Weekend trip to Punto San Jacinto, Baja, Mexico from San Diego

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May, 2008

Pacific coast, Punto San Jacinto, Baja, Mexico
Pacific coast, Punto San Jacinto, Baja,
We were lucky enough to be invited by some friends to spend Memorial Day weekend with them in Mexico. The place we were to be going is called Punto San Jacinto on the Pacific coast, and if I recall it is somewhere around 150 miles south of the US/Mexico border, definitely a good several hour drive. Getting there is pretty easy, you just head south towards Tijuana, cross the border, and head to the toll road going south. Once you get out of Tijuana it's a straight shot on the winding highway. There was only one checkpoint, and the fact that my girlfriend is pretty fluent with Spanish made it easy.

In my experience the checkpoints aren't too bad, however they can be a little nervewracking with all the bad Mexican news that's always being reported, combined with the fact that most of the federales look hardly old enough to buy cigarrettes and are carrying large guns -- guns much larger than officers carry in the States. But usually they are pretty laid back, they just like to poke around the car, ask a few questions, and then let you go on your way.

At the time we took this trip, the Tijuana area was getting a pretty bad rap in the news because of murders and kidnappings, but we had no problems. We left after dark with the goal being a straight drive with no traffic. Everything went smoothly, all you really have to watch out for is the truckers who wind up and down the narrow highway, and the sharp turns. Not knowing where our destination actually was, we followed our friends and after a few turns from the main road, we were there. The property we were going to had no house, and it was quite desolate, with nothing around for miles with the exception of about 20 or thirty other lots, some of which had proper homes, some which just had campers or trailers. On our friends' lot they had constructed a shack with a water tank on top which was used as a makeshift bathroom, and a nice little windbreak made of corrugated tin which was quite good at doing its job, which of course is to block the wind and provide a bit of shelter The area is right on a point, and even as the temperatures inland are warming, the breeze off the Pacific down there is quite cool. We quickly set up the tent, did a couple obligatory shots of tequila, had a few beers, then went to sleep.

It turns out that in that area is there not a whole lot going on, so pretty much the only thing on the menu for the weekend -- even a holiday weekend -- is relaxation. Down the coast about a quarter mile is a very nice Bed and Breakfast where they serve breakfast, even if you are not staying there, so each morning was started with a walk along the coast to get some food. The days were quite relaxing, spent walking or jogging along the beach or just hanging out at the camp. We didn't do much worth mentioning, but any weekend where you don't have anything to do is certainly good for relaxing. After this much needed rest in Mexico, we headed back to san Diego, but this time we took the alternate route through Tecate. Although you don't get the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean from the highway winding along the cliffs, you avoid Tijuana so it's a fair trade.

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Pacific coast, Punto San Jacinto, Baja, MexicoPacific coast, Punto San Jacinto, Baja, Mexico
Open road in Baja California, MexicoOpen road in Baja California, Mexico
Not much going on here in BajaNot much going on here in Baja
The destination, the coast in   Punto San Jacinto, looking southThe destination, the coast in Punto San Jacinto, looking south
Looking north towards the shipwreck,   Punto San JacintoLooking north towards the shipwreck, Punto San Jacinto
Shipwreck, Punto San Jacinto, BajaShipwreck, Punto San Jacinto, Baja
A few hours south of the US/Mexico border, heading north toward Tijuana and San   DiegoA few hours south of the US/Mexico border, heading north toward Tijuana and San Diego
Back in California, Tecate, US/Mexico   borderBack in California, Tecate, US/Mexico border

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