Where the sea meets the desert
Isla Cerralvo - Isla Espiritu Santo
Drive out of town to the north and the east, either will do. At the end of the road, there is the deepest blue water separating you from a gorgeous deserted island. The beach has a few palapas and a bar, but is otherwise all for yourself. Stop, look for shells, crack open a beverage of your choice, and realize that there is beauty in this old world.
Larger then Loreto with equal the charm
"Finding peace in the city of peace"
La Paz - The peace, and peace you can find here. But first you have to make your way through the sprawl of the city and navigate a confusing grid of often one way streets. But you can find peace here, and a lot more.
Down by the bay you are in vacationland with upscale hotels like the Los Arcos and a wide inviting renovated malecon. The bay waters are a delicioius blue and curious land masses poke out in every direction.
The farther removed from the bay area the more of a normal fast paced and comparitively unattractive city this becomes. It's huge with 250,000 inhabitants, so it should resemble a city. But don't look for a downtown or tall buildings. La Paz spreads out not up.
When standing on the shore and gazing out at the bay, try to imagine Hernan Cortez's arrival and subsequent departure after just two years. Yes, the great conqueror of the Aztecs couldn't tame either the native indians nor the rugged land.
Later the Jesuits got a foothold on the peninsula by establishing missions. Each is beautiful in their own way and part of the great history oof the Californias.
"Wonderful sights and shopping."
This is a city of commerce and a bustle of activity is in the air. Like nowhere else in Baja Sur is there more of feeling of a thriving metropolis. And the shops offering trinkets line up one after the other.
On my first walk to Mission La Paz I stumbled across a well hidden hotel with the most peculiar decor I've ever seen. The stuff was spilling out into the street! A mass of clutter covered every square inch of wall, floor and ceiling; from hats, a stuffed monkey to an Model T Ford.
Inside I met a gentlemen who asked me not to photograph the place. He looked like Captain Ron and had the same occupation - that of a skipper. He hires himself to skipper a yahts across great distances of ocean.
The Hotel Yeneka is a curious place with Free Marijuana stickers on the front door. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out why no photographs are allowed.
Loreto's malecon is small and humble compared to the grandness of the one in La Paz'. Here it's wide and stately with grand statuesque figures. A plaque commemorates a February day in 1983 when Queen Elizabeth II visited this malecon in its former state.
The malecon serves three purposes; 1) it keeps the bay at bay, 2) it provides great views of the bay of La Paz and the surrounding shoreline, and 3) it attracts excersize nuts to come and jog on it all day long and well into the night.
washed out in la paz
The capital of the southern half of the Baja peninsula, La Paz is located on the Sea of Cortez, just 90 miles from Cabo San Lucas.
It was pouring when we got there so outdoor activities were out. We spent the day at the La Paz Museum soaking in the Aztec culture and the history of the Baja peninsula.
My favorite was the reproduction of the SUNSTONE that recounts the Aztec myth of time. Unfortunately, there was nobody at the museum who could explain the details of the intricate sculpture.
Baja, Day 1 & 2: Loreto & Beach Camp
"Through the roof"
"A Note From Jesus"
"Day 2: On the Water"
We got a ride by van along winding cliff-side dirt tracks from Loreto to this beach in the background - about 90 minutes. Then we rode by panga to the Rio Rita, which would be our support boat for the rest of the week. We ate lunch on the Rio Rita and rode to our first camp a couple of hours to the south.
"Our First Camp"
It was kind of chilly our first night camping! Actually, it was kind of chilly most nights... We were told that camp fires were against the rules because they left marks, but by the third night we were allowed to bend the rules. We found a wash tub to contain the fire and found a tree that had already fallen. We took the charred remains with us on the boat the next day, rather than leave the evidence.