Driving to Mulegé

We continued on Highway 1, across the Baja peninsula towards Santa Rosalía on the east coast. Flying along on smooth pavement, we stopped once at Km E-41 See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 27.4166, -112.6069  to see gorgeous elephant trees living amongst an old lava flow. Such a stark contrast!

Lava Fields - Little CactusLava Fields - Elephant Trees

Devil's Grade

We then drove down what is known as the "Devil's Grade", where the eastern escarpment of the peninsula sharply dives towards the sea. Here, the highway winds back and forth down to Santa Rosalía on the coast as it descends 1100 feet in 7 miles. We spotted a Green Angels truck waiting midway down. The Green Angels are a Mexican AAA equivalent whose fleet of trucks drive up and down Highway 1 helping tourists with their car trouble.

Road - "Devil's Grade" - Steep DescentRoad - Green Angels

Santa Rosalía

We had heard wonderful things about the formerly French Santa Rosalía: a church there which was designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), a terrific French culture, and an amazing bakery. But it also used to be a mining town and it shows! We found Santa Rosalía to be a hideous town, at least when viewed from the highway. Perhaps we'll give it a chance some other time, but we wanted to get to Bahía Concepción, so we flew on by.

Punta Chivato, Punta Mapachito

At this point, it started getting dark, and we needed to find a place to sleep. Laura had read about the deserted beaches of Punta Chivato in the Moon Handbooks Baja, and also in The Magnificent Peninsula. So we turned off Highway 1 at Km 156 See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 27.02921, -112.0852  and headed east. This road had completely changed from the description we had read. It was no longer a washboarded dirt track, but now a wide freshly graded road out to a new development of huge beach houses. We drove out to these houses and then found a small dirt track heading away to the south. Despite the numerous "For Sale" signs with U.S. phone numbers, we soon found ourselves in undeveloped (not for long?) land and drove out to a gorgeous beach at Punta Mapachito. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 27.02959, -112.0078  We arrived just in time to watch a deep red sunset.

Punta Chivato - Punta Mapachito - Land For SalePunta Chivato - Punta Mapachito - SunsetPunta Chivato - Punta Mapachito - SunsetPunta Chivato - Punta Mapachito - Sunset - Campsite - Sportsmobile

In the morning, we explored our beach, finding numerous wacky shells. Just past our campsite we found that the road ended at a lagoon, so we had to retrace our steps to Highway 1.

Punta Chivato - Sportsmobile - CampsitePunta Chivato - Sea ShellsPunta Chivato - Sea ShellsPunta Chivato - Yellow ClamPunta Chivato - Pufferfish RemainsPunta Chivato - Lagoon Marsh

We also checked out the nearby Km 151 road out Punta Chivato See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 26.98844, -112.0606 , which the Moon Handbooks Baja describes. It led to beautiful beach that was more remote than where we had camped the night before but didn't have quite the same shell diversity.

Mulegé

We then drove on to Mulegé, picking up some groceries in "Super Mini Davis" which had the most diverse selection of "gringo foods" that we had seen yet. Wow. We explored the windy streets to the Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 26.8851, -111.9863  above a date palm tree-lined river, and then continued on Highway 1 to Bahía Concepción.

Mulegé - Grocery Store - Super Mini Davis - Abarrotes - Bimbo Bread TruckMulegé - Street - InternetMulegé - Mission ChurchMulegé - Mission Church - Cactus WindowMulegé - Mission ChurchMulegé - RiverMulegé - River