Cruising around Baja!

I have been preparing the expose’s and forgot to post an update about where we are! We have been moving around Baja. Mostly headed North, but going slowly and really enjoying some exploration.

After some fun in the water in Cabo Pulmo we went to La Ribera and had an American style Saturday night date. Trinidad RV Park had an all-u-can-eat BBQ dinner and a live blues band. We filled up with several trips to the food, and really enjoyed the live music. (insert blues band photo) Then we headed to Concepcion Bay to meet up with the 4J’s. But when we arrived we discovered (from the other brown VW van on the beach) that we missed their departure by four hours. So we returned to our favorite private cove at Playa Armenta to hang out for New Years.

Can hardly beat spending New Years Eve on a paddle board in the Sea of Cortez.  Zeb is relaxing on his turn!

Can hardly beat spending New Years Eve on a paddle board in the Sea of Cortez. Zeb is relaxing on his turn!

Pointing North took us to San Ignacio again. We camped overnight at Rice and Beans. Yes, that is really the name of an RV Park! After that dusty parking lot we decided to head for a beach. So we went out to see the beach at Campo Rene and Punta Abreojos. It turned out to be a beautiful, white sand beach with no one around. We had the opportunity to use our TRED system when we got stuck in the wonderful sand.

Stuck in the sand at Punta Abreojos.

Stuck in the sand at Punta Abreojos.

Inserting a TRED behind the back wheel.

Inserting a TRED behind the back wheel.

Unstuck.  Notice the TREDs are left in the sand where they worked their magic.

Unstuck. Notice the TREDs are left in the sand where they worked their magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But once we were out of the sand, we parked and set up camp. We were the only rig around for miles!

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After a stop in Guerrero Negro for showers, laundry and water; it was time for some off-roading. We grabbed a portion of the Baja 1000 route at Rosarito, just off Highway 1. This road would lead us to Mission San Borja. The history on this place looked fascinating. This mission was funded by a Queen in Spain in the late 1700’s, populated by Indio’s who died during their captivity by the Catholics, partially restored by the Mexican government and located in the middle of nowhere! The location is stunning, with the huge mountains and wide-open spaces. The Franciscan and Dominican mission are huge, made with hand-carved lava rocks quarried from the surrounding hills. The walls are 4 feet thick. The stones have been chiseled with decorative symbols. The caracol or spiral staircase is purely made of stacked stone. Behind newer mission stood the adobe remains of the original mission built by the Jesuits. The entire property is surrounded by a dry-stacked stone wall that the Indio’s created. The fields below the mission grow olives, grapes, citrus, dates and mangos using the natural springs that are pooled in the rock tubs and redirected through elaborate channels. Near the entrance lies a cemetery that includes the mass grave for the thousands of Indio’s that perished there as well as padre’s and others who died while working this mission. There is just one home on site- the woman who took us around has lived there for 32 years. This entire place is surreal with anthropology, religious history and hardship all surrounded by fantastic remote beauty.    I will add a bunch of photos of the mission and the mountains at the end of this posting!

The road in and out of the mission offered us the following highlights:

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One of two wild burros that we encountered.

One of two wild burros.  Adorable and young!

One of two wild burros. Adorable and young!

Two wild burros looking at us curiously.

Two wild burros looking at us curiously.

Boojum trees in a Dr. Suess-like forest

Twenty foot tall boojum tree.

Twenty foot tall boojum tree.

Boojum tree forest.  Some grow straight and tall.  Some split at the top and some curl over.

Boojum tree forest. Some grow straight and tall. Some split at the top and some curl over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Succulent plants that insulate themselves from dehydration by forming a plastic-like coating succulent with plastic1succulent with plastic2

 

 

 

Gigantic Cardon’ cacti which grow with a portion of their roots above the ground.cardon cactus

Both roads to this location is 22 miles of rough and rocky blended with soft and sandy terrain. We took the road from Highway 1 (Rosarito) to get into the Mission San Borja. To leave the mission we took the second half of the road, which deposited us just outside of Bahia de Los Angeles. As long as we are here, we will stop for some beach time in LA Bay (as the locals call it) and revisit our favorite hotel in town. Nothing like an overnight at Villa Bahia in Bahia de Los Angeles to wash of the dust and grime from the mountains! Then we will jump back on the road for the estero’s of San Quintin and some van repair!  (torn motor mount)

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Artifacts from the restoration and archeology dig

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The rectory.

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The rectory hall

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remote!

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An original rock tub of warm, mineral water.

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An original rock tub of warm mineral water.

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The classrooms at the back

The classrooms at the back of the mission

The heating fire location in the church.

The heating fire location in the church.

The caracol stairs.

The caracol stairs.

From the bell tower.

From the bell tower.

One rough road in, one slightly better road out! Remote.

One rough road in, one slightly better road out! Remote.

 

 

Now that is a view to wake up to every day!

Now that is a view to wake up to every day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 responses to “Cruising around Baja!

  1. I really like the idea of a vacant beach, getting there is another thing. Church is great cactus beautiful burros adorable. What more could you ask for. Keep on keeping on you guys are so lucky

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  2. We’re not too far behind you. We left La Rivera a couple days behind you after we got a chance to snorkel at Cabo Pulmo (very cool). We camped at Playa Los Cocos for a few days and we’re now in Guerrero Negro for a whale watching trip. Then its north to San Diego and a slow drive back to the Pacific Northwest. It was great meeting you guys, hope we see you this summer.
    Brett and Mary.

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  3. Great post, sounds like things are going well and glad to see the sand rails worked. we didn’t bring any and got stuck in sand once, but pushed out by a cool guy. I loved San Quitin area. safe travels and keep the posts coming.

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  4. I haven’t seen San Boraj. From your photos it doesn’t seem to look like the other missions of the Baja, California, Sonora and the borderlands. Enjoy LA Bay. I remember it fondly!

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