Saturday, March 6, 2010

Northward Migration

Here in Baja there is a fairly obvious ebb and flow of gringos. When we came south in mid-October we were clearly on the leading edge of the southward migration. Other RVs were rare on Mex 1, and most of our usual camping beaches were empty, which meant that we didn’t stop. We abide by the “three plus one” rule: three rigs plus ours, or we don’t stop, out of an abundance of caution regarding security. As the weeks passed, more and more snow/rain birds arrived, and by the first weeks of January things looked normal, although still at levels about 30% below last year.

Well, the flow has now reversed with the turn of the calendar from February to March. When we pulled into Playa Juncalito last Saturday there were about 10 rigs on the beach, and we had more than 100’ between us and the next nearest set of campers. Last night the beach officially achieved “full up” status with almost 2 dozen rigs, according to those who spend the winter here. In fact, we now have a large motor home about 25’ feet from us. Perhaps that’s overstating it a bit, but our friends Jill and Doug, who we last saw 10 days ago in Los Barriles showed up on the beach about 6 PM yesterday, and we invited them to park next to us. We don’t think anyone would park that close without an invitation but we’re always happy to have friends nearby.


Everyone seems to be headed north. Some, like us, plan to take an extended tour with multi-day stops along the way; others are high-tailing it home. Santa Semana, the Mexican Easter holiday, is celebrated over 10 days in early April and marks the official end of the gringo migration. Santa Semana results in everyone in Mexico taking a holiday, and from what we hear, most Mexicans end up on a beach somewhere. We’re told by folks who have been here for previous Santa Semanas that at Playa Juncalito during the holiday, the population reaches 2,500-3,000 people! And let us confirm something: it’s not that big of a beach! The Municipality of Loreto brings in porta-potties, but not enough, and as a result the sanitary conditions get pretty bad. So all the gringos plans to leave sometime in the next 3 weeks.

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