Oct. 24-26: Goodbye America, Hello Mexico.

On Oct. 24th (day 39), Danielle and I woke up early in our hotel in Chula Vista, CA. We quickly showered, packed up our room, and grabbed our continental breakfast.

We then drove 8 minutes to the San Ysidro border crossing where we experienced no wait and got through without search. While that went smoothly, we accidentally drove right past the immigration office. Thus, we panickly found somewhere to park, as the other drivers honked in annoyance.

With the help of an interpreter, we were able to find our way back to immigration on foot, where we filled out various forms, got our passports stamped, and received our FMMs. We then returned to Biblo.

After some confusion, we made our way along highway 1D to Ensanada, where we stocked up on groceries at Walmart. Then, we continued along the coast. Shortly after leaving Ensanada, we stopped at a military checkpoint for a routine stop. Bilbo was lightly searched, but we were allowed on our way without any issues.

As we continued along the coast, a fog rolled in, and the occasional drop of rain hit the window while lightening struck offshore. By 15:00, we found a place to camp on the beach a few kilometers north of Rosario. We were the only ones around.

The next morning -- Oct. 25th -- we left our beachside camp and headed into Rosario where we filled up all the jerry cans as well as the tank. To our disappointment, gasoline prices were about the same as they were at home before we'd left; more expensive than almost everywhere we'd been in the US. Nonetheless, from Rosario we decided to head to San Carlos where Danielle's dad, Dirk, had stayed for a week last October at SoloSports Adventure Holidays where he windsurfed, mountain biked, conventional-surfed, etc.

We checked out the somewhat desolate camp and chatted with one of the workers for a bit. Then we drove around the area looking for a decent place to make free camp. The surrounding beaches were inhabited by people collecting rocks, and loading them off the beach onto pickups, where the pickups would then drive the rocks to a close shanty town, where they would be loaded onto semis. It is my guess that the rocks then make their way to landscape supply companies. We weren't sure whether or not we were trespassing when exploring some of the beaches around San Carlos, so we decided it best to return to the surf camp, and pay the USD$10 for the night. The perk being we got the Chili Bowl bay campsite all to ourselves, as the season there was coming to an end, and there wasn't much competition for the spot. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the beach, reading, snacking, taking a few photos, and watching pelicans and dolphins fly and swim by.

The next day (Oct. 26) we left the Chili Bowl and headed south to Bahia de Los Angeles. The town was pretty, but by no means spectacular. We drove around for two hours or so trying to find somewhere free to stay, but almost the entire bay was private property. Danielle and I both felt a great sense of culture-shock, and a bit of defeat. As it was starting to get later in the day, we decided to cut our losses and find a campground.

While driving around earlier, we'd seen a sign for a place called Daggett's and so decided to check it out. Daggett's had both a handful of campsites and a few small flats available for rent. Many of the sites were occupied by a number of overlanders including a very nice camperized 70-series Toyota Landcrusier, as well as a van with BC Plates we'd seen pass us along the highway a few hours prior.

We spoke to a man in the office who informed us it was CAD$14.00 to stay the night, but the cost included showers and wifi. The wifi was okay, and the water only ran in the evening and early morning. However, the site came with a palapa for shade, and was right on the beach. After some looking around, the inevitable conversation with the BC homies took place. We introduced ourselves and found that the couple, Vanessa and Minstrel (Min for short) both about 20, were from Gabriola Island –- about an hour from our home in the Cowichan Valley, on Vancouver Island. We spent the night acquainting ourselves with MinEssa.

Follow along with our adventure in real time by clicking here.

The view from our first campsite in Mexico.

Bilbo at the turnoff for San Carlos.

The Chili Bowl, where we camped at San Carlos. We had the small bay to ourselves.