This is our first post from “South of the border”, as the Americans like to put it. Despite all the reading about Mexico and all the discussions with fellow travelers and Mexican expatriates alike, there’s nothing quite like the actual thing: Tijuana immediately sucks you into a very different world, caracterised by chaos, unfamiliar sounds, smells and sights. General disorientation ensues, bienvenidos a Mexico!!
After the initial shock, the Baja manages to soothe you quite quickly with its fine but crowded pacific beaches near Ensenada, an intriguing central desert with cacti forests (never knew how many different kinds of cacti there are!), the postcard-worthy and very relaxed Bahia Constitucion, and the much more developed cabos on the Southern tip.
And then, there was Jimena, a category 5 hurricane, that hit the Southern Baja twice, first coming on shore from the Pacific, crossing the peninsula, then switching back to hit the Eastern side near Santa Rosalia and Mulegé. As it happens, the only major road in the Baja, the Transpeninsular or Mex 1, crosses all these areas, providing us with a first-hand experience of the damage sustained, 5 days after the events.
Flash floods and mudslides caused the most destruction, apart from high winds knocking down electricity poles. Not a nice sight, we moved through these areas relatively fast, preferring not to burden the locals with our presence. Very busy locals, as a matter of fact, impressing us with the speed and determination with which they put their lives back together.
Arrived in the Southern Baja region around La Paz, San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas earlier than previously envisaged, we’re going to try to escape the tourist traps, enjoy some time on a beach and partake in Mexico’s upcoming independence fiestas!