Wednesday, December 26, 2012

(Attempted) Explorations in Northern Baja California Sur


Leaving Ciudad Constitución, we made a beeline for Bahía Concepción, where I planned to check out the area that I missed out on before because I wasn’t feeling so hot (see: Gripe Session). After driving all morning, we just chilled out that afternoon and tried to get information from our hosts about the cave art in the area, i.e. how we could get a guide and get to it, whether it was any good, etc. Unfortunately, the lady didn’t know and said we should ask her son when he came back from fishing. After lunch, I thought I would like to go out on the kayak, but after getting it inflated, the wind picked up and prevented us from going out. The lady had invited us to the restaurant for food, but we thought we try it for dinner. However, I guess their place is only open for lunch? So, they heated up vegetable soup for us.

The next morning, we wanted to get around early and see the cave art. We still hadn’t gotten any information from our hosts about it, though, so we first went to get some more info from them. They said that there was some we could walk to right along a path around the bay. I thought if that worked, we would have met my definition of seeing the art and we could do the other things on my list. Putting on our hiking shoes, we walked down the path, but we never did see the artwork they said was there.

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Still trying to meet my requirements, I decided that we would try driving to Rancho La Trinidad where there were supposedly guides who could take us to some of the more popular art. Well, that didn’t work out either as the roads weren’t marked very well on which way to go. I think we made the correct guesses for about half of the way there (10 miles) but then we struggled finding the right path and the  road got really rough. Actually, the road itself wouldn’t have been that bad, but I guess the bumps were at the right frequency to hit the resonance frequency of the van and our front end hit the ground several times. I decided that we should probably just give up this endeavor and head back.

That evening we drove up the road a bit farther to get closer to Santa Rosalía. I wanted to see the church Eiffel designed and try the French-style bakery. This excursion was actually successful, despite the fact that it was Christmas Eve. We drove into Santa Rosalía and found the correct road. There was actually a parking space right next to the church as well. So we parked and investigated. It was definitely interesting. The church was mostly metal and was fabricated in France and then bolted together there in Baja.

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The bakery was just a little farther down the street, so we decided to walk down the way to it. Good thing we did because traffic suddenly picked up and we would have had a hard time getting there, much more so parking. The bakery was packed with a line that started going out the doors when we arrived. We ended up getting a variety of things, but I think the cake and the loaf of bread were the best. Sadly, I thought I knew at least the word for loaf, so I didn’t look it up or bring my dictionary. I could have sworn I had seen the word panque used for loaf of bread somewhere, so I sure looked the fool when I kept repeating it and throwing it out there to try to be understood. Apparently the correct term is hogaza.

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After Santa Rosalía, we made a stop in San Ignacio to see the mission made from lava rock.

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DSC02064 The walls were over four feet wide.

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After that we drove straight through to Scammon’s Lagoon (Laguna de Ojo Liebre) near Guerrero Negro. The place had just opened for viewing California gray whales who congregate there to have babies. I wanted to see if we could see them. When we were in Los Cabos, I had heard that the best time to try to see them is in the morning. Thus, I positioned us to have a good view of the lagoon in the morning. As we waited around on Christmas morning, I did see the blows of whales all the way across the lagoon, but sadly there was no way to get closer. There was no one working at the campground as it was Christmas day, so we continued northward.

Spanish Words of the Day:
Loaf (of bread): la hogaza
Lagoon: la laguna
Christmas: la Navidad

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