Spring Break in Mexico, Part 5

After we left the observatory, we descended the mountain to just west of Rancho Meling, then turned to the north. The road was in great shape the few miles to Rancho El Coyote and then after that, it got … rough.

Road to San Felipe

Road to San Felipe

Not too long after we passed the ranch and had been dealing with some woops and ruts we ran into a military group in a wash. We asked the way to Mike’s Sky Ranch and then they proceeded to point us in the direction opposite the one I thought we’d take. Fortunately, my map showed both forks eventually meeting up again and continuing towards Mike’s.

The road eventually crested a pass although at points along the way, the road was pretty rough. Somehow photos of rough roads never really do them justice:

Following Baja 500 tracks

After the pass, we cruised along a plateau before dropping steeply into Mike’s Sky Ranch. Did I mention we did our mild rock crawling on these tires?:

Bald tires

Once we left Mike’s (where it appeared no one was around), it didn’t take us long to reach Mexico Highway 3. We made a brief stop at a convenience store to get a drink and some snacks to tide us over until we reached San Felipe. Embracing adventure, when a hitchhiker waved at us, we pulled over and gave him a ride to the junction with Mexico Highway 5 where he continued north to Mexicali and we turned south to San Felipe. Although he didn’t speak much English and we didn’t speak Spanish, we were able to communicate that we’d just gone hiking (he asked us if we were “scouts” and it took awhile to figure out that he was thinking along the lines of Boy Scouts) and that he was a heavy equipment mechanic.

Driving down the coast, I found myself staring longingly up at Picacho del Diablo. I hate not reaching goals and this one had stymied me for the time being. I can’t wait to get down and try again.

In town, we sought out a hotel so we could get a shower (nothing like $70 hotels on the beach!) and then set out in search of food. And pineapple drinks. And food. And strawberry daiquiris.

Pineapple drinks

Tacos, San Felipe

It felt really good to be on the water. I got a touch of food poisoning (ha, a touch) but I will never quit eating street food. It’s too good. (In fact, I didn’t even really slow down on eating it for the duration of the trip. Just kept trying to throw down the calories!).

The next morning, we continued to Algodones where we availed ourselves of the affordable dental checkups, grabbed some more street food, stayed in the nicest $50 hotel room I’ve ever seen and drank margaritas in its courtyard as the sun went down to savor the last of the southern warmth.

Rather than immediately cross back into the States, we drove east on Mexican Highway 2 towards Sonoita. I had my first real Mexican burrito from a vendor in San Louis Rio Colorado and before I knew it, we were in Sonoita crossing the border into Lukeville.

Colorado River near Los Algodones, Mexcio

Border Fence

After a quick stop in Ajo to say hello to old friends, we drove all the way to Kayenta, Arizona before calling it a night.

Each and every time I go to another country, I savor the experience and this was no exception. One of the amazing things about living in the southwest is that Mexico just isn’t that far away. I look forward to more adventures!

Los Algodones, Mexico

Beth & PacificoLos Algodones water tower

Over the last week or so we’ve been hanging out in Los Algodones catching up on dental work and eating delicious tacos. Actually, I’ve been eating a lot tacos while F is stuck with cheese quesadillas due to the aforementioned dental work. Thankfully, his teeth are better and he’s done his best to make up in the taco department.

Quesadillas in Mexico

Algodones is the self proclaimed “Dentistry capital of the world” and is also home to a pharmacy on every block. The streets of town are full of Americans and Canadians getting dental work and stocking up on prescription drugs for cheap.

Mexico, perscription drugs

The streets are colorful and filled with street vendors selling sunglasses, blankets, hats, jewelery, lawn ornaments, and more. All the booths are more or less the same but at least everything is colorful!

Los Algodones

Los Algodones

Colors!

El Paradiso is really popular with those from north of the border. The food looks like it pales in comparison to taco trucks and stands outside the main tourist area but it’s got energy and the $2 Coronas and $5 margaritas were pretty delicious.

Margaritas in Mexico

F in El Paradiso

Beth & Pacifico

In the end, our stay near the border was really great: F got all caught up on dental work, I got a cleaning, we ate tacos, and thoroughly explored Algodones. Of course, all the tacos whetted our whistles for traveling further south but that’s for another time!