I returned from a 13-day trip a little over a week ago. Here's a (not-so)
Spent the first night at the Cielito Lindo Motel. I've been out in that area
before (La Pinta, and Playa Pabellon), but had never stopped at the CL.
Rooms are large, kinda drab and dingy, but a bargain for the area at $35.
Enjoyed dinner just after happy-hour, and thus ended up missing the crowd.
Had the cracked crab for dinner (with my girlfriend). We only got an order
to split between the two of us..... and we couldn't even finish it. We were
Headed out early the next morning, as I was intent on making it to Conception
Bay by nightfall. Since I had just been as far as San Ignacio the previous
month (February, for whale-watching), I wasn't making many stops on the way
south (and would have the chance again on the way back anyhow...). Got gas
in El Rosario (they'll have the new station open in no time, I'm sure. It's
being built right next to the present one by Espinosa's restaurant), Vizcaino
(again, I had been in Guerrero Negro a month previous, and didn't bother to
head into town this go-round), and at the station just south of Mulege.
Arrived at Bahia Coyote about an hour before sundown. Unfortunately, the wind
was blowing fairly well, and people camping nearby informed me it had been
doing so every day, save a couple, for almost a month. When I awoke the next
morning, the area was dead-calm.... and as beautiful as ever. Took some time
in the morning exploring Bell-rock by Burro Beach, and thanks to Peterson's
"Baja Adventure Book" I was finally able to locate the "Coyote Cave" near
Playa Coyote. Departed the area about mid-morning.
After topping off the gas tank with Magna Sin, and the cooler with Pacifico
and ice, the trip headed inland first to San Javier. The road to San Javier
has been steadily improved over the last two years, and is pretty easily
passable by just about any vehicle now-a-days. In San Javier, I dropped off
a huge box of clothing (between myself, my friends and co-workers, I've
usually got a large amount to take with me every few months) with the lady
who acts as the caretaker of the Mission (and I don't think that I have
*ever* asked her name). After some time in the Mission, and a bite to eat at
the nearby "restaurant," it was time to backtrack a few miles to the road
that heads for the Comondu's. It got just a little rocky in spots, but
wasn't as bad as I had expected. I had heard that it was a pretty area, but
sometimes, certain places just have to be experienced and cannot be
described. I would have to rate San Jose de Comondu among places like that.
I'll just leave it at that. It was pretty amazing how much produce they
grow there. The time spent there (and San Miguel de Comondu) was certainly
not enough for me, and I'll need to return again. On the way to La Purisima
(my destination for the evening), I experienced my first tire casualty (of
the trip) just a few miles before I reached San Isidro. An unseen/unfelt
sharp rock made a hole through the tread.
From La Purisima, it was down the highway (still in good shape, and I hear
it's patched up at least once a year) to Insurgentes, and then on to Ciudad
Constitucion. In Constitucion I had the Goodyear dealer in town patch the
flat tire (it required a considerably large patch, so I ended up making that
one the spare), stocked up on beer and ice, and continued south. At Ciento
Veinteocho, there's a road that leads east towards the mountains, up through
La Soledad and on to San Evaristo. In hindsight, and based upon other things
that the locals told me, the road from Las Pocitas (south of 128) would
probably have been an easier road. If you plan on taking the 128 road, make
sure of 4wd, and high-clearance for the mountian portion leading into La
Soledad. For people interested in exploring the old mountain ranches and
life of the Californios, this is the place. Made it to San Evaristo right at
sundown, and camped just north of town at El Morrito.
From there, south to La Paz is a wonderful trip. The mountains on the west,
and the Cortez on the east. The mountains are striped in green, and the road
occasionally turns green as well (this has something to do with when it used
to be in the sea still).
While in La Paz, spent one day taking a boat around the Islands to the north
of the bay. The beaches on Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida are among
the best. The sea-lion colony at Los Isolotes was somewhat disappointing
this year. Lots of bulls, and few cows. Also, lots of sardines (and I mean
LOTS!!!), and I think the sea-lions were too full of fish to come out off
their rocks and play. I've been there when it's been better.
**Restaurant recommendations in La Paz: Kiwi (on the malecon), and Tuna's
(at the Hotel Lorimar).
**Budget accomodation recommendations in La Paz: Hotel Lorimar, or Palmas
From La Paz, it was south to the Rural Coastal Road along the East Cape south
of La Ribera. I had not been down this way for three years, and wanted to
see what had happened since then. Answer: not much. The road from La
Ribera goes about 15 miles (I've got the actual distance scribbled down in my
notes here somewhere....), then ends. A short, tight dirt path leads down a
wash to the old dirt road, where it can be picked up to continue further
south to Cabo Pulmo, Los Frailes, et al. The Hotel Los Frailes still seems
to be doing well, and the owner, Wayne Siepman, if I understand correctly, is
living there full-time now.
About 11 miles south of Los Frailes, just beyond Rancho Boca de la Vinoroma
(where the --now-- more traveled road to the west meets the RCR) the road
gets pretty bad, but is passable with 2wd, as long as you are careful. Pretty
bad washouts from storms last September.... at least 5 or 6 *nasty* ones.
Along this stretch, leading into San Jose del Cabo, their seem to be a LOT
of new homes since the last time I was here. I can't decide whether I can't
stand it, or if I want one!
Next stop: Cabo San Lucas. Once again, I have yet to find *spectacular*
food in CSL. Although, I did dine at Damiana in SJdC one evening (for the
first time), and the food was excellent, as well as the setting. Best seats:
on the patio. Reservations recommended/needed.
Still the best *in* town (CSL):
*Hotel: Hacienda (even though I couldn't get a room there this time)
*Nightclub: Squid Roe (Giggling Marlin rates slightly back at #2)
Lots of new places to stay in Todos Santos (too much to go into here), and
the Cafe Santa Fe is as good as ever (now, here's where I say the food is
superb). Playa San Pedro (Palm Beach) has signs up disallowing any camping
or fires..... I don't know what's up with the change in policy.
I'm going to have to summarize the rest QUICKLY: Another tire casualty, as
the left-rear decides to blow out the sidewall while making a pass on the
highway, thus ending plans to off-road it to Bahia Agua Verde. A night in
Loreto, and a night in Catavina (hiked up the arroyo by the Indian cave to
the north of town one morning) round it all off (for the most part).
It was another adventureful, nomadic swing around the peninsula. I can't
wait to do it again!!!
P.S. I forgot to give you a road-report of sorts......
It's GOOD, save for sporadic nasty potholes starting south of Catavina, and
ending north of Parador Punta Prieta.
There's construction a few miles south of Santo Tomas (with short delays),
and north of Parador Punta Prieta (where you have to drive off the highway,
and around the construction).