It’s been awhile, here is the second half of Baja …..
From La Paz & Tecolote Beach we slowed down and did a short 65 miles to an overnight spot in the bush, reminded me of the Transvaal Highveld in South Africa. But first a stop for brunch at El Triunfo, a town who’s claim to fame was mining in the late 1800’s.
Ran into Marcus Spahr on the main street as he was telling one of us that we were blocking a local’s business entrance. Really twists your head a bit when you stop at this sleepy old mining town, run into this biker who runs the cafe and bakes the absolute best sourdough bread in the whole of Baja.
You can find a lot of history here but the one thing that has a local myth to it is “who built the brick La Ramona ?”. Folklore would like you to believe that the famous French engineer, Gustave Eiffel, had a hand in it but a placard at the site specifically says Gustave was NOT involved and they do not know who designed & built the chimney stacks.
After El Triunfo we headed for our overnight spot at Rancho Verde, somewhere between here and there. Our handout describes it as “gorgeous vistas, sunsets and miles of hiking trails for birdwatching”. I call it a place in the bush. One of those places I would never think of stopping at but nonetheless peace in the wilderness .
Short hop down to the beach at Los Barriles (the barrels, named for supplying fresh water to passing ships). We stay at Baja Sunrise RV park just south of the town and settle into our assigned spots. This is a “gringo” RV park where only they will pay US prices so that they can park and view the Sea of Cortez at their door stop. The handout says “Fortunately, Los Barriles has remained relatively untouched by much of the less desirable aspects of change ….”. Maybe so but the little main street is overrun by white faces, ATV’s and plenty of establishments courting their $$.
Here is a view of the campground we took later on one of our hikes in the hills above.
Next day Lorne & Josie offer to take the group to canyons and hot springs a little bit further south near the town of Santiago. Six of us head out and Rose & I are grateful for getting invited into L&J’s truck for the excursion.
We ride the dirt roads and park at the trailhead where they collect an entrance fee, I think it was 200 pesos. A short hike drops you into the canyon with it’s beautifully clear waterfall and swimming pool.
Then Lorne asks if we would like to visit some hot springs, “of course” and off we go. We follow dirt roads with a lot of discussion as to whether we’re going in the right direction or not. Glad I’m not in the Subaru and we finally arrive at the trailhead where we again pay a fee (reduced because we’d been to the waterfall) and walk into the “hot springs”. They were so impressive that neither Rose or I took any photo’s, well actually a bit of a letdown. Some warm water trickling into the river from a small side spring but it was great fun finding them and exploring.
The group then headed back to La Paz for 3 nights and two day trips to the city center and Todos Santos. We did not like the RV park there and decided to opt out for a few days and spend two extra nights in Los Barriles before catching up with the group as they now headed north.
Back when we were in Loretto riding our bikes around the town center a fellow tourist asked where are we going to and said “good bike trails in La Ventana and Los Barriles”. We looked it up on trailforks and decided on a hike to get a feel for them.
We’re hanging around at an intersection and I see a biker coming towards us. Long story short, his name is Todd out of Oregon and he has been instrumental in building many or these trails. Good meeting you Todd!
We were told to visit the flea market and dropped by. Looked nice on the outside but full of gringo stalls selling stuff at inflated prices.
Now to find the rest of the group.