The heat makes our fridge work harder. That means the battery goes down faster. Can’t stay here any longer! Big Dog wanted to leave early so there were fewer vehicles on the road. Unfortunately, mornings are busy with people going to La Ribera and back with supplies so it is much dustier than our way in.
Back on the terrible, rocky, dusty, rutted, washboarded road, which eventually runs side by side with the newly asphalted road. You don’t know frustration until you’ve driven 10 miles on horrible bone-rattling road with a beautiful newly paved road you can look at, even touch, but cannot drive on.
After a brief stop in La Ribera for water at Pemex, an unsuccessful search for breakfast and a futile stop in front of a house with a sign telling you they sold tomatoes (no one was home) we hit the highway to Los Barriles.
There are lots of new homes, developments and real estate billboards here, too.
Just before Los Barriles, we get breakfast at a truck stop run by very loud, boisterous women. All of the women – the workers, diners and visitors – are loud. The male diners eat silently. The huevos con machaca plates are a bit greasy but big. Machaca is a seasoned shredded beef and it seems more common here in Baja than elsewhere.
When we enter Los Barriles, I am dismayed to find strip malls. (Big Dog is also dismayed but not enough to get a very nice turnover at a gringo bakery!) It’s all so very North American-ized. Nearly everyone in town is of European descent and there are too many businesses catering to them (thereby attracting even more of that kind of gringo…)
We go through town and up the beach to find Playa Norte RV Park, the one that Claudia and Thomas thought was The Winner. Of course, they were here before the main season and only paid the equivalent of 7 Euros back then. Today, it is US$25 for dry camping and $45 for hookups! However, there are shade trees! Showers! A laundry room with power outlets! WiFi! If it weren’t so pricey this would be a nice place to stay.
I happily do a load of laundry – not by hand but in a real washing machine! There is even a communal laundry hanging area behind the building. And I happily use the cleanest facilities south of the border, forgiving them their BYOTP policy.
Ahh, a shower! With hot water! Tiny things become huge luxuries while camping.
Later, we take a stroll on the beach and just north of the RV park is a kind of Mad Max-ish boondock village. RVs with big tents and awnings, camper trucks, camper vans are all scattered about in no discernable order. There are no facilities here. Just free camping.
Back in the RV park, we see more big rigs. Some snowbirds have more permanent structures. They are in their own cliques and ignore us. We travelers are nothing to them!
End of Day Miles: 1534.4 mi