More of the Carnival in San Felipe…

Last time, I had just started posting about the San Felipe Carnival, when the internet connection went whacky so now I’m continuing from where I left off, here’s a link to that earlier posting –This and That. The Carnival is an annual happening. Here’s some pics of the kind of vehicles that line the street during Carnival. I don’t know why exactly…showing off? This one is really cool!

Here’s the beginning of the weekend crowd. There’s going to be many more awnings out here soon. Many people overnight camp right on this beach during the summer and on these event weekends. With it being convenient, inexpensive, and comfortable with a nice sandy place to sleep while the surf lulls you to sleep.
After wandering around for an hour, Dawn and I settled at this open air bar across the street from the malecon for a drink. That’s just some random guy, I was trying to get a general shot of the bar.And here’s my new friend Dawn. Came down to enjoy the parade along with me. Plus she had her hair colored. Looked nice!

After an hour at the bar, we wandered back out to the street corner where the parade was suppose to travel, and still no parade. But everyone was having fun, so who are we to complain?

Waiting for the parade to start. Finally, the first float came along on the bed of that truck. Lead by the Carnival Queen and her court. The princesses were on the truck. Eventually, they all stood in front of the San Felipe sign fronting the ocean on the malecon. Too crowded so I didn’t get a picture of that.

“Ja! Que pasa?”  Dawn ran into a friend from out in El Dorado. Note she’s carrying her mixed drink from the bar. That’s perfectly fine down here in Mexico.

And then an Ensanada dance troop performed. And then, just like that, the parade was over. That’s the entire Carnival parade. Only 6 floats and 3 of those were just people on flatbed trucks. But, they’re working on it. They delayed the start so much that I think maybe they just didn’t have as many participants as years past so they took their time starting. So that sundown would herald the end of the official weekend festivities…parade wise.

And then another dance group showed up long after the parade was over and danced for several minutes. This one though, is a local dance group. Little kid staring at me. I’ll show him…I’ll take his picture. No, two pictures.  And shortly after sundown, at the end of the blocked off main street bordering the malecon, the band set up on stage and played. They were actually very good. Great way to spend the afternoon and evening. Nice crowd listening to the music. Note how the locals are all bundled up, I’m in my shorts and polo shirt and it was perfectly comfortable. They’re just not use to 72F.Everyone having a good time.
Lots of interesting colors here. And it was soon 8 pm so time to walk home. Only a block to go. Had a great time, will probably enjoy it again next year.

Next day, walked back to the malecon and it’s already pretty much cleaned up. There were still some nice sailboats on the beach taking people on quick trips.

And a few days later, it had drifted into March. Turned out to be up at dawn one morning, so took a few sunrise pictures…

And that’s all from San Felipe this time. I’ll be leaving for Ajo, Arizona on March 28th. Took a while to decide which of the 4 routes that are available for that I want to take to cross the border. I’ve decided on #2. After crossing, head for Ajo, AZ and spend a week there enjoying the sunshine. Here’s the 4 crossings you can easily get to from San Felipe.

  1. Mexicali West: A known exit that I’ve traveled before, but it’s crowded. Takes almost an hour just to get to the crossing because of all the lined up traffic. Narrow lanes. Last time I had to wait while the border computer came back online. A big advantage to this crossing is that though the lanes are tight, citizens will direct RVs over to the far right lane shortly after making the only turn, and there’s enough room at the border. So stay in the center lane as long as possible. Advantage is that there’s low cost diesel at an easy to enter and exit station along the border exit street in Calexico. And shortly after that, a Walmart if you need to shop soon after crossing. Coordinates: 32.664848, -115.496172
  2. Mexicali East: After quite a bit of confusion, (old hands that use this crossing in their RVs never really gave very good directions on how to get to it, I couldn’t find it my last trip as there are no signs on the Mexican side about where to turn) I now know the route to take to get to this crowded, but more modern, crossing. It looks like the best one with 8 lanes into the US, especially if you’re heading east after crossing. Pretty much a straight shot from San Felipe, with the least amount of sharp turns, or narrow, potholed roads. But, it turned out that being in the right lane of the three that were open the day we crossed is a disaster for big RVs. Too tight, too many turns, too many places to scrape the passenger side of your RV where the driver has a hard time seeing anything. And if it’s afternoon, the sun glints off your mirrors unmercifully. Some rude drivers in the other lanes encroach into your lane giving you even less room. If you have a co-pilot, make sure they’re watching the roadside and how close your passenger side is to things. My friend who was traveling with me did $11,000 damage to her Journey because of the narrow right hand lane on the Mexican side. She ripped off the rear grill and crunched the passenger side rear area.  We should have gotten into the center lane. After getting beyond the too tight Mexican lanes (whew) and into the US, I scraped the front drivers side of my RV a little bit after getting close and personal to a metal post that on on each side of their narrow lanes. After making it past this long, long, harrowing border crossing area, there’s a good place for diesel fuel as there’s a nice big station just a couple miles from the crossing, if you’re heading east it’s on your route, and if you’re headed west, you can fuel up in either Calexico or El Centro, California. Not an easy crossing. Coordinates: 32.672320, -115.387959
  3. San Luis: A nice crossing I’m told, but has the disadvantage of being in a crowded area, many potholes and topes on the route along Mx-2, and it takes two 180 degree turns to get to it. First one is needed to get off of Mx-5 onto Mx-2D crossing a busy street. And from what I could see of the nearby areas to the turn, it’s a tight one for a 60 foot rig. I’d rather not attempt it until I can see some rigs making that U turn on that busy street. Then the next one is needed to get onto the street with all the traffic looking to cross the border. They are all lined up on the boulevard heading west and you slowly drive along Mx-2 heading east watching through the buildings until you see the end of the line, then cross over on the next wide cross street. And with my 60 foot vehicle, two 180 degree U turns across traffic is something I’d rather avoid doing twice in one trip. Coordinates: 32.484898,-114.781958
  4. Lukeville: (Only considered because I’m heading east after crossing). This route also requires the 180 degree turn around, like San Luis, to access 2D from Mx-5 (coming from San Felipe) then drive 4 hours on a country road to get to the crossing. It’s popular because of it’s remoteness, which means less scrutiny by the border guards (at least before 45 took office anyway) so it comes highly recommended by many RV’ers because it’s a breeze to cross. Less often noted is the poor condition of the highway to get there, the potholes, the occasional tope along Mx-2 going east as you head for the crossing. And the tight squeeze at the border crossing itself. But since I’ve not done this crossing I don’t know if those things are true. Does take you south a bit, but the northerly route takes you as far north as this route takes you south before reaching Tucson (only a consideration if you’re heading due east on I-10 after Tucson). Then there is the remoteness. For a couple hours, you’re in the middle of nowhere, in Mexico. If you have a vehicle you don’t trust, maybe take a more populated crossing. All together, the road conditions likely add an extra hour or two to get there, over what a GPS would say. Coordinates: 31.879925, -112.817439.

OK, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

 

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2 Responses to More of the Carnival in San Felipe…

  1. SamG says:

    Fiesta! It was a good change having company, no doubt. Soon to get busy with tourists? Just read an article on Yahoo! they predict the U.S. will get fewer European tourists this year.

    Yeah, it is fun having someone to pal around with.
    Not sure about Baja Mexico getting more European visitors but from the FB groups I’m in, there does seem to be an uptick in interest by Europeans for some of the mainlands tourist traps. Just a guess on my part.

    The one vendor displayed what looked like knockwurst on a stick. Sure miss those. Can’t ask my mother where she bought those when we were growing up. She gave up cooking years ago and is in a home. The closest thing since childhood was the giant hot dogs in a place along the Vegas strip. Next to Circus Circus. Then there’s a German club on the hill nearby. They may serve some.
    It amazed me you said the place was cleaned up so quick. The locals keep the town clean? Your photos show that. Bravo!

    For the most part, downtown is always pretty clean. Outskirts of town can be a little messy though.

    Navigating with a big rig can be work. Requires lots of attention. So take the easiest route. Potholes are unnerving. There’s a few appeared in this area which I’ve not noted. I’ve been watching Craigslist and dealer listings for a less than 25′ travel trailer cheap. Having to do some work on it would be fine. Usually they need to be customized anyway. I have an enclosed 14′ utility trailer with my belongings. And a cap on the pickup. So the TT is not a priority. But will be heading to SW New Mexico to a campground with lease sites. And park my old motor home there.
    Leaving ~ the 28th? Have a safe, enjoyable trip.

    I’ve only put 4,000 miles on the RV, and only 2,000 towing. So it’s a bit nerve wracking for me still. I do not want to get trapped in a too small area where I need to unhitch the car to get un-trapped.

    Good luck to you!

  2. Jeff says:

    Do you use the Border Wait Times site/app? Both Calexico East and West are reporting about 2 hours this Monday morning. In a big rig I concur that Calexico East is the best.
    Thanks for sharing the fun of San Felipe! and safe travels.

    No I don’t. Don’t have a phone I can use, atm. I’ve got an unlocked iPhone I use exclusively in Mexico, but I prefer not to use the iStore, or whatever it’s called. I turn it off when I’m in the states and use my Moto. Also, down here, I’m using Telcel so everything is in Spanish and can’t read it. My moto stateside phone…an Android, won’t be usable until I’m up there close to the border again and I’ll be kinda busy trying to get to the border crossing. But, I like the idea of a wait time app so I’ve just downloaded it to my Android Tablet. Testing out Mr. Border right now. Thanks for the lead!

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