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2017 BAJA EXPEDITION #4 Valle de Trinidad, San Quintin, & Remote Pacific Roads

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by David K, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Apr 27, 2017 at 3:27 AM
    #1
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I will be adding to this over the next couple of days...

    I just returned last night from seven days of continued research and driving in some of Baja's most interesting or challenging areas. This makes the fourth trip of road data and traveler's service info gathering to possibly create a new travel guide to the 'best of Baja' (if long drives, dirt roads, camping, exploring, and occasional motels stops is your thing).

    When I return from these trips, I post many photos and details here on Baja Nomad to give my friends a look at some places that may be new to them or places they have been to in the past, for a current view.

    Here is the outline of this 2017 project (from Baja Nomad forums): http://forums.bajanomad.com/viewthread.php?tid=85982

    If you are new to my 2017 Baja expedition reports or just have not seen the previous three reports, here are the links to them.
    WARNING: Viewing my photos or reading the details MAY CAUSE BAJA FEVER!

    TRIP #1 (Jan. 2017) San Felipe to L.A. Bay to Punta San Francisquito: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/2017-baja-expedition-1-east-side-of-baja-norte.468548/

    TRIP #2 (Feb. 2017) San Ignacio to Loreto to San Javier, Comondú, La Purísima, San Borja, Luz de Mexico: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...baja-california-san-ignacio-to-loreto.474872/

    TRIP #3 (Mar. 2017) Mexicali to San Felipe to Valle Chico to Matomí + Chapala to El Rosario (and San Juan de Díos & El Sauce): https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...e-palm-canyons-chapala-to-san-quintin.480078/

    =====================================================================

    TRIP #4
    DAY 1 Wed. Apr. 19:

    On the road at 8:25 am, arrive at Calexico at 11:25 am.
    Buy pesos at 17.70: Dollar

    Note to supplement the previous trip: Km. 51.5+ Campo Sonora is closed.

    Take Hwy. 3 (Ensenada highway) west.
    Km. 195 Military Checkpoint (just west of Hwy. 5).
    Km. 179.5 Borrego pit area, race road crosses highway.
    Km. 163 & 162.5 Road to SW to the top end of Diablo Dry Lake, signed 'Colonia San Pedro Mártir'.
    Km. 152.5 Road north to Rancho Arroyo Grande (may be closed by locked gate)
    Km. 151 San Matias Pass. Original road to San Felipe to left.
    Km. 141 San Matias village. At least three eating places along the highway.
    Km. 137.5 Road south to Mike's Sky Rancho (31 kms./20 miles).
    Km. 120* Valle de Trinidad, paved entrance, Pemex station.
    * no sign seen, the Pemex station gave me the km. number.

    From here, I take the dirt road that crosses the hills to Highway 1, just south of San Vicente. There are a few turns to get started on the correct road (I won't detail them unless requested) and then it is up and down for a total of 40 miles from Hwy. 3 to Hwy. 1. Took me about 2 hours to drive. 2WD road, but not for motorhomes or Porsches!

    Highway 1 is reached at 4:30 pm (Hwy. 1, Km. 103).
    I book south to San Quintin, take the 'new' paved road west at Km. 1 for the OLD MILL, and the road is already potholed!

    The Old Mill hotel and restaurant is 3.2 miles from Hwy. 1.
    I have a delicious LOBSTER burrito plate, with soup and salad and a Pacifico for 230 pesos (U.S. $13)!

    I arrive at El Rosario, where the nicest bed and pillows await at Baja Cactus Motel.

    IMG_5687_fe43758cc87fe0ba6ee5667823507d8f8e8d6263.jpg
    Mike's Sky Rancho Road

    IMG_5688_35734e6ce0cada85167f491b29f7cde1907e48b8.jpg
    Over the hills to Hwy. 1

    IMG_5689_5ed4d321b9f4f9458cd69db3997ec72e3be72b6d.jpg

    20170419_183506_9f3eabcce1c3f61e1c54c86eb6aa2cd57fad89be.jpg
    The Old Mill (Molino Viejo)

    20170419_183910_8ba14867fb0089f153b8e03f173a0b6a0d97f1b3.jpg

    This is just the beginning of a dose of BAJA, oh yaaaaa!

    To be continued with Days 2-7...

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  2. Apr 27, 2017 at 3:28 AM
    #2
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My lobster burritos from last night were still providing energy and I was ready to get down into the 'Never-Never' of Baja! (Never-Never means no paved roads, no cell phone service, and not much civilization)

    On the road at 8:30 after topping my tank and my extra 5-gallon can. 87 octane gas here was $3.459/ gallon. I averaged 17.7 mpg for the 287 miles traveled yesterday. Starting today, my truck now has mostly ethanol-free gas in the tank. That usually bumps up my mileage 1-2 mpg. However, off-roading and four wheeling will knock that gain down.

    Last month I made notes on the points of interest and road junctions between El Rosario and Laguna Chapala (~100 miles south, where Hwy. 5 from San Felipe meet Hwy. 1). I knew there were more points I wanted to add... Here they are:

    Km. 108+ Loncheria El Descanso (popular with truckers, for meals and tire repair)
    Km. 116.5 Monument to Hector the young truck driver killed on this curve.
    Km. 129 Café La Pasadita (a newer place)
    Km. 131 Rancho Los Cuates tire repair.
    Km. 132+ Road south to Puerto Santa Catarina, Puerto Canoas, and south.
    Km. 132.5 Road north to Guayaquil, 0.5 mi. A ghost town where a delegation office, schools and weekday housing for area ranch children, and an airstrip once existed. The town was created around 1970 and the town's 50-80 people expected the new paved highway to pass right through their little place to provide prosperity. In mid-1973, the highway engineers put the highway up on the ridge, a half mile away and that placed Guayaquil out of sight of travelers.

    Since I am bound for the remote Pacific region, I return to Km. 132+ and drop my tire pressure once again (I dropped it for the 40 dirt miles between Valle de Trinidad and Hwy. 1, yesterday).

    Dropping tire pressure has three major effects, one is that the ride is softer as some of the bouncing is absorbed in the tires. The other, more important reasons are flats due to sharp rocks are greatly reduced as the tires can wrap around, rather than force a sharp rock into its tread. Traction is enhanced as softer tires can climb/ grab without slipping and float on sand much better. I don't lower them as much as others, but dropping the normal 34 psi to 24 psi seems to work very well. Of the hundreds of dirt, rocky miles, not one flat (that came later, on the highway, at full pressure)!

    The roads into Puerto Santa Catarina and most of the way to Puerto Canoas were excellent, and that's considering the extremely wet winter and spring we just had that has damaged so many other roads in Baja.

    It was 10:38 am when I was on my way in the dirt.
    On the highways, I use the kilometer markers to help everyone locate a point. But, on the dirt roads (most don't have markers, or they aren't consistent) I have no choice but to use my trip odometer. While my odometer is a bit slow on the highway (I am running 1" taller than stock tires), when I drop the pressure they seem to be pretty close to correct (on the dirt roads with kilometer markers, my odometer matched them).

    However, many of you may have vehicles with less-than-accurate odometers, so the mileages are just an approximate location spot to help you find points.

    0.0 Hwy. 1 Km. 132+ (Signed for Santa Catarina) 10:38 am.
    7.0 Road in from the left was the original route to Puerto Santa Catarina from El Mármol, whose blocks of onyx were transported to the coast and placed on ships using a very difficult looking system! The system was used from the early 1900s to maybe the 1940s when an automobile road allowed trucks to ship the onyx to San Diego.
    18.4 Santa Catarina, a ranching settlement. It was once much bigger!
    20.3 FORK: Puerto Canoas left, Puerto Santa Catarina right. 11:25 am. The right branch travels high on a ridge offering great vistas of the surrounding country and the Pacific coast (hidden by clouds or fog) before dropping down to the large arroyo valley. A farm's gated entrance is 11.2 miles from the fork and the famous ammonite hill was nearby. Ammonites are fossil snails found in great quantity at one time, near here. One is on display in Mama Espinoza's Restaurant, El Rosario.
    37.0 (16.7 miles from the fork) is the fish camp and landing of Puerto Santa Catarina. Many blocks of onyx are littered about on the tidal rocks. It is 12:45 pm and the time includes photo stops and a short walk to try and find fossils to photograph (removing fossils is illegal for foreignors).

    Photos:

    IMG_5691_5658f4107788d16c26397aa820156d1d77b196b2.jpg
    Loncheria El Descanso (Km. 108+)

    2b035a6d-cacf-431c-b247-4aa1444fa378_b159f52379f3a4d2630f7e27533e5d4fece0aa10.jpg
    Monument to Hector (Km. 116.5). The boojum trees seem to me to be keeping watch over him, like angels.

    IMG_5693_ca2c62e7426ecdfbc976974bb0e90882a50de079.jpg
    Guayaquil (Km. 132.5 & 0.5 mi north)

    IMG_5694_194565336db5a7838e89f3565b75fb29f6e09f4e.jpg
    Guayaquil

    IMG_5695_ee4b90cb3c071fdea7a725fd57b581ea98741d39.jpg
    Guayaquil... with all that anyone in Baja needs, water from the well, a sofa to relax and a boat to go fishing!

    227aeccf-4a39-468f-a5c0-f44d7eff10d6_9608baf1dacdd764b31a2e90b2837ce2b30e352d.jpg
    I saw many wild (free roaming) horses on this trip.

    e977523d-926f-4fc8-acc2-dfca21595db2_85ab83088de2a3619e78d0b808a8ea75413191b0.jpg
    A sample of the nice road... nice if you like good roads!

    970ed041-84a3-4721-9f59-50eb1a1059de_84dd9c936afb2347e693dfb3a06066e6c6c923eb.jpg
    Such a great living museum of desert vegetation!

    c161e50c-62cc-4903-8b73-0398193fbc3c_04fc3afc0ffb97f505e1e881f4ea3ff6fa72301d.jpg
    A couple of baby Elephant Trees.

    f312b363-76f1-4557-96b4-93ac2121ecfc_79a48e1bfd3d45028fc612a65cf4ed03d5543f1e.jpg
    The Fork: Canoas left, Santa Catarina right. (Mile 16.7)

    98c831c6-73e3-432d-b847-1d3a4636f58d_020c32d232b59312e3c318c45b22888db4adb5ef.jpg
    Oh, I didn't forget... so many of you love to see my Tacoma having fun!

    518408e3-cb1c-451e-b201-de358e4e31ce_8cdb57297c8a8182572449297a0f79a26023caf7.jpg
    Dropping off the ridge and down to the arroyo valley.

    43439cf2-5617-4d88-abe0-af5f5cf5de7a_f2307dee10a2039e82daae61f5f726f3df147195.jpg
    It didn't take me very long to find these. I am not sure if the round thing is a portion of a small ammonite, but it made me happy to find and photo. I stopped when heading back at another spot and hiked for a while, but no luck finding any more fossils.

    IMG_5707_e58c080799377bd6a1fc96b0dbf613b6a6ae0047.jpg

    0293f0c2-d2a4-47d7-9b84-43c4b2a6c362_91528d5eefe83d8d96a73aeb68bfa8e7ff646ce5.jpg
    Come at low tide to see the onyx blocks that missed getting on the boat.

    341019ee-e5ab-4c20-905a-cc61a1b51c12_c3e72a0eb62e28a3fee1f912e600faf03bde5e23.jpg

    May 1948 issue of Desert Magazine:


    May1948-7_00d98eaedd2f47da7b6c2644ff15723669c49702.jpg

    May1948-8_ce352a65e513b78abfb02b19c710c846b31d8aa2.jpg

    May1948-9_90ddbe7b2d2df857b531a9ceca879f6b5b7a0178.jpg
    ======================================================================

    c16c05cb-1e5d-444e-a78e-ae63200b8c83_1a0dadb0d0a1dab288a586ee965ad6bfcd09f01f.jpg
    Can you tell I like boojums? In Spanish, they are known as Cirios (candles).

    I spot a tiny boojum tree, surrounded by thorny branches for protection...

    a5400ea4-4627-4a3a-87c4-9f639533b72b_b0654af32277638a25378db2fd3f6d0184179803.jpg
    Someday, perhaps hundreds of years from now, this could grow to 60 feet!

    Next, the road to Puerto Canoas... stay tuned!

    875edbd3-2f93-4362-bf1f-8f321daea116_5330498c2f24689d6f722241da4f3d3ff6ac3b51.jpg
    Red=Wed. Blue=Thur.

    e04db0c7-1af1-4c3c-98af-a91f0aa13d4e_2d76799de16d352b7a769b86aae648479439b298.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  3. Apr 27, 2017 at 4:07 PM
    #3
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    As you can see from the map, there is a short cut road between Catarina and Canoas. We drove it in 2007, the last time I traveled this area. Well, I couldn't find where it met the road I was on (it 2007, the junction was 1.0 mile from the fish camp. Looking at Google earth, it now goes right into the fish camp, and there was no connector outside of the camp, that I briefly searched for.

    No problema, I wanted to look more for the Ammonite hill, which is supposed to be a few miles from the beach. Walt Peterson (1980s Baja Adventure Book) puts it 6.7 miles from the beach. Howard Gulick (1960s Lower California Guidebook) puts it at 4.8 miles. Now, the road alignment is likely different and maybe there is more than one ammonite hill, but close is good enough, usually! That fancy gate entrance for the farm is 5.5 miles from the beach, today. The few fossils I did find where near Gulick's point. On the way out, I hiked to and climbed a hill closer to Peterson's point and found nothing.

    Back at the fork (20.3 miles from Hwy. 1) I head on the left branch towards Puerto Canoas, a small fish camp a few miles south (actually more east) of Punta Canoas.

    0.0 Fork
    4.4 Mina La Fortuna gated entrance.
    8.9 Fork, lesser used graded road to the left. Go right. (Left fork goes to Evangelina Copper Mine, per Baja Almanac)
    13.6 Junction with the shortcut road to Puerto Santa Catarina (10 mi).
    18.4 Fork. Go left, south. Ahead (right) goes to the coast and the mesa of Punta Canoas.
    23.6 A graded road coming from inland joins this road. Puerto Canoas fish camp is 1/2 mile ahead.
    24.1 (44.4 mi from Hwy. 1) Puerto Canoas
    It is 4:10 pm and very windy! Camping near here is out of the question, in a tent. I continue on...

    0.0 Puerto Canoas
    0.5 Take the graded road (straight ahead or right fork).
    1.3 Come to a cross road. Ahead are a windmill and water trough. Turn sharp right (south). A sign is here for Lazaro and Los Morros, to the south.
    2.0 Important Fork. The grader has scraped the right branch, and this is the route south closest to the coast. However, in 2007, the left (inland road) was the primary road and we didn't even notice the coast road (which we wanted to drive).

    Now, it is windy, and I know the inland road would have better shelter possibilities, in addition to the history that we camped in there with Roy 'The squarecircle', in 2007. I go left... and end up going past where we camped as it was still windy at that point.

    This once graded main road was now abandoned, slow, and needed 4WD a couple times on the steep up-grade. I camped in a nice clear spot on the top of the hills. No more wind. It seemed great! It wasn't until my tent was up that hoards of gnats took a liking to me. I have DEET, but the smell is less than enjoyable to have around your face. They did not bite but were just annoying.

    I lit one of my fire logs but took refuge in my tent as the flying tiny devils did not rest at sundown.

    CREEPY... I realize that this spot is only about 2 miles from where Gary Patton vanished from his 4Runner... The next day, I passed the ranch road, down which Gary's Toyota was found. Gary vanished in September 2013. Here is the thread on Gary Patton: http://forums.bajanomad.com/viewthread.php?tid=69117

    PHOTOS:

    cc231ee3-5a42-4211-b50f-dbfb5f3a4fbd_ed4d9638242f7e3d657bdc0162b3e088735b6a50.jpg
    The Canoas Road

    5730f09c-bf4e-405a-aa83-b896808b631c_bdbbc973e075377744183aad81f8948feaea795d.jpg
    La Fortuna Mine Entrance Gate

    4e726725-ca33-40aa-89e6-1dab9c83b296_190cefacecf9281ed1dfbc820bd7ea6a26b71501.jpg
    More 'wild' horses

    33e6e7b2-cf1c-4b60-8202-3a5807dae0f3_7f21e414022fb0c8e79d3da4239d7f9df738b2d1.jpg
    The Canoas road was pretty good until it got to the bottom of these hills and the rainy season of recent months had done some erosion damage. A pleasant change was the amount of silt (fine, talcum-like dust) was greatly reduced from before. There is a mini silt canyon the road goes in, and while there was plenty of puffs of dust. none enveloped my car, covered my windshield, etc. as in the past or typical of Baja's silt beds.

    a1c55501-4404-443e-a06f-0288c83019a8_131924a11cf38fe9ed8bf793f112544829d301e9.jpg
    Puerto Canoas

    3586b278-0b2b-4d6e-9d3f-59e16153bc4c_f4dbc32f1d548bc56a664f60b30414e09b449d4f.jpg
    Signs are rare, but can be helpful. This one was 1.3 mi inland from Canoas, on the road heading southward. Lazaro must be the ranch in Arroyo Lazaro, 6 miles south? Los Morros is 10 miles south. I will see them tomorrow when I came in from the south.

    2c93028c-7320-4d77-bc49-66e3aaea3a46_2580313bfe296094d1b43ef48873f327c3983817.jpg
    Traveling up the now abandoned, inland road past this elephant tree.

    ffdfe219-f2c7-4ac9-833c-28176bcee0e0_4f34f5c4a8ac936876d957eaa6fcb824ee2914a2.jpg
    My first camp, a beautiful place, no wind, and lots of gnats! The desert was still very green and in bloom from all that rain this year. This was 9.1 miles up the abandoned road... and still 7 miles from the Faro San José road. See the star on the map for my camp location.

    e04db0c7-1af1-4c3c-98af-a91f0aa13d4e_2d76799de16d352b7a769b86aae648479439b298.jpg
    The coastal road via Los Morros isn't even on the Auto Club map.

    Canoas20Map202017_7800c8820a39d5aa1044d9bc640c185cde1208ff.jpg
    Mileages between black darts, either those in the Baja Almanac already or ones I have added.

    Continued with DAY 3, soon...
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  4. Apr 27, 2017 at 7:22 PM
    #4
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    DAY 3 Fri Apr 21:

    Well, I slept okay.. the air mattress helps. It was very quiet and only heard an owl once. No chupacabras and no ghosts.

    I got the camp taken down and was on the road at 9 am.

    This road log continues from yesterday's, which I will repeat the first four lines here to keep it flowing:

    0.0 Puerto Canoas
    0.5 Take the graded road (straight ahead or right fork).
    1.3 Come to a cross road. Ahead are a windmill and water trough. Turn sharp right (south). A sign is here for Lazaro and Los Morros, to the south.
    2.0 Important Fork. The grader has scraped the right branch, and this is the route south closest to the coast.
    11.1 Road south, faded sign, no recent tracks (down this road is where Gary's 4Runner was discovered).
    13.6 Abandoned ranch site. Cider block room.
    16.0 Junction with the main graded road between Hwy. 1 (Km. 168) and Faro San José. Highway 1 is approx 25 miles away. I turn right, towards Faro San José.
    Reset trip odometer. 9:52 am.

    0.0 Abandoned road to Canoas and San José fish camp road junction.
    3.2 Road to right. Trash can. Environmental sign.
    4.3 Major Fork. An ejido meeting room is to the left, with picnic tables. I thought this looked like a school house back in 2007. The road to the coast forks to the right. Ahead (left branch) is unsigned but would appear to be a new road east to Rancho Todos Santos, looking at the map and Google Earth.

    There is an onyx mine (Cerro Blanco or Cerrito Blanco) on the old road, north of Todos Santos. I had planned to go there this trip, but you will read soon about the rescue mission that altered that plan.

    5.1 A ranch to the right.
    14.3 Road to the right. Trash cans. 10:50 am. It is amazing that some environmental group thought that it was better for people to empty their trash here (in nowhere land) instead of waiting until they got to a town or their home. The trash cans are full and the excess trash is littering the desert.
    16.6 & 16.7 Road to the left (south).
    18.4 Road to the right (north).
    19.3 Pass home on the left.
    19.4 Major Junction. The road to the right is the coastal road north to Canoas.
    20.3 Road left is the road to continue south to Bahía Córbin and beyond.
    20.4 road left over the hill into the fish camp of San José. Faro San José or San José de la Piedra are what signs and maps call it. A road to the right goes 0.3 mi to a rocky beach.
    20.5 San José fish camp
    20.6 Beach by camp. A small island is just offshore.

    In the next section, I will do the drive north from San José, past Los Morros to where I took the abandoned inland road the day before.

    Photos:

    26e5730e-f0b5-4f06-a4b4-31b5bf475dd8_9180166753908072c96682b90b9e1e151760d74d.jpg
    Several boojum trees had new coats of green leaves.

    502da8a5-8170-4b99-b84e-2ae9e3f6d76f_43b864f53601b9c3e2896cb2914f0079d40258b6.jpg
    Enviro sign and trash can

    IMG_5729_5b0e1a57981562adcc1bc9c6dfa37feed959a78c.jpg
    The ejido meeting room (?) and picnic tables.

    ea9a2135-7fb2-4830-86b5-15da32963be6_8eca7dccf11a130ea3b7a0e30ddf16ae9943b120.jpg
    Some boojums get covered with Spanish moss or ball moss.

    4de5d25e-17ee-478a-9450-f6dab4260486_3db0cbfa5fbf87399710258022f88dcdda8fa383.jpg
    Approaching the house on the left (Mile 19.3) and the coastal road north (Mile 19.4), just over a mile from San José fish camp.

    f6d6984b-e83e-470e-aac6-4a934511dc14_f3a8682c1a57330d87a9618764113d908429bce1.jpg
    The end of the road at San José. Beach looking south. Mile 20.6.

    b1abb5b0-770a-4d26-a99b-8e116d364037_55527ca350d06e1cd643ed7a8b7d8f508c8794ba.jpg
    Looking inland at the San José arroyo estuary. The road to the south goes along the left side of the lagoon.

    8b2676f0-7507-4868-af7c-b3e68ade4960_71ff2155b04e6f942de430cba7f0b06fc061f430.jpg
    Islote Piedra de San José, just offshore of San José fish camp.

    This trip report will continue with the drive north on the coastal road, 26 interesting miles! Stay tuned!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
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  5. Apr 27, 2017 at 9:09 PM
    #5
    Rogue Overland

    Rogue Overland Well-Known Member

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    Awesome! A trip into Baja is on our bucket list!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  6. Apr 28, 2017 at 8:27 AM
    #6
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    In many ways, this region is what our own California (Alta California) looked like 150 years ago! Baja California is a time machine! More of Day 3 and the rest of the 7 days still to come...
     
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  7. Apr 28, 2017 at 11:08 AM
    #7
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Because I went on the inland road south from Canoas, but the coastal road is the primary route, I needed to check it... and because of my direction was southbound, I would also have to drive the coastal road again, southbound.

    So, after taking photos around San José, I drove back up the hill to Mile 19.4 for the coastal road north. Zero my trip odometer...

    0.0 Junction Coastal Road and Faro San José road from Hwy 1, Km. 168 (near Cataviña).
    4.3 Steep, eroded grade up (4WD).
    5.0 Second grade up.
    13.1 Los Morros. White picket fence around house. Rocky beach.
    16.8 Enter Arroyo Larenzo from the south.
    17.2 Rancho Lorenzo
    20.9 Road to beach, 0.3 mi, rocky. See photo of Acantilado los Candeleros.
    22.6 Junction with inland road (2 miles from Puerto Canoas)

    This coastal route (22.6 mi took 1.5 hours to drive). Now, I will turn around and drive it south...

    0.0 Junction coastal and inland roads, go right, fresh grading. The grading doesn't last or was washed out by this season's rains. 1:36pm
    1.7 Road right to a rocky beach with an impressive cliff, see photo.
    5.2 & 5.4 driveway to Ranch (Rancho Lorenzo?) in Arroyo Lorenzo.
    9.5 Los Morros, white fence. 2:16pm
    10.5 Steep grade up.
    16.2 Steep grade up.
    17.5 Big grade down.
    18.2 Big grade down.
    22.6 Junction Faro San José/ Cataviña graded road. 3:05pm

    On my map, the mileages are all to the black darts, which include some roads beyond the above logs.

    49ab1cfd-fa58-4792-8323-211ce1a0e945_5d6732a4e22dac6f9bb3518bb5bba645c431f8b8.jpg

    I once again popped down by fish camp San José to begin the next road log, on south.

    The road south follows the shore of the lagoon (estuary) along the left (north) side and comes to a junction. The road on ahead (inland) seems to run up to Rancho San José and Todos Santos, Cerrito Blanco and meets the graded road on to Hwy. 1 near Cataviña.

    I go right to continue along the coast and soon arrive at Bahía Córbin. An abandoned fish camp and painted on a container is the name 'Playa El Cuchillo' (Knife Beach), friendly sounding? In the distance at the rocky point, I see a camper set up. In the water is a paddle boarder. This will be the only 'tourist' vehicle and tourist person I will see in this entire off-road adventure.

    I drive down the beach and find some shelter from the wind behind a low dune. Camp #2 found. Friday Night, in the sand, the white noise of fierce ocean waves crashing! I was happy!

    PHOTOS:

    d06e40fa-967f-4162-ae0e-3fd6960701bb_1abd55587fe5f2c6efeef88f85ee8f78816a4bd8.jpg
    Just north of San José, 1/4 mi.

    23e8045f-71ab-466d-b280-9c62030d8e14_5c34165602b034932e660d4564b8398d9e05d988.jpg
    The road parallels the fog-lined coast, only rarely comes close to it. This is driving north from San José to Los Morros.

    d409a5d5-b86e-44c3-921b-8c4017d3e2b0_d073b37fc2c0752b1d4cbddb3b7a1cc914291d5d.jpg
    Looking south from one of the close to coast sections.

    c45f3f4b-8c44-4bb7-8cb7-a039172f9e92_d7b768a7c3b95a29853a46c3a0a46e1d78a508fd.jpg
    After passing a house with a white picket fence around it and some white road edge posts leading away from the house, was this sign, telling me the name of where I just was. I guess they don't expect traffic on the 4WD trail to San José I just drove and only get visitors from the Canoas road?

    f5415bf1-84d4-48fb-8d97-54e49c8c2c4a_75d2bc1ea47580c5560723577d81261613b0d356.jpg
    Continuing north from Los Morros.

    f0dbc716-3380-4539-ad54-27146077d79b_0f58c6d7a55bfb3212cfc3ce79ddf9a7c980ce8f.jpg

    e0f7779a-00bb-454b-8512-5088ef2d1ba7_18af0cd94087de88716d2572bc89482b9b445c47.jpg
    The Acantilado los Candeleros ("Cliff Candlestick"), turn off at Mile 20.9, go 0.3 to the beach.

    3bf4bf0a-b5d7-4bbc-b4e6-622e33edcf0d_ac5c5cae636ba8c6cfa5448ea73fdbabb082e064.jpg
    For you Tacoma fans out there!

    I get to the junction with the abandoned inland road, 3 miles away, turn around, and head back south and back to San José. There just was no other option to continue to do a road log south from San José fish camp.

    About 6 miles south from San José is Bahía Córbin and some dunes nearby.

    85beaa66-707a-4b06-a9a3-ecdc08f7f7a6_9085e6ceaf8a8c6f960a2eb3489ee331777e8e75.jpg
    Abandoned fish camp. A paddle boarder was camping at the end of the road past here, and I saw him out in the surf.

    b9e65683-6d78-4d45-a72e-4c596d96f6e6_6cd974d59c45b9ab8b731fa572adeadea7ebaedd.jpg

    IMG_5752_2a72fb8c5b0cbee5d273ac421a4bb46224071f09.jpg
    Will this get my tent out of the wind?

    IMG_5753_e91d37d35a3eb0349a1390d5acfbd1fbe33e33ca.jpg
    Maybe here?

    IMG_5755_3674df0a309857349ddb0704ad2f7f9253734a31.jpg
    Many solid, round sand dollars on this beach... just like there used to be on San Diego beaches when I was a kid (50+ years ago, lol)!

    IMG_5756_27ddf4be3d92f78a904d758e2026c746861370da.jpg
    Tent up!

    0763599d-077e-47ed-a174-8db63a510268_d1995d34d0f55805118945deab7b8b56562caa67.jpg
    The fog rolls in as the sun sets.
    No bugs, ok breeze, but later in the night... water drops in my tent! Is the fog so thick it penetrates the rainstop nylon? The Easy-Up tent has no rain fly, so I just deal with it... where I had my air mattress was mostly spared from the drops that I listened to hitting the floor.

    To be continued with DAY 4...
     
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  8. Apr 29, 2017 at 1:04 PM
    #8
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    DAY 4 (SAT APR 22 2017)

    Because the tent was wet from the heavy fog, I wanted it to dry out before packing. It took the sun awhile to burn through the grayness but once it did, things dried up fast. I was on the road at 10 am.

    Starting back at the junction of the road south and the Bahía Córbin entrance road, I zero my odometer. Soon, a road comes in from the left. It would appear to be a road up the valley to meet with the others going inland to Rancho San José and beyond? There is a big downhill grade, some road junctions, salt flats, and come to Bahía Blanco in about 15 miles from Córbin. In 18 miles the road becomes a fast dirt highway at the junction to Punta Cono.

    It is 45 mph most of the way to Santa Rosalillita (about 33 miles) on this well-built dirt highway. Only a few spots where rain erosion has eaten away a bit was in necessary to slow down. I made many stops to explore side roads and take photos. My truck was lightly loaded, my tires were down at 24 psi, and I have Bilstein 5100 shocks all around, so the washboard that can slow down heavier rigs, well, it just smoothed out once I was driving over 35 mph.

    When I got into Santa Rosalillita (a small fishing town on a paved road to Hwy. 1), I saw the Escalera Nautica harbor totally full of sand, but the boat elevator was still there and the buildings, etc. In town, I asked someone for gasolina and I was pointed to the market/ motel 'Jessy'. The young lady said "No gasolina". I get that they want to not be in the habit of selling to tourists who may not really need any. I said I was very low and my light was on (it was). I was not sure if I could make it to Villa Jesus María, the closest Pemex gas station, 46 miles away. She consulted with someone inside the store and came out all smiles and directed me to the shed near the store. There, opened up, was dozens of 1-gallon bottles and plastic 20 liter (5.28 gallon) tanks full of gasoline... whatever I wanted! 20 liters would be fine, thank you. It was 400 pesos ($22.60) for the 20 liters. That was only an 80 cent/ gallon markup from the Pemex price, more than fair to have gasoline where it is needed!

    I asked about a restaurant and was directed to the yellow house, facing the basketball court, town center. There is a pagoda of white painted tires in front. Inside, two tables... and meat tortas or halibut for dinner! I ordered the Halibut!!! The owner of the unsigned eatery is Ramona. I asked her if it had a name, she said no... so, I think to call the restaurant 'Ramona's' works?

    I was stuffed, she gave me four halibut filets, rice, beans, tortillas, salad. She had no drinks for sale, so I brought a can of XX from my cooler.

    After dinner, I drove out a few miles from the coast, into the desert to camp, where I thought the fog wouldn't find me! I was wrong!


    Road log:

    0.0 Bahía Córbin Rd. 10:00am
    0.3 Road east (to Rancho San José?)
    5.5 Top of big grade going down.
    7.7 Fork, right to beach house Punta Vibora.
    8.2 & 8.4 Roads left (east) to Laguna Chapala.
    9.9 T Junction. Left to Chapala roads (?), turn right.
    10.4 Road right onto salt flats, continue on most used route ahead.
    12.5 Road right to beach and lighthouse (0.2 mi).
    15.2 Road right to Bahía Blanco fish camp, 0.2 mi. Ahead, cross salt flat.
    19.8 Junction. Taking road right, across marsh (dry) to follow coast. Ahead goes approx. 4 miles to gravesite 'Cordornices' on map and junction of roads south and east.
    22.2 After crossing the marsh area, and climbing a steep eroded, bulldozed grade, come near a beach. The road goes east and into an area of silt dust.
    28.3 Junction with north/south road. Left (north) goes 4.7 miles to Cordornices graveyard. Turn right. 12:37pm
    33.3 Road right to Punta Cono (3.6 mi). Begin, fast dirt highway southbound. Reset odometer to 0.0.

    0.0 Punta Cono Road.
    3.2 Punta María Road (2.5 mi, abandoned fish camp)
    7.1 Camping El Cardón signs, 0.3 mi in. Also known as Punta el Diablo.
    8.1 Rancho El Cardón, on the left.
    10.9 Road right goes down a hillside to Punta Lobos beach.
    17.5 Road in from right to the beach (1.4 mi) and on to El Marrón fish camp (1.9 mi).
    27.2 Road right to San Andrés ranch (0.9 mi) and beach (2.9 mi).
    31.0 End of dirt highway at a paved road. Right is Santa Rosalillita (1 mi). Left to Hwy. 1 at Km. 38.5 (8 mi).

    Photos:

    d4c6c2d5-75f7-48f6-b136-c2c756406e86_ffb6d2d9a5f3ed84cd7f9f48a677e106a4a33fc4.jpg

    c2cc3af8-0367-4a1d-bc63-60695246e8b4_b63919f7c55900f95a745bd2789316aea259295f.jpg
    The gloom was heavy today at this popular photo spot.

    bb5623ef-3e00-41d5-81c6-3472cc2031d7_ed90b7424f44aa9c2cf3b79436140730865870ea.jpg
    One of the better down grades.

    2b4b3926-1d3c-4cc6-8ce2-612115b3ae7c_8b27ae5ffcef395815876e1a4b4bf4edd6a3d29f.jpg
    Signs like this were ALL over the region, even along deserted roads.

    dcf23c9f-ed3d-485e-8037-1d7ceef13516_d39c672c42bdcaf89992fcc5c45e3b17e17eacb2.jpg
    The wind is constant.

    ef56e35a-92ad-4649-86e6-65b95f9a708f_082ac8a4a92acf82ad900db95de89f991393392c.jpg

    585185c2-a7cf-4fe2-9651-88878fa7c654_2bddd6f470de21b6a5f4bc9dbcf27d591f4ce4c2.jpg
    Bahía Blanco fish camp, on the right.

    35cd39b3-83e3-4bc2-a310-2c79a3bc9dba_647cccf9385d9b3a1fde767fb445e78c917e50f8.jpg
    If wind or fog is your thing... this is your coast!

    790b67e1-7296-44df-afe3-ee4c4a29e11a_1472e2a1ceb6c9d3c6676dd2933ad3193dc234a7.jpg
    Boojum trees like it here!

    cee31052-96bc-4b5b-ad55-a31362b05454_a7f98510091ce193ebf786ad7a9fffae83311ff8.jpg
    Lots of shells!

    2e456f29-e2c8-427e-b8eb-0e3ac99f34bd_7880324f7767563d10cf058fda209b7448be7290.jpg
    A bored fisherman at Punta Cono? Who are these names? Not a soul to be seen!

    3ffa700a-af3f-4843-a2ef-68b378319ec4_5a0d7f7ed2ff392af132f90cc225513ad8df4515.jpg

    The next three are a panorama at Punta María...

    6bf4fd06-d7fb-430e-8158-be41ea58ee05_fab0f909f9d1cace38134a2afcdb36fecb22212c.jpg
    af44a04b-1bf8-41bb-abbd-8f90582137dc_fda115945028162dd49520a8ba4a55ddc0f0b472.jpg
    6c76d2a1-045d-4226-9785-270141f909ab_69955c195ab7870a689729950487ab9c9a439263.jpg

    8d528d1f-c05d-4526-85ea-318fa4fde2b0_9916659967f5274ca11db8efd174d836f011d1de.jpg
    Signed for camping 'El Cardón' (Punta el Diablo)

    e1e9f1bb-8b63-4111-9763-d0dd70ff7ca7_f75bc7c1e6dbcda4b2f15141ffe0dc042f43806f.jpg

    f25c65d5-ca52-410b-bd11-af50dec6a261_1c80f98defda4ce80395a86042e89bb136aced50.jpg

    589b9f48-6d97-4d08-b0e7-04d35b02db7c_a4b40c8d26c8091f2ff4de4ac193bbe036b93196.jpg
    The beach south of Punta Lobos

    74ba5e2f-1230-40a2-9b78-a534a5f06130_e6a9b44b8921b1eaa75b717e0390a30adecedcbe.jpg
    The 31 mile super dirt highway.

    Panorama at Playa El Marrón (south of Punta Prieta/ Punta Negra)

    9c635bf9-946b-4dd6-99a0-f3f6d69203f6_71f7a7e9c53124decb67ac16f34d1551e8e0d150.jpg
    0280787e-7463-4368-8a92-33b9da685400_dffcd83f557badb37565344e633a128ddc0c7f81.jpg
    bee63035-48d0-4a1b-bd27-af788eefff9f_673e50e47f975bd22bfd7b3b522600df864b0572.jpg
    4569de45-4577-40e7-9492-af43302a460b_7906f93cbbcdcbb583d932e895c5bcb9c76c4ff2.jpg

    94f4f841-8fe4-4fec-8f0c-6d3d55fd08ed_0f92fd5e475c1cc1a7f04719b8a8afad265eab39.jpg
    Puerto San Andrés
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    c72b95e8-bee9-4de8-a097-53c82c08685b_ae955f7633437994795dcf88a3d65a0c9c04ef14.jpg
    Abandoned Escalera Nautica harbor, full of sand (and no rising sea levels) at Santa Rosalillita.

    32e6def9-4052-420e-801a-a675661844d3_e4e8644928b6bc681d0c9e14369b4af292d8c8cf.jpg
    The motel, market and gasoline distributor 'Jessy', in Santa Rosalillita.

    f4182d11-b3aa-4ff7-8ded-9e0345153d40_6ccec27542ab4c54512adf77d7da3df271636d64.jpg
    The restaurant (no signs) owned by Ramona. There is a pagoda of white painted tires in front and this faces the basketball court in the middle of town.

    20170422_162212_20343125e7482bb763fa4927938c0f934f75086d.jpg

    7c53320c-c767-4ca4-9153-18e85e0fd3ad_d7ade06b6032095c0151584d57cca3828f3ece11.jpg
    My dinner (halibut) had four filets, salad, rice, tortillas... more than I could eat! No drinks available so the beer was from my cooler. Cost 100 pesos (US$5.65) which demanded a 50% tip in my opinion! Everything in Baja was a great value (except perhaps the price of gasoline). All in all, I choose Baja!

    After dinner, I want to find a wind free (and fog free) spot in the desert to camp so I do a run out the paved road to where the graded dirt highway meets it. Just under a mile from town is the dirt highway north, with this sign:

    5e5e5c6d-9136-4dcc-8f0a-40e4afbde56d_86d98d6367eff39dccc65ec0ecd3f6fcc6a69e3b.jpg
    Now, in 52 kms. (32 miles) there is no such place, that is about where the fast dirt highway ends (I got it at 31 miles) which is at the Punta Cono junction. That is still 38 miles south of San José fish camp (Faro San José or San José de la Piedra).

    I drive it the 3.8 miles north to the San Andrés road (where I drove into the coast, yesterday). This time, I take the dirt track the opposite direction and go about a mile to set up camp. Just a few cows... all was good. No wind, no bugs, and clear sky!

    34af3044-9496-4d08-af41-163143530492_a8f4cf25d8e083b41969d27044a6fe0ac99eb883.jpg

    Well, sometime after midnight, the sound of water dropping onto the floor of my tent alerted me. I looked out, and no more stars. The fog had made it back inland during the night... I was not far enough inland!


    dc650c3c-61c2-4ccc-9967-6651d8b457eb_f24bad9f1a1507a7b302ae0c4431ef2ab56bcd21.jpg


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Apr 29, 2017 at 1:06 PM
    #9
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    DAY 5 (SUN APR 23, 2017)

    The sun fights with the fog, my tent dries, and I am on the road at 8:40 am.

    Today's goal is to continue south and explore El Tomatal and Laguna Manuela as well as gas up at the Pemex at Villa Jesus María.

    I drive back south on the graded dirt highway to the paved Santa Rosalillita road, turn left, reach Hwy. 1 (at Km. 38.5) and turn south.

    The ranching community of Rosarito seems to have been renamed 'Nuevo Rosarito' (so there is no confusion with the resort city Rosarito Beach, I guess?). It has two famous restaurants, on the north side of town (Km. 51.5+) is Mauricio's Restaurant (on the left).

    Next is the dip (vado) over Arroyo Rosarito (Km. 52) and then the first road to Mission San Borja goes south where the highway bends to the west, on the other side of the dip. Going to San Borja? The route is 0.2 mi ahead on the dirt street to a cross road in the village, where you turn left for the mission. After the curve, 2/10 a mile, the other signed road for San Borja goes to the left.

    The highway soon widens for the next 27 kms. as in other places with an actually paved shoulder that could double as a bike lane. Km. 53-80.

    Unfortunately with the exception of the 5 km. markers (which are bigger with the Highway 1 logo), all but one I saw of the kilometer markers are missing from this widened section near Nuevo Rosarito for at least 15 kms. Use your odometer, as every .6 mile is a kilometer (it's .62 actually).

    Km. 54.5: La Cienega Restaurant, the other popular eatery.
    Km. 57: Dirt road right toward Punta Rosarito (joins the more used road, ahead).
    Km. 62.5+ Punta Rosarito road (continues along the coast to Santa Rosalillita, rough).
    Km. 69 El Tomatal junction and Military Checkpoint. Get the inspection done first, then go in reverse to head to El Tomatal, as the intersection is just north of the checkpoint. This was the instructed process.

    TO the coast:
    Mile 0.0 Hwy. 1/ Checkpoint/ Km. 69
    1.0 Fork. Campo Esmeralda right, El Tomatal left. Esmeralda has some camping 'cabins' and a bathroom building, it is 2.1 miles on the right branch. I go there and back out. Continuing toward El TomataL...
    2.4 Crossroad. Sign fo Esmeralda (right). Continue west.
    2.9 After passing a small oasis of date palms come to a rocky beach. Tracks turn south.
    3.2 Fish camp, abandoned homes. Was this where Graham Mackintosh writes about 'Blondie' (the late Ginger McMahan Potter) and her beach home where he made some money cleaning the mess made by the local fishermen during his 1980s walk around Baja? See pages 204-207 of Graham's book, 'Into a Desert Place'.

    I go back out past the oasis to the cross road and turn south. In a couple miles, I take a road heading back to Highway 1 (after a look at the rocky beach). In just over 2 miles is Hwy. 1 at Km. 73+.

    Next, I zip south to the Pemex station at Villa Jesus María (Km. 95). Note the highway department placed a sign calling the town 'Valle Jesus María". I was assured by the woman attendant at the Pemex, that their town was Villa NOT Valle!

    Gas is 16.10 pesos/liter (US$3.44/ gal), I top off with 63 liters. Adding in the 20 liters I got at Santa Rosalillita and 390 miles since the El Rosario Pemex has me averaging over 17 mpg, off road mostly. Also, in that my tank holds 80 liters, I would have run out if I didn't get the 20 liters at Santa Rosalillita. I only use 4WD when I needed to avoid tire spin (climbing or sand).

    It was 11:39 am, and there is great food all around the Pemex station.
    A seafood restaurant (Mariscos Paulina) is across the highway. On either side of the Pemex are taco places, Kassandra's and the late Carmelita's (famous tamales) but they both were closed. Open was Carmelita's sister Lupita's restaurant, Torta's La Casita... Big menu, indoor seating, and ice for sale! I had two quesatacos (they were good sized), a coke, and a bag of ice (frozen solid) for my chest... the total was just 100 pesos! This place is a winner!

    Photos:
    481bab58-3b40-4ffc-9757-88ef109def83_16d6912a8ac68adb7326f52ad23e8f5322b9d63c.jpg
    One of the signs in Nuevo Rosarito to San Borja.

    IMG_5795_ab0208f652fe749e4fe651f24b0c95b88c6fd5b4.jpg

    The next three photos are at Esmeralda...

    IMG_5796_2ace2eef158753f92b6d26f2da9d41875bcaae9e.jpg

    IMG_5797_e61ea2e596addde84d0ed724cd901e57d99a787b.jpg

    IMG_5798_626a41fcf10fe3b8038360d10628b85069237061.jpg

    bb3e46ef-a0f3-4cf5-b718-1fc9e303bb1c_6d421715c6d1e00dbd0e83f78808592b27f1b3b2.jpg
    The beach at the end of the road west of the military checkpoint.

    8c19f298-5348-408a-8354-5e97e240312b_8c6b8d74e69c8342d2c62c3cfea7dafd684d28c2.jpg
    One of the abandoned homes at El Tomatal, just south of the previous photo location. Did Blondie build this to replace her trailer here?

    55685a80-8b60-4b9f-835f-ab968bd15f1e_91ca5c6aedc84577e4bbc08f2f28f3dad577d948.jpg
    Other empty homes and beyond is the fishing camp at El Tomatal.

    I did not see any sign of Miller's Landing with onyx blocks from the El Marmolito onyx mine inland from here or the mystery of El Tomatal described so well by Michelle 'M' here on the Internet around 2001 (on Amigos de Baja, then). Here is a web page I made to tell her story of the mystery sound amplifying stones and battery draining powers, with her photos: http://www.vivabaja.com/et/

    162f6a9a-5870-4da4-b69a-911f605252ba_543f096a8c4a3925d7d97aca63fc5952844a8962.jpg
    Driving away from the beach, here is the little oasis.

    3b42d7be-c43d-453e-a696-b1c80731621a_fdab31f65df6b52ce3d94e24cf99ed99e956bfba.jpg
    Searching for Miller's Landing, this is about 2 miles south of El Tomatal.

    bca0c669-c512-4ca8-8415-37a494a779cf_7c048e082a1dcb0ecb80a1c36f2be86a625a5637.jpg
    Looking north towards El Tomatal from 2 miles south.

    e3d6790e-6348-4248-84ad-654013f89855_d049b7c40f4110bca6143c181acfc2adc5c6e654.jpg
    A good place for food and ice at the Pemex station Villa Jesus María. Owned by Lupita, the sister of the late famous Carmelita.

    In the next installment, we go to Laguna Manuela! Stay tuned...
     
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  10. Apr 29, 2017 at 6:50 PM
    #10
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    DAY 5, cont'd: To Laguna Manuela

    After having lunch at Villa Jesus María, I drove south to the paved road west at Km. 96. The road goes to a farm town, but in less than a mile you turn off of it, to the left, for Laguna Manuela.

    0.0 Hwy. 1 Km. 96 (Villa Jesus María), take paved road west.
    0.8 Turn left off pavement onto wide graded road.
    4.9 Road to right is a deep sand route to the long north beach. Excellent fishing in past years. Known as 'Variety Beach' for the wide selection of surf fish caught (croaker, calico bass, halibut, etc.). The road ahead can be driven over Morro Santo Domingo past the beach and back to this point (4WD).
    6.7 Edge of big beach at Laguna Manuela. This log continues up the hill.
    7.8 Lighthouse.
    8.2 Fork. Left goes 0.3 to a spectacular sea arch beach.
    10.8 Drop down the hill and meet with road parallel to Variety Beach. Camp spot at end of road to left, 1/4 mile. Turn right.
    11.2 Turn right and soon go over deep sand to return to Villa Jesus María.
    13.1 Back at Laguna Manuela road, 4.1 mi from paved road, 4.9 from Hwy. 1.

    IMG_5806_63a325a1108d34e1689a032e6944ad0681bf8d06.jpg
    Laguna Manuela road.

    IMG_5807_2adc5924c17b588ec5f7491b83bdd9c0ba4ff883.jpg
    Beach at Laguna Manuela.

    IMG_5808_624fc4d6f18654a86413c8fcbc1abaefbb990243.jpg

    IMG_5809_1d897208a2217874a085c902a4bc4d241ad6b8b7.jpg

    IMG_5810_ff07f0fbd63018cebbc872fdd8f27879822ea653.jpg
    Driving up towards lighthouse.

    032fec71-f3b8-4429-bf12-a08837a6868c_28b93e569c93744627c6171bf12100500da0d47f.jpg
    Clear water!

    IMG_5815_2ec731789d6319cad6c8a54ff1dd7b18e6e063ee.jpg

    IMG_5816_329ca9b6eb7ea5fca2497dc8149c65eb3db47af5.jpg

    IMG_5817_148817f3b1440a33a5c3c8b20e8dd50da135a7b7.jpg

    IMG_5818_90903ef04b53e6ea5d86123b1087a420cdcb9c5d.jpg

    7edb3c08-de14-47df-8486-8865783e6ef9_6685d99b53c93f52316c19bbd357a39ceabc970c.jpg
    People in the arch help show the scale!

    Continuing north from Morro Santo Domingo...

    8fd77801-0fdc-400d-b1bf-53802ca52040_dbf5e2a647feadff3bc3316a658bf58b7262d633.jpg

    5e6818ab-f138-4045-9e41-ab0c070e0df4_aa01dcf164cebb75fed20a6637f0c7d6e6020218.jpg
    Variety Beach* comes into view.
    *The name was provided by Whistler (Glenn). When my folks and I camped and fished here (1980s), we just knew it the Laguna Manuela fishing beach.

    1c5a41bb-2e38-4f07-98f9-ec9323a3e061_8045b7099f3c774c32234f383657b2591dee367d.jpg
    Looking north this is one long beach... all the way to El Tomatal!

    daa4fa84-4d4c-427a-b914-8d50c6044b29_2b9c80e7dfedbe624981abafb504f1983c0acde4.jpg
    Looking south. We used to camp and fish down where the beach meets the cliff. Croaker off the sand and calico bass off then rocks.

    f57c58fc-4d08-4d32-8646-684cb4e39c1c_b19a29655a92a91f51bd864cd0faade2e545e1e2.jpg
    Looking north

    0dc5288a-2eb7-49ca-ab0c-88a6d287a65a_575efab6bc3851920e3e502c3b989b9a5f3906e3.jpg
    Close up of the sand... tiny shells!

    My truck had milestone moment as I was nearing Hwy. 1 coming out of Laguna Manuela!

    dab36017-ecc5-47f2-8013-bd12e65420f2_d4329bfe89b98073a252ab0894f30d5a642b88a1.jpg
    The truck is 7 years and 4 months old. It is the fewest miles I have driven of any of my vehicles, which have had over 100,000 miles in under 4 years.

    dd7f24cf-1fb0-491a-b218-b05e67b6060d_df09daada9482be54c69dd1e4fad94c569c4c4c8.jpg
    Heading north, one passes this landmark building with a triangle window. On some maps, it is called La Bachata, Km. 24.5 south of Punta Prieta.

    ed116f95-0f94-4125-92a0-92cc8133b763_4a01c7858a92094c798e19094fad529aaeccdf9d.jpg
    The abandoned Pemex station at Parador Punta Prieta (Km. 0), the L.A. Bay Hwy. junction.

    0776be0b-51cd-478d-a8ac-85a5abf2cb59_ba689d1406e105d3cb6fb94c07c51b592ff6ae6e.jpg
    View of the L.A. Bay highway from the parador building.

    2adce669-3f97-496a-8935-91bfe881f35e_22ac2876394aaff2439705939d243ae482014028.jpg
    2017

    4ed8eba1-1638-404b-bbae-3dcaa5264e64_ab703193274b4ef53d652cbb77ae17e5a3d503e8.jpg
    1974 Just paved, and that ended in only a mile or two, just over the hill and out-of-sight of Hwy. 1.
    Fun to compare similar locations many years apart. I took this photo when I was 17!

    2edee7d7-9b25-47db-a8d9-988c799997d1_ee9f6a557a6723ad4d0cb9fefebee196aee359b3.jpg
    Parador Punta Prieta Trailer Park (closed)

    1e37b72c-8e03-4aac-b018-8b560b6c8818_15dc57e9158ac6fe05f3b391bbd2b8bdb291d666.jpg
    View south nearing the L.A. Bay junction and former Parador Punta Prieta.

    10482a5c-f4e2-4c31-afc6-fbb2bf9b5e31_daae56d0447cc4cb720a6ed53960f4410dd22e55.jpg
    Highway One, Carretera Transpeninsular Benito Juarez, just north of Parador Punta Prieta, northbound.
     
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  11. Apr 29, 2017 at 6:56 PM
    #11
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The next installment is where it gets really interesting... finding the husband and wife (hired to operate a ranch for a Tijuana businessman) marooned in one of the most remote spots in Baja... and I was the first vehicle they have seen in four months! Their truck broke down, 6 months ago, several miles east of the ranch.
     
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  12. Apr 30, 2017 at 3:15 AM
    #12
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    DAY 5 AFTERNOON Highway 1 west to the Pacific, almost!

    Of the several roads across Baja from Highway 1 down the center to the Pacific coast, the Rancho San Antonio road may be the scariest to do solo!
    I was glad I had an inReach communicator so I could contact my friends who offered to come help or coordinate help if needed. I can send or receive short text or email messages which help the day go by. My evening chats with Baja Angel (my wife Elizabeth) are comforting and make my being away so far not so bad.

    The difference between the inReach and the Spot device is the 2-way communicating. Right now, I am getting Spot locations for TW, I can't ask him what he is up to or where he wants to go. I only see where he is and an I'm OK message.

    I leave the highway at Km. 270.5, I drop the air pressure in my tires to 24 psi. It is 3:15pm. I will just go to where I find a camp spot or do a night drive in order to give my new LED lamps a workout!

    603396dd-6a46-424f-b5de-f848cf99a8a3_ca233facc78d175e30bbd8f14ab20101ddc97e67.jpg
    A welcoming boojum tree!

    47846881-a4bc-484a-ade1-3c205e4a0ca8_9b91b8424a063fe20479248e8624c84f1eb544fa.jpg
    Fresh green coat on this tall one.

    ca4df501-4aef-44c2-a18d-961a6ad53e66_6753e6d0a6be1beab73186afd2833a78cbea674e.jpg
    It is 9.3 slow miles on this short cut road to the one that is on most maps, 11 miles south of Chapala to San Antonio and Bahía Blanco.

    f899f95d-d51e-4b4e-83c4-9ed9b90a39fc_bbccaf762903c3d8a164e62fbe0804ea9a35fd53.jpg
    From a high point, looking back at the road I was just on.

    ce8697ee-d971-42bb-8c8e-26d33f27ac17_a479d1cc5fc291dc1d92b3a0a23fec719f27c210.jpg

    0bdd3e32-8a22-4699-967f-670eb6db3b0d_c0ac6e3dc9cbbe049b5d2e26b6ea2b9127b8a016.jpg

    2f48e04f-ca6e-4f48-ac9d-2cab0b2addcd_c3c10b57fb7f854692638beafbe297a8b41a6c1c.jpg
    It's like Dr. Seuss must have visited Baja this far south?

    c081e384-b230-455c-997e-481ad3075766_caf88140af588637ae0b0a2d5e1e98876e2653ee.jpg

    b6080be1-bc0b-49d1-95c1-30a07ca298e6_8aa4be804920b2dbd03cdef6025c518974014a13.jpg
    Some neat cardón trees in here, too!

    0a4570fb-fff3-4662-aec6-c83ec1ccfe86_0e6563154de669c56669b5bead76bb5cf0f252d7.jpg
    Semi-abandoned ranch down on the left, 1.2 miles west of the junction with the two choices to Hwy. 1. The one I used from Km. 270.5 or the mapped one from Km. 252.

    bdd44cfd-789f-488e-9fbc-ecaeac72e91b_50958f7beb63833d37645c219e3fe23ba791ea41.jpg
    I am seeing fewer tire tracks and more animal tracs.

    69a44c5a-d9e6-44fa-99ff-f90a3a82b735_8577b1ad4332c3aeed9adccad8a33df627802d5e.jpg
    An oasis is a mile past the ranch. Soon a dam and reservoir are in the gully below. Another oasis is in the distance, but the road I am on turns away from it before I am motivated to drive to it on a very unused track I saw. That would be the true Rancho San Antonio (Formerly 'Los Codornices'). It was 4:18pm.

    Some have called it a mission because of the old adobe building and graves. Alas, this site was both far removed from the mission road system (El Camino Real) and void of any farmland to grow enough food upon. It was strictly a cattle ranch.

    18a5f48f-561d-4217-81e9-db8cc45232de_1a5c2f4e759a523bee1912698007552b79a4435d.jpg

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    08dbafaa-96de-4c35-9427-b45c8fbc44e1_bccf65e79fb7cd9e6e10ac60c69c469ce0129330.jpg

    The big grade!

    bea706ca-ff9a-4f38-b661-b0e3af7a250c_98bf066ac4fe10274806385735532334ebac3110.jpg
    A dozer was obviously employed to improve the old ranch road, but all the road has eaten away at the fill dirt and base leaving gullies and landslides. I didn't stop to photo the worst.

    2161ce80-d10a-465e-9d9a-a7e7ceec293c_0fa09774809491728b5d943c6483b0c8307d0bd0.jpg
    Going down, down, down. My big concern was what if I came to an impassable gully or boulder?

    4b6be729-117f-474f-b372-55364d4bec8c_74e8ee1a4125fd8f1231b0a40301ab1ae89d847e.jpg
    Ther was one boulder in the road, but I could get around it. Near the bottom was this huge one. Just one more grade ahead and it had the most interesting blockage... a Ford Ranger. I just got by it by an inch between the mirrors.It was 5:18pm and I was 9 miles from San Antonio and just 3/4 mile from the bottom of this big bad set of grades.

    IMG_5856_dae999977cccb820e03ae215c60adf0879bde25c.jpg
    Nice drive through a cardónal before reaching the roadblock and help sign!

    Details in the next installment... This Sunday will be a long night!
     
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  13. Apr 30, 2017 at 3:22 AM
    #13
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    dc650c3c-61c2-4ccc-9967-6651d8b457eb_f24bad9f1a1507a7b302ae0c4431ef2ab56bcd21.jpg
    This is on the road with the mileages: 9.3, 2.0, 18.5.
     
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  14. Apr 30, 2017 at 9:53 AM
    #14
    SKULLY

    SKULLY Well-Known Member

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    Love this! Awesome details and pictures David!
     
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  15. Apr 30, 2017 at 11:55 AM
    #15
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    936fb335-997c-4454-a5f1-6d396b95d6a9_6c1db7b62b69dc345fe278198f72fe75dff158b8.jpg

    Here is a close up of the road as drawn by Gulick for his 1962 Lower California Guidebook with arrows along my route and a red arrow pointing to Rancho La Miseria. Los Codornices is San Antonio and there is no longer a Las Palomas.
     
  16. Apr 30, 2017 at 11:57 AM
    #16
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    La Miseria (The Misery), did Stephen King come to Baja?

    The abandoned Ford truck on the grade, trying to go uphill, with the window down and some items on the seat and in the bed was a hint of weirdness.

    Coming to a barricade in the road a few miles later, including an orange construction cone and a handwritten note with the words AYUDA (HELP) and COMIDA (FOOD) included.

    The barricade forced anyone to a side road that dropped down to the wide arroyo plain and soon a good looking ranch came into view. This ranch has solar panels, a swimming pool, and a hot tub!

    Two people (a man and a woman) appeared and waved their arms as in distress. My mind is absorbing these fresh sensations and making quick decisions to escape while I can or ...

    I drive up to the front of the ranch which is on the right side of the road and lower my passenger window. A flood of sad stories begins to flow to my ears: "We have no food", "My husband is out of his heart medicine", "You are the first vehicle we have seen in four months", "We have been stranded here for 6 months". I learn that the Ford Ranger is her husband's truck and six months ago he was going for supplies when the distributor failed.

    They are Leo and Lorena Durazo. They were hired in Tijuana to manage this ranch, La Miseria, for its owner, a man in Tijuana or thereabouts who owns a taxi business in Rosarito Beach.

    I let them know I can send emails or text messages anywhere in the world. They do not have a phone or email for their boss, just a Facebook address, which I cannot do more than post on my own page with the inReach device.

    I contact Antonio* ('BajaCactus') via email and he responds!
    * Antonio Muñoz, owner of the Baja Cactus Motel and Pemex station in El Rosario and the Desert Hawks Emergency Rescue service and volunteer fire department in El Rosario.

    Here is the exchange, in part, beginning with:

    Apr 23, 2017 6:02 PM
    Hola Antonio tengo emergencia with the couple at Rancho Miseria de Candelario. Their truck broke miles away. They need heart meds and food 2 months. ... Señor Candelario Aguire Arce is the owner. He has taxis in Rosarito. ... They have no food or medicine. ... Can you get ahold of him to bring help to his employees stuck here? On the San Antonio road, east of Bahia Blanco. ... Leo y Lorena Durazo.


    Antonio asks if they have a phone number for him.

    Apr 23, 2017 6:25 PM No. They were hired 6 mos. ago and have not heard from him since. They have seen no one here in 4 months.
    (I may not have heard the details correctly, they may have been there longer)

    As it turns out, this couple knows of Antonio in El Rosario and know that Antonio's brother knows someone else who works for this Candelario guy.

    Antonio (who is in Tijuana) cannot find any of the names Leo has provided, yet the connection between Antonio's brother and another is valid.

    We are getting nowhere with getting the ranch owner to make an emergency visit to his ranch and hired help. So, as the sun is about to set, rather than find a place to camp near the coast and drive out via the Chapala road (which Leo said is worse than the one I just arrived on, and it was pretty bad), I volunteer my services as emergency evacuation. I make room in my truck for them both. They attend to their animals, including a little dog, which Lorena says will be okay, and I tell them I will drive them to Santa Rosalillita (where they know people). It is only about 15 miles to the good dirt highway at Punta Cono, then pretty fast driving the near 35 miles on to Santa Rosalillita.

    I send this message to Antonio and also notify my wife and Nomad friends who are following me on the Internet.

    Apr 23, 2017 6:44 PM I am taking them 50 dirt miles to Sta. ROSALILLITA. TONIGHT. THEY NEED FOOD AND HEART MEDS. Sorry about the caps, accident.

    Apr 23, 2017 7:07 PM Ok, we 3 are leaving in my truck for Sta. Rosalillita now. I will stop to answer you.

    Apr 23, 2017 10:07 PM At Sta Rosalillita now. They are trying to find someone that knows them.


    The people they knew were not there.

    The town was pretty dark on a Sunday night. They talked to someone by the church. They said they know people in Nuevo Rosarito. I was willing to drive them to another place, but not south... I would even take them to El Rosario if necessary. They said Punta Prieta would work!

    Apr 23, 2017 11:09 PM In Punta Prieta now, 11:09.

    The south Punta Prieta restaurant (busses stop there) knew Leo and Lorena and they assured me they were in good hands. Lorena called me their angel. It was her birthday tomorrow! While we were driving those hours, she requested 80s music (I have XM Satellite Radio) and she was a good singer, Madonna, etc.

    My need now was for gasoline... I could make Cataviña but probably not El Rosario. Would I have any luck at 11 pm in Punta Prieta?

    YES! At the north store, on the west side of the highway at the Punta Prieta sign, they sell gasoline out of cans, similar to Santa Rosalillita. I was lucky they were still up. I bought 5 gallons for 380 pesos (US$4.29/gal), very fair and again only 80 some cents profit per gallon for having gas where it is needed.

    Now, what is odd, is that I told the man pouring gas in my truck what I just did, and he knew them! Is it really that small a world or are these people famous for getting rides? He even knew that Lorena speaks English pretty well (she told me she self-taught from watching Sesame Street).

    Well, I was in good shape and Antonio said I had a room waiting for me at Baja Cactus, 3 hours away! What a day (and night)!

    It wasn't over!!!

    Apr 24, 2017 1:21 AM Was doing great and got a flat tire about km. 128. Just fyi.

    It looks to be a puncture. I will plug it and fill it. No worries!


    It wasn't as easy as I had hoped... it took two plugs, and a couple times refilling as it went flat again on me in the dangerous curve area around Km. 90.

    I arrived at Baja Cactus at 3:40 am! SAFE at HOME, my home in Baja, anyway!

    Monday, I sleep in... for a while!

    Stay tuned... more to come!
     
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  17. May 1, 2017 at 1:39 AM
    #17
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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  18. May 1, 2017 at 10:39 AM
    #18
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    DAY 6 (MON APR 24, 2017)

    Having driven all night and arrived at Baja Cactus Motel, El Rosario, at 3:40 am, I was inclined to sleep in as much as possible. Since I was still working, I wanted to get in at least one side trip for the guide that I hadn't been to since 2011, Punta Baja.

    However, the first thing was to get my tire properly repaired and have some breakfast. I was out of my room after 10 am and saw that my plugged tire (passenger side, rear) held air since the second repairs I made on it around 2 am! I thought I would need to pump it up again. Great!

    The tires shop called 'San Borjas' (Km. 58.5+) is on the left (southbound) just past the town plaza and Pueblo Viejo restaurant, before the Km. 59 marker.

    A patch was put in the tire. Then, I tried a new (to me) place, El Faro (The Lighthouse) located just past the Sinahi motel, about Km. 59.5, on the left.
    I had a good breakfast of hotcakes and eggs with some excellent coffee. 100 pesos, incl. tip.

    I drive up and down Hwy. 1 making notes of the many restaurants, motels, etc. as to their location along the 4 kms. of town that is along the highway (just before Km. 57 to Km. 61).

    Much more town is to the west of where the highway makes the sharp turn by Mama Espinoza's plus there is El Rosario de Abajo, the older town that is 2 miles west and across the river. Developed around the mission that was moved there is 1802 when the water spring failed at the 1774 mission site, which is just a block north of the highway at Km. 58.5+ on the concrete street that goes uphill from the highway (only a fumigation sign is next to that street).

    Then, I take a drive out to Punta Baja... the road is wide, smooth, and fast!

    b027905d-36de-4568-9846-d2b2bd43b731_ef59b9cc460c37d8ee01c90e7f384f9aad64036e.jpg
    The owner is from Faro San José, where I had been to recently, far south.

    IMG_5690_26d9180f2fb92a37898988558f3325f342ead32f.jpg
    Another 'new' place to eat (I did not try it) is in front of the Turista Motel at the far end of town, Km. 60.5+. Valentino's.

    IMG_5859_631839746cadc6a86d6754f151cf7a3f2db0e4dc.jpg
    The road to the "other" El Rosario turns right where Hwy. 1 curves sharp left at Mama Espinoza's.

    IMG_5860_080af3e81037aa9dd87a85b3222d23f916c9fd2c.jpg
    The second Rosario mission is in Abajo.

    e3876a5c-94bc-46f0-9ba5-69d0990891d5_57d45e0ef8db9bb64f0e069cca1e59a2e02f8719.jpg
    The town museum in an old school building, in Rosario de Abajo. It was closed, but in 2005, Antonio showed it to Elizabeth and I: Photos on this page and the following: http://vivabaja.com/505/page6.html

    8f66b2ed-beb5-46ef-ae40-14fee38d7ec5_2b06102a7d8aa9865ec7d68b0fee35b61a1a0c7b.jpg
    One mission bell is preserved and hangs at a church near the mission ruins in Rosario de Abajo.

    0bdde3e4-b1ee-4063-8a33-13d8b1830198_9299b5f0c311e37e9deb1871685a284883578015.jpg
    The road passes by the mission ruins, preserved in a park setting with gravel walks and information signs.


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    3e49ff65-0695-403d-ad84-f573d106c4d7_3a1968cf308ba7ddfeab02352951d2d0b1ab5d47.jpg
    Punta Baja lighthouse

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    After my dusty run to Punta Baja, I have my truck washed at El Popeye (Km. 57) just north of the Pemex. They had up to four guys working on it, and I do this not just because it was dirty, but because excessive dirt can be a reason to not allow your car back in the United States (bugs live in dirt being the reason). The charge for an excellent exterior wash was only 120 pesos, which I bumped up to 200 for great service.

    Well, that was a good day after quite a night and early morning!
    For dinner, I go back to El Faro and have the bacon-wrapped shrimp dinner. It was great... and almost too much to eat!

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    Had a great sleep at te Baja Cactus Motel, again. Tomorow, I am going home. But, not without doing some research in San Quintin!

    Stay tuned for DAY 7!
     
    SKULLY likes this.
  19. May 2, 2017 at 11:19 AM
    #19
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Member:
    #18969
    Messages:
    11,779
    Gender:
    Male
    Pala Mesa, California
    Vehicle:
    2010 4WD Off Road DC
    Differential Breather Mod Light Bar: 4 Cree LED lamps Bilstein 5100s Ride Rite Air Bags
    DAY 7 (TUE APR 25 2017)

    Had a great night sleep at El Rosario's Baja Cactus Motel. To save time, I ate a bowl of cereal in my room and had freshly brewed coffee (Baja Cactus' main rooms have coffee makers).

    I was on the road at 9:30.
    Here are some of my trip notes as I checked out a few sites near San Quintin:

    Km. 12.5+ Campo Deportivo concrete road west (0.6 mi). A baseball stadium. Past the stadium, the concrete road goes 0.3 mi further to a store and beyond is a swap meet/ flea market area.

    Km. 11 Pemex, Los Pinos farm, paved road west (distances in miles):
    ... 0.0 Hwy. 1
    ... 1.0 Cross original route of paved Hwy. 1, former parador and gas station site.
    ... 2.1 Paved road turns left for Hotel Misión Santa María (0.9 mi). The dirt road continues ahead.
    ... 2.9 Cielito Lindo (motel, restaurant). A road (signed) continues past the Cielito Lindo to the beach.
    ... 3.5 wide sand beach, past the former Gypsy's RV park and Wet Buzzard cantina. Now a fisherman's storage area.

    Km. 3.5 Restaurant Boca del Rio.
    Km. 1.5 Road west to Los Olivos RV Park (just after the turn left in 1.0 mi) and Baja Jardines (motel and restaurant, 1.2 mi). Road was a bit rough.
    Km. 1 Paved road west to Molino Viejo (Old Mill) restaurant and motel, Don Eddie's motel, and Campo Lorenzo. 0.5 mi from Hwy. 1 is a dirt road south to Los Olivos (0.3 mi) and Baja Jardines (0.5 mi) providing less dirt road driving to those places.
    Km. 0.5 Oxxo market
    Km. 0 Highway widens northbound. This was the southbound start of the final section of Highway 1 construction, all done in 1973 between here and San Ignacio.

    On the drive north, I also began noting kilometer markers for one of the next areas to be 'mapped' for the guide.

    Photos:

    d66f37cb-a656-419d-9285-22e443a57403_0ab4daa5ae2e1579547ad45ae0fb82f3132a8d6c.jpg
    Abandoned Parador San Quintin and Pemex, along the former route of Hwy. 1, 1-mile west of Km. 11.

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    Tree lined drive to hotels (Misión Santa María and Cielito Lindo), west from Km. 11.

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    Sign, 2.1 mi from Km. 11 junction.

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    At end of pavement, 3 mi. from Km. 11.

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    Just before Cielito Lindo. Beach is 1/2 mile away.

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    The former Wet Buzzard Cantina. Pacifico was on tap and Laura made awesome chorizo burritos! Last ate there in 2004.

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    The beach is huge. No facilites.

    Km. 1.5 signs:

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    At Los Olivos:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I will detail the final drive to the border, next!


    On the way north, I sent a text to Larry ('bajatrailrider') in San Vicente to see if he was home and wanted a visit... and he was.

    We had a nice chat about all things Baja and his wife Alma made us a great spaghetti lunch thank you! I was there for nearly 2 hours, great hospitality.

    The traffic through Ensenada is never fun, but not so bad today and instead of every signal turning red on me, only about half did! Oh, how I love using Hwy. 5 to go up and down Baja instead of Hwy. 1, in the north!

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    Now that stations are free to charge what they want, as long as it doesn't exceed the government mandate, we are seeing prices posted on the street, like here in the USA.

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    Sign in Ensenada where I turn left to get to the route by the harbor, which I find faster to get to the highway north.

    Naturally, I like to cross at Tecate going north so I take Hwy. 3, just north of Ensenada. In Tecate, I use up the last of my pesos to add gas to my tank and the price was 17.06/ liter and I have 600 pesos left from my trip money... and that gives me just over 37 liters.

    I get to the border street and never know how long the line will be, well at 5:30 this afternoon, no line. Just one car at the booth when I get there. Fantastic! Great border guard chat/ exchange and I asked him for the paper on what is permitted for the new book project.

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    I think I got home about 7:30 and had a dinner date with my wife! Nice to be back home! When can I go back to Baja???
     
    SKULLY likes this.
  20. May 2, 2017 at 8:13 PM
    #20
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Member:
    #18969
    Messages:
    11,779
    Gender:
    Male
    Pala Mesa, California
    Vehicle:
    2010 4WD Off Road DC
    Differential Breather Mod Light Bar: 4 Cree LED lamps Bilstein 5100s Ride Rite Air Bags
    Hope this helps there be more Tacomas to enjoy Baja, it is an incredible place to go four wheeling and camping.
     
    SKULLY likes this.

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