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San Pedrito Beach | El Pescadero, B.C.S.

Todos Santos’ Finest Beach

This time is only my 2nd season in San Pedrito Beach in El Pescadero close to Todos Santos. I came here first on new Year’s eve 2016/2017. Due to some unforeseen events, I stayed at this place longer than expected. That was indeed a blessing. It didn’t take long to fall in love with this beach and the community.

We got here had to do with a slipped disc injury my travel mate “Jens” was suffering from. He hoped to find the right practitioner to help him overcome this issue in this area. If you had your own experiences with a slipped disc, you might know that an instant cure is seldom possible unless you find someone who can perform miracles.

Still, El Pescadero and Todos Santos were the right places to find many snake charmers and spine benders. Unfortunately, the only medicine that could cure Jens was to relax and chill out as much as possible.

I stayed for almost four more months at San Pedrito Beach until I had to go back to Europe, but I was hooked. There was this deep desire to come back here and have my van to hang out. So I put this on my midterm agenda, and just six months later, I booked a ticket back to Mexico.

New Season in Baja California Sur

In early February 2018, I returned to San Pedrito Beach. It took me a while to shake off the city dust and get used to being pounded by waves again. Of course, one of my main objectives for this new season was to improve my surfing capabilities.

Unfortunately, the paddle muscles I acquired the previous Year had melted into oblivion during my long hours in front of an office desktop in Germany. I became soft and pale, but that was my challenge.

Let’s talk about collective change. Like my very own body, San Pedrito Beach had also transformed into something bizarre. The Year before, the whole beach was a free camping zone, and only Rafa’s bar, “Pura Playa, had been a light beam of order. The rest of the beach was just wild west camping at its best.

Transformation Of San Pedrito Beach

Now in 2018, things have changed. Now we had three different habitats. There was still the territory of “Pura Playa,” of course, which, as the name indicates, consists of a particular pure state. It’s clean and nicely made. You will find proper restrooms and even a shower at Rafa’s place. There are also specific rules that tell you what to do and what is forbidden or restricted. If San Pedrito Beach were the Middle East, then “Pura Playa” definitely would be considered Israel.

That also makes sense from the perspective that the only constant inhabitant of “Pura Playa” territory was Rafa’s lovely bartender “Liza” who is an Israeli citizen. You can find many other parallels, like the fact that Rafa has an excellent connection to the local law enforcement. That is compared to the average gringo, a massive advantage. In case of an emergency or any “shit hits the fan “scenario. He won’t talk much about it, and he might deny it, but that is what you expect from Israel. They also don’t like to admit that they have atomic bombs.

So, there was no doubt in my mind that “Pura Playa” represents Israel if we consider the middle east as an analogy for San Pedrito Beach. So, what is with the rest?

FREE CAMPING AT EL PESCADARO

Before this season, you could see the rest of the beach outside of “Pura Playa” as rogue nations threatening Israel’s perfect order with suicide shitting dogs, trash spilling extremists, and roaming beach bums. Some conspiracy went on to transform the local paradigm. So, a regime change was instigated by clandestine means. The real power or owner of the San Pedrito Beach residing in La Paz allowed an intervention of foreign forces to stabilize the region and establish some basic rules.

Looking back on human history, bringing “freedom and democracy” to savage territories is always difficult. Just behold how the United States always (with only the best intentions, of course) try to bring some of their distinctive cultures to foreign countries. Those countries become hell on earth, and the resources somehow vanish into western enterprises.

Regime Change and Color Revolution at San Pedrito

This tremendous endeavor to transform at least a part of San Pedrito Beach into a cultivated zone fell on the shoulders of my former travel mate Jens. I guess he didn’t have much choice but to accept this mission. He could be seen as a UN occupation force with a fragile mandate. We have seen scenarios like that many times before. It sucks. Skirmishes are predetermined when you promote a German engineer to become the new Sheriff in the context of a Mexican “zero f**ks are given” scenario. It’s like when the Americans tried to press their idea of law and order onto Iraqi citizens.

So, San Pedrito Beach ended up with a zone that I called Iraq occupied by German UN forces. The rules were vague, and the service was low, but still, you had to pay taxes. At least we got some proper outhouses now in San Pedrito. Still, the problem was the cultural clash, with a German technocrat ruling the domain—that created upheaval among the peasants of Iraq.

Wild West and Vanlife

When I came back to San Pedrito Beach in February 2018, the situation was already about to boil over. At this time, escalating civil unrest was about to unfold, which required the intervention of the real power from La Paz. Well, the owner had to make a decree when Jens and Pablo, the local longboard pro, had turmoil over some silly b/s. I didn’t understand it, but it wasn’t my task to facilitate a peace agreement. I was busy enough with my objectives and mourning about my missing paddle muscles.

The point is that Iraq was a delicate territory with too much politics. The bad thing was that I had to stay at the Sheriff’s place until I got my bandwagon. So I was entirely in the middle of some tensions. Thank god, I found an excellent van on Baja Craigslist. A Spanish couple was desperate to sell their 1980 Dodge van, and I was desperate to buy. Also, we could make the deal in Euro. Now I had all the freedom to move, and after a few days, I decided to relocate myself to the 3rd option of San Pedrito Beach called “Somalia.”

Desperado Vanlife At El Pescadero B.C.S.

The very north part of San Pedrito Beach remained the wild west. Iraq got separated from the northern region by a 4″ deep ditch called the “Trump Trench.” It was designed to keep economic refugees away from entering the north side of San Pedrito, a.k.a. Somalia. The territory here was a failed state ruled by a more or less self-declared governor called “Timmy.” He seemed to be the dominant local warlord. The simple social rules in Somalia promote the best surfer to becoming the governor of this territory, which put me at the end of the pecking order.

That was ok since Timmy was not eager to abuse his power. He only got active if someone in his kingdom polluted his precious air. Otherwise, zero f**ks were given by the governor. Still, you could always ask him for a piece of good advice, which made him a very accessible ruler.

End of the Season in Baja California

At one point, the mayor moved to the east cape, and also many additional misfits from Somalia left the territory as well. Many other people came and went. In the end, only Timo and I remained in Somalia. Timo got expelled from Iraq for perpetual besmirching of the “Trump Trench” and other felonies. Timo also left his exile because he started his house-sitting season.

With June approaching, San Pedrito, only four residents remain. Grayson from Australia is on his inner spiritual journey – well, you can count him out. There are only just Rafa, Larry, and I left. Larry became my new and probably my last neighbor this season. Since he can’t surf due to his injured knee, I am the best active surfer in Somalia, making me the governor of this part of San Pedrito Beach. I will celebrate my reign over the beach accordingly until the end of my season in Mexico, which will end in early July. Whatever this means.

See you next season in San Pedrito Beach. Peace out!

Pescadero and Todos Santos, BCS

The South of Baja California Sur

I have often been to Todos Santos since we stayed at San Pedrito Beach in Mexico on the south end of Baja California. It is an excellent place to find some rare items and surfing gear. Because I always went to Todos Santos on a busy schedule. So, I never had time to take some photos.

When Kai came to Todos Santos

Finally, that changed. When my dear friend and fellow photographer Kai arrived at San Pedrito Beach, I got inspired again. Also, my surfboard suffered from a fatal impact, so we hitchhiked to Todos Santos to organize a backup. Gladly, we got a ride on the back of a pickup truck right away. I finally got some pictures of one of Baja, California’s most beautiful small cities, roaming around in Todos Santos.

Todos Santos has a lot to offer! It has a lot of small streets full of different shops and restaurants. Todos Santos is well known for its many galleries with handcrafted artworks. I hope the few photos will give you a good impression.

Last days in Todos Santos

These are my last photos of San Pedrito Beach close to Pescadero at the south end of the Baja California peninsula. Even though it became quiet around here, it was hard for me to leave. I have to admit I fell in love with San Pedrito Beach and the people surrounding this place.

Someday I will come back, and hopefully, I will take even better photos. San Pedrito Beach has an incredible community, and it is a great place to surf, but during the summer months, it is scorching, and the hurricane season can shake your RV ha d. Also, I should mention the many bugs that show once it has rained.

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.

Road Trip Baja California Photography

We continued along Baja California from a tiny fisher village to the next one. Since most of the landscape is desert, there is not much variety in the photos I could take. So I focused with my camera on the minor differences.

Each location has something unique for the eager photographer looking for some shots. Sometimes it is a giant whale skeleton or the neighbors camping next to us waking up to a new dawn. If nothing extraordinary happens, you need to wait for the sundown. Sundown photos are always impressive, along with the Baja California coast.

Of course, surfing was a big topic along our road trip to the peninsula’s south. There are literary hundreds of beautiful surf spots down the Baja. Most are in very remote places which demand a proper off-road vehicle. You better have the “The Surfer’s Guide to Baja.”

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.

Surfing at Punta San José, Baja California

Being in Punta San Jose was the first time along the whole road trip I could discover a place with the camera. Well, there is not so much out there. Most of the area is desert, but still, I could capture many different moods and angles in about 200 pictures. I wished I had had a bigger lens to take photos of the surfers down in the ocean.

Surfing close to Ensenada

Surf Spot Punta San José

Still, after six days at this location, I felt like I got the best out of it. I will provide photographic evidence below. Oh well, and this place is excellent for surfing also. I could catch good pictures and some sound waves, too.

We continued driving down the Baja California peninsula to explore another surfing spot along the Mexican Highway. Punta San José was a great experience, being far out of society and camping at a remote location on the coast.

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.

How to get to Punta San José?

I have prepared a short timelapse clip if you wonder how to get the fastest from Ensenada to Punta San José. This movie will also give you some idea of the road conditions you will encounter down to this remote surf spot.

You should get all further information from “The Surfer’s Guide to Baja,” which is like the Bible for surfers looking for the best remote spots down the Baja peninsula.

Timelaps of the road to Punta San José

Surfing at San Miguel in Ensenada

Ensenada is the last big city after Tijuana when you go down the Mexican highway one. There is a place called San Miguel, which is a famous surfer spot. Jens was waiting there for me. We were back together, which gave me much more time and space to focus on photography and surfing. The first pictures I could capture are from Ensenada.

Still, we needed a couple of days to prepare for our road trip down Baja California. The goal was to follow some dirt roads to some remote surfing locations. The Baja 1000 Desert Rally uses those tracks. So the dirt roads can be pretty challenging, which means that I had to keep my eyes on the way instead of taking photos out of the side window.

Ensenada must take some time before going down the Baja California because this is the last big city to get special equipment. That is the reason why Ensenada also is called “Instant-Nada.”

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.

San Miguel in Ensenada, Baja California

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