Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ensenada to Eden... no joke.

We were the only campers, and so the kind attendant at Mona Lisa Campground & RV Park let me into a hotel room so I could have a hot (salty) shower, which was a welcome treat. They directed us to a palapa that they made sure we understood was usually rented for a hefty fee, and told us we could camp there instead so we would be warmer. We expressed our gratitude and mentioned that our friend would be joining us. No problem. Between my rusty Spanish and their patience, we reached what I thought was an agreement that Mike would pay 50 pesos for the night.

When Mike (who is Colombian and speaks fluent Spanish), arrived, the guard came over, told him where to park his bike and accepted his 50 pesos.

Fast forward through three sketchy cars that came and parked in the lot to pay 50 pesos to do goodness-knows-what, and a group of a dozen rowdy teenagers that had a campfire a few meters from our tent that we had retired to by 8pm, and Mike has set up his tent and is about to fall asleep despite the racket. The guard comes over to him yelling that he has to pay to camp (because according to them he had only paid to park), and they proceed to have a rather unpleasant exchange that winds up with Mike breaking down his tent and simply sleeping on his cot to avoid paying $25.

After a night of spotty sleep and pretty consistent stress over our well-being, Mike’s well-being and the well-being of the bikes that were right next to us, we woke up with pounding headaches and packed to get out of town. I somehow paid only 50 pesos for Mike’s night on his cot and they seemed happy to chalk it up to a mis-understanding. Ugh. What a racket.

At least the view from Mona Lisa Beach made up for the poor nights rest.

Before leaving town, we headed to immigration, got our tourist visas and passports stamped, (for those thinking about traveling down here, make sure you do it here or in Tijuana if you want to continue into mainland Mexico. They will make you ride back all the way if you don’t have it at the ferry!) headed to Telcel to discover that Verizon had lied about my phone being unlocked, gassed up and got out of dodge.

It was after noon already and with only 3+ hours to ride before the sun would begin to set, we knew we would have to begin looking for camping sooner rather than later.

The highway was in excellent condition and the scenery was beautiful… Low, sculpted hills and even some young vineyards dotted the landscape. The speed limits were extremely conservative and annoying. And we seemed to be the only ones even close to abiding by them!

We came to our first military checkpoint and they just waved us through. Whew.

The sun began to set and Roel and I began to have the discussion about where to camp over our headsets.
Yes, we usually exclusively camp wild and free, but in Mexico, particularly this part of Mexico, we didn’t want to be taking any chances. There appeared to be good wild camping galore, but I reminded Roel that looks can be deceiving and this is not the area to take a chance with what might be at the end of a road that “appears” to be abandoned.

Just before entering San Quintin, I saw a sign out of the corner of my eye and caught the word “Palapa.” I signaled to the guys and we turned around and decided to check it out. Down a dirt road and off to the right is ‘El Eden.”

No really. That’s the name of this campground. And after where we slept the night before, I felt like Rosa’s campground really was Eden.

We camped under the palapas on the left of the photo

She welcomed us and told us to camp wherever we liked and that she would go turn on the gas so we could have hot showers. For 50 pesos each. Less than $4.

Couldn't resist the locally produced strawberries that Rosa offered... and no harm done, I'm relieved to report

The setup of the place is lovely and it is evident that a lot of thought, care and love has gone into it’s creation. There is a playground, a pagoda, palapas of all sizes (since it’s cold and the weather called for rain, we are camping
underneath one of them).

The pool at El Eden is lovely, and they have two smaller pools for children

The buildings are all brightly painted and the fences and palapas are artfully erected. It is such a peaceful place to be, and it has such a nice feeling with Rosa’s children, her 4 dogs and the school children running around next door, that we decided to stay and have a rest day.

El Eden's "Guard Dogs"

And for the first time in three days, Rosa’s Eden did what no amount of water, Advil or Paracetamol could do… it cleared our heads and relieved the pounding.

No comments:

Post a Comment