Wednesday, November 30, 2016

San Felipe, Mexico

A short visit to Mexico on winter days can be a fun adventure to see the casual life across the Mexican border.  We crossed into Mexicali with just a wave to cross the border, so much easier than expected.  We followed Highway 5 that would take us south to San Felipe, Mexico which sits on the west coast of the Sea of Cortez.  We passed through a check point manned by the Mexican Police Force, who are often called the Federales, without much more than a friendly brief hello.

Sierra Juarez Mountains
There was more desert than anything else but we could see the Sierra Juarez Mountains and drove through a pass on our way.  The different shades make this sight so interesting showing the different distance of the mountains.

The many colors of San Felipe, Mexico
San Felipe has a population of about 17,000, and even more during the winter months but it feels like a village with a big welcoming mat.  There is the Malecon along the waterfront with several shops and restaurants that offers a wide variety of choices for both as well as bands playing in the evening to make the night feel festive.

A main street in San Felipe
The main source of income in the past had been the fishing industry but that has changed over the years and tourism is now keeping this town very busy during the high seasons.  There are several beautiful neighborhoods scattered around the area with predominantly ex-pats living a comfortable life.

Dune buggy heaven
Dune buggies of all shapes, styles and sizes were seen during out visit.  We’d never seen so many ‘luxury’ looking dune buggies before. They are permitted on the main streets of town so become the favored transportation for many visitors that come to enjoy the sand dunes of the Baja California. There were zillions of RV’ers (lost count) along the beautiful shoreline of the Baja.

Black vultures
I was hoping to get a photo of a turkey vulture as I had a quick glance of one with the red head.  They are quite large with a 1.6m (5.25 ft) wingspan.  This was the best I could do on our visit but I believe these are black vultures, a shorter, stockier vulture sitting up waiting for some lunch to appear.

Cow Patty pub
Speaking of lunch, we were driving south of San Felipe to Puertecitos and having been told about the Cow Patty, we stopped to enjoy lunch with the crowd that had gathered at this one and only pub seen on the 80 km drive.  Beer and hot dogs are all they serve, although I thought the name implied hamburgers, (lol) but the experience was worth the stop!

We stayed with a friend who lives on the beach and our view was incredible.  No matter what time of day you looked out at the water, it was a beautiful sight.  We had some wind while there, so the waves were a bit higher but still a great sight to see.

The pelicans, called pelicanos in Spanish are the smaller dark ones like we’d seen while on the East Coast of USA many years ago.  We typically see the white pelicans when we are down south but we’ve never seen any of them fly over like this.  There were about 35 pelicanos in a long row.  This sight was amazing.  The late afternoon sun made them almost glisten.

Sea of Cortez
I never managed to get a photo with the tide all the way in, but we could hear the waves splash up against the shore during the dark hours of evening, not a good photo opp.  Our stay was brief but memorable.  We saw the sights that make this town a special and easy place to visit.

Our border crossing when heading back across to the States was not as easy as coming down.  We sat in the moving line-up for 3 hrs and 48 mins!   I would not recommend a Sunday for the day to return from Mexico, but we were welcomed with a smile by the border patrol in spite of her very busy day!

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