Leaving San Carlos for Baja is not for the faint-0f-heart. The ferry and the flights are a bit hit-and-miss. And you can’t trust the webpages. The ferry crosses at night. It’s an eleven- hour trip. State rooms are not an option. If you can get an airline reservation (on the one, regularly scheduled flight per day) you will be one of twelve passengers. Otherwise, there are private planes, but it is up to you to find a charter-party. We were lucky to number two of twelve on Acreo Calafia.
Looking at the map, you might think that the Baja Peninsula is just across the way from mainland Mexico and near enough to swim if you were in shape. The map doesn’t exactly lie, but the scale escaped me. The one-quarter inch represents far more than inches.
In the case of Baja, the Peninsula runs 1,100-miles south from the California border. Also, this skinny spit of land is 50 to 75 miles wide. Amazing! It is far bigger than it looks on the map. As for the Sea of Cortez, it too is 50 to 75 miles wide.
We need to cross the water to get to Laguna San Ignacio, one of three lagoons that serves between January and March as a breeding and birthing nursery to Pacific gray whales. Prior to leaving their home in the Bering Sea, the whales eat their full because once they depart on their 12,000-mile migration, they do not eat again.
It is the whales that we are off to see. Monday morning we fly out of Guaymas to Santa Rosalia. After checking out the town , we’ll catch a local bus to San Ignacio, founded by the Jesuits in 1728 around a spring-fed oasis. We will be staying at, above, or near the Rice and Beans Restaurant. I’m not sure. I know that we are supposed to make a sharp U-turn west of the Pemex station and travel four blocks. We’ll see. The bus driver will know. When I made the reservation (I had no need of a credit card), I asked if I needed a confirmation number. No, I did not. I’m pretty excited. Studying the website, I read “if the rooms are sold out, ask Rick if you can sleep in his van.” Ah! The thrill and adventure of the open road. We’ll see. Sleeping in Rick’s van could be the highlight of our trip. I’ll stay in touch.