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Baja

 

 

A little history of Baja

The Baja California Peninsula or Lower California is a peninsula of North America in the west of Mexico. It extends some 1250 km (775 miles) from Mexicali in the north to Cabo San Lucas in the south, separating the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California (or "Sea of Cortés").

The peninsula is divided into two parts:

The northern part is the state of Baja California[1]. The citizens of Baja California are named Baja-Californiano (Lower-Californian in English).
The southern part, below 28° north, is the state of Baja California Sur. The citizens of Baja California Sur are named Sud-Californiano (South-Californian in English).
 
1532: Hernán Cortés sends three ships north along the coast of Mexico in search of the Island of California. The three ships disappear without a trace.
1533: Cortés sends a follow-up mission to search for the lost ships. Pilot Fortún Ximénez leads a mutiny and founds a settlement in the Bay of La Paz before being killed.
1539: Francisco de Ulloa explores both coasts.
1690s1700s: Spanish settlement in California
1804: The Spanish colony of California is divided into Alta ("Upper") and Baja ("Lower") California.
In 1850, after Alta California has been annexed by the United States, Baja California is further divided into northern and southern territories.
1853: William Walker, with 45 men, captures the capital city of La Paz and declares himself President of the Republic of Lower California. Mexico forces him to retreat a few months later.
1930: Baja California is further divided into Northern and Southern territories.
1952: The North Territory of Baja California becomes the 29th state of Mexico, Baja California. The southern portion, below 28°N, remains a federally administered territory.
1973: The 1700km (1060 miles) long Trans-Peninsular Highway (Mexican Federal Highway 1), is finished. It is the first paved road that spans the entire peninsula[1]. The highway was built by the Mexican government to improve Baja's economy and increase tourism[2].
1974: The South Territory of Baja California becomes the 31st state, Baja California Sur

 

 

 

Baja Winters Trip

We had our briefing the night before with Becky, John and Dusty from Baja Winters: www.bajawinters.comFor more about our wonderful experience with Baja Winters Caravan Company go to the end of day 12 and read our summary about this super family and company.  

They provided wine and cheese for our enjoyment and a very comprehensive overview of our trip.

We learned about protocol on the road ;

Rules of the road in Mexico

1. Turn signals are not what they seem. Generally, a left turn signal is an invitation for you to pass, not an indication of the driver's intention to turn left... if you don't see a road ahead to the left, then it's a signal for you to pass. 

2. When coming to a stop light and it is flashing green, STOP. It will be red in less time then you have to get through the intersection. Kinda like an amber light but changes quicker.  if you go through it, your busted.  

3. Avoid driving at night.   Fences are often poor or non existent and as a result there tends to be lots of animals on the highway including big ones like cows

4. Stick to the main roads if you're alone. If you're adventurous or with a group, the back roads can lead to many exiting and unique places but try and get advice on conditions from locals before proceeding..  Mexico toll roads, or cuota roads are kept in excellent condition and exist in highly traveled parts of the country.  They are affordable and can significantly cut down on the time to your destination

5. Don't drive drunk or drugged. Ever. You don't want to make friends in a sweaty jail cell.

7. Do not offer to bribe a policeman if pulled over. If you're pulled over and think you're being asked for a bribe, ask to be taken to the jefe (chief) - if the officer just wants money from you, he will probably back off at that request. If you do try to bribe a cop, keep in mind that many Mexican policeman are honest, and you may get in hot water for offering a bribe.

Pay traffic fines at the local police station.

We also learned about what sites we would see along the way, military inspection stations, immigration, tours and much, much more.....

Now we were ready for our trip. We would learn more along the way.

 

 

San Diego KOA Campground to Estero Beach Hotel/Resort

 

Departure: 8am

We lined up outside in a single row of RV's. We were all anxious for the day to start. This was the first day of our journey into the unknown. The sun decided not to come out today. The temp was cool and light rain was falling. We did roll call over the CB radios and each of us gave our call signs for the first time,. We headed out the gate and were on our way. We headed across the US/Mexico border, through Tijuana and  Ensenada and on to our destination for the night. I must say at this point that the scenery did not change drastically, but the living conditions did as seen in my photos below. 

Today was a bit of a culture shock to John and I. We did not know what to expect. There was poverty and wealth in many regions we passed through and we immediately knew we were in a foreign Country.  Although we feel fortunate to have grown up in Canada and have the services and standard of living our government provides us we realize this is a developing nation and it continues to improve everyday.  The Mexican people are very proud of their country and history and their deep sense of family, hospitality and sharing is reminiscent of what we may have lost a bit of north of the border.    

We arrived approx 12 pm at our RV Resort and parked our rigs, then had our briefing.

We formed groups to head out to see a tourist site "Bufadora" (blow hole).

Located at 17 miles south of Ensenada by taking the Transpeninsular highway to Maneadero. From there follow the clearly marked road that goes west and takes you all the way to La Bufadora, which is located at the end of the Punta Banda Peninsula. The scenic paved road offers you a beautiful panoramic view of the Ensenada Bay, its beaches and Todos Santos Island.

ORIGIN

A deep underwater canyon leads to the cave in the cliff, gouged out over eons of time by trillions of tons of pounding surf. The surge of heavy ocean swells is channeled through the canyon and forced beneath the surface into the narrow, tunnel-like entrance of the cave. This phenomenon of nature has been a strong influence in the tourist development of Punta Banda peninsula.

DESCRIPTION. (quoted from a source)

This spectacular marine geyser explodes upwards sometimes as high as 80 ft. above sea level, producing a tremendous sound. This is the reason for its name, "The Blowhole". The invading ocean wave collides with the air that is drawn down in a pumping action caused by the force of receding waters after the previous spout. For an instant, trapped air and water choke the cave, then the compressed air and water explode through the only exit. This marine geyser is considered as the second highest of the world, after Hawai. Other "Blowholes" exist in Australia, Tahiti and one in Japan, but Japan's is artificial. "La Bufadora" is the most spectacular of all of them, because it's situated on a rocky inlet near the tip of the ruggedly beautiful Punta Banda peninsula. Its tremendous roar seems to come from a huge angry animal at bay. Against this background of sound and fury, exploding water and flying spray, a legend has come down through the years: "The Legend of the Whale Jail". A century ago, within easy sight of The Blowhole, there was a whaling station below the bluff close to the water's edge. The whalers spun a yarn of a mother whale returning to the Arctic with her new-born calf from the breeding grounds at Scammon Lagoon in Guerrero Negro, four hundred miles south. One night the baby whale skipped away to explore a mysterious under water cave in the cliffs of Punta Banda. A whale calf grows very fast - fifty pounds a day, or more than two pounds an hour - and this "little" fellow stayed in the cave all night. By morning he was too big to squeeze through the narrow, crevice-like entrance of the cave. The following day the whalers in the camp saw a small spout rising mysteriously from the cave and heard the frightened sobs of the trapped baby whale. As years passed the spouts grew larger, his lamentations louder. And legend says that the spout, accompanied by a tumultuous crash emerging from the Blowhole today, is the spout and fulmination of a still-trapped but now full-grown leviathan.  Here's the days pictures.

San Diego KOA

 

Time for a break

 

You can't see it very well , but there is a tuna pot in the ocean worth approx 1,000,000 and it is guarded 24/7 by a fishing vessel from any would be thieves. It was extremely overcast and rainy.

Estero Beach RV Resort close to Ensenada

La Bufadora

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