Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Friday, June 19, 2009

A jaunt 'Over There': Puerto Penasco to San Felipe, Baja

-by El Gitano Peñasco, "The Peñasco Gypsy"

After many years gazing out across the Sea of Cortez towards where San Felipe is located in Baja California, Mexico, I often wondered what it was like ‘over there’ but always decided that it couldn’t possibly be that much different than Penasco and so, well, ‘why bother to go?’

And yet a couple of weeks ago I did just that. I loaded up mi burro and after coordinating the exact latitude and longitude readings in my newly acquired GPS handheld tracking device I mounted up and was San Felipe bound…

To get a feel for the area I first rented a little Casita north of town in the area known as El Dorado Ranch and for the rest of the expedition I picked up a good deal on a room about one block from the beach in the center of town at El Capitan Motel.

San Felipe seems much smaller than RP and yet it, too, has several distinct areas. I preferred ‘El Centro’ and also what I’ll call their ‘Gold Coast’ region (they call it 'The South') which begins south of town where the beaches are unspoiled, barren and seem to run all the way to “Land’s End” (aka: Cabo San Lucas— a very long way away).

To tell you the truth, I absolutely loved it ‘over there’, had a wonderful time and would highly recommend the adventure to anyone who adores jaunting about Mexico and especially those who appreciate ‘The Baja’.

True, San Felipe is no Penasco (but then again, Rocky Point will never be a ‘San Felipe’) but damn near everything from the weather to the beaches, the tides, the air quality, restaurants, people (foreigners and locals alike), choice of accommodations, shopping, fishing and even the taco stands offers a unique experience.

Now if someone would just start up a ferry service I’d buy a ‘forever’ pass and take the (guestimate) 80 mile sea venture several times a year because I already need another ‘fix’ on the Malecon de San Felipe…

In fact if I were there today I’d head over for another lip smacking dinner at “Rice & Beans and Rositas” and then to top the night off-- with some intermittent stops for a bevy here, a chat there-- I’d continue strolling down the Malecon and make my way to one of the oldest beach front watering holes in San Felipe, the ‘Bar Miramar’ and enjoy some great music, dancing, drinks and good conversations…

It’s good 'over there'. It’s VERY good!

Viva México!