At Home (for now) in Los Barriles

[Note: If you received a NEW POST email on Feb 16 for this blog post, please note that it is not actually new, and was previously posted on Jan 9]
We know its been awhile, and we have a great month to update on.  However, we’ve been mostly staying put in one of our favorite places, Los Barriles.  We love this town because it offers the total package of everything we love: kitesurfing, beach camping, fishing, great food, yoga classes, mountain biking, off-road exploring and you can still watch the Packers play on Sundays.

We were also so lucky to have our best friends from San Francisco visit us to celebrate Christmas and New Years, which made this month even more amazing!

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Panoramic shot of Los Barriles


George first discovered Los Barriles when he planned a kiting trip there six-plus years ago. We both fell in love with the town for all it offers, and it became George’s dream to spend a month in Los Barriles kiting and exploring. We admit Los Barriles has been overtaken by gringos, especially around the holidays, but somehow it manages to keep its Mexican charm.

Here is what we have been up to in Los Barriles:

Kiting in Los Barriles (narrated by George) – The minute we crossed the border, I was dying to get on the water and kitesurf, as the prime season is Nov – March.  However, upon arriving in Barriles, the wind immediately shut off though for about 9 days!   I was going a bit nuts, but then it came back in full force and I got an amazing two weeks on the water.

View from camp – it looks windy!

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camp set up, lots of gear

Before leaving, I bought a strapless surfboard especially made for kiteboarding.  Up until now, I’ve only ridden strapped into a wakeboard style board. Kitesurfing a true surfboard in big swell just blew me away.  It took me a good while to learn all the footwork and transitions (jibing/tacking), but I feel like I’ve found a brand new sport that is way better than I imagined!

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learning strapless transitions

Jenine didn’t get me on any cool waves, but I had a blast.

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Spent the month riding strapless on a surfboard, it was a ton of fun

I met some awesome kiters here, and the town really filled up for the holidays with people from all over the world.  It was an amazing experience being here and being on the water!   I can’t wait to kitesurf on all the spots on the way to Argentina

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Barriles got busy over the holidays!

 

Sea Turtle Release – Right next to our amazing campground, Playa Norte, is where they hatch and release baby sea turtles. They were so cute and small, and we learned that for every 1,000 turtles that make it to the water, only 1 survive to adulthood. Even more reason to protect these babies until they meet the water!

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Hey little guy, time to go to the sea

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Baby turtles instinctively heading for the sea

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swim little tortuga!

Cooking classes – If anyone knows me, they know I thoroughly enjoy cooking. Setting out on this trip I planned to take many cooking classes to learn the local cuisines. My first two classes were in the hillside pueblo/town of San Bartolo with Renee and Denise at Buen Provecho. Their classes are so informational (with Denise as chef and Renee as anthropologist) and I highly recommend a class with them if you are in the area. I now regularly make corn tortillas, several types of salsas, and other Mexican entrees I learned.

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We took cooking classes in San Bartolo at a beautiful cooking school - Buen Provecho

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Jenine and George on a cooking team

Fostering a dog for a few weeks – George and I have seriously debated getting a dog on this trip both for safety and companionship. We had just made the final decision NOT to get a dog, when lo and behold a lady from the local rescue who operates in our campground asked us if we’d foster a puppy for a couple weeks. Twist our arms! We said yes 🙂 Meet Carly the foster dog, who we kept for two weeks until she boarded a flight to Oregon to meet her permanent family.  We miss her!

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Carly the foster dog!

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Jenine getting some puppy love

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After fostering Carly for two weeks, she was off to her permanent home in Oregon. We will miss her so much!

Christmas holiday with David and Haley!
Our good friends David and Haley came and visited us for the Christmas holiday and had very special news when they arrived. They recently got engaged! Congrats guys! Even more to celebrate this holiday season. We rented an awesome house with them for Christmas eve and day, where we cooked an delicious meal with them and our traveling friends Ben and Emma (Flightless Kiwis). David and Haley then joined us camping for the remainder of their vacation. So fun to share our way of life with them! We had some great day trips, ATV beach rides and they even helped us rescue a buried Titus (See more pics).

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For Christmas we rented a house with friends from SF, it was so amazing

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David and Haley enjoying a beautiful sunrise. Congrats guys!!

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A Baja Christmas feast, pineapple salsa, Mexican rice, fresh shrimp and ensalada.

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Merry Baja Christmas!

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Love sharing this spot with friends

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We hiked to these awesome waterfalls in the Sierra De La Laguna mountains

New Years with the SF crew!
As if December wasn’t already coming in strong, we dropped off David and Haley at the airport and picked up a whole big crew for a New Years extravaganza: Sanjay, Colleen, Tim R, Janice, Nick, Tim A, Brandon, and Jon. We decided with a big group that Cabo might just be the place the celebrate, so we booked rooms at a resort, and enjoyed the good life for a few days, complete with pool time and crazy nights out. It is Cabo afterall!

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From van life to resort life!

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A wonderful New Years Eve dinner at Niksan in Cabo

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3-2-1 Happy New Year!

Ringing in the New Year (SF Crew part 2)
We all needed some relaxing R&R after crazy Cabo, so we took the crew to Los Barriles to show them some of our favorite spots. The highlights were definitely our Quad trip to Punta Pescadora for awesome snorkling and poolside mimosas for the ladies while the guys watched the NFL playoffs.

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After Cabo, we rented a house in Barriles with the gang

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View of our awesome house in Barriles

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Taking the crew to the best Papas Rellenas in Baja!

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While the guys watched the playoffs, the girls did mimosas by the pool

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The crew at an amazing snorkeling spot with the beach to ourselves

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Love this crew

Phew, a December to remember for sure. Thank you to our friends for coming this way to visit and making our holidays special. Next up in the adventures…heading to mainland Mexico on January 13th!

What we are listening to:
Dik Lewis – Arriba Arriba in honor of new years in Cabo

See the rest of our pics from our month in Los Barriles! There are some great photos we couldn’t fit in the blog:

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Our campsite for the month

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Kite beach

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Cow trying to steal my Tecate and Pacificos

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They take care of the baby tortugas in Los Barriles

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Hey little guy, time to go to the sea

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Turtle release day

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Turtle instinctively heading for the sea

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Look at him go!

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Jenine working the trainer kite

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The famous Geezer Shack kite HQ in Barriles

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View of Barriles from above

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Mountain biking in the Barriles mountains

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Panoramic shot from mountain bike

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We rented quads from the month, Jenine is loving it

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Sunrise in front of our camp

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Our beach in front of camp at dawn

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hope these little guys make it

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swim little tortuga!

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QUAD excursion to the waterfalls

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At the waterfalls in Los Barriles

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Our camp setup

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Lazy days, a place to relax with a good book

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Our awesome neighbor Eli and Ezra helped us take care of a foster pup Carly for two weeks

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Sunrise at camp

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Heading for a morning fishing run with the pup, Carly

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We took cooking classes in San Bartolo at a beautiful cooking school - Buen Provecho

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George making salsa in the molcajete

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Jenine and George on a cooking "team"

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After cooking, it was time to eat!

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Jenine getting some puppy love

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Can we fit two wee kiwis on this quad?

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Jenine walking the pup in our front "yard"

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George about to kitesurf, chatting with camp neighbor Jason

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Surfing with the windsurfers

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relaxing after kiting with Carly

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camp set up, lots of gear

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Spent the month riding strapless on a surfboard, it was a ton of fun

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learning strapless transitions

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just love kite surfing

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Barriles got busy over the holidays!

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For Christmas we rented a house with friends from SF, it was so amazing

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Kiting out the backdoor

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back porch panoramic

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It's a Baja Christmas Tree!

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David and Haley enjoying a beautiful sunrise

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Morning fishing with Carla, so fun

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So lucky to have our friends David and Haley visit us, right after getting engaged!

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getting a drink at the fancy Palmas de Cortez Hotel in Barriles

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It was actually pretty chilly water at the pool bar

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a celebration toast- happy engagement!

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The beautiful pool at the Palmas De Cortez

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Me with Carly, she was such a loving pup

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Christmas day cooking with David and Haley

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Carly adjusting quickly to house living

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Christmas apps with the Kiwis!

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Scallop ceviche, scissors salsa, cheeses for appetizers

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Merry Baja Christmas!

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The table all set for our Baja Christmas dinner

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A Baja Christmas feast, pineapple salsa, Mexican rice, fresh shrimp and insalata.

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Merry Baja Christmas!

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After dinner, we got some funky lights out for a cocktail on the porch

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It's a Weesome!

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Family Christmas photo

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Took Titus on a beach run that didn't end well.....

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But, we managed again to get Titus back out!!

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Carly, at home on the beach

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La Ventana Beach

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About to eat the best Papa Rellenas in Baja!

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These Papas Rellenas are MUY DELICIOSO!

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Last day with Carly... so sad

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After fostering Carly for two weeks, she was off to her permanent home in Oregon. We will miss her so much!

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Next up, a coastal quad trip

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Dramatic scenery!

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Quad coastal trip with David and Haley

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Great snorkeling just north of Barriles

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Special spot for beer and enjoying the beach

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We took our friends David and Haley to a special spot north of Barriles

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Love sharing this spot with friends

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Had a little party in Titus!

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We took a night cruise on the beach to see the phosphorescents

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love this pic, don't spill!

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At our favorite bar in Barriles, Vagos!

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We hiked to these awesome waterfalls in the Sierra De La Laguna mountains

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Swimming hole in the Sierra De La Laguna mountains

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Day trip to the Waterfalls in Santiago

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Sierra De La Laguna mountains

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Great pic at the falls, they had to leave the next day, and it was amazing spending these days with David and Haley

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From van life to resort life!

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The famous Arco de Cabo

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The Arch

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We saw whales on our trip out to the Cabo Arch!

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The whales were mating and putting on a great show!

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A wonderful New Years Eve dinner at Niksan in Cabo

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3-2-1 Happy New Year!

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Ringing it in

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After Cabo, we rented a house in Barriles with the gang

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View of our awesome house in Barriles

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Taking the crew to the best Papas Rellenas in Baja!

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Found this amazing spot on a deserted beach north of Barriles

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Sanjay and Colleen looking pretty content

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The crew at an amazing snorkeling spot with the beach to ourselves

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Love this crew

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Another one of our favorite spots, accessible by quads

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After the quad ride, we enjoyed Margs at the awesome Hotel Pescadero

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How's the frozen drinks guys?

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Riding back at sunset

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It's like Baja Mario Cart

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Everyone enjoyed exploring Barriles on quads!

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While the guys watched the playoffs, the girls did mimosas by the pool

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A great bonfire to close out a wonderful visit with our friends

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What a great month in Barriles!

Posted in Baja, Mexico Tagged with: , , , , ,
8 comments on “At Home (for now) in Los Barriles
  1. Sanjay says:

    Never a dull moment (or a dull guy)! So thankful and happy to have spent it with you on your journey. Till next time….

  2. Karie says:

    Hi guys, great update. Makes you appreciate the good times again when you update the blog doesn’t it? We are back in playa Norte after east cape and cabo. We might backtrack to San Diego to get some things fixed. Not sure. So we might be a month or two behind you again. Great to meet you in person. Enjoy your travels!

    Karie and simon

    • Jenine says:

      Great to meet you and the family in person as well! Hopefully you got my email on some potential options for you guys. I wish you the best in your travels! And yes, totally agree that writing the blog really makes you appreciate all those great moments! Enjoy your travels.

  3. The Griffith Family says:

    Hey guys!

    We made it back safe and sound to our house, it was only 5698 miles round trip.

    The transition has been rough, it was below freezing when we got home. Needless to say, we wish we could still be in Barriles at Playa Norte! It was fun getting to know you guys for a short time and we will be sure to follow the blog for the rest of your adventure (the boys love the pictures). Drive safe! I will send a link to our pictures when I get them uploaded. I think I may have a good couple of George kiting.

    • Jenine says:

      Glad to hear you guys made it back safely! Did you end up seeing the whales? We go tomorrow to Magdalena Bay. It was SO much fun getting to know you and your family. Playa Norte just wasn’t the same after you guys left! Looking forward to more pics and keeping in touch.

      • The Griffith Family says:

        Sure did, the whales were a bit early (as you now know). Hopefully you had a great whale watching tour! Yeah, we really miss Playa Norte. It was by far the best campground and community we found on our trip. We’re subscribed to the blog now so we shouldn’t miss any more of your adventures.

        Here is a link to our photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/117903620778400027941/Baja?noredirect=1

        I can get you full res. ones of any that you want. We should have gotten a group photo of everyone before we left!

        Also, I never got around to writing down suggestions for Chile/Argentina. If you guys are looking for ideas shoot me an email and I can dig through my notes.

        Cheers,

        Jason

        • Jenine says:

          Thanks Jason! These are great. Will definitely send you an email for some recommendations for Chile-Argentina

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