Becoming a traveler

San Quintin Travel Blog

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(1) My very first campsite, San Quintin. Little did I know at the time I would come back here many times.
Sitting in my lab every day at San Diego State University, I remember feeling something calling me. I wasn’t sure what or where it was exactly, but it was calling-- that was evident. I realized what it was at some point. Far away, remote and beautiful locations were calling me, and I knew just where they were calling from-- Baja, California, Mexico. I started to read survival books, 4x4 off-roading technique books, buying detailed maps and GPS equipment to navigate myself around the remote areas of the Mexican Desert. Subsequently, I bought more gear: spare tires, fuel canisters, off-road jacks…. It all cost a fortune, but it was as if I was compelled to buy it. After I finally graduated, I realized, “this is it.
(2) Looking south from atop of one of the area's dormant volcanoes. The very narrow strip you see there is just a strip of sand created by buildup due to volcanic activity.
” I packed all the stuff up in my 1984 Toyota 4-Runner, and with a lot of faith in myself, I headed south-- alone.

After driving past Tijuana and Ensenada, you finally feel as though you are getting somewhere. You look out your window as you drive, and realize the landscape that you are seeing looked much the same 1000, or even 10,000 years ago. It is special, memorable, beautiful. It is Baja. First stop: San Quintin.

I had never made it this far south before. I was awe struck by the sheer beauty. Just west of the city San Quintin there are a series of dormant volcanoes. The past activity of these volcanoes has made an interesting sand spit in the area (photo 2), this is what I was driving out onto.
(3) A view from atop a dormant volcano looking at the seclusion, nice waves and sandy roads.
The sand spit is filled with rolling hills, and, well……… sand, and a lot of it. I had a hell of a time getting to my final destination, just because you have 4 wheel drive in Baja doesn’t mean you won’t get stuck, I learned this real fast. I finally found a spot that looked great for camping (see photo 1). With nobody in sight, fun looking waves, and a beautiful view, I threw out my cot and enjoyed the rest of the day. I remember so vividly feeling how beautiful it was here, how peaceful and tranquil it all was. I had found what was calling me in my lab all those days! I was actually there. Quite an exhilarating feeling. Toward the end of my stay there I thought back to how difficult it was to get to where I was, and if I’d ever make it back again. I remember telling myself just to enjoy it, take it all in, as you may never make it back.
Chinchero, Peru


Today, San Quintin feels like my back yard i've been there so many times. I know the people that live and work there, I know every bend and turn in the sand roads, I even know the paths to take if my 4 wheel drive goes out; that is, the paths the locals must take. Nothing is dearer to me than this knowledge. Finding a place you love, exploring it, becoming confident with it, and subsequently having the ability to return at any given moment to enjoy it all again. And I had this same experience with many spots in Baja.

I then began to hear another calling. Peru. It is truly a mystical country. My first visit there I traveled around the entire country. I found spots I absolutely adored. Again, I asked myself, this is so amazing, will I ever make it back here? It is so far away, I may not…. So, just enjoy it while you can. Today, parts of Peru feel like my backyard as well, and for the rest of my life, I have that ability to return and enjoy these areas at any given moment.

It is now July 16, 2010, and I feel yet another calling. The calling is more distant this time, yet so familiar-- I’ve heard this before. Where exactly is the calling coming from? I’m not exactly sure, yet that is part of the enjoyment. But what I am sure of is that if history is any indicator of the future, I will one day know this new place like it is my backyard, or perhaps even my home. And the cycle will continue until, perhaps, the world feels like my backyard. This is the life of a traveler, and I simply would not have it any other way. I will end with a quote from the famous Italian Director Federico Fellini “There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.”
Tamanawas says:
. . . Nice blog! Safe Travels!!
Posted on: Aug 14, 2010
Chokk says:
Nice blog:)
Posted on: Jul 30, 2010
joannacruz says:
....luv it.., that what I want to do... But I'm jealous easy to a man just go anywhere they want... Kinda dangerous for a woman to travel SOLO".... I like ur blog..
Posted on: Jul 25, 2010
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(1) My very first campsite, San Qu…
(1) My very first campsite, San Q…
(2) Looking south from atop of one…
(2) Looking south from atop of on…
(3) A view from atop a dormant vol…
(3) A view from atop a dormant vo…
Chinchero, Peru
Chinchero, Peru
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San Quintin
photo by: msbee78