Back in Carolina

After a whirlwind of adventures, we’re finally back home in Chapel Hill. Our last couple of weeks in the Bay Area were awesome, but we were happy to head south to LA before jetting off to Mexico. Leaving Berkeley, our car was jam packed – seriously, I’ve never seen a Land Rover look more like the Clampett-mobile – but my super gracious friend Erin let us stash everything in her Hollywood apartment while we went south of the border.

A short flight later, we made it to Cabo, where we picked up our rental car and headed to Cabo Pulmo on the East Cape in Baja California Sur. The town is in the middle of a marine park and is totally off the grid, with everything powered by solar electricity, and can only be accessed by a long trip down El Camino Rural Costero – a windy dirt road where the only traffic is caused by the occasional herd of cows. We stayed in a tiny palapa bungalow, which was the perfect base for snorkeling around the coral reef right off the beach, exploring the fishing villages down the coast and hiking to hidden beaches. The tiny town was, in my opinion, the perfect adventure vacation spot, with no high-rise hotels, no light pollution (read: awesome star gazing) and no Cabo tourists. We had beaches all to ourselves and feasted on gourmet meals (the town has four restaurants, which are open on rotating schedules) for less than $20 (for two!). Pretty much paradise.

After our stay in Cabo Pulmo, we headed west, making a stop in the Sierra de la Laguna along the way. The park is something of a phenomenon in Baja, with regular rain and species that exist nowhere else on the peninsula. We checked out one of the hot springs in the area before making our way west to the surfer oasis of Todos Santos.

We stayed just south of Todos Santos in the town of Pescadero at a tiny inn on Playa San Pedro. Todos Santos is completely different than the towns of the East Cape, with a partying surfer set and a huge ex-pat community, and it was easy to see why – the beaches were truly awesome, with incredible waves and plentiful wildlife. On top of that, Miguel’s restaurant in town serves the best chile rellenos on the planet. No joke.

All in all, the trip was exactly what I’d wanted it to be — a long, relaxing farewell to the West Coast. Hope we’ll be back soon.

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