Fully rested and cleaned up after our adventures in the Seven Sisters, we began meeting a lot of new people on the road, and exploring pueblos (towns) that have a lot of character.
We left Guerrero Negro and headed for Bahia Asuncion, and after being underwhelmed at the town, decided to move on down the coast to La Bocana, and eventually Punto Abreojos. We really enjoyed the town of Punto Abreojos (clean, quaint, and muy tranquilo), and George especially enjoyed it for the potential for surf and kitesurfing.
However, things did take a slight turn in Punto Abreojos. George decided to go for a surf the last morning we were there, and I went for a walk on the beach. When I was getting close to reaching our van after my walk, I saw George in pain on the beach and ran to reach him to see what was going on. He said that he stepped on something and was in incredible pain, which was clearly evident, even 50 yards away. After looking at the gash and seeing how much pain George was in, I guessed that the sting probably came from a stingray, and we quickly headed to seek medical attention in town. We went to a Pemex, asked “Donde esta un medico, el hospital” and a really nice man told George to get in his front seat, even though George was shirtless and had a bloody foot. He would drive him to the hospital while I followed (we found out this very nice man was actually a town policia and had also experienced a stingray in the past, so he was very sympathetic). The medical center was very small, but very effective. They cleaned the wound, gave George a shot (of anti venom and antinflamatory) and told him to soak his foot for 4 hours in hot water. I’m not sure the anti venom was needed, but we sure were appreciative. They gave us a prescription for pain medication as well and when we headed out of the office were told that we owed nothing at all (insert George and Jenine’s confused and shocked faces here). I am happy to report that George recovered from the pain after 4 hours. And we are now both a little wiser to the fact that we need to do the stingray shuffle when entering the ocean or sea, especially in Baja where stingrays are very prevalent.
After the experience in Abreojos, we headed inland and away from the water for a day. We came to the adorable town of San Ignacio, and it was at the Rice and Beans Oasis that we met two awesome overlanders headed for Panama, Cory and Ailsa. We got along so well we decided to caravan the next few days together, and check out the town of San Ignacio.
Mulege and Bahia Concepcion
We followed Cory and Ailsa into the town of Mulege (pronounced Mu-luh-hey) and discovered narrow one-way streets, very unlike any of the other baja towns we had been though. A typical town in baja has the Mex 1 highway going through town, usually announced by an unexpected tope (speed bump) that makes you go from 60 mph to 25mph very quickly. There is usually a wide swath of dirt sidewalk/parking in front of a strip of local businesses (no pavement). Mulege on the other hand looks very much like an aging small downtown loaded with character and colorful buildings.
Just south of Mulege is Bahia Concepcion (Conception Bay), a popular and picturesque destination; we set up camp at Playa Coyote. We swiped the very last palapa on the beach, which also happened to be next the a famed palm tree that apparently is on the cover of several Baja books (see pics below). Bahia Concepcion has great snorkling, paddle boarding, kayaking, and is just awe inspiring in its beauty. We hoped to see some whale sharks in the bay, but alas, we will continue our hunt as we move further south.
On to Loreto to meet some other overlanders!
We said goodbye to Cory and Ailsa who were on their way to meet friends in Nicaragua (sad to see them go!), and then headed to Loreto, one of the larger towns in Baja and known as a snowbird destination (and a great place to regroup and buy supplies). Immediately upon entering town, who emerges from a taco stand but our friends the FlightlessKiwis! Ben and Emma proceed to tell us about a great RV park (Rivera Del Mar) where a bunch of other overlanders are staying. We had a fantastic night out with Ben and Emma, the AlaskaWilds (Gunter and Sissy), and a resident of Loreto 6 months a year, Fred. Fred showed us the town, we got to try the famous baja chocolate clams, and we had a great evening of story swapping and good laughs. We also met up with Peter and Dase and camped next to SlowCarFastHouse while staying in Loreto. Can’t wait to keep running into everyone on the road!
San Juanico/Scorpian Bay
Many many people kept telling us about Scorpian Bay, a great surf spot in the spring/summer, and just an all around gorgious place on the Pacific. So we made a beeline for San Juanico and found a beautiful ocean spot to camp. There is free camping on the beach, or you can opt to camp on the bluffs (we had to negotiate the price since it seemed they were overcharging). We saw the charm of the town of San Juanico, and could feel what a great surf place this must be when the season is right.
We left Scorpian Bay itching to stay in one place for a little while, so on to Los Barriles we go! This will be our homebase for the next month with fabulous sidetrips already in the works…stay tuned.
Other photos from our journey through central baja: