Winter in Baja Day 37: Loco Los Barriles

A beach north of El Cardonal -> Los Barriles //

I could easily spend a sixth day at this beach.  It’s treated us well.  But food and water is running out and waste is piling up bringing our week of self-sufficiency to a close.  Whether you travel on a bike or a yacht, you can only be free for so long before resources are needed.  

The nearest town of El Cardonal is our first stop for breakfast.  “Town” may be too generous a term for this quaint little village.  It’s quiet vibe and basic offerings are exactly what we like in a place.  We enjoy a delicious breakfast at a much more reasonable price than our last meal out in El Triunfo and then continue down the coastal road and in to the bustling gringo mecca of Los Barriles.  

Los Barriles feels even more hectic today than usual.  A dusty town overrun by expats and snowbirds, there appear to be more gringos here than Mexicans and subsequently more Western influence and culture than what we’re used to seeing in Baja.  Mansions line the shore and UTVs dominate the streets.  It’s a popular place for many but a little too overrun for our liking.  But we need to resupply so we spend the next few hours running errands around town.  Luckily we dropped our trailer at our campsite just north of town beforehand, making it far easier to navigate the narrow streets packed with parked and moving vehicles.  

By the time we return to camp we’re exhausted.  Getting around Los Barriles today was draining.  We originally thought we’d hang here a few days but I had to admit out loud to our friends tonight that my draw to this beach is biased.  Last year we had one of the best experiences of our lives at this beach when we paddled three days in a row with a giant school of Mobula rays.  I’ve dreamt of coming back ever since.  But now that we’re here I see that the beach itself pales in comparison to everywhere we’ve been thus far and the general vibe of the area isn’t what we’re looking for.  

In five weeks, this is our first camp site that kind of feels like a bust.  I take that as a reminder that we’re doing pretty damn good in finding amazing places to call home.  Tomorrow we’ll return to the road in hopes of finding a beach that better suites our style.  Unless the rays have other plans for us.  Tonight they made their presence known so you never know what the morning could bring.

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  • Sorry to hear the town has changed so much. I wouldn’t care to stay there either. Better luck finding your next camp site! Safe travels!

  • Yep, sometimes my mood doesn’t match the vibe of a place. I’ve had that happen just driving into town. It’s like this isn’t the day or time. I hope you all find a comfortable spot to hang. Safe travels!

    • So true Rick. Maybe on a different day or in a different frame of mind we’d have a different attitude about the place. I’m glad we can recognized the disconnect and move on.


We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.


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