February 11, 2013 – It has been a couple of days since I last blogged, we are now at Malarrimo’s in Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur. Our drive from Punta Banda to Fidel’s on the beach was uneventful, the road into the beach campground was a little bumpy but dry. Fidel had lots of wood and we were able to make an impressive fire given the small size of each piece, likely cut from pallets. The wiener roast was a success, however it did shower on us at the end of the evening, I have to say Lisa and I were a bit concerned because of our experience with the road in . Then it showered on us a few more times overnight, as it turned out we were justified with our concern, as we left the campground we promptly drove right into a mud pit where our nice dry road was and got stuck 200 meters from where we had started, not a big deal since we had a few 4X4s on tour and we were pulled out to dry land without any problem, what a mess though. In future Lisa and I have decided to stay next door at Maria’s if rain is in the forecast when we arrive in the San Quintin region with our group.
The good news was the drive to Catavina was without any incidents, the bad news, the cold front continued to follow us down Baja. After our stop at the Onyx Shop we arrived at Santa Inez and setting up we set out for our excursion to the cave paintings, returned for a walkabout in the desert and a great group dinner at the Santa Inez Cafe.
That evening we were serenaded by coyotes under clear skies as we dipped down to 26F or -2.5C, yes this was a bit chilly. Ralph (a local winter time resident) said it was the coldest night he can recall since he has been in Catavina in 1980.
Everyone was keen to jump in their warm vehicles and depart for warmer climate south to our next destination Baja California Sur and our appointment with the Grey Whales. We stopped at the LA Bay Junction for our body break and to pass off a part for Tony’s truck, a friend staying on the beach in Bahia. The military checkpoint seemed to take forever before we got into Jesus Maria for fuel, however we eventually did make Guerrero Negro, went for tacos at Tony’s Taco Stand and a little shopping at the local Mercado.
We had a group dinner at Malarrimo’s which everyone enjoyed and this morning at 8am the gang heads out to watch whales, they are in for a treat and an experience of a lifetime. Later this afternoon we head off for San Ignacio and through El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve.
Did you know?
El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve just south of Guerrero Negro covers a territory of almost 25,000 square kilometers (10,000 square miles) and is located between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. This natural reserve has many attractions such as the wonderful cave paintings guarded by the Sierra San Francisco mountain range. Studies indicate that these red, yellow, black and white masterpieces were created by an indigenous people that pre-dated the Cochimi, a nomadic tribe of hunters and gatherers who inhabited this region approximately until the 18th century.
This reserve was instituted as a protected natural area in 1988, while UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site a little later, in 1993. In the contrasting landscapes of this reserve, the largest of its kind in Latin America, travelers can observe deserted beaches, lagoons, dunes, mangrove swamps and even islands and islets. This unique paradise-like territory is inhabited by peculiar creatures, some of them endangered species such as the pronghorn, a beautiful Pronghorn antelope (unfortunately) highly valued by hunters, and the Desert Bighorn sheep. Mule deer, (which we have seen in the wild) loads of migratory birds, wolves, foxes, pumas, marine seals, sea lions, as well as four species of sea turtles live here, too.
We would be remiss not to mention that today is Charlotte’s Birthday, congratulations! Feliz Cumpleaños Amiga!