Baja – Day 4-7 beaches, missions, caves

We picked up our permits in San Ignacio and reserved a guide to see Cueva Palmerito. It is the only large cave painting near-by that you can hike to. All others require 3-7 day mule trips. The great mural rock art consists of prehistoric paintings of humans and other animals, many larger than life-size, on the walls and ceilings of natural rock shelters. It is suggested that the paintings may be as old as 7,500 years. The Jesuit missionaries noted the paintings, but they got national attention through a 1962 Life magazine article by mystery writer Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason stories). Our guide, Guillermo Arce came from a family of cave tour guides. Additionally, the Arce name goes back to the 1750’s. They served the missions back then. The enormity of Cueva Palmerito is impressive, but there’s quite a bit of overpainting and deterioration by weather. The smaller caves seen on day 2 and 3 of the trip were of better quality, Back at San Ignacio, we had our usual margaritas and a good meal.
Heading out the next day, we stopped in Guerrero Negro. This town is famous for its whale watching tours in Scammon’s Lagoon. It also boasts the world’s greatest salt mine. We drove to the end of the land spit to see the dunes and salt mine area. Our destination for the evening was Bahia De Los Angeles. On the way we visited Mision San Borja. This Jesuit mission was established in 1762. The old adobe mission ruins remain but the restored mission is kept up by a full-time proprietor, Luis. We went on to Bahia de Los Angeles where Dorie and I camped at Daggett’s on the beach. Bob took a room nearby. Only 1 other fisherman was there, and the beach was completely empty. – beautiful. At this camp, Bob was adopted by the camp dog. We didn’t know he was an animal whisperer. We had a nice camp meal, watched the sunset and enjoyed tequila and beers for the evening. We did get to see the International Space Station fly across the sky. (I don’t think it was the tequila.)
Our last day was a long highway drive to the Mehling Ranch in the Sierra Pedro Matir. After so much dirt driving, it was stressful to have traffic and fast highway speeds again. I liked the back-country Baja much better. Mehling Ranch is a ~10,00 acre working guest ranch. It’s been in existence for over 100 years in the same family. Meals are family style in the chow house.
We covered over 1,400 miles with over 400 of them on dirt. A great experience and such a pleasure to go with Bob who was so knowledgeable and experienced in the areas visited. We got to see four missions on the Camino Real, 3 cave painting sites and 2 beautiful beaches. But the trip left us adding to our list of things to do in Baja for the future. (Please click on any picture to enlarge to see slide show)

2 thoughts on “Baja – Day 4-7 beaches, missions, caves

  1. Ah!!!!I wish We could make it with you guys!!! Reading all the reports, really make me jealous. Dang we miss an awsome trip Uwe!

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