Our Journey: Snow, Cacti, Whales, & Beaches!

Our Journey: Snow, Cacti, Whales, & Beaches

First things first. For those die-hard followers of Off Path Travels, sorry for not posting anything cool in so long. Hopefully the recent grey whale post gave you the fix you needed.

We’ve now been on the road in Mexico for about a month and it has been more than I could have ever imagined. Baja is just as amazing as the stories mention.

In this post, I’m going to do a very quick rundown of some of our recent stops, then break into a bit on the practical side of what it’s like adventuring around Baja with a vehicle.

Our kayak did great on its maiden voyage!

A fox we spotted in the mountains

Snow, Cacti, Whales, & Beaches!

Snow in Sierra de San Pedro Martír

So we did it: We saw snow in Baja! Not only saw it, but drove in it, hiked around in it, and had a nice little picnic on a table surrounded by it.

As luck would have it, right before we left, a decent storm passed over most of northern Baja and dropped about 6 inches of snow. Lucky us.

For this Colorado boy, who hasn’t been able to be home during the winter recently, it was glorious. Large pine trees filled the horizon, foxes and rabbit trails were everywhere, and the giant mountains reminded me of home.

The giant cacti near Cataviña

Cataviña Cactus Wonderland

As we planned our route south, I found a camping area that someone called “cactus wonderland.” And I thought to myself, “is it really going to be that wonderful?”

Well, I’m a bit of an idiot sometimes.

It was beyond wonderful. Two types of giant cacti (circios & cordones) surrounded our campsite, along with towering piles of boulders. It created a unique scene that I could have never imagined.

Oh yeah, we also saw some cave paintings and a small oasis here. Something around every corner.

Two grey whales in Laguna Ojo de Liebre's small northern channel

The grey whales get extremely close to, and sometimes bump, the boats in Baja

Grey Whale Migration

We not only saw tons of whales, we camped next to them, and we got within inches of them on a boat. Our stops included two lagoons that are on the Pacific side of Baja which are home to thousands of grey whales each winter.

Read all about our experience and how you can follow in our footsteps in our recent post on whale watching in Baja.

The wonderful bay we stayed at over the last week

A happy Kristina and Michael enjoying Kristina's birthday on the beach

Beaches of Bahía Concepcion

As you may recall, Kristina has been coming to Baja for her entire life. It is full of fond memories for her.

But to me, there is one part specifically that sticks out in the stories her and her family have shared with me. Then when I started doing more research, the same place kept popping up: Bahía Concepcion.

A stunning sunrise in Bahia Concepcion

I get it now. We spent last week celebrating Kristina’s birthday on one of the beaches closest to her heart. We snorkeled in crystal-clear water, kayaked out to a remote island, and watched many sunrises come across the mountain tops.

To put it mildly, we had an extremely good time. And we’re actually going back right now! Then probably again on our way back north. Yes, it’s that great.

A shell we found near the whale lagoons

More Insights from Life on the Road

I’m fairly certain that a sizable number of our audience thinks we’re a bit crazy for exploring all over desolate areas with nothing more than our trusty Tahoe.

How do we manage to stay clean, to eat three meals a day, and to simply not go crazy?

Managing Life’s Daily Needs

Well, for starters, cleanliness is relative. But my mom will be happy to know that we have basically been showering on a daily basis. The truth is that quite often we’re staying in somewhat developed campgrounds with flushing toilets and hot showers.

And when we’re not showering daily, we have a portable shower that does the trick. Or we can go for a swim. Plus, there aren’t that many people around to impress.

And you may not believe this, but. we’ve witnessed an interesting phenomenon: Without the stress of traffic and cubicle lives, our body odor is not as bad. Sound weird? Break out of those traps and find out for yourself. Pleeeease take me up on this. I’ll come sniff your armpits myself to verify.

Anyway… We also usually eat on a much more erratic schedule. Breakfast early and light, then lunch out on the town or a small snack, and an early dinner so that we can go to sleep with the sun. That way we’re ready to roll when it comes up.

Michael enjoying the cave paintings near Cataviña

Mexican Adventures and “Hardships”

As far as Mexico goes, it is a truly hospitable land and traveling here has routinely been full of the most generous people I’ve encountered.

One of the most difficult things for us – seriously – is that whenever we ask people for advice on where to go or what to do, they just tell us to drive to the area, go knock on the door of someone’s house, and ask them anything.

I can’t begin to tell you how much incredible advice we’re received from the locals.

And there is another side that you may not know. Baja is full of snowbirds who escape their frigid winters for the warmer climate. It’s also full of explorers like us who love bouncing around to new places each week.

With that sort of population, there are tons of RV-filled campgrounds, English-speaking restaurants, bars with pool tables and dart boards, and almost everything you might miss from home (except family and long-time friends).

Another interesting tidbit: We drink nothing but freshly purified water filled directly into our tanks. Much better than the sketchy hoses we used at many US campgrounds – even at the National Parks.

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean

Ok, ok. I’ll get off my kick to tell you about how awesome Mexico is. But trust me, what we’re doing is not a bad way to spend some time.

Right now, we’re in Mulegé for a couple nights, restocking our food supplies, and connecting to cell service before heading back out. Bahia Conception is calling us back.

After that, we’re headed south to some of the bigger cities: Loreto, La Paz, then the world-famous Los Cabos.

We’ll do out best to stay in touch as we roll along. Don’t be afraid to leave us a comment on any posts here or on Instagram and Facebook. We will get them eventually!

Until next time,

Kristina and Michael

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