We arrived in Latin America! Back to speaking Spanish and feeling a little more at “home”. Our first destination was the peninsula of Baja California, Mexico and with an added challenge: now we are not going alone but the team has grown and we are going with two children: Lo, 1, and Mateo, 3. A road trip with children requires more planning and organization, you cannot drive for so long without stopping, moving from one place to another takes three times as long, sometimes you are in the middle of the desert and you have to stop to change one of them, you have to plan meals and more. And, to complicate it a bit more, in addition to going in electric cars, we decided not only to “go through” Baja California, but also to take the cars to extreme and remote places, not just those well-known places.
Desert, coastal towns, off-the-grid houses in the middle of nowhere, oases, remote beaches…
Thank you Baja California for these landscapes!
But how did we do it? Who did we meet?
Let’s start at the beginning, in the North Pacific, in the first World Surfing Reserve (WSR) in Mexico of the Save the Waves program: Todos Santos Bay Reserve in Ensenada. The Todos Santos Bay area is an epicenter for surfing in Mexico. In a small area, the high quality and variety of waves stand out, including the points of Salsipuedes, San Miguel, 3Emes, Stacks, and Killers on the island of Todos Santos. It was not the season for waves, but we still visited these beaches and spoke with local actors who were part of the committee that pushed for the creation of the reserve and today continue to support its activities.
Fer was one of them, an oceanographer, surfer, and brewmaster, he has his Magnánima brewery in front of one of the waves, Stacks. Unfortunately, access to this wave has been blocked, a recurring problem in this area. The descents to the beaches are being blocked by privates who buy the land and eliminate the passage there used to be. How can this happen? It is useless to be a World Surfing Reserve? Unfortunately, we found that a World Surfing Reserve is not the same here as in the USA. Here there is no government support, there are no funds to do things, and there is not much involvement from the local surfing community. Not only have several beaches been blocked, but many beaches are very dirty, and the waters extremely polluted.
We also met and interviewed Bea, she is the “representative leader” of the reserve, but she understands that here in Mexico her role does not go much further than the title, so she has sought other ways to protect the beaches, the waves and the coastal area in general. For this, she formed a group with other women called ‘nosotras y el mar’. Through surfing and art, they seek to raise awareness about the importance of conserving the beaches. What a nice initiative to replicate elsewhere! They show us that it takes strength and perseverance to surf and also to take care of the sea!
What could help change things? Both Fer and Bea believe that greater participation of the local surfing community is key. Only a few cannot push to have the Reserve and protect the wave. This has to be a community thing…
“The waves are not a renewable resource. If we don’t take care of them, our waves can disappear!” – Fer
A little sad about the situation in such an iconic place for surfing in Mexico, but happy for the people we met and the efforts they put into changing the situation, we continued on our trip. We charged in the last supercharger in Baja California, leaving the coast for a little and heading to Cataviña to cross the desert. We left for Cataviña with great enthusiasm. This illusion was short-lived. The photos below say it all.
There is no Tesla Service here but there are people with great hearts like Chaparrito who came to save us!
Clarification: It was not a problem with the highway, but rather that, in our eagerness to reach Latin America ASAP, we did not take the time to change the wheels because we believed that they would last us way more. But no, the wheels were extremely worn on the inside and no one had noticed. When the car told us that a tire was flat, we just saw a service station, we braked and we were at zero air! That’s when we discovered that the wheels were very worn inside, the mesh was already touching. Martin went to the nearest town and came back with used tires, and at the station, they gave us Chaparrito’s number, who showed up and changed two of the And no, we didn’t have a spare tire or jack. These are things that our car does not come with and we took a long time to get them. It was the first warning that we urgently had to get this.
That night you can imagine that we did not reach our destination, which was to sleep in the middle of the desert in Cataviña. Luckily, there was a hotel with a “Tesla destination” charger two hours from where we were. That means that you can sleep there and at night charge the car. We arrived in the middle of the night, to sleep, and the next day if we continued to the desert!