Located 200km of desert south of Mexicali, San Felipe is not the sleepy fishing village that long ago attracted us. Altho fishing remains a stable of the economy it is not what it once was. Tourism is also falling, with the exception of a few weekends of February, March and April when the Baja 250 and Spring Break attracts the crowds, San Felipe remains pretty sleepy. Today the main income comes from retirement living and real estate.
But this week we are here for the Festival del Camarón. Each year the festival celebrates the arrival of shrimp season (and snowbird season) with a party on the Malecón.
But I’ll start with getting here. An FMM is REQUIRED! period. For visits less than a week the FMM is free but still MUST be stamped on entry. It’s easy to to do all the paperwork online and obtain the stamp in Tecate (very easy), TJ (easy but a long walk) or Mexicali (a frick’n pain). Here again, is the info from my post on using the dentist in TJ
All persons entering Mexico must have a visa (FMM) in their possession. This can be obtained online or filled out at the Immigration Station. I obtained our forms online and paid for the 6 month multiple entry, we only needed to have them stamped upon entry. Note that BOTH the FMM and the bank receipt are needed!!! The FMM (Mutliple Migratiry Form) can be filled out here at the Nacional de Migration.
The road from Mexicali south to San Felipe remains in great condition, altho missing some lane markings. I will continue to recommend not to drive at night. The road further south is showing signs of wear, but remains an easy daylight drive.
Entering Campo Santa Maria the trailer broke away from the truck. Oops! I really like the one handed easy Conner hitch pins, and never-ever lost the trailer before. Just be sure to hear the ‘click’ when the pin is locked … guess I missed that step!
Yes I carry a spare!
This is the first year we had kids coming for trick-or-treat. Cute as can be!, and greedy – Fran’s week-long supply of candy was gone in a second!
I typically sleep on the roof of the Beach House to enjoy the view, sunset and stars. The view to the west across the back bay is always so relaxing. While the view to the east over the Sea of Cortez is constantly changing.
and looking up at the moon and Venus …
Not just Bahia Santa Maria beach erosion continues to be a problem for all of the South Campos. In the past erosion was fought with sea walls. But at Bahia Santa Maria we have come up with the idea of the sea wants sand so give it sand. We’ll have to wait and see how this works …
Sea walls seem like a good idea, but have not met with ideal success
After another spectacular sunrise we decide to do some beach combing on Shell Beach an easy walk in the sand across the Back Bay drainage at low tide.
I have a motto ‘Don’t mess around with the ride that’ll take you home.’ And this is why we walk to Shell Beach, or take the quad. It was a long walk home for someone ...
We have not been down to Puertocitos in awhile and after watching this You Tube presentation we decided to head down and have a drink at Cowpatty.
Note my beer comes with a cover to keep the flies out. Fran’s wine is indeed a ‘full pour’! and enough to share with any interested critters.
There is now a fee to enter the Puertocitos Campo to access the hot pools, it’s high tide so we did not bother. However at low tide this is a fun thing to do. As the video showed the road is good and likely good all the way to Gonzaga Bay. The section back to Mex-1 will be done by early spring.
A nice break for a beer, but back at the beach house I need to do some terra forming while Fran enjoys a kayak on the rising tide. There has been a sand dune forming on the water side of the house big enough to block the view – gotta go! And I found a landscape rock I’d like to use to replace the dead palm.
Whew, we’ve been doing chores and having fun all week but at last we have a plan to enjoy some of the festivities we came for. And what do we see first???? Carne Asada! – dah – it’s a SHRIMP Fest! Sure smells good tho .
A shrimp and clam paella is interesting, but clams with shrimp and bacon smothered in cheese ??? WHOA I’m there!
Bacon wrapped shrimp, on a grill or deep fried in bacon grease, or stuffed with jalisco cheese (yummy!), shrimp on a stick
Or spicy shrimp tacos with bacon!
New this year is a wood fired pizza oven, featuring shrimp pizza!
Drinks were big this year. A Mexicali micro brew, local coco-locos, tequila, wine, etc. were more common than shrimp vendors.
Families and vendors spend the night on the beach at the Malecón, where there is additional entertainment. The camping is common, but a new twist on the traditional banana boat is the sombrero boat! … looks like fun.
There is lots going on on the main stage. After the shrimp we grab a couple Margaritas and find a place to sit. The HowTo Chevie demonstration was hard to see but the results sure look good!
They did not have ‘Dancing with the stars’ but these kids had a lot of fun ‘Dancing under the stars’! And of course there is a queen – La Reina de San Felipe
And so glad we stayed for the headliner. Elves may have ‘left the building’, but Selena ‘has taken the stage’! WOW! J.Lo you have been replaced as the best Selena impersonator. We were both spellbound by her performance … or maybe it was that second (third?) Margarita.
We’ve been playing sand golf for years, but never thought to get it organized. But now we have an official club at Bahia Santa Maria! Sweet …
Next up – an update on the De Anza Revitalization Plan and the Mission Bay RV Park …