Friday, March 27, 2009

Baja Beginnings

I'm looking out of the window at my parents home, not too far from the beach. If you walk up the hill and you will see Ailsa Craig floating like a cupcake (albeit a brown and craggy one) just out to sea, on a clear day you can even just see a wee speck of Northern Ireland on the horizon (or so my father claims). It's grey outside but the wind is howling round the house and every so often blue sky and sunshine appears, then the wind brings more dark grey clouds and the rain starts to pelt down again.

It is 2 weeks since I arrived back home, my bags are unpacked and my tan is fading. New York seems like a distant memory and I've found that I don't miss Captain, I don't miss the worries he caused me, the worries I never shared.

But back to Baja...

I boarded the Green Tortoise bus on the evening of Friday 20th February and started 2 wonderful weeks of escape. Now the Tortoise probably isn't everyone's idea of the perfect 2 week vacation but I love it (this was my fourth trip). In total we covered over 2000 miles, driving down from San Francisco to the tip of the Baja peninisula and back. And in all those miles I drank lots of beers, played lots of cards, laughed a rididulous amount, played spitting games, learnt to make sushi, touched a whale, swam with sea lions,, meet a rather curious lot of folk and of course, made some friends.
On the second morning we stopped at a whale watching spot. Standing having breakfast and looking out at the water we could spot whales. Soon we were on boats heading out amongst them. These particular grey whales are for some reason very friendly, which is strange when not that long ago they were hunted in those very waters. Mamas bring their babys right alongside the boats. They swim underneath you, looking you right in the eye, hanging out so you can reach over and touch them. Truly, a magical experience.

That evening we had another night drive, meaning we would be like sardines, snuggled on the flat sleeping platforms, snoring the miles away. Before we 'miracled' (turning the bus from day to night mode) we had a few hours in San Iganacio. I got slightly snap happy at the Mission and enjoyed meandering the quiet streets.

We were awoken from our slumbers by the shaking of the bus when the it turned off onto rough road. We soon stopped and began to unpack all our belongings from the bus waiting for this guy to appear up the track that lay ahead.

Our first beach camp lay ahead down the 5 mile track. Everything was packed onto the shuttle and then we set off to hike down to 'Playa Escondida', our home for the next four nights. This place was my kind of heaven, (well apart from the outhouse!). You could be as lazy or as active as you wanted, and with the exception of doing an hour of yoga each day, I was terrifically lazy. Thankfully not everyone was, so we ate freshly caught fish everyday. After our fantastic meals each evening that would be impressive if prepared in a regular kitchen, we would sit round the campfire, telling stories, laughing while rather too many beers were drunk and a bottle of tequila was passed round.

The second evening was Mardi Gras and also Margerita Night. The blender could be heard until the wee hours while we danced in the sand.

I watched the sunrise over the sea of Cortez on our fourth morning before starting to pack up my belongings. By early afternoon we were all back up the hill with our belongings waiting to board Pluto again, and getting rather excited at the prospect of a shower once we arrived in La Paz. It was only a week since we had first boarded Pluto back in San Francisco but it felt like a lifetime.

All images from my collection

1 comment:

very married said...

GREAT pics! looks like fun!