Baja is a land of contrasts.
I was too chicken to venture down here and now that I’m here so are thousands of others. A friend, Skip, a true blooded American with surfing on his mind sent me a photo of Cabo in the 70’s – that’s when one needed to be here.
The roads are paved but with no shoulder and drop offs on either side. Scares the shit out of you when a 14 wheeler semi comes at you hugging the boundaries of his lane. SirrusXM radio works till La Paz when it becomes intermittent but here in San Quintin Deep Tracks Jim Ladd comes through loud and clear. The land is barren with scrub and Cardon cactus but rich when you walk amongst it. The wind is cold and uninviting as we head north and near the California border but cooling and mellow in BCS (Baja California Sur). Mountain biking is inviting but so are the thorns – I’ve fixed 6 flats so far, often from a single mishap of riding through a single thorn patch. The margaritas are either putridly mixed or excellent like here at Lazaro Gardenas. WiFi is non-existent 80% of the advertised time but a godsend when it works. Baja is Baja when only Spanish is spoken but polluted when the gringos infiltrate it from the southern Cabo San Lucas mess. Even Los Barrilles has way too many white faces along it’s main drag. Baja is serine when you see the best sunrise ever at Santispac beach to when the locals party next to you after racing their Baja Bugs in Bahia de Los Angeles. Baja is repulsive when the RV dump is an open pipe that stinks of sewage to absolute silence in the desert at Rancho Santa Inez just outside Catavina in the boulder fields of Valle de los Ciros. There we met Ralphon his quad as he took his dog for a “walk”. Didn’t even scratch the surface with this over intriguing fellow. Baja can be impersonal but warming as we meet our fellow caravaner’s one by one over the course of our 30 day sojourn together. Baja welcomes one back but keeps us in our cosy Venice abode. Baja is full of vacationers (no one wants to be here in Summer) and the ideal hideout for others, Marty in Muleje, Ralph in Catavina and countless others hiding …..