I had a deadline at the office that prevented our usual trip to San Felipe for the annual Shrimp Festival. For some details on last year’s click Shrimp Fest. However Thanksgiving week was free, a traditional week for the windsurfers and kite boarders to invade Bahia Santa Maria.
San Felipe Baja California
The first stop in town is often Bar Miramar for a strawberry margarita, no one makes a better one! and a fish taco from Adriana’s. No Strawberries! Adriana’s is closed today?! Grrr not a perfect start, but with an ice cold margarita and this view, still hard to complain.
Bahia Santa Maria is our destination, which is located 31km south of town. The tide is out as we arrive to open up the Beach House and sunset was quickly upon us.
Although this was once one of the best campos with wide beaches, there has been serious storm damage and loss of beach and the homes on the Sea of Cortez. At least on the bay we remain protected … at least for now.
As I mentioned Thanksgiving week brings the Kite Boarders and Wind Surfers to our little corner of paradise.
But what to do when the tide has gone out? There’s yoga or more fun the kids have discovered there is a waterfall in the back bay as it empties. Yes it’s muddy back there, my vote for mom-of-the-year award – the kids are covered with mud and fun … and mom? she took pictures!
For a bit more exercise take the kayak, or a swim to the point and back; ~1 mile round trip.
A local shrimp seiner was working the outlet of the bay the entire week. Must have been a great spot to do some shrimping.
For myself I’ll go clamming in the bay, or Shell Beach (a short walk when the back bay empties), or check out the early birds in the back bay.
Another option is a quad ride to explore the dunes – Hey Sue - that’s my quad! Sue and Brea are off, I’ll have a coco loco. There are a several trucks that come down the beach offering coco locos, piña coladas, shrimp or tamales.
But not wine!, bring your own.
And so we did. Edwards Vineyards offers up a very respectable Syrah, from Ramona wine country not far from home. We picked up this bottle on our way back from Ocotillo Wells mentioned in my last post. And enjoyed it with BBQ turkey under the rising full moon.
I know Mexico offers some very good wines. Monte Xanic Merlot is truly world class – just try to find it! Santo Thomas is our go-to wine and available in town.
The Valle de los Gigantes are just before the ‘Oh Shit Dip’ at km 17 and home to the worlds largest forest of cardón cacti.
The final sunrise as we pack up to return home … until the next visit.
Homeland Security advertised a 70 min wait at Calexico West, 90 min at Calexico East and 45 min in Tecate on their Border Wait Times website. What the heck, Calexico West is on the way home … nope it was 3 hours! It’s always 3 hours!
To compensate we splurged with a glass of wine and dinner at Camacho’s Place.
Road Conditions: are really good, there is some asphalt resurfacing south of Rio Hardy and along Laguna Salada, be advised not to drive at night as much of the lane markings were not yet in place. Check out the Road Conditions San Felipe website.
Tourist Card: Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM) are now required for all who enter Mexico – as of Sept 2015 there is no longer a ‘Tourist Zone’ in Baja.