We locked eyes across the counter, neither of us blinking. A bead of sweat slowly trickled down my brow cooled briefly by the coolness wafting from the air conditioned office. Scorn and indignation radiated from every pore of my body. ‘How dare you call Suzie a mini-motorhome! She is clearly a small truck camper! Just look at her measurements, she is petite! She is a truck!’ Unfortunately, my Jedi mind tricks did not work on the stoic Baja ferry employee. We were faced with either an enormous ferry fee of $10,667 plus a $975 passenger fee and an additional $500 for a cabin (roughly $930 USD) or driving north back through Baja and over to mainland Mexico. For the first time I felt utterly defeated and drained, the thought of driving north made me want to cry. Little did we know that there was an angel in the form of a Banjercito teller who was watching over us. She shook her head in horror at the price, hustled us next door to the TMC ferry office and in rapid fire Spanish booked a reservation for us for a mere $3,650 ($280.53 USD). Better yet we would be able to sleep in car! Our minds at ease we headed to Todos Santos for a beautiful night of boondock camping next to an abandoned bar.
We then headed to La Ventana and spent an amazing two nights camped outside of a house thanks to Joe and Kylee of Patagonia or Bust.
It was such a luxury to have a full kitchen and a shower. We spent our time watching windsurfers, doing some truck and camper maintenance, and I did my first load of dry bag laundry. We also celebrated Kylee’s 23rd birthday with the folks from Southern Tip Trip, whom we had randomly run into, and we all enjoyed a delicious dinner and giant margaritas together.
The next day we caravanned with Joe and Kylie to La Paz to embark on our 18 hour ferry ride to Mazatlan. From reading prior blogs we knew that we wanted to be parked on the top deck, but well away from the deafening ventilation fans. Unfortunately we were motioned to park directly in front of the fans and right next to the “work bench” which stunk of diesel fuel and paint fumes.
With my history of sea sickness there was no way we could sleep in the car. Again, thanks to prior blog entries from tranquiloadventures and the dangerz, we knew to set up shop in the bow, sipped some beers, ate some dinner, read some books, watched some dolphins play on the bow, and created some cozy beds to sleep in for the night. We would definitely recommend TMC Ferry over Baja Ferry. Although the ship might not be as nice, we had full access to our trucks, the food was decent, and there were fairly nice bathrooms and hot showers! There was even a movie room, albeit full of Mexican truckers.
We disembarked in Mazatlan, said goodbye to Joe and Kylee, and headed for either San Blas or Sayulita. Again we were amazed at the beauty surrounding us as we drove. Mountains, jungle, and palm trees as far as we could see. It finally felt like we were really in a foreign country. Baja was beautiful and its beaches amazing, but at times felt like an extension of California. This was the real deal. The heat and humidity was also the real deal. Guess we better get used to drip sweating starting at 8:30 in the morning! We wandered around San Blas but decided to continue on to Sayulita primarily because every guide book and blog we had read had said the bugs were absolutely brutal and we did not relish the idea of getting eaten alive. About 30 miles down the road we noticed a familiar truck in the rear view mirror, Patagonia or Bust! We decided it was fate for us to continue traveling together for the time being and headed for Sayulita. Our first night was spent at Palmar de Camaron Campground and we would not recommend it. The owners were extremely inhospitable and refused to let us pull our trucks up onto the deserted beach. The next day as we were searching for an alternative we ran into Kellee and Jamie of tranquiloadventures who were camped at Sayulita RV and Bungalow. We all set up next to each other and have been enjoying the sand, surf, SUPing and sun together for the past few days.