Baja and Playa De Oro

15 February 2010

After a week driving down the majestic Californian coast, we arrive in San Diego and begin the chaos of taking the trolley train over to the Mexican border town of San Ysidro.
With my huge backpack and my Voyage air guitar safely stowed (boy am I glad to have this folding guitar, traveling in cramped trains and buses, is so much easier), I enjoy watching the subtle transition of the landscape, as we roll from California into Mexico….

Fast food and clothing chain stores give way to concrete block houses and tumbleweed, skinny dogs and rocky landscapes and soon we are at San Ysidro at the US-Mexico border.
It´s a lot calmer than I remember from our previous travels and I wonder if the drug gang terror stories and global economy slump is keeping people away from Mexico, sure hope so!
People tell us to ´be safe´ and ´beware´, as we cross the border, for a minute I suspect that all may have changed since we last visited Baja but once across the border, the smiling faces of Mexicans and vibrant colors, smells and scenes of the town assure that all is pretty much the same here.


The hot afternoon sun and dusty town of San Ysidro welcomed and warmed our hearts as we headed toward the bus station to our first Mexican bus trip in four years.
On to the dusty beach town of San Quintin, where our good old friends Bill. Denise, Skippy, Joe and Kay live, on the Playa De Oro, Beach of Gold.
When we finally got into town it was late, loud music blared from one or two of the dark, uninviting little bars but the street was pretty empty, we decided to stay in Hotel Romo for the night and head over to our friend Bill the next day.
Hotel Romo reminds me of the seedy motels you come across in America when touring,clean but unclean, worn curtains that just reach the edge of the window and a TV that doesn’t work. I didn’t mind, I was beat from the day’s traveling. The music from the nightclub next door pulsed in and out of my dreams that night.
Next day the hot Baja sun greeted my tired eyes. We hitched a ride from the Los Pinos fruit plantation, over to our good friend Bill’s place at Playa de Oro.
It sure was good to see Bill! He gave us a trailer to stay in and we wiled away a couple of weeks with Bill and our other friends,Denise, Skip, Joe and Kay.



Waking up to the beautiful Sunshine and watching the day transform in all its glorious hues into twilight is one of the great luxuries of living in this trailer park, people live as much outside, if not more, than they do inside. It’s like desert out here, there’s a beautiful peace, a quiet calm that emanates from the surrounding hills that glow deep golden red and amber in the day’s sun. It’s inspiring being in places like this, I can just sit and listen to the breeze and hear songs playing in it. I’ve been playing my guitar and playing with ideas for new songs, it’s good to be out here, everything sounds different and I get excited being so far away from the familiarities of the city. Things feel more magical and raw here.



Happy hour at Cielito Lindo is kicking as ever, with divine Pina Coladas at $2 a glass and stray dogs wandering around the grounds.Lost souls and happy campers all toast together at Happy and you meet all kinds of folk there.

Riding on borrowed bicycles, we rode out to the lagoon and the dunes. We picked up a couple of friendly dog friends along the way. We called out to them and laughed, as they playfully leapt and bounced before our wheels.
The two dogs were great friends with each other and we were honoured by their freedom and friendship. At times I could have sworn that they were laughing, their red tongues flopping about sharp white teeth. Big, jewel eyes, alive and alight with a joy so simple and pure as they danced around and ahead of us, into the ocean

A sad reality of life out here, one day, we found a horse, dying in the road, no one seemed to know what to do. It’s legs were broken and it may have been knocked down by a vehicle of some kind.
We gave the horse water and called the local police who were pretty helpful but eventually, it was decided that the horse must be shot.
It was a sad thing. Days had gone by and the horse had lain dying in the dirt road, At night, we would wonder at her fate, knowing she was out there in the darkness, alone and in pain, beneath a spinning universe of cold bright stars.
This notion kept us awake at night and brightly aware of the transience of life and bleak stark ways of nature, death and suffering. Eventually, the animal control people came and shot the horse and took her a few miles into the long grasses to be eaten by buzzards.

It was time for us to move on. We decided to head to one of our favorite places in Baja, El Coyote Beach down in Mulege.
We stuck around for the Thanks Giving party at Joe and Kay’s place and left the next day. it was lovely seeing everyone again and not too much had changed at Playa de Oro and that’s good to know.

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12 responses to this journal entry:


On 16 February 2010 Rich_B said:

Hello Kelli,
Your trip is amazing. I will be looking forward to your entries. Going to Mexico like that and in that way is cool. i sit here in the west suburbs of Chicago where we are cold, snowy and bored. Now i am imagination is south of the border. I did a motorcycle ride like that, just packed up and rode for 3000 miles, through the Appalachian Mountains from here . I sometimes wished i’d never stopped.  any way have fun on you most excellent adventure.

Party on,


On 16 February 2010 Denise and Skip said:

Hi Kelli, everyone at Cielito Lindo says HI and hurry back to Baja!!! Denise and Skip


On 20 February 2010 soulburner said:

Ohh, the small images are killing me! The photographs are great, but try to watch them on a FullHD screen :D


On 22 February 2010 Bud said:


I love your blog entries.  You seem to be able find beauty, or at least meaning, where others would look right past it.  I wish I had more of that kind of vision.  Keep the insights coming!



On 25 February 2010 psychic rat said:

Hi there Kelli. I’ve read everything I can possibly find on you - interviews, blogs, articles; and listened to everything that you have done, solo, SP, other artists. You are the most fascinating woman. You have to write an autobiography!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


On 26 February 2010 richard and jean said:

Hi Kelli

good to read your blog about your travels in mexico especially as we enter another week of snow !  your writing really conveys what it must be like down there in the way that tom russells songwriting describes the area around el paso. I hope that all the inspiration and experiences on this trip means that youre going to come back with lots of songs inspired by your travels .

hope you enjoy the next steps in your adventure and please keep us all in touch with more blogs and photos

with very best wishes

richard and jean


On 04 March 2010 Dwight Middleton said:

Damn, you traveling down in sur america.
?  esta boa!! (portuguese for esta bien).

I am glad you are still doing your thing, i hope you do music again with the sneaker pimps or solo. I hate say it, if you would of not sang that song they would not be the group they are. I watch the “6 underground” video clip everyday almost. You were sexy then and even sexier now. With a tan!! Muito bela morenzinha!!! (more portuguese).

buena viaje
boa viagem
vaya con buddha!!!

love peace and soul!!!...............


On 04 March 2010 Dwight Middleton said:

p.s. I have my own photoblog I would love to share with you and other with tons of photos on and my facebook page has tons of photos.

keep doing your thing Kelli!!!

underground safe and sound, the ground beneath your feet, way down low, no where to go, no where you want to be…......i got a head full of doubt talking…....................


On 07 March 2010 Fred Lopez said:

Love your journal and images, Kelli.  Having ancestors who were from Mexico generations back, I visited a few towns there years ago.  The pictures and your words brought back feelings one can only experience by waking up in such a place and living the day there with locals.  Take care and enjoy your travels!


On 15 May 2010 Dwight Middleton said:

I have a plan to get me and my friends to go out to Joshua Tree with some weed, peyote or shrooms and have an experience. Riding the snake…..breathing the fire of our consciousness.  I want to write a journal and document everything for a psychological analysis. I want to put together a theory of the self. Take Jung’s theory and any theory based upon the self and altering the conscious state! Plus, my friends are in an experimental music group called Colony Collapse (they have a myspace page). I will have pictures of their show and video. I have finished getting my BA in Psychology, now I will work on my Master’s.

P.S. Kelli, your Rocking Horse CD is great, I was smoked up listening to it!! It’s like Led Zeppelin had a conversation with Natalie Merchant to combine their artist taste over a glass of Merlot while smoking the peace pipe!! You got to start putting some bossanova, calypso samples with breatbeats in the background!! Way more progressive than Sneaker Pimps with some soul hermana!!!!

I will let you guys know what happened and when I have a website/blog to document everything!!


On 09 June 2010 Dwight Middleton said:

” Existence would be intolerable if we were never to dream.”
- Anatole France

I read this from the “Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” last in the Positive Mental Attitude” section of the ways to better healthy lifestyle. I love Anatole quote, who was Mark Twain’s nemesis, and i must admit our dreams are all we have. When we stop dreaming it is immediate death. I never have had this problem of dreaming; just reaching a goal, because there are so many obstacles in the way of one’s pursuit of excellence. Well, I hope some of you read this quote. I have pasted it on my Facebook, as a reminder of what we humans are capable of when we want to be successful instead of regretful.

Tem ciudado, vaya os caracaoes!!!

P.S. I am still trying to go on my vision trance in the desert, which will take time, money, and planning. It will be done, because it is my dream and my destiny to know what they spirits have to say.


On 12 June 2010 basil papademos said:

It’s great to see that some real people with real hearts and real minds are wandering the earth bringing some joy and friendship, not madly consuming, consuming, like these swarms of locusts that are driven to devour everything - products, ideas, sounds, anything, to co-opt and consume it all.
Anyway, enough raging. The beauty of your spirit, Kelli, eases my rage and my pain at seeing our world so badly abused. I wish there many more of you.
I love your music and it’s a delicious irony that the SP lads sank out of sight once they asked you to leave.
I remember you mentioning in an interview that while on tour you got all dolled up after a gig and went down to the lobby to meet the other band members and go out to dinner. But they’d left without you. No message, no nothing. Just skulked away. I thought, ‘what mannerless boors, treating someone like that, especially this sweet singing angel.’
So it’s good to see they’ve more or less gotten what they deserved, bitter obscurity, judging from recent interviews with CC. Painted into a ‘Corner’, indeed!
You are a blessing, Kelli.

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