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November 11, 2019

Shrimp Festival - San Felipe

The 27th annual Shrimp Festival that marks the beginning of San Felipe’s high tourist season.  The festival is held the first weekend of November on the Malecon.  

Normally we'd cross the border at Mexicali, but the new crossing at Rio Nuevo is still a mess.  This trip we chose to cross at Tecate.  We enjoy this small mountain border town, I blogged our visit there a couple years ago HERE.

Just east of Tecate the free Mex 2 meets the Federal Mex 2D.  Mex 2 is a narrow two lane alternative to the 4 lane divided Mex 2D toll road, saving us $123 pesos.  Both roads join 50 km away at La Rumarosa, where the toll is a more reasonable $36 pesos.  

There is a 2-digit grade in places as it changes elevation between La Rumarosa and La Cuesta (The Slope).  However there are numerous pullouts to enjoy the view, while giving the brakes or transmission a bit of time to cool.  

La Cuesta provides ample parking, a nice restaurant, convenience store and a gas station.  When was the last time you were welcomed into a gas station by gals in short-shorts, dancing and waving banners?

Mex 2D, the toll road, from Tecate La Rumarosa is in excellent condition.    Mex 2, the free road, is a narrow 2 lane in pretty good condition.  Mex 2D from La Rumarosa is in excellent condition to the junction with Mex 5.  Generally Mex 5 south of Mexicali to San Felipe is also in very good condition, although, on this trip there was a minor detour around some bridge work.  

Fran's brother, Bobby, has a Beach House south of San Felipe at Bahia Santa Maria.  The road south of San Felipe always seems to be in need of work.  Sections of the road were covered in sand from a windstorm last month.

There is major road work to replace the vados with culverts on the Puertecitos road, adding additional detours.

However, the "Oh Shit Dip" at km marker 17 remains.  This is the worst of the vados!

When I opened the house I discovered a couple bats had made their home behind one of the storm shutters.

Well it is Bat Week!  Cute critters, aren't they?

The same windstorm that covered the road with sand, caused a storm surge that has eroded away our last 5 yards of beach.  Water made it into the house, ARG!  20 years ago there was 30 yards of beach in front of the house.  We often played volleyball there, now that is all gone, we might be the next home to be claimed by the Sea of Cortez.

With the house opened we find several outlets and lights are not working.  That's a common theme since the electrical wires run under the slab and short out when the water level rises.  Something else to deal with tomorrow, today is for the shrimp.

We arrived at the Malecon just before sunset, the kids' rides were ready for their first customers.

We like to sample shrimp, rather than a full meal from a single stand.  Costal Azul with Chipotle is one of my favorites.

What's not to like about spicy bacon wrapped shrimp?  Even better when I can find it stuffed with jalapeno and/or cheese.

Shrimp cocktails in spicy Clamato are a treat.

Live music and dance events on the main stage liven up the event.  The locals arrive early with their chairs for the performances.

They'll be waiting nearly an hour for the first performance, which is a Beatles tribute band.

The festival this year falls the day after Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  Characters from the movie Coco.

By the time we left the party was in full swing

Back at the Beach House, we begin to move some sand and fill sand bags to help keep the water in the bay.

Doing this by hand is not going to do much good, but when a piece of equipment is not needed by the road work, it can be hired out.

We have less than a year left on the lease, hopefully the sand will last that long.

Otherwise we could well look like this house that's just down the beach
The birds seem to be best suited for dealing with the shifting sands

With what sand that could be moved in place we had time to relax.  Fran was the only one to kayak this trip, although we had some perfect days for it.

We all enjoyed some golf on our course - Bahia Santa Maria Executive North 8.  We lost one of our flags a few years ago making it an 8-hole, to make it an Executive 9 we have to play one of the holes twice.

At low tide I noticed a bunch of pots in the bay.

The shifting sands covered once productive clam beds.  This is an effort by Mexico to reseed the bay with clams.

It'll take time to see if this works, the locals have already raided the pots.

The Beach House is a one-bedroom, with a loft.  It's Bobby's house, he gets the bedroom.  The loft has 2 double beds, a queen air bed and a single roll-away bed.  Fran takes the nicer double and I take the roll-away onto the roof.  That may seem strange, but here's why:

Although I enjoyed a lot of shoulder activity from the Taurid Meteor Shower, I did not capture any with the camera.

The shrimp harvest was pretty good this season.  We came home with a few kilos of beautiful and tasty jumbo shrimp.

Although we will not have the Beach House much longer, San Felipe will still have the shrimp.


  1. Nice sleeping under the stars.

    1. The super dark sky really makes it a special place.

  2. My favorite way to make these jumbo shrimp, bacon wrapped shrimp. Nice detailed shot of Orion. Yep, looks like that house is in trouble...

    1. bacon wrapped is my favorite also. We've had 20 fun years making memories at the Beach House, I'm ok letting nature decide its future.

  3. A great celebration but not so great to loose your sandy yard.

    1. True - it will be disappointing to loose the Beach House, but San Felipe - and the shrimp - will still be there!

  4. Yummy and colorful festival! Not so fun trying to save your beach house...good luck!

    1. The fest is a fun event, the pangas come in full of shrimp, the seiners head out to fill their holds and the snowbirds are welcomed.
      We'll miss the having the Beach House, but building a sea wall to save it would cost more than buying another. We'll let nature take its course.

  5. Shrimp Festival and a Beatles Tribute Band sounds perfect to us. Sorry to hear about the beach house. Hope you were able to restore things.

  6. We will not fight nature, the timing is good as there is less than a year left on the lease. The shrimp were awesome this year!, wish I could have brought more back with us.


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