Catch a Wave, You’ll Be Sittin’….

…on Playa de Cerritos!

I talked earlier about the “Firefly Effect,” meeting a fellow traveler who seems to “light up” when you meet them, and if you stop and share a conversation, they usually have some wisdom to impart.  Such was the nature of the effect in Todos Santos.  The unfortunate lack of wifi in my room in Hotel Gulguarte had me sitting in the courtyard, plugged in next to the laundromat, when a 50-something “surfer dude” leans over the railing and shouts down from the second floor, “What does a guy need to do to get wifi around here?”  My response, “Come down to the laundry pit.  It’s the only place it works.” Continue reading

“Table for One” in Loreto

The next jaunt down Highway 1 is a short one – only a 90 minute bus ride to Loreto.  My Moon Guide describes Loreto as “sleepy” and “relatively undiscovered.”   I would describe it as “mediocre.”  Yes, it was beautiful, clean, new, nicely developed, but it also felt a bit “sanitized.”  Somewhat “midwestern” in that it lacked the grittiness of Ensenada, the charm of Mulegé, or the glimmering white beaches of the Bahia.   Maybe it was because it reminded me of a “convention town.”  There were two organized gatherings taking place while I was there;  Baja Bush Pilots, and the Harley Davidson club, complete with booze, buffet tables, and big bands. Continue reading

The Curves and Culture of Bahía Concepción

As I mentioned in the previous post, the town of Mulegé is tiny.  There are six taxis.  Not taxi companies, mind you, but six taxi cabs!  Two of the six cabs belong to Salvador and his brother Ignacio.   Salvador runs the only tour company in town, typically offering tours to see the cave paintings in nearby La Trinidad.  Having spent the last year touring ancestral puebloan cave paintings, petroglyphs and pictographs in the west, I am not really up for more cave paintings right now.  But I sure would love to go to the beach. Continue reading

Moo-leh-hey and the Beautiful Bay

One of the benefits of traveling the “Gringo Trail,” i.e. staying in hotels and following the recommended itinerary in guidebooks like the Moon Guide or Lonely Planet is that you end up interacting with like-minded travelers.  This can be a blessing and a curse.  It can tend to insulate one from the local culture, but at the same time, the exchange of information among fellow travelers is invaluable. Continue reading

The Black Warrior and the Gray Whale

The town of Guerrero Negro was purportedly named for a sunken ship, the Black Warrior, an American whaling ship that sunk back in the 1850’s. It’s a small town that reminds me of some of the more desolate towns on Indian reservations. There is a casino there, a few restaurants, and little else along the dusty stretch of Highway 1 that runs through town. Continue reading

La Boheme by Candlelight

The stretch down Highway 1 to my next destination is a long one, requiring eight hours of travel.   Bus schedules are not as frequent in the northern state of Baja de Norte as they are further south, so I have the option of leaving at 10:00am and spending all day on the bus, or leaving after dark and sleeping on the bus.  No question, I want to see as much of the countryside as possible. Continue reading

The Road to Ensenada

Margie has a floor to ceiling wine cellar larger than her walk-in closet with a wine collection that makes her shoe racks pale in comparison. We go down and pick out a nice bottle of Shiraz to share. While sitting across the bar from pistachio-eating husband Chris, he asks, “So where you headed?” “I have no idea. I was thinking about Rosarito.” “hhhmmmm….I don’t think you would like that. It’s full of drunk college kids. Better keep going on down to Ensenada. It’s a nice waterfront. Great food. I think you’ll like it.” Continue reading

The Bus, The Backpack, and The Baja

My long time friend Margie (not to be confused with “Marcia” in the last post)  lives in El Cajon, just outside of San Diego. I have known her for 24 years. Back in 1993 when I decided to change everything about my life, get myself out of a bad marriage, sell my house and car, and transfer from Texas to Manhattan for a new job, Margie was my first New York friend. I had accepted a transfer as National Account Manager for American Express. My client would be the United Nations, and I would have an office on the 19th floor of the Secretariat Building. A big leap for a farm girl from Texas. Continue reading