Why Baja?

The mountains reflect the ever-changing colours of the skies.

(Click on the photos to make them bigger. They’re prettier that way.)

Why do people go to Mexico’s Baja? It’s remote, and for the most part semi-desert terrain. Cacti everywhere with spines that  pierce leather runners; terrible, narrow winding roads full of  potholes and drop offs, no guard rails; miles and miles of nothing but desert without so much as a phone booth or a gas station; rattlers, tarantulas, ticks and scorpions, dust and poverty, and more dust. And, bandidos patrol the roads at night. Why would anyone want to go there? Year after year?


If you drive carefully, you’ll survive the roads. If you’re  prepared you won’t miss having a store handy every few miles. If you go between November and March, the rattlers will most likely be denned up. The tarantulas are up in the sandy hillsides, the scorpions are hiding from you deep under places you don’t need to look, and the ticks are only after your dog, so leave your dog at home or in your trailer. The bandidos? They’re rare, but if you follow the advice of seasoned Baja travelers and don’t drive at night you’ll be fine.

So why go to Baja? It’s warm in the winter but not overdeveloped. You can enjoy quiet beach camping without all the razzmatazz of city nightlife. Birds and sealife are there to be observed and admired. Hiking is possible in many places. Oh, did I mention the beaches, swimming, snorkeling, and diving?

Clear water for snorkeling.

And the people of Baja? Very friendly and welcoming.

Talking to other campers, I realized that everyone has a story, a reason for choosing to come to Baja. I thought, why not write one of those stories?

One woman inspired the novel I have just published. I don’t know her name or much about her. I only know that the licence plates on her van were from San Diego. She was a chain smoker, tight with her money – not wanting to pay the $5.00 a night camping fee—and she sat in the driver’s seat listening to audio tapes. I never saw her get out to enjoy the beach or put her feet in the water. It struck me as strange and I wondered why she had come all the way from San Diego to park on a Baja beach and never get out of her vehicle.

I made up a story about her, but I changed her from old to young, and from a chain smoker to a healthy, active woman. Now I had a beautiful California girl and a van. Why would Sylvia come to Baja by herself? I had to make up a reason. Maybe she received a letter that changed her life.

Fine. Now I needed to create someone for her to love. A handsome young man from Alberta might also be camping. Why? Maybe Kevin had had some sudden news and wanted a change from his unhappy life.

When Kevin and Sylvia meet, the sparks fly. They spend many a loving evening gazing at the constellations above them under those starry Baja skies. Orion watches over them nightly. It’s a match made in heaven, except for two things that could ruin everything. Kevin and Sylvia each have a secret. To tell all might jeopardize their newfound love. Making matters worse, their vindictive spouses are coming after them.

Read about Kevin and Sylvia’s Baja love affair in Orion’s Gift. Find out what happens when their hopes for happiness come crashing down. Click on the book cover image at the right for the Kindle link to Orion’s Gift. Go to Smashwords  http://ow.ly/d9P9K to download Orion’s Gift for all types of e-readers.


Photos courtesy of Amanda Naismith.

22 thoughts on “Why Baja?

  1. I probably won’t go, not only because it is so far away, but tarantulas, rattlers, ticks and bandidos and some scorpions. And I don’t have to. I can enjoy your interesting story and beautiful photos. They are nice.


    • Well, the rattlers are denned up at that time, but I did see all the rest of it. Not the bandidos, but our friends had a run-in with them. So, what can I say? Some people go white-water rafting. I go to Baja.


  2. Not the kind of holiday I would like. My idea of roughing it is having to move the beach chair because the tide is coming in. On the other hand, this is a book I can highly recommend. A rip roaring love story with danger and excitement at every turn.


  3. I’m kinda a seaside girl, and you know how much I’ve enjoyed your previous posts about the lakes and the mountains and the shores. But this… wow. Thank you for sharing the pictures. Baja is not a place I would have thought of or even known existed, but the emptiness and the haunting melancholy of your pictures tugs at my heartstrings. One day, when I’m rich and famous (haw haw haw) I’ll travel the world and Baja will be on my list. Thank you!


    • We had some very nice “Happy Hours” there, and lots of boating fun. In Orion’s Gift I was able to draw on a lot of our own adventures and fictionalize them for the novel. If you want the sand and the sea and the 5-star treatment you can always book into one of the hotels at Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of Baja. Camping was more affordable and held more adventure for us. Thanks for visiting, Nicky.


  4. I’ve been south of the border quite a few times years ago and always wanted to see Baja but never got around to it. The way things are in Mexico now I wouldn’t go even if I had the chance. Those are really pretty scenes though!


    • The skies are beautiful in the mornings and evenings in Baja and the hills often reflect those colours. If I had your photography skills, I could have taken some fantastic photos. Very dramatic sunsets sometimes.


    • Keep in mind this account is from ten years ago, but some things don’t change. It was a lot of fun, even allowing for the scrapes we got into.But if you want a true taste of a Baja camping trip, download my book, Orion’s Gift. Much more detail and an entertaining story as well. Just click on the image of the book cover for details.


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