Yep, it’s that time again- we’re hitting the road and starting new adventures.This time we’re off on a one to two month visit to the friendly safe part of Mexico called the Baja Peninsula and because we’re RVing, we’re taking our whole house with us. That’s right, the whole shebang, food, bed, couch, jammies, everything. It’s not often you travel to another country with nearly everything you own following along behind you but it seems that’s exactly what we’re doing this time. Oh well, the time for debate is over, it’s happening and whether it’s crazy or smart remains to be seen.
Anyway, just to get things going, I’m going to describe the beginning of this adventure. After a whirlwind Christmas visiting family and friends and then a few days in an RV park getting ready for this trip, we’re finally starting. We are going on what’s known as an RV caravan which means a group of RVers travelling together with an experienced leader. In order to meet up with this group, we’ve set out on a drive from Arizona to southern California. As night begins to approach, we pull into the massive parking lot of a casino where RVs are allowed to camp overnight so that they will possibly come in and spend a lot of money. We park beside some other trailers and motorhomes and settle in for the night. I look around and can’t believe we’re doing this. I thought parking at Walmart topped the list of odd places to overnight, but this is even more surreal. What next?
In the morning, after a quick trip into the building to use the facilities (and to look discreetly at the 8 AM gamblers), we set off to continue our journey. Today we have an amazing trip through a place called the Cleveland National Forest. Hugh towering masses of rock that are big enough to be called mountains, canyons seen from the side of the road and gorgeous houses perched on the very tops of these hills make up the eye-popping scenery. Finally a tiny town comes into sight with not much more than a general store, library, post office and lots of ranches with chickens, goats, peacocks and horses. There’s even a picturesque place filled with cactus and a picket fence with a sign that says “sheep for sale”. Hmm. Where exactly have we landed?
After some speculation about whether or not we’re in the right place, we end up at our designated campground (which looks like the end of nowhere) where we are supposedly meeting up with our fellow travellers. A bit of anxiety ensues as we look at the almost empty area in front of us. But then we walk up to the registration office and two people come out. They have the same look of anticipation and confusion that we have but right away, they notice our Manitoba license plate. Yes, they’re from Canada too and, hallelujah, they’re going on the same tour. We ARE in the right place, we’re not as crazy as we thought (they have their whole house with them too) and everything seems to be on track.
And today we’ve taken the next steps towards going on this long and exciting trip. We’ve gone across the border and gotten our tourist visas. We’ve come back here on the American side to have an orientation given by our leaders. We’ve been instructed on how to drive Mexican roads, how to talk to the Mexican police, how to tip gas attendants, how to not use Mexican water, what to expect from showers, washrooms (bring your own toilet paper), supermarkets and vendors and how to graciously accept a traffic ticket without ending up in even more trouble. I’ve even received my short wave radio and been given instructions that I think I can handle: Off/on/volume/ignore all other buttons. That I can do. Roger and out, big buddy.
And so our trip is beginning. By tomorrow night we’ll be parked on a beach next to the Pacific Ocean. I think we’ll really be walking the edge this time and can’t wait to take you with us. Talk soon.