After taking El Chepe train and taking buses through Chihuahua (read about that here), I decided to switch things up a bit and hitchhike through Baja. I enjoyed traveling in mainland Mexico on buses and trains, but I really liked the freedom of hitchhiking and camping. I took the ferry from Topolobampo, Sinaloa to La Paz in Baja California del Sur.
I spent one day in one night in La Paz. It is a beautiful town by the ocean. I probably should have spent more time there, the people were friendly and things were cheap. However, I was antsy to start hitching. I checked out of my hostel and walked three miles out of town to the main highway, and started hitching north.
It took about an hour to get the first ride, I started to get nervous that no one would pick me up. Finally, a kind young women picked me up and drove me 5-10 miles or so on her way to work. I waited there for an hour or an hour and a half, but then got a very long ride from a guy named Jesus.
Jesus was working as a quality control inspector and was driving about 500km north to Santa Rosalia. We got to know eachother and talked for hours. My spanish got rustier as the conversation got more obscure. I feel like my spanish passes very well for shorter or more routine conversations, but as small talk runs out, I struggle more. Jesus was very patient with me, teaching me new words, and helping me practice spanish. We stopped at many view points along the beautiful coastline and I got lots of pictures. In Loreto we stopped for an hour so that he could inspect an under construction Oxxo. As the sun was setting, Jesus dropped me off in Mulege.
I ate a delicious dinner in Mulege and then camped at an RV park. The next morning, I walked north on the highway a bit, and then a guy named Bill picked me up and drove me all the way to the junction with Bahia de Los Angeles, six hours or so north. We talked about everything from sailing to his career, to politics. The road to Bahia de Los Angeles is lightly trafficked, only six or seven cars passed by in the first hour. Eventually, a guy named Darren stopped and picked me up. An Australian living in Colorado, but he had traveled the world and had been coming to Baja for years.
As we got to Bahia de Los Angeles, Darren offered to let me camp with him for the night, so I put my sleeping bag in the sand outside his trailer. He was very generous with his food and beer. One night turned into two, Bahia de Los Angeles is a beautiful place. I got to hike a bit, swim in the water, and even tried out Darren’s paddleboard.
The next day, Darren took me back to the junction. I waited there for about an hour, and got a ride with a very kind family of six headed home to Tijuana. They had a very good family dynamic and all spoke english and spanish perfectly. Not wanting to push my luck or their kindness I got off in San Felipe and camped there for the night.
I heard the border zone can be a bit more sketchy, so I took buses from San Felipe to Tijuana. From there it was a short taxi to the border, and an hour wait later I was back in the states. I expected lots of questions, but luckily I just got a “Have a good day”.
All shots taken on Olympus XA, Kodak Portra 400 film