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.
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
|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
|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!