After 500+ miles of driving due south, I am resting my bones in the beautiful little oasis of San Ignacio. I left San Diego at first dawn to take advantage of as much daylight as possible. Night time driving in Baja is not recommended due to poorly marked roads, free roaming cattle, drunk drivers, and then there’s some banditos rumored to be around too. This guy from Oregon who bummed some gas from me told me it was better to cross the border around 7 am because that’s when the guard changes. I indeed must have caught the end of the night shift, as I breezed through the aduana without any troubles.
When I drove through Ensenada it started raining to my dismay. I read online that six bridges were out due to heavy rains the previous few weeks, so the prospect of taking my ‘not-so-Baja-500’ VW Passat through torrents in the arroyos didn’t thrill me too much. Luckily most of those bridges had been restored and the one arroyo I had to drive through was dry.
I passed some beautiful landscapes reminiscent of the Sonora desert near Tucson. Springtime in the desert is pretty with flowering cacti, and bright green colors dispersed among the red rock. The large Valle de los Cirios is like a giant rock garden filled with majestic Saguaros — some pretty large as can be seen int he pic where my car is close to one.
Originally I had planned to spend the night in Guerrero Negro, but that place was knocked so badly by one travel guide, and it turned out to be in the middle of a sandstorm when I passed through that I decided to push on to San Ignacio home of an old mission(one of the many on the peninsula) and a date palm oasis. I found a little Cabana rented to me by a Canadian ex-pat named Gary (aka Geronimo) who keeps either hockey or the Canadian weather report on the TV at all times (I guess to remind himself why he is here). A great find and nice and hidden so nobody busts into my car loaded with camping gear. Next stop La Ventana!