I get the privilege of writing this from the beautiful lakeside village of Santa Maria Del Oro, in Nayarit. A warm fresh water lake sits in the base of some small mountains. The road to get here is a winding two lane trail through tropical lush that encases the road as thou you’re driving through a living tunnel. A small village sits on the waters edge and my campsite is a well manicured mix of palms, banana trees and an abundance of freshly fruiting orange trees that quietly “ker-plunk” as their weight releases them from the branches.
Now it’s official, after thirty-eight days on the Baja I awoke from a thirteen hour ferry ride in Mazatlan.
I figured I’d spent enough time on the Baja to officially start running my own tours, so for the last week I toured a friend around the Southern tip from one secret gem to another. It kicked off with my picking her up from one of the most exclusive all inclusive resorts in Cabo San Lucas and promptly driving for three hours down the roughest, sandy road I’d encountered on the entire Baja. This would be the road that I also got my first flat tyre of the trip on and my worst wipe out to date. Planting me face down in the sand with my foot stuck backwards under the side luggage, yikes close call on broken limb.
That would leave her about twenty minutes to transition from twenty-four hour room service, bottomless champagne and all the massages you can handle. To beach side tenting, with no showers, no toilets, no services and all meals cooked out of one pot. It’s a steep, yet exciting learning curve.
First on the tour would be watching the whales in the distance blowing out pufts of water. Followed by snorkelling in the only protected reef on the South Baja at Cabo Plumo, the tropical fish were out in abundance. However I managed to mount my camera backwards only to miss shots of the octopus I was chasing along with hundreds of vibrant coloured fish. So I flushed out two mediocre shots of some fish that were behind me!
From here we walked the three hour roundtrip in the kind of heat that makes you need to park up in the shade to avoid puking at every opportunity. The real reward was arriving to what was more of a damp rock then a waterfall, seems it’s more of a seasonal thing. Ohh well the walk back was nice and rewarding too as I managed to bust one of my flip-flops (yes that’s what you take on three hour hikes) and had to stop every ten steps or so to put it back together.
Next up La Ventana for what I like to call “luxury biker bath” a.k.a. super kick ass hot springs that meet the ocean for a night of wine and hot tubing or depending on the tide an afternoon of the same. What is this you ask? Basically hot water, 140oF, comes seeping up from the center of the planet just on the edge of the Sea Of Cortez. This then meets up with the coming or going tides and depending on where you find the pools you can have the most fantastic Oceanside hot tub as the cool sea water mixes with the hot fresh water, yes it’s amazing! If you check out the photos you’ll notice there are little rock edge pools others have made to capture some of the hot water and ocean water for as long as possible until the tide flushes it out or disappears. There is a couple next to us who are also pool hoping as the water recedes that afternoon.
Next stop was some beach camping just outside of La Paz. What seemed like quite, powdery soft sandy beach with a hint of coverage behind a dune for a night of rest turned out to be us parking a tent right in a wind tunnel of blowing sand. After a few hours in the middle of the night trying to rearrange inside the tent, then finally moving the tent around to avoid the blasts of sand up the side and through the vents. Where the sand would then land in your mouth, ears, eyes, etc. Finally we just learned to time the huge wind blasts with pulling the blankets over your head to avoid the most of it.
I’m not exactly sure the full motivation for then renting a room the following night in the picturesque town of Todos Santos thou the sandstorm the night before may have played a roll. Ahh the mythical and very artistic “Hotel California” was a welcome change from the tent and the bucket baths.
P.S. I made a video of one of luxuries of bathing on the beach. The week before I had no fresh water, the next week I discovered some fishermen getting fresh water from a well and bamn I had a fresh water bucket bath. A few days later a guy shows as I’m about to show Angie what a bucket bath is and he’s got a pump with a hose. Boooooomb, we officially have a shower!
Check out the video below and a shower shot below.