THE BAJA COAST - ROAD TRIP FROM LA PAZ TO SAN DIEGO 

January 3, 2003

Donna and Ralph (Ocean Girl) and Gord and I rented a car to drive the 800 miles each way to San Diego hoping to make an adventure out of the trip up the entire length of the Baja. The scenery on the drive was an unexpected pleasure with a kaleidoscope of ever changing colour and vegetation. We saw a beautiful contrast between the desert, sky and sea.

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The mountainous backdrop is awesome against the immense sprawling desert  xeriscape. 

The variety of plant life is astounding...huge Century Plants, Old Man Cactus, Barrel Cactus and Curios. Here we stop at an abandoned casa to stretch our legs.

baja-mountains1.jpg (14771 bytes)The colours of the landscape are magical on the peninsula, with a photo op around every bend in the road.

We marveled at the amazingly rich flora and fauna uniquely characteristic of the arid and semi-desert zone.

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port-encinada2.jpg (21351 bytes)We stopped briefly at Puerto Escondido to make some sandwiches and admire the crystal clear waters of this popular anchorage.

Gord poses below a huge Cardon cactus

We stayed overnight in San Ignacio, a little town that was like an oasis in the dessert.

January 4, 2004

We arrived in San Diego  and got a room at a hotel near to the area we had to do our errands. We spent the next few days partying in the hot tub, eating Chinese and having a blast! We also emptied our wallets and stocked up at West Marine and purchased new water maker systems from Little Wonder.

After a couple of days, we started the trek back and the drive was just as interesting, seeing it from a different direction.


Rock Fields

The fascinating "rock fields" extend for miles along each side of the narrow twisting highway bordered by giant cactus trees.

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At first sight the desert may seem a solitary place but there is an abundance of unique vegetation and animal life. High temperatures during the day, low temperatures at night and scarce rain effect the desert life.

January 3

Bay of Concepcion

As the coast proceeds westward, there is a series of shallow, scalloped bays. Bay of Concepcion is one of the most popular areas with sheltered white sandy beaches and clear water, which is the reason why the bay holds more than ranks of motor homes.

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As dusk approached, the desert displayed a new array of colour.

 getting-gas.jpg (24724 bytes) We learned that we couldn't get gas the conventional way. Instead an innovative local offered fuel pumped from his barrel in the night.
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We stayed in a motel at Guerrero Negro and got up early to take a trip to Laguna Ojo de Liebre where each year from January to March, Grey Whales come to mate and give birth to their young.

On the long sandy road into the lagoon, we drove through the largest salt mines in the world. Pictured above is not a snowy winter is salt piled along the ponds.

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We arrived at a little restaurant, adorned by a full whale skeleton. We had breakfast here while we waited for the fog to lift.

A panga finally took us into the lagoon where there were about 20 females with their 1 to 2 week old calves. They didn't seem to mind our presence as we visited several mamas and were close enough to almost touch the whales!

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We had a real treat when one of the whales had a closer look at us (called spyhopping)

Lorreto January 5, 2004

Our last stopover was the beautiful little town of Loreto. We stayed in a wonderful hotel on the main street for 30 pesos a room.


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Before we left the next morning, we toured the town and went shopping. It was a pretty town, very clean with lots of interesting shops to snoop around in. Donna and I bought some hand painted ceramic fish and a Mexican bowl.

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We drove back to La Paz tired but fulfilled that we accomplished what we went for and had a wonderful time as well.