Northbound on The Baja Trans-Peninsular Highway

Loreto, BCS

Loreto, BCS

 

The town of Loreto, BCS

The town of Loreto, BCS

After spending three nights in Todos Santos, it is time to head north, back towards our home port of Ensenada. But not before exploring more of the peninsula, and the beauty that is the Sea of Cortez.

We bypassed Loreto on the southbound leg of our trip, so I have a reservation in an “adorable casita-great location close to the beach and town”. Ohhh!!! We’re very excited, since this is Jeff’s 50th birthday, and the house sounds perfect for a celebration!

Driving down the dirt road, past the armed guards at the airport, we are pretty sure Google Maps has made a mistake. Continuing on the route, we pass shacks that make the Appalachian neighborhoods back home look middle-class. Bony, ragged stray dogs lay on the side of the “road”, oblivious of the dust clouds from passing cars and golf carts. We get to the supposed address of our rental, but all we see is an abandoned cinder-block structure surrounded by hovels.

Our next door neighbor

Our next door neighbor

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Calling the number of the local caretaker, he shows us our our casita, tucked-in behind the aforementioned structure. Thankfully, it has four walls, doors and windows.It’s fairly cute, if tiny. After he leaves us the key, we leash the dogs for a walk out back. Chickens, cats, a few more stray dogs and a goat are our neighbors. Really, I don’t mind the farm animals so much, were it not been that the goat, in addition to being fenced-in, is tethered to a post on a three-foot piece of rope, 24/7. Every time I look his way, he bleats like a gassy baby, staring longingly in our direction.

Loreto is a cute town with a long, wide beach and a good assortment of restaurants and shops within several blocks. It is pretty deserted this time of year, so after exploring around the first day, we decide to drive 20 minutes back south to the Sierra Giaganta and hike.

Loreto beach

Loreto beach

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Loreto

Loreto

Panga ride, anyone?

Panga ride, anyone?

Loreto is a cute town with a long, wide beach and a good assortment of restaurants and shops within several blocks. It is pretty deserted this time of year, so after exploring around the first day, we decide to drive 20 minutes back south to the Sierra Giaganta and hike.

Hiking in the Sierra Gigantica

Hiking in the Sierra Gigantica

Heading up Highway 1, we once again wind along the cliffs overlooking Bahia Conception on the Sea of Cortes. We pass primitive campgrounds, stopping for a wade in the warm waters before moving on to Mulege.

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When it's too hot for the beach.

When it’s too hot for the beach.

Camping spot on Sea of Cortes

Camping spot on Sea of Cortes

Arriving in Mulege, which I saved for last becuse of its reputation as a deert oasis, we quickly realize it is too hot to be outside. Oh, and there are many territorial street dogs that are too threatening to walk Chance and Roxie. So after one night, we make a stop at the Sea to let the pups have a last swim. This is where I spot my first (and only) Blueberry Jelllyfish, a recently identified species introduced in 2012. It’s beautiful, no?

Blueberry Jellyfish

Blueberry Jellyfish

As we rise over the hills entering Ensenada, we catch glimpses of green foliage, something we haven’t seen in several weeks. The temps have dramatically dropped to a comfortable mid-70’s. Pulling into Cruiseport Marina parking lot, El Gato seems to be awaiting our arrival. Roxie and Chance run down the ramp, followed by two happy sailors. So nice to be home, sweet home.

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