February 25, – March 8, 2024

We had seven RV’s and three automobiles.  We met at Sweetwater County Campground in Chula Vista and the cars stayed two miles away at the La Quinta Hotel. All hotels on our trip were dog friendly as most of us traveled with dogs. We met Sunday for orientation for a Monday 7:30 am border crossing through Tijuana.  We pulled in for our FMM’s and RV/Car inspection which was more inspections then usual.  The Mexican Guardia National is now in charge of the border crossing (at least in Tijuana).

About one hour after we all got our paperwork done, we proceeded south to Ensenada to stop at the Walmart and Costco for our food and supplies.  The first stop for the night was El Rosario. The Club arranged for the car travelers to stay at the Hotel Baja Cactus and the RV’s to stay at the Sinahi Motel and RV Campground.  We all met for dinner at the famous “Mama Espinosa” restaurant for a wonderful lobster dinner and/or Mexican meal along with margaritas, beer or soft drink.  Everyone enjoyed an excellent meal and went back to the hotel and RV’s for an 8:00 am departure to Guerrero Negro.  While in El Rosario we met up with fellow Vagabundos George and Ginny Conlon and had dinner with them as well.  Turned out one of our participants knew Ginny’s brother, grew up down the street from them and had dirt-bike ridden with him in the 80’s.  Small world.

At Guerrero Negro, we led the three cars into town and checked them into Malarimo’s hotel and then led the RV’s four miles south and 12 miles in to the Ojo de Libre Lagoon through the working salt mine to camp.  That is where we caught the boats to go into the lagoon to whale watch.  The three cars met us out there for food, drinks and whale watch.  There is a restaurant out there as well.  It is a very organized set-up to catch a boat to go out whale watching. We stayed three nights at the lagoon and some people enjoyed the whales so much they went out twice.  We were pleased to have so many friendly petable whales and were able to watch mama bring her baby right up to the boats to see us.  There were a lot of spy-hopping and breaching going on to give us a great show.  We can never get enough of this!

Then, we were off to Bahia de Los Angeles for three nights of hotel/camping right on the beach at Raquel and Larry. Ruth, who is the proprietor there, arranged for a fishing trip for four of our group members which had a wonderful day of fishing and came back with plenty of fish of which they donated enough for a group fish fry for of our group of 21, while the rest of the group made side dishes to go along with.  Our group was very creative with their cooking skills, carved pineapple and fresh pizza from a pizza oven.  One night we had a margarita night and everyone brought appetizers.  Bill Schardt (one of our group members), was our fantastic bartender! Was so much fun. Ruth also arranged for us to have our group dinner at her restaurant and provided a great menu for us to choose from. An excellent meal was had by all.

After our three nights we were off to San Felipe for our final three nights in Baja at Kiki’s RV and Hotel. The group went out for meals in town and did some shopping, got their cars washed and relaxed. We had one more group dinner in San Felipe at La Vaquita for our final night. Great fresh shrimp, fish and Mexican food.  We said our good-byes as the border is a busy place. The next morning, we were off to Mexicali to cross back into the U.S.  Was not too easy navigating ten vehicles through Mexicali to the border but, being true Vagabundos we made it and through the border without any problems in less than twenty minutes.

Overall, the trip was very fun and exciting without too many mishaps. Many said they would like to experience Baja again and that it was a trip of a lifetime interacting with the whales.  They had no idea that we could get that close and that they were so friendly.  We had three professional photographers in our group.  You can go on the Vagabundo website to see more pictures of this expedition. Can’t wait until next whale season.  The Club is hoping to do three or four whale watching trips next year with a couple of them being car only trips to make it convenient for more people.  Contact the Club and put your name on an interested contact list as we really start arranging these trips around October. Maybe we will see you there. And in closing, we would like to quote one of our participants, “We all met as strangers and left as friends.”
Mark and Faith Martinez

Caravan Participants: Everett and Rossana Riggs; Luis and Sue Zepeda; Peggy Zorn; Lori Moirao and Diane Schouse; Sandy Menichelli and Dennis LaBrie; Karen Coffee and Lynda Burman; Pierre Nichols and Kristine Picton; Jim and Diane Fidelibus; Bill and Emily Schardt; Robert and Jessamyn Picton; and Mark and Faith Martinez. Not all pets are shown; Gracie, Rocky, Roxy, Evie, Max and Cali.

The working salt mine.

The Whales.

Our boat captain.

Whale Count February 19, 2024.

Camping at Bahia de Los Angeles at Raquel and Larry’s.