Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bahia Magdalena to San Ignatio

January 22, 2008

I got up pretty early and headed to the beach, but no whales. I did see some dolphins swimming by and lots of fish jumping (the pelicans were happy) but no ballenas gris (gray whales). It was a nice morning nonetheless and I enjoyed some quiet time overlooking the bay.

I hightailed it out of there because it started to sprinkle and dark clouds loomed out west, being brought in by on-shore breezes. It started to sprinkle a bit – and so I wanted to get to the other coast asap, in hopes that the Sea of Cortez was better than the Pacific.

I made it through a couple military check-points with minimal unpacking and reached Loreto – and the Sea of Cortez – in great time. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t much better but it was less dark and a little warmer. I made my way to Playa Santispac where I swung by to see the Lamberts and ended up meeting the group of friends Jim and Sherrol had been waiting for, and with whom they were going to travel the rest of Mexico with. So I said my goodbyes until May (Jim and Sherrol are volunteering at a camping ground near Klamath Falls, OR the month of May and we plan to connect then) and headed to Mulege.

I swung into Mulege to gas up, get more cash, and hit the internet cafĂ© to check emails and update my blog a bit. And of course to grab a couple tacos de pescado…

On my way to San Ignatio I passed Santa Rosalia and had warm fuzzies remembering my few days there. That was one of the key points of the trip and I longed to get some tacos de carne from my amigo taco stand guy, but he wasn’t cooking yet and I had to get to San Ignatio before it got dark. I will say that on driving by on the Trans Santa Rosalia doesn’t seem like much and not worth a few days for sure. But this is true for most of Baja, at least in my experience, and it makes me want to explore those places the guidebook DIDN’T cover. There is so much to Baja and a three week trip merely scratches the surface. For those of you who are English majors or writers you can hear mucho foreshadowing here.

Before settling down at Rice and Beans, the classic stop for motorcyclists, I rode into San Ignatio and visited the museum there. I had heard that they had a life-size replica of Cochimi cave paintings that looked incredibly realistic, so since I wasn’t able to see the real thing I wanted to see it. It was impressive.

Now I’m settled into my huge room at Rice and Beans, living the luxurious life compared to most places I’ve stayed at. Hot water, electricity, large and airy bathroom – it’s amazing what I take for granted at home but really appreciate here. There is no different between here and home really, except for my sense of entitlement. I hope to gently reshape that in my life. Traveling internationally to Developing Countries helps mature my perspective on those things, and this Baja adventure contributes to that evolution in me. Thankfully.

I went to dinner and chatted with Jack Murrey – he and his wife have been on an 18 month around the world adventure on their motorcycle. Starting in China and circumnavigating the globe westerly, they’ve completed their trip here in Baja, and I had a great time asking Jack questions like, “What are the top three things you brought with you on the trip?” and “What would you do over again, and what would you skip?” He’s obviously a huge source of knowledge on traveling by motorcycle.

I also ran into a group of men who are with a company that rides the Baja 1000 route in modified trucks. These trips are about $7K and last a week or so. They’re rowdy (as expected) and now arguing the opposing sides of the gay debate. Lively, for sure. Rice and Beans is a necessary stop for Baja racers, so it’s no surprise they’re here. Like with traveling in Baja – you never know who you’ll run into and why they’re here.

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