Cirios-ly Traveling

We like the little town of Mulege (MOO-la-hay) because even with all the gringos around it is still very Mexican, as it should be.  We stopped in to get our laundry done, refill water, our pantry and our bellies.

display (in the laundromat) of shark jaw, shells, etc

display (in the laundromat) of shark jaw, shells, etc

Turtle shells

Turtle shells

lunch in town square

lunch in town square

knee jerks ;)

knee jerks 😉

Anders monsterThen off again, not sure how far to go but the kids were busy watching videos and Everette and I were enjoying the scenery.  You’ll hear horror stories of the Mexican highways, but if you stay alert it isn’t that bad.  There are virtually no shoulders on either side, thus putting you and the on-coming traffic close together, and a lot of the traffic is big rigs.  If close quarters bother you then you won’t like Mexican highways.  Oh, and there’s lots of pot holes, curves, debris.  Other than that, no problemo!

mtnsWe are back in the land of boulders and the boojum or cirious trees, dotting the landscape with their bizarre style of tree-dom.  Their tall trunks look like they are covered in black stubble, and their tops have tufts of yellow hairs blowing in the breeze.  Dr Seuss possibly traveled here looking for ideas for his stories.

cirios

Dark fell as we stumbled into Rancho Santa Ines where they have camping spots, a flush toilet in a small out building, and cool nights with no bugs or strong winds to give us all a good night’s sleep.

Trying to Leave Mulege

After 3.5 weeks free camping at Playa Escondida we decided to move on.  But before Wednesday’s sunrise we saw hundreds of dolphins in the bay so six of us jumped into kayaks and headed out on the water.  We never got close to the dolphins but we did make a trip to Dead Dog Island, the first for many of us.  By the time we got back to the beach it was 9:30 and Yolande our favourite tamale lady was waiting for us.  She had been by early but Mitchell told her that we were leaving for Loreto this day so she decided to come back later.  As I paddled to the shore I recognized the white pickup and decided that if she had waited all this while for us I couldn’t not buy tamales from her!  We got empanadas, too!  Our favourite breakfast now, and a fond memory of beach life on the Baja.

family plus

We finished packing, headed over to our friends at Posada to drop off the final borrowed items, and time ticked on and on.  Pizza was fresh out of the oven over at Lucy’s (bakery/restaurant) so we claimed it for the family before some of us headed into town after we decided we wouldn’t be heading to Loreto until Mañana!!  We’re getting into the Mexican Jive of things!

We left some of the kids to hang out at Posada for the afternoon while the bulk of us went into Mulege to get wet suits and flippers at the second-hand store, groceries and water.  On our way out of town we took a quick side tour to the Mision.

Anders prays in a 'window'

Anders prays in a ‘window’

A lookout by the Mision

A lookout by the Mision

finding warmth in the mission walls

finding warmth in the mission walls

Mision de Santa Barbara de Mulege

Mision de Santa Barbara de Mulege

We pulled into Playa Ecomundo which is at the south end of the beach shared with Posada….but there is no longer anything at Ecomundo except flat open space riddled with broken glass, some dilapidated buildings from a hurricane, and a beautiful view of the bay with sailboats and other water vessels.

We got an early start on Thursday morning heading to Loreto where we parked and walked the cobble streets and viewed the mission. Never seen a church with fans on each bench!

Cabeza y madre de las Missiones de Baja y Alta California

inside church

Leaving town we met a Polish couple (immigrated to Canada 25 yrs ago) from White Rock, the town where I graduated from high school, where Everette and I wed, and where our eldest 2 daughters were born.  George & Barbara showed us to a free camping spot for the night where we were able to fill up our water jugs and get our van sorta washed.

van wash

Many of us climbed up the canyon for a later afternoon walk and a refreshing shower in the waterfall.

 

 

waterfall

 

 

tree

This area has hundreds of butterflies.

Tov w butterfly

VIEW FROM OUR KITCHEN:

@ Posada

view from kitchen Posada

Bays, Churches & Houses

 

family again

We left the oasis along Laguna San Ignacio to check out the town.  As soon as we saw the town square I was personally taken back to my YWAM trip in the ’80s.  This is the Mexico I remember.  The town square this Saturday morning is quiet.  I remember all the families picnicking Sunday afternoons, playing games, having a wonderful time.

praying

w van

Across from town square we investigate Iglesia San Ignacio

Jesus

corner view

the children discovering an unknown mammal hiding in a square hole in the outside of the church.

stone celtic cross with kitty

They climb exterior stairs (that lead to the interior balcony) and discover a tiny kitten missing one eye.

3 upstairs w kitty

We find hidden gardens and perfect places for tea parties.  Places were fairies might be found.

secret door

secret gardens

People still slip in to pray, meditate or worship in this quiet church

prayerful parishioner

whose walls are 1.2m thick of lava-blocks.  It was located here by Jesuits, but Dominicans supervised the construction of this striking church that was finished in 1786.

info sign

We arrive back on the Sea of Cortez at Santa Rosalia in time to seek out lunch & deal with police directing heavy traffic around this one-way street town centro.  We find parking right in front of Eiffel’s Church where the police man says he won’t ticket us if we are tourists.  We trust the one-armed officer.

Eiffel's church

Yes, the Eiffel, A.G. Eiffel of the Eiffel tower fame, designed & erected this church for Paris’ 1889 World’s Fair.  It was then disassembled & stored in Brussels for shipping to West Africa but instead it was shipped here to Santa Rosalia when a director of the Boleo Company signed for it.

 

inside Eiffel church

The church is considered beautiful more for the prefabrication of the times rather than its architectural style.

Santa Rosalia is an old mining town founded in the 1880’s by a French company to extract copper ore.  Mining lasted until the 1950’s, now the town is a fishing and ferry port (ferry to mainland).  El centro looks like a close knit neighbourhood of houses until you find yourself in the middle of it all.

el centro

We walk through the town, discovering that Saturdays are not good days to require banking services.  We noticed that Fridays aren’t either.  Line-ups are outside the bank doors and down the side walks, as if there’s a premier showing of the newest movie.

We stop to buy fresh baguettes at the well-known French-style bakery Panaderia El Boleo, and get sandwich makings and watermelon at a mercado and head back out of town (no parking ticket), surprised to find this nice looking library

Gandhi library

We found a beach at San Bruno where we could leisurely consume lunch with turkey vultures as company!  Maret started a Watermelon Stand……

watermelon stand

We drive the windy (but good) highway through coastal mountains until we reach Mulege, a town we’ve heard good things about.  We enter town through the big stucco arch

and manuever the one-way streets taking in the view of market stores, open restaurants, a colourful elementary school with playground.

Heading south we come to the Baia Concepcion, gorgeous with islands, multiple stretches of sandy beaches, clusters of houses or RV’s with palapas.

Posada Concepcion

We find our friend’s house at Posada Concepcion and can totally understand why they bought at this location in 1996.

#3

Meralyn & AlMeralyn & Al

Right on a sheltered bay with shallow waters safe for kids. Paradise.  Besides the scorpions, sting rays and such that come with living in a place like this.

play ground

ToveliToveli

We start to ask around about a rental house, something to use as a home-base for a month or more.  What would rent for $500/month for a couple they are asking $800 for our family.  I don’t think so!!!! 

 

We venture the short but difficult climb to Playa Escondida (‘hidden beach’) which is a small isolated beach.  Picture perfect with only 2 other campers at present.  We call this home.

bro's hug

 

VIEW FROM OUR KITCHEN

 ivy boat

lunch at San Bruno