I have had a lengthy love affair with Mexico and my most recent fabulous fling being with the Baja Peninsula. The thought of this wonderful long stretch of varied and much surprising land makes my heart flutter as much as a new boyfriend would.
Not only is it wildly practical since I live in Los Angeles and can either fly for two hours to the most southern tip of the Baja, or drive the extremely rewarding journey for 3 days. The gypsy in me loves the latter.
We left Los Angeles early Christmas morning in hard rain. We drive through customs and pass by the more common stops of Ensenada and Rosarito. The roads were empty. We push further on in the rain, only stopping for gasoline and caffeine the first day out of ten.
After 400 miles we arrive in Rosario where we spend the night. The next morning we continue further into “The real Baja”, hours of dry desert, bony cirio trees and cactuses. The desert is beautiful in a barren and prickly way. We continue through Catavina and see the massive collection of large round granite boulders strewn about like a giant had a temper tantrum.
The lively and small seaside town of Santa Rosalia does an effortless job of hosting and entertaining us for the night. The following morning, armed with French inspired pastry, we get back behind the wheel driving along the breathtaking coast of Baja Conception. At every turn another gem hides and surprises. The views are exhilarating.
We spend our 3rd night in lovely La Paz, the city of peace.
The next morning, the shallow waters of Playa Balandra pull us. We have now officially crossed the border into heaven and we walk, swim and float in the shallow crystal waters for hours. Wistfully we leave promising to pass through again.
We continue our journey south and spend 5 days between Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and Cabo Pulmo. My hippie heart hollers in Cabo Pulmo as the sandy streets of this unexploited diving paradise tickles my senses and bare feet. The stunning waters holding a world underneath I can not wait to explore. The wind chases us out with the promise of calming down by April. We will be back, I whisper back. On our way north we stop in Los Barriles to watch the fearless windsurfers challenge the wicked winds.
Our last stop becomes The Oasis of San Ignacio. Thousands of date palms surround and protect this quiet European feeling town. The town-square is shaded by large trees and seems to hold secrets a hundred years old. The mission is facing the square, keeping an eye. I exhale and then I exhale some more. We learn that two hours away via a rough and rambunctious road, the whales give birth to their calves January through April in Laguna San ignacio. We head home with the deep desire to go back as soon as possible and explore this beautifull buffet table of Baja some more.
Baja Is for Everyone Essay Entry