Friday, December 31, 2004

Mr. Trek, Mr. Mavica, TriPod and George explore Santa Rosalia this morning!
After breakfast, we will explore Santa Rosalia on Mr. Trek, our valiant bicycle! We have seen some pics online and in travel magazines. Now we want to see it all for ourselves and share with you!

Panaderias - Mexican Bakeries are truly a unique place to experience!
The variety of baked goods that we find when we enter a panaderia [bakery] in Mexico is overwhelming. Dozens of different kinds of cookies, filled pastries, glazed baked goods with different shapes (horns, diamonds, rounds).

Often these pastries are frosted with coatings of many different kinds. These coatings sparkle when they are sugar. Some look like chocolate, but are not chocolate. Nearly all cookies are puffed up somehow, to be giant.

In most panaderias, there is a tradition for picking the pastries that you will buy. Aluminum trays and tongs are provided customers. Pastries are picked up with the tongs by the customers, placed on the tray, and then given to the clerk who totals the price of the pastries, bags them, and collects the money.

Many towns in Mexico have panaderias on almost every block along the main road. People who live in town, may visit a panaderia everyday. We on The Team visit panaderias very often. How could we not visit them!


George wondering about which pastry to buy?!




11PM - We start out to explore more of the Town of Santa Rosalia.
The main road thru the Center of Santa Rosalia was filled with a line of cars, from beginning to the end. Wow! We could not find out why this part of town was sooooo busy!



George looking at the busy center of town in Santa Rosalia.




Kids take George to the Museum!
We met some of the kids from yesterday. They seemed very excited to show us the town, especially the Museum on the hill. When we arrived at the museum, it was closed. George thought that these kids were being sooooo friendly, but they had business on their young minds. When we returned to where MsTioga was parked, the kids kept repeating a word that sounded like "munay", "munay." This word was "money!" These kids were budding businessmen! We negotiated. They wanted $10 pesos, and seemed very happy to settle on $5 pesos each.



The Museum Kids with the Museum in the background.




Mr. Trek and the exploring Team Members rode south!
Highway #1 travels right along the coast thru Santa Rosalia. Just past the center of town, is the Ferry Terminal. Here you may board the ferry for a trip to Guaymas on the mainland of Mexico.

At the ferry terminal, we met a USA family, Dad, Mom and three teenage kids whose camper truck broke down near Loreto, south of Santa Rosalia. They had temporarilly abandoned their truck because parts were not available, and were taking the bus back home. Wow!



Tickets for the Guaymas Ferry would cost about $750US for an RV the length of MsTioga! Wow!




Getting a pic of Santa Rosalia's coast and harbor.
The best place to see the coast of Santa Rosalia is toward the south end of town. On the way, a bano [pay bathroom] showed up. Just in time too! Cost $3 pesos.

Up the hill the coast view was sooooo beautiful. We could see Santa Rosalia harbor and Black Beach below us. Black beach has black sand and rock.



A spectacular view of Santa Rosalia's coast!


Buying fruit!
We needed oranges and radishes, so George made a buy at a fruit stand.



Very nice oranges!




Looking for the Baile Salon.
Remember that we were told yesterday that the Salon would be the place of fiesta for New Years? Right in front of where the Salon is located, was a taco stand and George bought lunch; a fish taco and Pepsi. These fish tacos are sure delicious. George thinks he is addicted to them.

The husband and wife who ran the taco stand, told George that the place was called, "Baile Salon" [Dance Salon]. The husband, with a big smile, told George that beautiful young girls would dance with him this evening! Hmmmmmm?

Stopped at the panaderia to buy cookies.
George is also addicted to panaderia cookies, and stopped to buy four of them!



Two of the clerks at the panaderia wanted to have their pic taken!




3PM - Mr. Trek and the exploring Team members finally returned home to MsTioga.
It is nap time! Wow! That is one of the best things about traveling in our MsTioga Home. We may take a nap anytime we want!

The last sunset of 2004!
MsTioga wonders what grand Adventures she will find in 2005!


The Sun sets on the last day of 2004!



HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2005!

We want to thank you soooooo much for letting us share our Adventure with you. Without you, all of the great joy of sharing would not be!

MsTioga and all of the TiogaRV Team wish you the very best 2005!

Good Nite!





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Thursday, December 30, 2004

7AM - The dawn of an absolutely fabulous day in Vizcaino, Mexico!
It is only 7AM, and already it is T-shirt and short pants weather at The Team's Camp in Vizcaino, Mexico! Wow!

MsTioga and George are sooooo happy to welcome back the Sun!


88 Miles! - And The TiogaRV Team will be at the Gulf Coast!
We are not sure if we will go all the way to the coast today. After all, it's 88 miles, and that's a very long way, right? After breakfast here in Vizcaino, we will look around town a bit and do some grocery shopping. Then we'll head toward San Ignacio, the next big town on the map.

1PM - San Ignacio for lunch at a lakeside restaurant!
We were thinking about staying overnite at the Town of San Ignacio. Instead, we had lunch at Mikasa Restaurante, next to a lake. The waiter taught George how to use the words, "cual" and "que" which are sort of similar in Spanish. We had three fish tacos and rice with a coke for $6.35US. Very good too! We are now moving south toward the Town of Santa Rosalia on the coast.


George eating lunch in the Town of San Ignacio!


Mr. Mavica saw a large mountain and wanted a pic!
Mr. Mavica who always has his eye open for good pics, made MsTioga stop for this one of a large mountain with clouds. This mountain is the "Three Virgines Volcano." At this place, we are getting pretty close to the Town of Santa Rosalia.

Mr. Mavica takes a pic of the "Tres Virgenes Volcano", north of Santa Rosalia


Flowers are growing in the desert!
Maybe because it is summer-like weather here, flowers are growing. These yellow ones and lupine are everywhere.

Flowers blooming in the winter in the Southern Baja


4PM - We arrive in Santa Rosalia!
George never knows where to go when we enter a new town, but MsTioga always knows. We arrived as if by magic, at the city center. The town was alive with the sounds and sights of fiesta. It is New Years Eve, and the streets are going to be filled with dancing, happy people tomorrow.


George looks at one of two center streets in downtown Santa Rosalia.



5PM - We make a deal with two ladies who live in town for electricity!
George met a lady sweeping the street in front of her home. Actually, there were two ladies living there, Rosa and Lucia. We made a deal to plug into their electricity. We could not remain in the city center, and be running Mr. Onan, our generator. No way! The ladies did not want any money, for this service. But George told them that he would feel very bad if he could not pay for the electricity and the ladies accepted $100 pesos. Isn't this the greatest thing? Hmmmmmm?


George hooks the electricity up to MsTioga. 
We will stay here for two nites in order to 
celebrate the New Year fiesta here in Santa Rosalia!



Imagine the sounds of fiesta!
We are typing as fast as we can type, because we hear the sounds of fiesta from the downtown streets near our Nite Camp. The bells of the church across the street from our Camp are ringing. We want to go out, and be among the people of Santa Rosalia. We want to talk to them, get into the town, and feel fiesta! Wow!

7PM - We have returned from seeing Santa Rosalia in the evening!
The church is right across the road from our Camp, and there were guitars playing and people singing inside. George went in the church to see what was happening. The music was not like church music, but modern and with a beat that makes people want to dance and tap their feet to the rhythm. The church was packed, every seat taken and people standing along the back. Wow!

Across the road from the church, was a gymnasium. A basketball team from Mulege had come to challenge the Santa Rosalia team. Santa Rosalia is much better. There were a couple of hundred people in the stands cheering. These guys actually had plays that they ran! Exciting to watch!

On the main downtown street which is only two blocks from our Camp, stores were open and many shoppers were in them. George learned that there is going to be a dance tomorrow at a place called "Salon" which is a few blocks up the street. We will check that out tomorrow morning.

A juice stand looked very good, and George ordered an orange juice. Five oranges were squeezed. Pure orange juice, no ice. $15 pesos [$1.35US]. We bought two cookies for dessert, and came back to MsTioga to make supper. Salmon tonite! Yummm!





Nite Camp Map
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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Heading out this morning, southeast toward the Gulf of California!
The Team hopes to camp each Nite, after only a short trip, the same as we do in the USA. Up until now, we have not boondocked even one time here in Mexico. Dry Camped, yes. Boondocked, no. Now that we are so far south in Baja, we may be more adventuresome in boondocking. About 45 miles down the road is the Town of Vizcaino. We would like to Nite Camp somewhere around there.

8AM - Breakfast Camped north of Vizcaino on the road to Benito Juarez!
Bacon and sausge are being cooked, as this is being typed to you! This morning, matzos eggs and onions are on the menu. What's that? You never had matzos eggs and onions before?! You poor deprived thing, you!

RAIN!
Can you imagine that? Hmmmmm? Rain, in December! And George just washed MsTioga's front end this morning! Wow!


George does not like standing in the rain waiting for Mr. Mavica to take a pic!




Noon - Day Camped in Town of Vizcaino.
The Team wants to travel in Mexico, as we do in the United States, about 30 miles each day. Today, we traveled 47 miles from Guerrero Negro to Vizcaino.

Vizcaino, is a typical small town with some stores along the main street. If we kept going on this main street toward the west, in 40 miles we would reach the tip of the peninsula that juts out into the Pacific at the bottom of the Bay of Vizcaino.

MsTioga is parked in a large vacant lot. The main road is about 50 yards away. There are a few homes on one side, and an auto wrecking yard too. People walk from some homes down the dirt road to shop at the stores nearby.


George and MsTioga look at their Camp in the Town of Vizcaino.




Doing some writing this afternoon.
George wants to do some writing. He has been working on something about tasting your food. It is pretty deep. Probably nobody will be interested, but George writes anyway.

6PM - Looks like the Town of Vizcaino will be our Nite Camp.
Nobody bothered MsTioga all afternoon. Some kids looked at her, that was all. So we feel that this place will make a good Nite Camp. The traffic on the road nearby is very lite now. It is quiet. Somebody is playing a guitar in the closest home.



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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The search for perfect weather!
Have you been with MsTioga and The Team for a while? Hmmmm? You know that we are happiest when we are in T-shirt and short pants weather. Not too hot, because wimpy George gets wiped out when it is too hot. Not too humid, because who wants to be sticky!

Just this morning, we realized that Mr. Wave6, our loyal catalytic heater, was still sleeping in the shower (our shower is also our closet). This is such a wonderful thing!! Have we reached perfect winter weather? Was it as simple as going far enough south? Wow?!

Learning Spanish is a mysterious thing?!
Have you ever learned a new language before? For us on The Team, it is a mystery. For example, at the learning place where we are now, speaking is much, much easier than listening to others speak to us. We wonder when our "listening" to Spanish will catch up to our "speaking" in Spanish?

Exportadora de Sal and Scammon's Lagoon!
These are two places that we want to explore, here in the Town of Guerrero Negro. "Exportadora de Sal" is the major employer in town, and the largest salt-producing plant in the world. Scammon's Lagoon is one of the few places that the California Gray Whale makes its winter home. Wow! We are near where whales live! That is sooooo great. We love whales.

Noon - Working on webpage and computer stuff.
The Team has been working on our webpages this morning. We have also been doing Google searches on towns south of us. Looking at the maps! We love to plan. While we are on the computer, local Spanish music plays on Baby BoomBox.

Did you know that lately, George keeps a AAA map of Baja California stretched out on his bed? The map is to prove to George where he is now. It is sooooo hard to really believe that we are so far south! Wow!



George and MsTioga are soooo amazed that we are really in Guerrero Negro!




Went for a walk in the very nice neighborhood.
Remember the nice neighborhood where Mr. Mavica took a pic yesterday? And do you remember the store nearby, the Tienda Essa, where we Nite Camped? All of this property is owned by the huge "Exportadora de Sal", the salt manufacturer. The people who live in this nice neighborhood, are principles or high management in Exportadora de Sal. And the Tienda Essa is a company owned store.

Mr. Mavica took some pics of a model of parts of the salt factory. The entire factory installation is huge, and covers many, many square miles of salt collection, drying and processing of salt.



One of the processing areas used by Exportadora de Sal.




Everybody that we spoke to about viewing whales, says come back in February.
So, tomorrow we will break Camp in Guerrero Negro, and head south again. There is a town called Vizcaino where we might make Nite Camp.

A tray full of beef enchiladas in the oven!
While these enchiladas were in the oven, the inside of MsTioga got pretty warm. George went outside for fresh air. It is 7PM, still T-shirt and short pants weather, although a little cooler now. Man-O-Man!

Isn't everything that you do in your RV, better than when you do the same thing in your stick home?



Beef enchiladas, fresh from the oven!




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Monday, December 27, 2004

Long trip this morning for The Team!
When we arrived in the Village of Catavina yesterday, we found that the Pemex pump was covered with plastic. No gasoline. The next Pemex, is in the Town of Villa Jesus Maria, about 124 miles south. We are going to travel to Villa Jesus Maria this morning, because if we take 2-3 days to get there, and camp along the way, our generator will use up gasoline. Not good.

We have over 1/2 tank of gasoline right now, which should be more than enough to reach the next Pemex gas pump.




George looking at a giant Saguaro Cactus, just before leaving our Catavina RV Campground site.




11AM - Running on empty as we pulled in the Pemex!
MsTioga's gas gauge was below empty, as The Team arrived at the Pemex in Villa Jesus Maria. The tank was filled, and it took $63US to fill it. More than we ever paid for a tank of gas before!

The Town of Guerrero Negro.
We thought from the size of the letters on the AAA map, that Guerrero Negro would be a large city. However, it looks maybe about the size of Rosarito Beach, but perhaps poorer.

As we entered this Town, we were stopped at a military check point and had to pay $20 pesos for a white fly spray job. Apparently there is a white fly problem here.

Noon - Breakfast Camped in Guerrero Negro.
George has not had breakfast, and did not eat anything until now because he was worried about the gasoline situation. Now, it is time for breakfast!

2PM - Taking a walk around this Guerrero Negro neighborhood.
George changed into a T-shirt and short pants for this peek at the neighborhood. After all, it's 70 degrees outside! We are at the 28th parallel, for goodness sakes. The Tropic of Cancer is not too far away.

Back from our walk around the neighborhood. The dirt streets are much better than most Mexican towns that we have visited. There is a sandy surface, almost like brown beach sand covering the roads, and there are very few holes.

Here is a pic of George looking down the main road thru town, called Emiliano Zapata Blvd. The cross street is Lazaro Cardenas Blvd. Heroes of the revolution have streets named after them in many towns. Corona Beer must be special in this town, to find its advertisement on the street sign.



George on Emiliano Zapata Blvd., the main street in Guerrero Negro.


3PM - Breaking Day Camp and exploring to see the bay in Guerrero Negro.
West of this Day Camp, should be the waters of the Laguna Guerrero Negro for The Team to explore. We never found the bay, but we found other things.

What a nice store, and nearby neighborhood!
The Team was driving around, just looking, and we came upon the Tienda Essa. The word tienda means "store" in Spanish.



The Tienda Essa [Essa Grocery Store].




There were some posts on RV. NET today, about not being able to find grocery stores in the southern Baja. Take a look at this one!



Tienda Essa's inside look pretty modern to The Team.




Modern neighborhood nearby the Tienda Essa too.
A short distance from the grocery store, we were very surprised to find this upscale neighborhood in the Town of Guerrero Negro. This neighborhood could be in San Diego, for goodness sakes!



A lot of people are doing really well in the Town of Guerrero Negro.


Nite Camped across the road from Tienda Essa.
The Team has made a dry Nite Camp, at Tienda Essa. Tonite we will make fried chicken for supper. After supper, we will cook up a batch of beef enchiladas and freeze them for later.



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Sunday, December 26, 2004

Where will The TiogaRV Team make Nite Camp?
Highway #1 entering El Rosario, makes a 90 degree turn to the east. On our maps, we find no towns to research before the Town of Catavina which is 76 miles away. We love to explore the unknown!

Have you heard of Mama Espinosa's Restaurante of El Rosario?
We found that our Nite Camp is only a two minute walk from the famous "Mama Espinosa Restaurant" that is written about in many online pages about the Town of El Rosario. We are thinking about dropping in to take a peek at Mama Espinosa's this morning!

12 Noon - Back from breakfast at Mama Espinos'a Restaurante!
Only gringos seem to be in Mama Espinosa's this Sunday morning! And everyone was enjoying themselves, as did George!



Just about to go in for breakfast at Mama Espinosa's in El Rosario




We learned a new Spanish word this morning. "Nopales", which means cactus. We wondered about the fields of cactus that are being cultivated as a crop here in Mexico. What could cactus be used for? Hmmmmmm? Our waitress told us that Nopales is used not only in egg dishes, but in soups, salads and many different kinds of Mexican recipes.




George ordered a Nopales Omelette with cheese. We have to be courageous when ordering Mexican foods that we have not tried before. The Nopales Omelette was sooooo sabroso [flavorful]! Who would have thought to put cactus into an omelette?



4PM - Nite Camped in the Town of Catavina!
We saw one place that we might have Nite Camped before Catavina, but we did not explore there, and kept on the road. When we reached Catavina, we found a very small town with a modern appearing hotel. The gas pump is closed, which means that MsTioga must hold out for 224 miles more for gas at the City of Guerrero Negro.

Our Nite Camp is inside an RV Park. Two other RVers are here, and they did not know anything about this place, but were planning to spend the nite here. The hookups for electricity and water are not connected. While exploring, George met Eva, the attendant at this RV Park. Eva who only started working here last week, did not know when electricity and water would be connected, but said "Soon!" The price for a nite's stay is $6US.



RV Park in the Town of Catavina.




4:30PM - Exploring the Town of Catavina.
Mr. Mavica and his pal TriPod are anxious to go take a peek at Catavina, so George is walking into the town with them.

6PM - Back from exploring the Village of Catavina!
Would you like to take a peek at Catavina? Here are Mr. Mavica's impressions of this little village.

There is not too much in the Village of Catavina. It appears as though, even electric power must be generated for this tiny oasis in the desert.



Catavina Cafe and Catavina Grocery Store.




The Hotel is very nice. And the prices for rooms are, well, you may see for yourself.



Catavina Hotel and their Price List!




Supper tonite!
For supper we have the choice of enchilada, beans, corn and a salad. Or, salmon. Or, fried chicken. Or, roast beast. We have sooooo many choices. The TiogaRV Team is living the good life!

Some observations about traveling today in the high desert.
  • The desert is very green. Must have been a lot of rain here recently.
  • Very few cars on the road. Perhaps less than one a minute pass if I stop.
  • Highway #1 is a very good road. Surprisingly good.
  • Nice to be riding in MsTioga and have a bano [bathroom] on board.
  • Many places to boondock, if I had not been warned so much about safety.




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