On November 22, 2022, we began our drive down the Pan-American Highway! I had to wake up the cat for our obligatory family photo to commemorate the special occasion. They were pissed but fell back asleep within seconds of saying cheese. The border crossing was uneventful. A quick passport and van check before getting our FMMs and TIP for the van. The van is registered as a motorhome so our TIP is actually for 10 years instead of the standard 6 months like we got for our old truck camper back in 2016.
Our first stop of this leg of our world adventure was San Felipe in Baja California, Mexico. Our timing worked out perfectly to spend our first few days back in Mexico with Dan’s brother and his family. Here we are driving behind them, close enough to connect to his Starlink that he has mounted on the back of his van.
We immediately check into our preferred campground in town and licked out with a corner seafront spot. Our first time camping here was back in 2016. You can see the old post here and see how young this exact dog was 6 years ago. I guess we were all a lot younger back then.
After we set up camp, we immediately headed to the waterfront. I spent the last four winters in Europe dreaming of this moment. Fish tacos!
We’re exhausted but so happy. It took a lot of work to start this next adventure. We somehow pulled it off once again. Sure I would have liked a few extra days to finish ALL the things I wanted to do before crossing the border but we’ll deal with the rest of our to-do list down here.
The next morning we wake up early to peek at the sunrise since it appears over the Sea of Cortez. It was magical and then we immediately went back to sleep. Our bodies needed more rest and we listened.
The kids were happy to be back together with their cousins, immediately playing board games. The cats were not happy with what else was happening… dogs were everywhere. Dan’s brother has a dog and the campground had four “guard dogs” as well. You can see the alpha dog laying on Luka’s lap.
Luckily we could escape onto the palapas for safe walk time away from all the dogs.
The guard dogs were interested in the cats but I successfully shooed them away if they approached us too closely.
The spotted ones were very sweet and sunggly. The lighter ones were a bit snappy so we kept our distance from them.
And here is our spot at La Palapa Campground. It was nice to have some privacy in the corner spot. Prices have gone up since our last visit. It may also be more because of Thanksgiving weekend. We paid $35 a night here. If we were alone, we would have left for another spot but since we were not, we bit the bullet and paid the higher price for our four nights here.
Here is the view of the camp as seen from the beach. A hurricane did significant damage here a couple of months ago. A lot of houses lost their concrete patios and the sand level is noticeably lower.
The sand line was up the kids’ waist level back in 2016.
Spent our days hanging out at the beach.
And sometimes the pack of guard dogs would follow us down there too.
The sea was cold but some of the kids couldn’t resist a pick dip with the boogie board.
Each afternoon, the nine of us (plus one dog) would walk into town to try a new restaurant. Mila was really into ordering enchiladas.
Ava was up for trying new things.
And Luka really enjoyed his fried whole fish.
Since we were with family on vacation mode, we had lots of appetizers as well. We’re usually on a budget but I guess we were sorta in vacation mode for a few days as well.
Shrimping was illegal here for many years to help stabilize the endemic species of porpoises. It appears that ban is no longer a thing.
Kids posing on an oversized chair.
Oh, and every time we walked into town, we had escorts with us. The camp dogs would tag along each way and wait for us at the restaurant as well.
The restaurants know that they are stray local dogs and shoo them away. But these guys have figured out if they quietly wait under our table, the staff will leave them alone.
Nights were spent soaking up the view.
A pink glow over the sea each night.
And Minecraft time for the little ones.
These two pups decided they both wanted to sit on my lap. Much to my delight.
And that concludes our time in San Felipe and with family.
And now we continue driving south. Thanks for following along,
Here is a video from Dan’s VLOG and from my Instagram stories.
Catherine Forest · December 2, 2022 at 7:09 am
Aww! So many great memories on exactly that same campsite! I can’t believe how low the sand is… Crazy. Enjoy your time in Baja and I’m eager to follow along from the Yukon for now (staying warm by the fire).