Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Driving the Baja 2015

Alameda to La Paz via Palm Desert and San Diego.

 Fresa stand.  We picked up a 5kg (11 pound) flat of delicous strawberries and somehow managed to eat all these in only three days.
 Dusty town typical of Baja.

 Lots of rain created some sizable puddles on side roads.
 This one was pretty deep.  Luckily no water leaked in the doors.
 Broccoli farm?
 Google Maps suggested this short cut to Molino Viejo resturant on Bahia de San Quintin.  It seemed pretty rough at first.
 And then it turned to single track.
 And then some nearly impassable water hazards

 But in the end it was worth the drive to check out Bahia de San Quintin as we wondered about the feasibility of bringing our boat into this bay on previous Baja sailing trips.  It looks like a case of calm weather and local knowledge are absolutely required
 Molina Viejo Resturant is unexpected at the end of this muddy road.

 Sea Bass lunch was delicous
 Further down the coast we're stoked our car still runs and drives strait after all the rough and wet roads.
 Our $2600 CraigsList Honda Accord has 175,000 miles and everything still works.

NOTE:  El Rosario is the last Pemex gas station until you get to Guerrero Negro some 224 miles  or 361 km distant.  This is the only stretch on the Baja with any shortage of Pemex stations.  If you miss that last gas station you,  could buy gas from road side vendors with jugs in Catavina.

 Hotel Mision Catavina is pretty nice, book in advance as the alternate hotels looked to be a major downgrade.
 Dinner and Margaritas at the Hotel Catavina resturant... the only game in town.
 Shrimp Coctail was a great value at 85 pesos or $5.81USD at the exchange rate of nearly 15:1
 The next morning we set out to find the some nearby cave paintings.  Going with no directions or local knowledge we made a few wrong turns like the one by this big Saguaro catcus.
 Eventually we found the cave and it was well worth the effort.
 Just a few of the many drawings on the ceiling of this tiny cave.    Be sure to turn off your flash to avoid damaging these ancient paintings.
 This photo really does not do justice to the narrowness of the road.  But if you look closely you can see the white line missing as it has fallen off the edge.  Most of the road abutments are a steep drop and a moment of inattention and you are pretty much dead if you drop a tire off the edge.  The incredible number of crosses along the road remind one to be 100% focused.
 Curious abandon Fontar Marina complex on the Pacific side of the Baja near Santa Rosalita, yes the spelling is correct and near these Google style coordiantes 28.665, -114.24.  Marina basin is filled with sand... Opps didn't design that one too well.  All the infrastructure is there including 16kms of nice new road, a power station, marina basin, hardstand, port captina office, fuel tanks and even a huge and unused travel lift.   Looks like there is a nice surf break at the point.  This could be an interesting anchorage in calm conditions.
Taco stand in Guerrero Negro has some superb shrimp tacos.