The first stop on our journey in Baja is Bahia de San Quintin (not to be confused with San Quentin), which is located approximately 200 miles south of the Tijuana border on the Pacific Ocean side. It is a small agricultural town that grows a myriad of vegetables and fruit; the Driscoll Berry processing plant is just up the road. There is one main road that goes through town that is paved, the others are riddled with potholes or are bumpy dirt roads. There are two stop lights, 4 speed bumps (I hate these things), 5 grocery stores, a few gas stations, tons of tire shops (Llanteria), junk yards (Yonke) and most importantly, my favorite, taco stands (more on this in another post). There are no big chain stores, no fast food restaurants, golf courses or even movie theaters. In fact, if we need anything from Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, etc., we will need to make the 3-hour drive north to Ensenada. My friend joked that she could not wait to come visit me so that we could go shopping. I told her that unless she was in the market for used tires or rummaging through the second-hand stores (Segundas), there is not much shopping to do.
We live at the head of San Quintin Bay in a community called Campo de Lorenzo, which we refer to as “The Campo”. All of our neighbors are Americans and come from all walks of life. Some live here full-time, some come a few times a year and some haven’t been here in years. Lorenzo (Larry), who is the owner of the Campo has quite a personality and talking with him will most certainly bring deep belly laughs.
At this point, I am sure you are wondering why we chose San Quintin and Campo de Lorenzo.
When we decided to move to Baja (instead of the Caribbean), we had no idea what part of Baja we would end up or even where to start looking. I knew next to nothing about Baja and had only been as a small child to go dirt bike riding and as a stopping place in my 20’s on a weekend (booze) cruise. Dave’s experience in Baja consisted of camping as a young adult south of Ensenada and a fishing trip to Cabo. We scoured the internet and found some sailing blogs that showcased all these wonderful areas in Baja, so the big question was, where should we start? Ensenada seemed like the “easiest” move and would make sense for the first year of our adventure. As we were discussing Ensenada, Dave remembered many years ago hearing of a small town called San Quintin where the fishing was awesome year round and also had a great fish camp called Campo de Lorenzo. We virtually knew nothing about the town other than what he had heard so many years ago and the limited information on Wikipedia. We decided to go on a road trip to investigate, and as far as I was concerned, to check it off the list of places to live.
We decided to head to San Quintin for a quick look-see and then had also scheduled to meet up later in the week with some Realtors in Ensenada to sign a lease on a beach house. When we arrived in San Quintin, it was not love at first sight, but I saw the charms in this small town and as I mentioned before, there are awesome taco stands (which may or may not be the final reason I chose this town). It took us three days to decide that San Quintin would be our first destination. We loved the mild weather (it was in the 90’s back in California) and the sense of “community” we felt at the Campo, everyone was so nice and welcoming. In the end, we chose the “not-so-easy” choice of San Quintin. Since the lot we looked at had no house on it, we would need to buy a motorhome (or two).