Monday, March 9, 2015

Road Trip

Since we have a car a road trip seemed like a good idea so off toward La Paz we went.   Just south of Ensenada and inland the landscape turns from arid to green and lush.  Several wineries populate the hillsides and as you move south agriculture on a grand scale takes over.   Strawberries, pine nuts and vegetables are being farmed on a industrial scale.

We saw acres of ground under greenhouses and large farms and ranches with hundreds of acres under the same banner.  The small farming towns were dusty and simple, some just a Pemex fuel station and the ubiquitous OXXO equivalent of a 7-11 wedged between mom and pop taco stands.

Driving the Baja at night is not advised for a variety of reasons.  The most compelling is free range cattle on the roads at night.  Heavy trucks run around the clock and the shoulder on most roads is steep or non-existent.  Our stop for the evening was in Catavina.  This "town" is set among a field of boulders worthy of the trip themselves.   The landscape goes from lush green farmland to a sea of boulders in just a few miles.  And a few impressive cactus.......

We stayed at the Catavina resort.  This resort style hotel was built with government support to encourage tourism.  It stands out from the rest of the available places to stay and easily the most expensive structure in the small town.  The architecture, food, pools etc were first class.    

To put into perspective just how "in the middle of nowhere" this oasis resides where there is no cell coverage and no phones in the rooms.  None in the lobby or anywhere else.  Cell coverage is 20+ miles away.     If you need to make a call you can rent a sat phone from the front desk by the minute.  That is a first for me.   Not to be outdone I had our sat phone from the boat.   Could have made a few $ renting it.   

Mary had a cold when we left and I began to feel worse as the evening went on.  By morning I was sick as well and we reluctantly turned around to head back to Ensenada. 

On the way back we stopped in a small restaurant and were greeted by a very colorful bird.  We signed a guest book dating from the 1970's as the Beatles played in the background.  Everyone is trying to capture the tourist along this busy artery of the Baja.

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