After 2 long days or driving, today’s drive from San Ignacio to Loreto will be a more leisurely 170 miles. Which means we have time to tour the main attraction in town—the eigteenth-century Mision San Ignacio Kadakaaman.
To get to town, we first pass this lovely pond. Is that a volcano in the distance?
Palm trees continue as we make our way down to the town center--
So, check, the tour books are right! San Ignacio is, indeed, an oasis in the desert! Now, on to the Mission…
The center of San Ignacio features a number of small shops surrounding a lovely stone plazuela beneath the large bell tower of its historic church. Thankfully, since it was still fairly early by Mexican standards, there were still plenty of parking for our rigs.
Millie, obnoxiously voices her displeasure whenever I first leave the rig….
so I had to quickly run and hide behind a stone cross so she’d hush up before waking all the locals!
San Ignacio was the first place in Baja that finally reminded me of the best historic parts of mainland Mexico that I visited last year. A charming way to start to our day!
After a stop at the small grocery store, we are soon making our way east along Baja Highway 1 to continue our journey across the Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve towards the Sea of Cortez.
Before reaching the Sea, however, we first drive right up next to“the 3 Virgins”—ancient volcanoes that played an important role in creating the Baja peninsula millions of years ago.
Whew! Made it past the ladies without triggering an eruption!
By the time we find a place to park along the malecon, neither the town nor the beach look all that inviting, so we get back in our rigs and keep driving south! Santa Rosalía will need to keep working a bit more to make a better first impression to tourists I guess.
Within an hour we’re down to Bahia de Concepción, and find a much more scenic lunch spot at El Requesón beach.
Baja 1 hugs the hillsides just above the waters’ edge. Quite an impressive sight after 600 miles of desert!
Our final hour of driving takes us back into the rolling foothills of saguaro cacti on our way to Loreto.
Hans has programmed our in-town campground into his new Garmin GPS, but it returns 3 different entries for the same address. As is common in Mexico, they like to use the same town names in multiple places within a state, and use the same street names within multiple places in a town! So, he picks the 1st entry and we soon are driving into the increasingly narrow streets towards the city center.
We turn right on the campground’s street only to then be stopped by a local policeman who is standing at the corner. In very animated, rapido, Spanish he appears to be telling us that our rigs are too big to go down this street and we must turn around. In very animated English, I try to explain that I cannot back up my rig with the toad attached to it. Finally, after a few minutes, some careful measuring, and clearing of traffic ahead of us, Ursula gets out to walk ahead of their RV so Hans can carefully drive beneath the arched laurel trees (that thankfully are trimmed just high enough for our Winnies to pass beneath!
We now take a left back at our original intersection and finally arrive to our intended destination, the Rivera del Mar RV park, a small family-run place with about 20 small full-hookup sites and the first working high-speed internet we’ve found since leaving Ensenada—a digital oasis! Hoo-ray!
We settle our rigs between 2 truck campers, and Hans sneaks a pic of Ursula and I planning what Loreto sights we wish to see. Time to rest for a few days and explore this neat town!