norte
Mo's ATV quad. Everyone's got one down here!
Off we go to cruise the beach
picnic at the beach
Chillin' with a happy face
Quad selfie #1
Quad ride....the movie.
Christmas cocktails at the beach with our new bestie, Mo.
Our Christmas dinner crew. We lucked out and found Chris and Heather again! A very merry Christmas.
On the way out this one knocked me over with love...literally. One of the many I have wanted to take with us.
Quad seflie #2. Finally headed home.
After Los Barriles, it was time again for some peace and quiet so we headed to the other Cabo…Cabo Pulmo on the East Cape. This area is mostly remote, wind swept beaches with few people and almost no towns. Not sure how long we'll be down here but it's definitely good to have a little yin and yang on the road.