From beaches to mountain tops Day 8 promised the arrival of much calmer weather here but today we leave Playa Santispac and Bahia Concepcion for the next great spot on the tour.
Our windy beach camping fun came to an end as we thought; ” Oh well! which is better? Shoveling sand or shoveling snow.” You know which one to choose!
La Giganta Mountain Range is a magnificent vista of hazy layers of craggy tips and deep canyons with caves famous for ancient indigenous paintings. The cameras were snapping as we slowly made our way to the town of Loreto which is the birthplace of California. It was the first permanent settlement anywhere in the California’s.
Navigating our way through the streets and traffic circles of Loreto separated us somewhat but we made it to Rivera Del Mar RV Park. Yolanda the ever organized and friendly owner and camp host greeted us with town maps and brochures. After everyone dropped their laundry off at the laundrette across the street they were off to tour the town and walk around. We spent 2 short days here and filled it with much Loreto, a pretty and inviting town which is a favourite of ours. The town square is a joy to to walk through with its trimmed and colourful trees, great restaurants and shopping for tourists. The Malecon, lined with sculptures and whimsical trash cans offers a long stretch of sea walk to work up an appetite or thirst only to be satisfied at one of the Malecon bar restaurants. Garry and Elaine will attest to that. Elaine is conducting a Margarita Research at every opportunity along the way. Not wanting to let her do this arduous job alone a few of us have joined the project. Day 9 started with an excursion to the second oldest Spanish mission in Baja, initially founded in 1699 by the Jesuit missionary Francisco Maria Piccolo. Mission San Francisco Javier was a breathtaking trip as Dom and the group drove into La Gigante via a rocky and winding road to the small town of San Javier. With an incredible history this church is considered one of the most beautiful and well preserved of the Californias and is a must see.
Lunch time warranted a stop at Del Borracho’s, a western saloon bar for hamburgers, fries and beer for most. The varied menu satisfied all of our palates. After lunch we stopped at Conchitas Curios Shop in Loreto to look through her collection of really neat gifts, furniture and clothing. This is one of those Wow places where you just really want to find something to buy and a few of us did. From here the group did various things; walked, shopped and relaxed at the campground. Today was Dom’s birthday. Allan and Peter, a couple of the sweetest guys on earth found a bakery and walked back with a birthday cake and kept it a secret. The saga of the cake continued when hours later we all piled into the van to go out for supper to the Giggling Dolphin. We had to sneak it into the van without Dom’s knowledge, then sneak it into the restaurant and explain to our Mexican hosts that this cake will be our desert. It all played out perfectly; the lights were dimmed, the Mexican musical trio sang Happy Birthday and the waitress brought out the cake with candles. Dom was totally surprised!
A perfect ending to a perfect day. Onward, to adventure. The Baja calls!