I am sure everyone says this about their off-grid mansion…”You have to see to appreciate it!”. I am going to have to insist on using the cliche. This is a lava rock cottage )approx. 1000 sq. ft., located in a small fishing village called Puertecitos. This is in Baja, Mexico. I am not going to go into all the details of having a passport to get across the border because that is a longer conversation if you don’t travel across the border frequently. So let me give some details about my home. It has been a labor of love for the past 10 years and the one picture I am posting does not do it justice. Everything is off-grid so there is no cell phone service (perhaps Mexican…I’ll need to double check). There is no internet. The is the option to have satellite. I mention these things first because the ability to communicate with the outside world is usually peoples’ first concern. The cottage has a small kitchen complete with a working propane stove/oven and refrigerator. It current has a double sink also. It sleeps 8 but also has a loft bed that lets out and allows you to sleep under the stars. It has a gravity-fed water system that needs to be completed. I have a 275 gallon water tote that needs to be plumbed to the inside but could be used as is for now. Water has to be bought and is sold by a local family. It usually takes about $15 to fill the 275 gal tote. A quick note about the design: half the cottage is glass french doors to the entire cottage looks out to ocean and the sunrise every morning. Now, on to power. I currently have propane lamps (I also have kerosene lamps) that I use along with sunlight and occasionally moonlight, if she’s full;-). I usually use my headlamp if I’m up really late. I also have candles. So yes, in short a small solar system for electricity would be nice. However, I have been living there without it just fine. This is because the cottage is on a desert beach, which means it is only cold at night for the month of Dec, Jan, Feb. The temperature will drop around 50 degrees on average at night. And a few nights during that period it gets down to the 40’s. Because it is a desert beach then during the day the temperature jumps back up to 70’s and 80’s. It also only rains a few days (approx. 7-11) a year. So in this way I don’t typically need heat. I have a solar-heating shower rigged up with a 5 gallon bucket. However, I usually bath in ocean since the beach cove by the cottage is fairly isolated and private. I also wash my dishes in the ocean. Afterward I rinse the dishes and myself with fresh water. This is almost/essentially like living on a private beach. I could go into extensive detail about the little fishing village but I would be writing for hours. It is better I describe the village another time. I will tell you the nearest town is 45 min north called San Felipe. It has all the amenities and luxuries one could ever hope for… including a nice grocery store, pharmacy, dentist, doctor, restuarants, and all the tourist-trappings your heart could ever desire. Since, my heart doesn’t desire tourist-trappings I live in a small remote village. I prefer privacy, especially since I’m bathing in the ocean. Not something you want to do with an audience. Of course, you can tell by my name I am a female and I like to think fairly modest. So, when I say my cottage is essentially on a private beach, please note it is private enough I feel very, very, very comfortable bathing nude in the ocean. Puertecitos also has natural volcanic springs within walking distance. There is fishing of course, kayaking, snorkeling, plently of places to quad if you’re in to that sort of thing. I’m too chicken and always afraid to go fast for fear of crashing. There is one consistent neighbor named Prem, from California. She is 87 years old and has been living there alone for 30 years. She moved there and lived in a tent first, bathing in the ocean like myself and in time built a beautiful small cottage around her. I’ll stop because no one can tell Prem’s story better than she can;-). I could talk about Puertecitos and my cottage for hours so let me stop right there. I will say there is nice portable potty for the toilet but I typically use two buckets, one for peeing (with a little sand for splash back) and one for deucing (I just made that word up-so now its officially a word)…Works fine for me, but I’m sure you can tell by now. I like things simple. I would like to continue to add to the cottage and there are many things that could be improved. As it stands now the house is totally livable and absolutely one-of-a-kind-paradise. On a side note a little bit about me. I’m 39 and found my way to Puertecitos by way of Army Brat. Meaning, I was born in Texas, moved all over because my dad was in the Army. Bouncing around to Arkansas, Georgia, Germany, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina. I did a small stint in the Air Force when I was younger and that took me Monterey, CA. My last residence in the US was Tucson, AZ. And that is where I sit and type this now because I am visiting for the holidays and will be returning to Puertecitos after the new year. I chose to live off grid because I truly believe it is more balanced way of life. At least for me it has proven to be. I don’t want to overwhelm the reader so any other questions my be better answered after they are asked;-)…One final note, Americans cannot own land in Mexico and can only purchase it in a trust for 50 plus years. I have not taken steps to purchase the land for a number of reasons the main one being I have invested most of my resources in the cottage. Having said that I lease the land for $85 a month. So my current living expense plus food are $100 per month sans food. This does include the lease, propane and water. And this ladies and gentlemen is why I live in Mexico. It is very, very cheap!
Okay so I just spent over an hour trying to load photo and none of them would load. It kept telling me the file was too big. GOOD NEWS: I have really nice photos….BAD NEWS: I’m tired of watcing a computer screen and the spiraling circle of death just to be told it won’t accept the photo because of the size. So, if you are interested please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (520) 869-5766. I can text or email photos.
Take Care and Good Luck on your own Off-Grid Adventure!
For more stories from off-grid.net search here
Our Our fastest solar ovenBake, roast or steam a meal for two people in minutes, reaching up to 550°F (290°C). GoSun Sport sets the bar for portable solar stoves.
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
Leave a Reply