Photos taken by Henry Sobel on our Wines & Whales Caravan 2018

BAJA WINTERS

We thoroughly enjoyed our caravan to Baja California. We had heard all the horror stories of people traveling in Mexico with their RV’s and were apprehensive about venturing south of the US/Mexico border with our motorhome. Friends recommended John and Becky (Baja Winters) to us, and we’re so glad they did.

They have many years of experience traveling the Baja, and as wagon masters, they personally led us all the way. Our tail gunners were a wonderful couple who made sure that we all navigated safely through congested areas, checkpoints, etc. Everything was beautifully organized, starting with getting a package once we committed, that held tons of useful information and answered most questions. The orientation meeting prior to departure filled in some more of the details, and they actually physically walked us through the permit process with Mexican authorities.

They simply looked after everything, including all the campground reservations and fees, so that nothing was left to chance, and while we were en route, there was a meeting every day once we were parked to fill us in on the details for the next day.

The Baja is mountainous, so the drive itself is very scenic, although there is one stretch that is being worked on, which is not completed. We stopped in some breathtaking places, had some wonderful meals and pot-lucks – loved John’s margaritas to go with them, had all kinds of fun getting to know our fellow travelers, and we stopped at some great and interesting spots, including two centuries-old missions, that we probably wouldn’t have found on our own.

The whale-watching tour on the way back was indescribably beautiful - we had been on some pretty amazing whale-watching tours before, but this one was beyond compare.

Communication within the caravan was via CB radio – that proved to be very useful and a great safety tool, in that it allowed us to make full use of the two-lane highways, alerted us to any upcoming hazards, and it helped us to keep the other traffic on the road moving. Becky has a marvelous touch with that, as did our tail gunner – we had more than one good chuckle over the information being given and their wonderful sense of humor in delivering it.

What Baja Winters provided for us was a safe way to venture into unknown territory.  We learned that as long as you use common sense, the Baja is not dangerous at all. The Mexican people we met everywhere were not only friendly, they went out of their way to be helpful. For us, Baja Winters struck the perfect balance between leading us and giving us the freedom to do our own thing. If you haven’t been, it’s really worth seeing, and John and Becky know how!

Jerry & Lore Wilkes

Canada 

Janurary Caravan 2018

 

 

 

January Caravan 2018 

John and Becky,   

Pat and I want to thank you again for the fabulous Wines and Whales Caravan RV vacation we had under your leadership last month.  Every promise was kept and in almost every way it exceeded our expectations.  The rustic and very much untouched beauty of the Mexican Baja peninsula, from cactus forests to mountains and seas is so appreciated – especially being so easily accessible.  We were impressed by the charm and practical smarts of the local people we met – not just at the wineries and restaurants, but also the main streets of towns and particularly at the repair shop where our RV’s electrical glitch was patiently traced out and corrected in a two and a half hour effort costing us 700 pesos ($46!).

The itinerary you designed was spot on for introducing your travelers to the area, showing them a good time and turning strangers into friends.  With one exception, the campsites you selected were beautiful choices with offerings being very accurately described.  With your gentle intervention, the one problematic area stepped up and comped us on a lovely motel room on their property, which was very much appreciated – an opportunity to shine.  We always felt safe.

The wineries with their unique tours were each an enlightening and refreshing variation of those we’ve seen in California.  We especially liked the tractor pulled cart tour of the fields at the Santo Tomas vineyard where we had camped the night before.

The highlights of the trip by far were the two whale watching trip out of Guerrero Negro.  I had thought the photos on your website were isolated best moments captured by the water tour company.  How delightfully wrong I was.  Weather and timing was perfect as our small group set out into the bay.  There were water spouts everywhere, as well as whales playing and breaching all around us.  Once in the area of a large pod, with the outboard engine off, the whales came over to check us out, coming two and three at a time.  They wanted to be touched, and show off their babies, going from one side of the boat to the other.  On day two, one male even playfully pushed the bow of our boat, making it go in a backwards circle, before saying goodbye.  This interaction between species, all natural and not induced by feeding or anything other than the curiosity and apparent joy of these huge aquatic mammals, has got to be one of the most remarkable on the planet.

After crossing the border back into the USA, newly found friends from the trip invited us to stay at their house before heading back north.  You had mentioned that such friendships develop on these trips of yours.  That, along with the pleasure of getting to know the two of you, made this trip that much more special.  I’d encourage anyone with the interest to jump at the opportunity to travel with you two.

Best regards, Henry and Pat Sobel

Maryland

Wines & Whales Caravan

March 2018