How we ended up not really giving the Pacific coast much of a chance

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We were starting to feel like we didn’t really like the Pacific Coast of Baja.

I know that sounds a bit rough, I mean we live on the Pacific Coast of New Zealand, you think we’d have a soft spot for its sister coast in Mexico.

Perhaps it wasn’t that we disliked the Pacific Coast, it was just that the peace and tranquility of the Sea of Cortez side of the Peninsula was too tempting to ignore.

Guerrero Negro had proven to be a dusty, uninteresting town. Luckily, our visit was made a bit brighter by having a dinner out with Peter and Dace from izaicinajums.com (who we had been travelling with) and George and Jenine from travelingtheamericas.com (who we had finally caught up with again after spending some time driving down opposite sides of the peninsula).

We left town full of enthusiasm for exploring the Pacific side of Baja California Sur.

Driving through the salt fields south of town was a big change from the inland cactus forests.

There's a different view out the window. Not ac cactus as far as the eye can see.
Now there’s a different view out the window. Not a cactus as far as the eye can see.

But then that was followed with rather a lot of not very much to look at.

Nothing to see here…
Nothing to see here…

We made a bee-line for Bahía Asunción as it sounded like a tranquil spot. After a good chunk of a day of driving to get there, we didn’t really feel inspired by the place. So we turned south, drove out of town and found a quiet place to camp while we came up with a more convincing ‘Plan B’.

Sorry Pacific Coast. We forgot to take photos of your beaches, but we did get one of this giant moth. The size of a microwave he was.
Apologies to the Pacific Coast. We completely forgot to take any photos of your beaches, but we did get one of this giant moth. The size of a microwave he was.

Plan B was, unsurprisingly ‘head back for the other coast’.

Not wanting to backtrack, we followed the road further south for a while.

There was still quite a lot of not much to look at.

Not much to see here either
Not much to see here either.

Although we did see a bit of wildlife.

The tilt-winged marmot pigeon (as you can tell, we aren't skilled bird watchers)
The tilt-winged marmot pigeon (as you can tell, we aren’t skilled bird watchers).
The lesser-fluted death warbler
The lesser-fluted death warbler hunts its prey.

Sorry Pacific Coast, you had a brief chance to impress us, but you totally dropped the ball on that one.

Completely uninspired by the stark and rugged beauty of the Pacific Coast, we forged our way back inland towards San Ignacio. Where we found a not-particularly interesting, but suitably comfortable place to camp in the parking lot of a hotel.

See also  Heading south again—for a change

We immediately warmed to San Ignacio when we saw the grove of palm trees.

Driving through a palm tree grove
Now here is something genuinely different to see out the window! Brilliant!

We were even more impressed when we spotted the 18th Century Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán. What can we say, we are suckers for old buildings.

There wasn’t much else in this peaceful town to keep us occupied, so we made our way back to the East Coast of the Baja Peninsula.

Santa Rosalia appeared to be an interesting little town, perhaps we should have stayed and explored more of its history.
Santa Rosalia appeared to be an interesting little town, perhaps we should have stayed and explored more of its history.

After a brief lunch stop in Santa Rosalia, we continued on to Mulegé (Officially named Heroica Mulegé for it’s part in ‘showing the US what for’ when they tried to occupy Baja in the 1900’s. Some would argue Canadian and American snowbirds have since succeeded in occupying the entire peninsula).

This town was looking a lot worse for wear after Hurricane Odile had swept through a couple of months earlier.

That's going to take some sweeping out
That’s going to take some sweeping out. This house didn’t look like it had even been finished before it was filled with river silt.
IMG_9711


There were signs of water damage and debris concerningly high on some of the buildings down by the river.

Agua Purificada, La Misión
Not sure when this place closed up shop, could have been well before the latest hurricane, but yep, that is storm/flood debris at roof level.

Which is, we guess why much of the main, historical part of the town is built high above the river level. Including the Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé, dating back to the beginning of the 18th century.

The campground we stayed at down by the river, was still trying to put itself back together—wi-fi and hot water were both in short supply. Luckily there were some adorable dogs to keep us company.

Additionally, things like the local bakery were still 100% functional. Stuffed full of delicious snacks and baked goods we enjoyed our short stay in Mulegé.

Not all the dogs in Mulegé were as friendly. There were four of these death poodles in yellow jackets. They all wanted our blood. Luckily this sturdy fence foiled them.
Not all the dogs in Mulegé were as friendly. There were four of these death poodles in yellow jackets. They all wanted our blood. Luckily this sturdy fence foiled them.

Mulegé had been interesting. But we hadn’t found anywhere we really wanted to settle for a few days in a while. We pinned our hopes for relaxation on the rumoured-to-be spectacular Bahía Concepción. We had arranged to meet Peter and Dace at a particular camp spot. It was with great disappointment that we drove past several perfect-looking places to camp along wild sections of coastline surrounding the bay—but we didn’t want Peter and Dace to declare us missing just because we didn’t show up where they expected us to.

See also  Rocks, history and how not to navigate a colonial town

It transpired that they had very nearly declared us missing by the time we showed up at the arranged meeting spot. They had believed we were ahead of them and were surprised when we didn’t show up until a couple of hours after them. Surely by now they had been travelling with us long enough to know that we have short attention spans and are easily distracted by anything even remotely scenic… Luckily they hadn’t called a search party, they had just picked a sunny camping spot for us both, right on a tranquil beach in the beautiful bay.

It was here that we met a Canadian couple cycling down to Nicaragua and realised that we were big sissies for driving the car south. But big sissies or not, we were camping on a beautiful beach. More importantly, we had the company of another adorable dog, who wanted nothing more than belly rubs and somewhere to lie in the shade of our tent.

Can we keep her?
Can we keep her?

We made all sorts of plans for a relaxing few days at the beach. Splashed out on a lobster dinner, dusted of the snorkelling gear, prepared ourselves for several days of doing ‘not much’ in this beautifully calm, sunny little corner of paradise.

Then the wind started.

Based on our previous post, I’m sure you can remember how much we love the wind in Baja. But somehow this wind was still not enough to chase us back to the Pacific Coast.

We left Peter and Dace to enjoy the beach in their fancy van (With hard sides to keep the wind out). And drove south to Loreto for shelter, hot showers and ceviche…

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