Road Warriors Road Trip Baja – February 2017
A few years ago, not needing to work within the confines of vacation time or budget I set off on a Baja road trip down baja way. My first goal was to first visit one of the California Baja grey whales birthing lagoons. The whales can usually be found and observed between December through April. My trusty steed was not a motorcycle but, a road worthy 2004, 4Runner, approaching 180,000 miles; similar to most Baja Toyotas.
While passing through Ensenada I made a slight detour to visit Johnny Reb. Johnny Reb is an expat living in Ensenada aboard his Navigator converted 50′ fishing boat. And just like that this whale watching tour went from a simple visit to endless possibilities, perhaps even an unplanned visit to the world famous Copper Canyons of Batopillas.
Our visit to San Ignacio was without reservations, so we camp out for the night by an off grid native run whale watching outfit. That night a complete dinner was offered for US $20 in a lovely banquet style white tent. The people inside were all part of an expensive whale watching tour group from the USA.
The next morning after breakfast at the banquet tent in the desert we pay up ($100 US) and are the first to board a panga. A third paying passenger motocamping nearby joins us. Scott is on a KTM adventure bike touring baja. $50.00 was the going rate for a panga ride into the lagoon to see one to three year old grey whales that come up to your boat like three year old grey puppy dogs needing to be petted.￼
Two days later we’re in La Paz and for $60.00 a person a panga boat picks us up at our dock and we go out and get to swim with the whale sharks. Part of the experience is that you cannot easily view these behemoths from a boat as they keep moving. So, the panga anticipates their course and then you jump from the boat into the water and wait. Soon, a leopard like creature with huge jaws is seen coming towards you. The creature doesn’t seem to be easily distracted from its feeding of krill as it glides right by you.
There’s a whole lot more to this little road trip that took place such as a visit to a local fisherman’s home, who is a supplier of lobster tails to places like Puerto Nuevo and getting a home cooked lobster meal. We each consumed about about ten lobsters each and vowed after that experience to never eat another one.
Another not easily described event without pictures is our desert hike to find and see the Mexican cave paintings. We wound up nearly getting lost, Johnny Reb falls into what he describes as Mexican quick sand and I get covered by prickly jumping cactus. The lack of cave painting pictures should denote that we were unsuccessful in finding the cave paintings.
And that my friends is how you take a little road trip down Baja way, where the journey then becomes the destination and the small pin cushion sized cactus scars on my body are just part of the memories.