Here is the latest article for Baja Bound - guess I loved writing in Minka's voice!
As a dog, there are a couple of things I will always know to be true
when I hop in the truck with my mom and dad. There will always be a big
adventure when we finally stop. There will always be lots of new
friends to kiss. And, there will certainly always be blissful bits of
road scraps to be wolfed down. My folks like to eat like kings and most
times, I just follow their bellies, knowing that if I’m a real good
girl, I’m gonna see and taste all sorts of new delicious things.
Little did I know what was in store for me on my first few trips to Baja
(grilled fish, creamy avocado, bones galore, big chunks of machaca) but
I’m now an old pro at border crossings (four times in less than a
year!). However, in the beginning of my puppy days – whew, what a
My first mega trip across the border into Baja (December 2012) involved all sorts of preparation. We visited my vet to get travel paperwork,
we set up the back seat of the truck with lots of soft blankets (I
actually called shot gun most of the trip), and we hit the pet food
store so I could select a new toy (Mrs. Squirrel, whom I happily
unstuffed just outside of Santa Rosalia). We made it across the border
and lots of military checkpoints and nobody ever questioned me, or my
I know my folks were nervous about finding hotels that were dog
friendly along Highway 1, especially with limited internet access to do
research on the way, but my mom is a smartie – she used the website vrbo.com
(vacation rentals by owners) for most of the trip and when we got into
no mans land she’d just perkily enter a hotel (with me) to see if pets
were allowed and once they saw my super cute face and cheery smile, they
always said yes. I always noodle my whole body around peoples legs to
make them comfy and usually they give me a little treat or at the very
least a good scratch behind the ears. I’m a really big fan of the nice
cool rooms at La Mision Hotel in Loreto.
We always get bay scallop risotto there and so many new friends pet me
in the lobby every day. The life in Loreto is just my speed – chilling
in the town square while my mom sips a mango margarita and I touch noses
with all the dogs off leash running around. They usually want me to
come with them on their scouts through the village, but I know the best
place in the world to be is right at the base of my mom and dads feet.
Ever had nibbles of the scrambled egg and cheese burrito from Café Ole just off the square? Wow.
Now as for food along the way, the perk of being a road dog is the
quantity of good girl treats I get. My mom always takes me to the
funnest restaurants – all with outdoor seating, so I’m always invited.
Tiny shacks on the beach where I get to jump in the water, practice my
fetch skills and eat lots of grilled shrimp and fresh fish. One of my
best Baja friends is a really pretty girl named Pele down on the beach
in Bahia Concepcion – her parents run Ana’s Restaurant on Playa
Santispac. We ran on the beach until we were delirious, but you gotta
watch out cause those little pangas have anchor lines to shore that will
clothesline dogs like me if you aren’t careful. Pele and me witnessed
that travesty firsthand.
Mom enjoys tequila and there’s the most amazing place we trek to in La Bufadora
where I have certain spots that I hide things and then rediscover on
later trips. She raves about the housemade tequila to everyone, and I
quote directly from mom’s mouth:
"Just south of Ensenada is La Bufadora,
the world’s 2nd largest blowhole. It’s interesting to see it shoot 100
ft. into a cloudless sky, but what’s more enthralling is what’s tucked
behind the bar at La Bufadora Tequila Grill,
just up the hill from the blowhole. Literally – the best tequila you
will ever taste. You’ve never sipped tequila like this before. Yes, you
sip it. And ever so slowly. The recipe for this vanilla pod, herb
tangled, orange peel, raisin infused thrill ride runs back triple
generations and is like nothing else you’ve ever let tickle your
tonsils. You can take in a few rounds onsite while watching the sun set
over the Pacific or even better buy a bottle to go ($100 per) and you
will be the kingpin among all the dis-believers when you bust it out at
your next dinner party. This is a handcrafted batch of Gods’ tears and
rumor has it that it’s good enough for Tiger Woods to chopper over for
(he’s building a golf course nearby), consider it next level sippin’."
There is also one of my fave spots on earth – San Javier. Turns out
this little village in the mountains above Loreto, is full of dogs.
Only 140 people live there and there are at least 20 dogs running
around! Oh, the joy. I’ve never played with a friendlier pack of pups
in all my days. Little ones, big ones, sassy ones, and one real funny
one who had a beer can tied to his tail. Guess everyone wanted to know
when he was coming down the boulevard! Mom likes to drink skinny
margaritas at the little café on the square and just recently we got an
amazing tour of the huge farm behind the church. One of the oldest
families in San Javier owns it and they have lots of old grape vines to
make wine from and olives for fresh pressed olive oil. I can’t wait to
go back for the harvest this fall. I’m definitely planning on a
personal tour with Memo again. He’s the handsome cowboy that makes the
homemade machaca I love so much at Palapa San Javier. He’s famous for
it and was even in a book!
Anyhow – this roundup barely touches the life I lead down in Baja.
Like my mom and dad, I dream of it often. But, as I say to the border
guard at the Tecate crossing (we always use this one cause it’s shorter
lines and a prettier drive) – Woof! Woof! And catch ya on the rebound!
He just tosses me a smile and waves us right through.
Pet Traveling Tips
- Pack your pet's travel paperwork with you just in case.
- Let the hotel desk clerk meet the dog right away before they jump to conclusions.
- Check out Baja Bound's Pet Friendly Hotel Guide for hotel ideas in Baja Norte.
- Pack a chilled towel so when the fun is over you can rub your dog down, cleaning and cooling him/her at the same time.
- It is recommended to give your pet bottled water.
- Let your dog play with the local dogs – just keep yours on leash.
- Bring an extra harness and leash in case for some reason yours snaps in the middle of Baja.
- Coconut oil soothes hot, sore paws from long walks in the heat.
- All restaurants are dog friendly if there is outdoor seating – and that’s what Mexico is all about.