Now that we’re only 3 weeks or so from the border, tonight we discussed how we’re feeling about this year’s Baja journey compared to last year. While there are many small differences, and many things the same, there are three significant changes:
1) On the “plus” side, we note a significant reduction in any feelings of stress compared to last year’s journey. This stems from already knowing the land and route, the culture, how to find and buy the things we need (like cash, water and propane for the Arctic Fox), understanding the routines around border crossings, military checkpoints, and having met so many incredibly warm, friendly, helpful Mexicans, and no “bad guys”, that we find nothing scary about the place or people. And we’re a great deal more familiar with how to properly and safely travel in an RV. It also helps that Cathryn’s Spanish has improved with our two weeks of study in La Paz, so we rarely travel with the dictionary in hand anymore, and she’s confident she can handle most situations we need to address in Spanish.
2) On the “minus” side, last year we experienced a high sense of “adventure” and “newness” all along the way. Most days contained challenges we didn’t know how to resolve, new routes and scenery, and new experiences. We felt we were learning things every day and solving puzzles most days. We’ve realized we miss that component this year. We know what to expect now and haven’t really faced any problems that felt terribly challenging, even flat tires in unfamiliar places where we knew no one, and without a cell phone or the internet.
3) Another on the “plus” side, last year when we were in our small Chalet A frame we didn’t have an on-board bathroom. Most, but not all, beaches had at least marginally acceptable outhouses. Requeson where we’re camped now did not, and we used the Boy Scout method. As it turned out, we had problems here with our refrigerator last year, so we left after one night to go into Mulege for repairs. Here’s a photo of this year’s version of a Requeson outhouse. Cathryn is very happy we upgraded to the Arctic Fox!
So, we remain extraordinarily pleased we came here for a second winter and are having a wonderful time. We highly recommend such a journey for anyone intrigued by the idea!