Crossing the Desert.

 

 

What a difference another day makes!  We woke up early and took our mountain bikes along the back dirt road to El Molino Viejo, an old 19th Century granary that had been converted to a restaurant/bar decades ago, and is now a popular hangout for hunters and fishermen/women.  The restaurant sits right on San Quentin Bay by the public boat launch.  It was very quiet there.  Only one other family, also from California, was visiting for breakfast. Like us, they had driven down the peninsula, but they were on their way back.  They had two young children in tow, who had learned to speak some basic Spanish, such as asking the waiters for a glass of milk.Image

After a delicious Mexican breakfast, we road our bikes back to Jardines Baja.  A portion of the road was pure sand and it was very difficult maneuvering through it.  In a heavy rain, this road would be completely impassable except for the hardiest of 4-wheel drive vehicles.

We packed our car and said goodbye to friendly clerk Fernando (after a sharing with him a cup of Peet’s coffee, which we had brought down from California and made in the hotel communal coffee pot) and hit the road for the long drive through the Baja desert.  After gassing up in the outpost of El Rosario, the landscape changed dramatically to true desert.  We entered the Valle de Cirios, dominated by rock formations, strange looking Cirrio Cacti and the more familiar Cardon and fuzzy cholla cacti we remembered from our days in Arizona.  We stopped briefly in the halfway town of Catavina (really just four buildings) bought some fresh squeezed OJ, used the really scary-looking restrooms, and then continued on our way to the Pacific town of Guerrero Negro, famous for its saltworks and the grey whales that winter there to give birth in the Laguna de Ojo Liebre.

We checked into the Motel Cowboy (clean, very basic rooms with fuzzy TV and unpredictable internet – worked for me, did not work for John) and had a delicious dinner at the hole in the wall Asadero in the complex.  John and I had eight gorditas (tortillas stuffed with meat with plenty of toppings including guacamole, radishes, salsa and chopped cabbage) and cowboy beans for $12.   Across the street John found heaven in the form of a real espresso bar (but no non-fat milk), where we both had lattes and chocolate mousse cake.  We returned to the hotel and booked a whale-watching tour for the next day and hit the sack early.

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