Glamping at San Ignacio on our way to Loreto and La Paz
3.6.19 – Wednesday afternoon, we had a short drive through the desert to our next stop, Ignacio Springs, an oasis with kayaks! After settling into our yurt, I hopped in a kayak, paddling for two hours in the springs, while Steve joined road trippers of like age for margaritas and cervezas at the camp’s honor bar. We weretreated to dinner outside that night.
3.7.19 – In the morning we visited the very small village of San Ignacio with a beautiful cut stone mission church built in 1786 by the Jesuits.
Rock art (cave paintings) of the Sierra de San Francisco
This region, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has over 400 cave painting sites, known as the best preserved and impressive rock art sites in the world. I cannot lie…we did not take the required 3-4 days, camping and riding a pack animal to view the 1000 year-old art. Our photos are courtesy of an extraction at the small Museo San Ignacio.
Loreto on the Sea of Cortez
3.7.19 – Thursday – Eight hours of driving through desert hills and cactus forests, saguaro (hundreds of years old as they grow tall, with many arms), and boojums (Dr. Seuss trees) gave way to vast and indescribable fields of giant boulders, volcano rubble and tall, stark rocky mountains. Rounding a mountain curve we were mesmerized by the first sight of the Sea of Cortez. The waters, crystal clear, turquoise, sparkle with mid-day sun.
A series of shallow bays and white sand beaches are examples of what’s to come in Baja California Sur. Bahia Coyote offers that…and a beer.
At the end of this stage, we stopped for two days at the beautiful colonial town of Loreto designated by the government as a Pueblo Magico, one of only 3 cities in Baja. (The other two are Tecate and Todos Santos.) Loreto’s Plaza Juarez, which stretches to the sea, holds the Mision Nuestra Senora de Loreto Concho, built in 1740 by the Jesuits. This mission is significant, not only for its preservation, but as the first mission on the Pacific Coast from Cabo to San Francisco. (See mission photos in the tab “Where We’ve Been”.)
A museum in the plaza contains colonial settlement artifacts and mission paintings from the 1700’s. The artifacts are in primitive rooms open to the environment. We are unaccustomed to seeing such pieces unprotected by natural elements, but a closed and locked antique door at night is as good as it gets.
Oops Moment: Steve’s new Apple iPhone dies in Loreto. Dead. Dead. Dead. Per Apple, there are no service options in Mexico (nada).
Lesson Learned: Never mind that we still have my fully functioning iPhone, two iPads, two PCs, and two old iPhones (configured as juke boxes) with us. With this arsenal, we think we can hold out for service for a few months to make use of the one year warranty on the iPhone.
3.9.19 – On to La Paz, Saturday
Outside of Loreto we diverted towards the mountains to visit the tiny village of San Javier, which has one of the most well-preserved missions on the Baja peninsula (and 300 year-old olive trees). The diversion took us through the jagged mountains of the Sierra de la Giganta (appropriately named), a craggy, impenetrable wall of rocky desert mountains, and deep valleys. Caution is the rule as cows, horses, goats, or donkeys are around the corners of the twisty mountain road.
At the end is a village with two streets and the Mision San Francis Javier de Vigge-Blaundo, built in 1758. The detour added two beautiful hours to our trip. (See mission photos in the tab “Where We’ve Been”.)
Saturday evening, 6 hours after leaving Loreto, we arrived in La Paz (population 244,200). The AirBnB reservation is more than satisfactory. Our condo overlooking the Sea of Cortez in Costa Baja, is a very, very fine house. Restaurants are great. In town, we find where to buy organic vegetables, eggs, and meat. We will rest for a while…then off to explore for our next posts.