Every so often, even workampers deviate from their regular plans to do something adventurous and new. We worked the crazy Florida kiosk job during November and December so we would have the time – and the money – to join a 30-day caravan to Mexico with Baja Winters. Caravan, you say? Mexico? Correct, on both accounts and if today was any indication, we made a wonderful decision.
Actually, our adventure began this past Friday, as we met at Potrero County Park to meet our fellow travelers and our wagonmasters, John and Becky Smith. We had a very organized and informative orientation and then traveled together to the border crossing in Tecate, Mexico, to exchange money and to obtain tourist cards. We also stopped at the most magnificent bakery I have ever seen and you all know the relationship I have with sweets! Imagine picking up a tray and tongs and then walking the aisles grabbing any and all that you want! I was in heaven!
There are 21 of us traveling together, with everyone doing so in a camper of some sort – except me and Bill and the leaders, who travel in their truck. We decided to make the trip in our Jeep, allowing time for the motor home to have some work done. Our plan is to stay at nearby hotels along the way as our fellow travelers will rest nightly at campgrounds.
What a wonderful day we had! After crossing the border very easily, we traveled to the Rancho Sordo Mudo RV Park. Right across the street from the campground was a group of seemingly little boxes built on the side of a mountain. Turns out they are part of a luxury resort and are $400/night! Take a close look – really?
When everyone was situated on their sites, we carpooled to the Adobe Winery for lunch at the Gourmet Food Truck. Leda, the owner of the establishment, was ready for us and we feasted on absolutely delicious tapas – cheeses, bread, mushrooms, sausage and peppers, and a dish of shrimp, sausage and potatoes. All of this was accompanied by beer or wine! Adobe is one of 208 wineries that now operate in the Guadalupe Valley of the Baja.
From there we proceeded to El Cielo, another vineyard, where we enjoyed a private tour of the winery which culminated in a tasting session. Bill and I have been to numerous wineries in our travels and I must say tastings have never included a chocolate pairing! Well, here at El Cielo we were guided through various wines – and a generous taste I might add – along with a specific chocolate sample. All I can say is, it sure beats oyster crackers! Our guide was very knowledgeable and in chatting with her we discovered that she grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and then returned to Mexico for college. She fell in love with all aspects of wine production, but hopes to go back to school for a master’s degree in microbiology!
We returned to the campground for our daily “5:00 meeting” where we discuss the upcoming day’s itinerary and then Bill and I, along with the wagonmasters, returned to our hotel, Terra del Valle B and B, an inn of 6 rooms built in the middle of an orange grove that couldn’t be more beautiful. The rooms were constructed with straw bales, which work as natural insulation. Each room includes a rear patio with a seating area and a hammock. This is in addition to a common outside area with a fireplace, cooking area and seating for many – couldn’t be lovelier!
I took the opportunity to write this evening because the B and B has internet. This is hit or miss in the Baja so I will share when I can. Tomorrow we are camping on the beach and having tamales, margaritas and a pot-luck supper!
To be honest with my readers, as much as I enjoy traveling and living in our 40-ft. motor home, even after one day, I am glad we are in the Jeep! The roads are winding and narrow with lots of passing by the locals and with regard to stop signs, they appear to just be a suggestion!
Stay Calm and Travel On…