Sunday, April 4, 2021

Baja Sunrise | Los Barriles, Mexico

ODOMETER: 84,770 | TOTAL MILES TRAVELED: 6,555

We have decided to settle in Los Barriles for a period of about 6 weeks. It is a beautiful place with camping right on the beach and gives us the ability to wait out the cold winter weather in the U.S. and complete a project we have been working on. Since we have established a routine, these blog posts will remain the same unless we take a special trip.

The sunrises are beautiful at the appropriately named “Baja Sunrise” campground so Grant and I often have our morning coffee on the beach. We loved doing the same thing at our house in Charlottesville, as it is an amazing way to get grounded, feel gratitude and start the day off on the right foot.

We often either paddleboard or take a walk on the beach before we head off for school and work. Since the WiFi at the campground is unreliable, we have found Playa del Sol, a quaint kiting resort about a mile down the beach with an outdoor coffee shop and great internet. It’s a lovely “walk to work” and they graciously allow us to sit there (as long as we buy food and drinks) from 9:30am until between 1:30 and 4pm for Jack and Stella to complete their virtual classes and for Grant and I to work on our project. The staff here is incredibly friendly and the food is excellent. We are slowly but surely developing a slight addiction to their soy lattes, zucchini bread and chicken tostadas.

There is also a “yoga by the sea” class here every Tuesday and Thursday which Grant and I have really been enjoying. A few times a week in the afternoons, we run/ride in the desert where we have discovered an amazing trail system. The rock gardens, steep grades and technical nature of the trails are challenging and in spite of consistently leading an active lifestyle, Grant and I are happily noticing an increase in our fitness. Run/rides are followed by a swim in the chilly ocean, which is always incredibly soothing and refreshing.

There is a fisherman named Juan whose boat is anchored off of our beach. About once a week, we buy about 2 kilograms of fresh fish from Juan, which we then eat for the rest of the week.

We get fresh produce from a local farmer’s market, an outdoor “stand” that is open daily from 7am to 11pm. It is usually supplied on Mondays, so we have learned that that’s the best day for produce. It is also seemingly operated by the same man, as we’ve never seen anyone else working there.

At the campground, we have gotten to know our neighbors, Heidi and Talon from Lake Tahoe. They have been here full-time for about 5 years, minus a couple of months they spend at Hood River, OR each summer. Talon is a retired pilot, an avid kiteboarder, mountainbiker and exerciser. At 62, his physique resembles that of Thor and Grant and I admire his dedication.

Heidi is the sweetest lady you can meet. Also very fit and beautiful, she takes care of the local kiters, constantly catching their kites and helping anyone that needs help with anything. She and Talon are a lot of fun and Grant and I enjoy sharing grilled fish with them at least once a week and it feels nice to be among new friends.

One night over a campfire on the beach, Talon told us a story about a plane crash he was involved in as a young pilot in the 80’s. He took a very long time to tell the story in as much detail as possible and during that time, you couldn’t hear a single peep from anyone else. We all sat in awe, jaws dropped and thought that it would make an amazing movie. It involved a Seneca plane captained by Talon, four other people, drug smugglers and the Haitian government. 3 people survived the fiery crash and if it wasn’t for Talon’s skills and leadership, the incident would have ended in complete tragedy.

We have come to love Los Barriles and it will be hard to leave when it’s time. It is a special community in a magical location that we have come to appreciate very much.

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