Puertecitos to Bahia de los Angeles

Pavement was definitely behind me as I followed the main road along the coast south of Puertecitos. The desert met the shore here, but was still relatively barren — punctuated by more signs of life only in the river washes I passed through. in the washes were these trees, hosts to some kind of parasitic growths — the bright yellow stringy meshes pictured below.

South of Puertecitos - Road South (12/31/2001 8:26 AM)South of Puertecitos - Wash (12/31/2001 9:23 AM)South of Puertecitos - Tree in Wash with Yellow Growths (12/31/2001 9:27 AM)South of Puertecitos (panorama) (12/31/2001 9:07 AM)

Las Encantadas

The next place with any kind of population was right before this road veered away from the coast, inland back towards the paved Route 1. Here, I investigated the seashore community of Las Encantadas, which seemed to consist of quite fancy buildings... and this little upturned shack. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 29.90708, -114.44115 

Las Encantadas - Overturned Hut (12/31/2001 9:42 AM)Las Encantadas (panorama) (12/31/2001 9:43 AM)

Punta Bufeo

I explored the dunes of Punta Bufeo, just to the southeast, and stopped for lunch. This was the first time I'd encountered turkey vultures — which would later turn out to be quite common. These large black birds with bright red heads were warming themselves on the hot sand of the dunes. I tried to take a close-up photograph of a far-off bird by holding a digital camera up to binoculars, and was surprised that it worked at all! See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 29.899253, -114.440720 

Bufeo Dunes - Geoff (panorama) (12/31/2001 10:04 AM)Bufeo Dunes - Turkey Vultures (12/31/2001 9:57 AM)Bufeo Dunes - Turkey Vulture - Through Binoculars (12/31/2001 10:25 AM)Bufeo Dunes - Geoff Camera Binoculars (12/31/2001 10:33 AM)

Calamajué Road

Continuing inland, I stopped at the next sign of human life, the famous Coco's Corner, for a refreshment break, and admired the beer can art. Coco's Corner is situated at the intersection between the 13 mile road that goes southwest back to the paved Route 1, and a road that goes 20 miles northeast to the seaside settlement of Calamajué. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 29.51710, -114.29106  My map showed that there was a longer way to get back to Route 1, on a road going south. This turned out to be a sometimes faint track following the Calamajué streambed as it passed through the Sierra Calamajué range. The map also indicated that I'd pass by a mine and the ruin site of the Misión Calamajué. I spotted no ruins, but there was definitely a sign of mining in the past — many years ago, apparently. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 29.42015, -114.19872  (I would actually find the mission site on a later trip.)

Coco's Corner (panorama) (12/31/2001 12:34 PM)Valle Calamajué - Cardon Cactus Sun (12/31/2001 1:26 PM)Misión Calamajué Site - Mining Equipment (12/31/2001 1:46 PM)

Once south of the Sierra Calamajué, I was greeted by what was almost a forest of lush desert life, including my favorite Baja plant, the boojum, and this 10 foot tall asparagus. The asparagus was actually a Mezcal Agave bud, just about to flower. After flowering, the whole plant dies, as in the last photo below.

Valle Calamajué - South - Boojum (12/31/2001 2:17 PM)Valle Calamajué - South - Sandy Road (12/31/2001 3:00 PM)Agave Mezcal - Flower Bud (12/31/2001 3:08 PM)Agave Mezcal After Bloom (1/1/2002 10:52 AM)

Bahía de los Angeles

Returning to the paved Route 1, I headed south to the Bahía de los Angeles intersection See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 29.04528, -114.15239 , where these guys were selling gasoline out of a drum in the back of a pickup truck. Desiring to be with people for New Years Eve, I headed east to Bahía de los Angeles on the mostly paved (potholes!) road east, and where I stayed at the gringo-occupied Camp Gecko (now closed), which is marked by this misplaced Interstate 5 freeway sign. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 28.89954, -113.53151 

Parador Punta Prieta - Selling Gas from Drums (12/31/2001 3:30 PM)Road to Bahía de los Angeles (12/31/2001 4:03 PM)Bahía de los Angeles - Camp Gecko Entrance (12/31/2001 4:21 PM)Camp Gecko - Tent Under Palapa (12/31/2001)Camp Gecko - New Years Eve Party (12/31/2001)

The next morning, I was a little slow to get going — not because of a hangover, but because I was distracted by the sunrise! It took me over an hour to finally leave Bahía de los Angeles. These early-rising turkey vultures warming themselves on a cactus also seemed to be slow to get moving.

Camp Gecko - Sunrise (01/01/2002)Camp Gecko - Sunrise - Sunlight Mountaintop (01/01/2002)Bahía de los Angeles - Turkey Vultures Warming Their Wings on Cactus (1/1/2002 7:47 AM)