Baja 2016

Jan. 4, 2016

Finally the day has come that we can load up our kayaks and point southward. First, however, we have lists of items to complete before the actual departure. Donna gets to continue her quest of making sure she has filed correctly for all the medicare supplements. It was difficult to make all the connections over the holidays, but a call to a helpful agent seemed to get the needed results. The actual medicare may be a bit more challenging as she can not pay over the phone and will have to rely on the postal service for getting all the forms there in a timely manner. Apparently I will not know until Feb. and I am not sure where I will even be at that time. Moving on we cancel our car insurance and Verizon data plan. A stop at Costco for gas indicates there may be a problem with our credit card, a call to Schwab assures us that the problem is fixed.  Once again we are denied at the gas tanks, but now are assuming that it is a Costco gas station problem.  As I used the card to get some last minute items in the store and did not have a problem.  With the list of items crossed off we head back to Ryan's to get our kayaks and are soon crossing the border around noon. A major storm is on the docket today and heavy rains are predicted for later in the afternoon. By the time we got to Ensenada the rain had started falling. We needed to stop here to get some pesos. Parking the car Don heads to the bank to get some pesos. Shortly he returns saying for whatever unknown reason the card is denied. He tried several different banks and all with the same results. He tried my card, he tried requesting different amounts, but nothing seemed to work. Our only solution was trying to call Schwab on the satellite phone as our cell phone did not have coverage.  After reaching Schwab and then loosing the connection, we realized this would not work either. Now we know how people feel when they have money in the bank , but can not access it. Our plot seemed to be getting dismal. Don had seen a Telcel store and perhaps we could get service on our Ipad and then call Schwab. It was worth a try as the other option was to return to the States. Don left on a mission and time slowed, the sun began to set and the rain began falling. We may be spending the night in the Walmart parking lot. Meanwhile Don is learning the patience of standing in line and restanding in lines as getting a sim card is not a simple procedure. As I wait in the car, our phone which we can not use in Baja, alerts me by text that a charge has been made to our credit card and if we do not alert the company they will put a hold on our card. Great now we may not even have use of our other credit card. Finally he was back with a smile on his face and said I got the card. The first attempt to call Schwab on the ipad was successful. As we explained our situation she said oh yes I see that you have made numerous attempts to get some money. She then proceeded to tell us that this area is known for bank fraud. Our first thought was that she was going to question our need, but after a while she returned to the phone and said you should be good to go. Off goes Don once again and quickly returns with pesos in hand. With telcel working we can alert our credit card company and they remove the hold on our credit card.  All is well except that it is now dark and rainy. Our wanted to get to destination is 100 miles away and even though we would like to attempt it, our better common sense decides against it.  We are relieved when we see a sign for a campground called Palomar. It is a summer resort, but has spots for overnighters in the winter. Only one camper is there and we quickly make our beds and fall quickly asleep.