We arrived in Mulegè yesterday afternoon after spending several days at Kuyimà Whale Camp on the San Ignacio Lagoon. We were there specifically to see the grey whales who spend a few months a year in the lagoon giving birth, raising their young, and perhaps to participate in a little sexual activity. We drove from Loreto on the Sea of Cortez, or east coast of Baja, spent a couple of nights in the little town of San Ignacio, then on to the whale camp on the Pacific coast. Though it was very windy, we had a couple very productive visits with the whales.
Mission San Ignacio Kadakaaman
During our stay in San Ignacio, we spent a day visiting the cave paintings in the Sierra de San Francisco mountains nearby. Most of us rode a mule up the steep trail.
As you can see, the whales have been around for a long time. These paintings were recently dated and have been around for perhaps 7,500 years. The climate, and their protected and difficult to reach location, has certainly aided their longevity.
Touching a baby grey whale. No one really knows why the whales come alongside the boats and allow themselves to be touched. The guides only explanation “they’re friendly whales!”.
Sunset at the whale camp
My new pal at our rental house in Mulegè
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Barnaby and I arrived in Loreto, Mexico on Tuesday afternoon. Located on the Sea of Cortez, (or as some of us like to refer to it — the Gulf of California, since Cortez was such a butcher), about 2/3s of the way down Baja. Loreto is the oldest settlement in the Californias, including present day Baja California and California to the border of Oregon. The date of settlement — October 5, 1697 is commemorated all over town. The first mission was built here, and though it has been rebuilt many times due to earthquakes and hurricanes, it still stands.
Ahh Mexico — where time really does move slower.
Dinners take hours, even when the hostess includes all of her guests in the food preparation. Our first dinner (which may end up being our most memorable) was at Sophia’s cafe next to the old mission. A sort of outdoor affair with a wood burning brick stove and tables covered with handmade pottery, she served up delicious margaritas, cold beer, chile rellenos, the best mole I’ve ever eaten and blue corn and bean tamales that we all helped prepare. It was three hours long and delicious. All meals have paled since.
Ahh Mexico — where the people are very friendly and the beer is cold.
Loreto is very clean, smallish — only 12,000 people, and hopefully they are all aware that they need to protect this beautiful ocean and the amazing wildlife that inhabit it. Barn and I hope it doesn’t ever end up like Cabo.
The wild fig tree grows in rock