Day 163 Leaving Baja

An Unexpected Journey

Jan 17


The next day, Sunday, I drove back to the ferry dock and found the mystery second ferry company which was located at the back of the terminal surrounded by dozens of semi trucks. The woman spoke very fast Spanish with a very strong accent and I had a hard time understanding her and she didn’t speak any English. I was able to get across that I wanted a ticket for Sunday to Topolobamba. She said the same thing the last ticket agent did about weighing in before buying my ticket and pointed me toward the scales.scale I took care of that, went back to the ticket counter and bought my ticket. She told me the times I had to report for lining up, when they load and when they sail. I was still confused… some how things weren’t adding up so wrote it down to show her. I said, “Ok, the ferry leaves at 11pm Sunday so I have to be in line at 9pm. She said, “Yes.”  Me, “So I have to be back here tomorrow at 6pm.”  She looked surprised, “No, you can’t leave now you have to stay, you leave tonight.” Oh dear. I’d bought a ticket for that night not the following week and I couldn’t leave the compound. It was only 10am.  She said, “no problem,” and pointed to the large building and explained that I could buy food and use the bathroom.

At first we felt like we were in prison



But the poodles and I made ourselves at home. There was space enough to put the slider out a little and we hung out for the day. I was extremely grateful that I had packed everything up and paid the campground before leaving. I had to just chalk this up to, “ it was meant to be” and “maybe understanding a little more Spanish will get me a log farther.”  Sometimes we’re not in control of our own agendas.

The day passed slowly and trucks loaded and left.  I was certain that my load time was at 6pm but I wasn’t sure how I’d know where to go… would I get in the wrong line and get on the wrong ferry? I had to keep worry out of my mind and repeated my mantra of “ what’s the worst thing that can happen? Start to load on the wrong boat? They’ll stop you. Miss your sailing? You buy another ticket. So we sat until dark. The only other non-semi in the lot was a small tour bus that parked next to me. I went over to him and asked him if he was going to Topolobambo and he said yes. Excellent! I had someone to follow.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA So at 6:15 when his lights went on and he started to move I was right behind him. It seemed that we parked in a very random spot next to the mouth of the ferry. He kept his lights and engine running, I turned mine off and waited. Trucks came and went some pulling past me and dropping off their containers others turning around and re-parking next to or behind me. It was a dark chaotic blur of lights, diesel fumes and black rushing shadows. Finally about 8pm the bus in front of me pulled forward and onto the ferry. I pulled ahead into his spot and waited. Small Truck cabs ( i call them worker cabs) were rushing back and forth linking up to the containers and loading them onto the ferry. The freight was then followed by its accompanying semi cab. Someone came to my window and asked me to move aside, he needed to get his truck past me (expressed mostly by hand gesticulations but also in spanish) He had to shout over the cacophony of engines and I used that as an excuse for his to repeat things.  I maneuvered the camper up and around the cab beside me. The man in another cab motioned with his hands to help guide me. The worker cabs were busy rushing back and forth and semis were zipping around me…. Lights blinding. The man came back and motioned for me to go back to my original spot.  I remembered how to ask, “Isn’t it better to say here?” and just as he said no, one of the worker cabs started moving directly at me headlights on high beam and blinding. I was sitting in front of the container he wanted to move. I was trying desperately to move forward enough move in reverse but the worker cab meant business, they had a schedule to keep, and he was inches away  from the front of the truck as I made the final turn out of the way. The truck driver who’d been helping me yelled out, “Buena Mujer!!” What a woman! help

It was finally our time to get packed in. The attendant had me entered the ferry front-first, unlike all the trucks who backed in, and then mounted a lift that took us to the second level of the ferry.


Directing me onto the ferry


Truck ahead moving onto the lift that will take us to the second level


The Hydraulics of the Lift. Click here to see what it was like. NOTE HOW CALM TINTIN IS… what a girl!

We were finally directed into our spot, chained down and I took a long deep breath. We were done and I took a sleeping pill ready to let the rocking of the ship put me to sleep. . It was 10pm before the ferry left dock but I was already drifting away. The poodles and I had had a long day and we will have a long day of driving tomorrow.


Foxy tucked in tight for the night (taken the next morning)


13 thoughts on “Day 163 Leaving Baja

  1. Marilyn says:

    What an ordeal! I was sitting on the edge of my seat as I read your narrative about the big trucks and the loading process. I’m glad you were able to sleep once you were on the ferry. I remember putting my Chevy Blazer on a ferry for a Prince William Sound (Alaska) crossing many years ago. First we had to load on a flat car train to go through the tunnel at Girdwood AK (now you drive) to Whittier AK. The attendants strapped the car down and we rode in the Blazer, through the mountains and tunnel! I remember choking on diesel fumes from the train engine while going through. Then I had to drive the car off the train to load onto the Ferry at Whittier for the crossing to Valdez. Quite the process and very stressful, because I was so unsure of what to do, or doing it wrong, but at least everyone spoke English! I can only imagine what you went through ~ thanks for sharing as it brought your experience to life. That video was a highlight! My journey on the ferry was a day trip and once the car was in it’s spot the ride was calm but very exciting, however, I was so glad when it was over. I bet you were too! What a ground kissing event for you! A job well done ~ Buena Mujer!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is getting to be a great story. One that might end up in hardback. Keep it up, it is fabulous!

    Your ferry ride brought back a smile in memory of the sort of same that sally and I had one time in Costa Rica. After a two hours drive on a totally pot holed highway north out of San Jose to the beautiful beaches, we came to a river and a ferry. The only way across other than a 40 mile detour both north and south.

    In about the same style as Vik and the girlies, we ended up as the last in line. We went across the ramp with some of the muchachos watching us, shaking their heads. When we drove onto the ferry, it was chock-a-block full. Our front wheels went on, and the rear ones were half on and half of the ferry when they signaled me to stop after inching forward. I thought we were going to ride with our trunk riding out of the stern over the water.

    There was a space about 3-4 wide to my left, but no room to manuever the car to get over into it. Not an inch forward or to the right.

    So about ten guys showed up literally out of nowhere. They all grabbed the rear and left side of the car, lifted it up with Sally and me in it, and moved it over. Put the chain across, and off we went. I bought them all a beer. Heck, at .25 a bottle it was the least I could do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • High praise coming from someone who’s have many experience and adventures packed into a lifetime. I loved your story and oh my, I can just imagine what you were thinking and the amazement when picked up and forced in. Some countries have an amazing ability to fit large objects into small places.



    Liked by 1 person

  4. Holy crap girl! You are AMAZING and thank goodness for a sleeping pill I’m sure! I know how crazy it was on the ferries around Seattle I can’t imagine doing it where no one speaks English. Pat yourself on the back for not just going totally “bat crap crazy”!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Robyn says:

    I love your adventures and your attitude you and your girls.To think after my ordeals at the hospital in Fl after the police took someone off our plane and then after taxiing had to return for mechanical I knew I missed my connections in Detroit so I sat back in the terminal and cried. When I grow up I want to be you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Evelyn Englander says:

    This is a wonderful narrative. I am dead tired tonight, but I couldn’t resist reading the next installment. ( I had had little clue that it didn’t go quite as advertised!–I won’t tell who) This reminds me of the ferry trip from La Paz to Mazatlan with my sister and her husband. We loaded onto the ferry and blithely went up to look around. When it was bedtime we thought we could get back to the car for blankets etc–No way. So we were treated to a bare bunk while it got colder and colder. My sister slept with her husband on one teeny bunk while I shivered alone. Next morning I was looking for a hot cup of coffee but we had to find the car and stay in it then!!.. AARGH. My brother in law was fluent in Spanish but you have to ask the right questions. Glad to stop rocking and drive into Mazatlan!! You have my admiration and I can’t wait for the next blog entry. Cheers, Evelyn

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I would have been taking a pill WAY before bedtime! Even if I was only backseat driving. You have a very brave constitution and some cajones! I am glad to have read this as we have the same kind of rig, Moxymayhem the standard poodle R and are likely going to follow suit in the next year or two!
      No story like a true story!


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