“After two days in the desert sun our skin had begun to turn red. After three days in the desert fun. I was looking at a river bed.”
“Horse with No Name” – America
These lyrics, from the 70s and my childhood aptly described our feelings as we made our decent from the Baja desert to the shores of the Sea of Cortez. The coastline was a sight for sand dried eyes to take in and rapidly blink until the full clarity of the grand vista arrived. The jagged eastern Baja coastline met the road south pairing it with an aqua colored backdrop and a sea foam trim. We stopped at the next town gathering supplies including a spare engine battery in the port village of Santa Rosalía. Observing the routines of the locals displayed traces of workday urgency but never enough to bar one from engaging a passing friend in conversation or for a couple of tacos.
Expectations of the area continued to be met and exceeded as we drove into the oasis town of Mulegé (pronounced as “mu-lay”). Located at the mouth of a river entering the Sea of Cortez, the surrounding area was uncharacteristically lush. The palms and green vegetation springing from an overly arid landscape was reminiscent of an oasis one would see on a tributary of the Nile in Egypt. We ate lunch and pressed a half an hour south to Bahia Concepción. This area was dramatically beautiful with green translucent water and sheltered coves protecting the innocence of their virgin beaches. Truly a paradise to camp at and without the light pollution of a nearby city the area offered a dazzling night spectacle to enjoy around the fire.
Our final stop before taking the ferry to mainland Mexico was in the beautiful coastal town of La Paz. Jacques Cousteau once called La Paz, “…the aquarium of the world” and for good reason. Whale sharks drift out in the bay and the water has an incredible clarity to it. Our dive into the local cuisine produced excellent cerviche which is a popular coastal dish of raw fish marinated in lime juice, chilies and pico de gallo serves on a tostada. Now onward to the mainland!