When we arrived in La Paz, Baja California Sur, after many long and dusty roads, it was time to give Chimera some love. After all, he/she/it (shim) is our world right now. First we ventured out to get the oil changed. We had purchased a bunch of oil filters before leaving the states in anticipation that it may be hard to find the correct Subaru filters along the way. We pulled up to a shop that looked like it specialized in oil changes and were immediately directed to drive over the pit. Tim did the best he could to communicate in Spanish with the grease monkey and, with some help from the woman working the cash register, we found out that they did not have the proper weight oil (in fact they may not have had any oil at all at the moment). They were meant to get a shipment later in the day, but we were told that we could just go across the street to the supermarket and buy the oil we needed. So Tim headed off to do this while the grease monkey went to work on draining the oil.
In Baja California Sur we mostly stuck to paved and well-graded roads, on which we weaved back and forth between the Pacific coast and the Sea of Cortez, met some VW buddies, woke up to a red tide, and experienced the beginning of Semana Santa madness.
Our Baja California adventure started off innocently enough. We crossed the border into Mexico in the morning without a hiccup and drove for a few hours, then turned off the only main road, the Mex 1, and onto our first dirt road. We drove slowly through a small town, then along the coast for several miles to a lovely isolated beach overlook at Punta Cabras. The typical afternoon wind was blowing strong, but it didn’t deter our excitement at finally setting up camp in Baja. The van is so great to travel and live in, setting up camp really only requires finding a relatively flat place to park and voila! Given the conditions we could also pop the top and roll out the awning, but both of those steps only takes a few minutes. To celebrate the launch of our journey and our first border crossing we popped open a bottle of champagne given to us for the occasion by Emily’s sister.