Scorpion Bay, San Ignacio Salt Flats

From La Purisma, I headed west to the Pacific coast on a nice sandy road. I was surprised when I encountered pavement (new, I assume, as it was not shown on my map). See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 26.2086, -112.3598  This smooth paved road lasted only until San Juanico.

Sandy Road - SportsmobileNew Paved Road to San Juanico (Scorpion Bay)

Bahía San Juanico (Scorpion Bay)

Sandy beaches and the busy fishing town of San Juanico. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 26.2597, -112.4714 

Bahia San Juanico - BeachBahia San Juanico - BeachSan Juanico (Scorpion Bay) - Beach

Salitrales San Ignacio

From San Juanico, I continued northwest driving a smooth dirt track over Salitrales San Ignacio — salt flats up the coast to Laguna San Ignacio. This driving surface was much more pleasant than the usual washboard or rocky roads I'd been experiencing.

Estero El Dátil

Road - SportsmobileRoad - Intersection - Sign: "Dátil" - SportsmobileSandy Road - SportsmobilePlaya - Road - SportsmobilePlaya - Road - SportsmobileEstero el Cuarenta - Beach - Bird

Estero Delgadito

Studying satellite photos of this area before my trip, I found a road out the two-mile narrow peninsula northwest of the fishing village of El Delgadito. It looked like a beautifully remote place to camp. Tracking this location down in person, I was stopped by a friendly resident of El Delgadito who assumed I was lost trying to find my way to San Ignacio. After explaining that I really was intending to go this way, he shared that he thought this spot was his favorite, most beautiful location — [almost] surrounded by water. He was extremely chatty (and patient with my limited Spanish), finally inviting me to breakfast and fishing the next morning (tempting but I declined).

Village of El DelgaditoVillige of El Delgadito

End of the peninsula, surrounded by the waters of Estero Delgadito. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 26.6352, -113.0812 

Estero Delgadito - End of Peninsula - Beach - Cactus - Road - CardónEstero Delgadito - End of Peninsula - Beach - Campsite - SportsmobileEstero Delgadito - End of Peninsula - Beach - Bird - Tricolored HeronEstero Delgadito - End of Peninsula - Beach - Birds - White IbisEstero Delgadito - End of Peninsula - Beach - MarshEstero Delgadito - Beach - Rabbit

A fascinating 20-foot wide tidepool by the mangroves had trapped a few fish waiting for the next high tide. In it were three one-foot-long rays (skates?) patiently fluttering about, and a very skittish long narrow fish who was so uncomfortable trapped in this pool with my presence that he managed to beach himself several times zipping this way and that — trying to swim away. This was a great place to watch for birds and other wildlife.

Estero Delgadito - End of Peninsula - Beach - TidepoolEstero Delgadito - End of Peninsula - Beach - Tidepool - RayEstero Delgadito - End of Peninsula - Beach - Tidepool - Fish

Estero el Cuarenta

Another peninsula extends southeast from El Delgadito into Estero el Cuarenta, with sandy beaches on the Pacific side and mangroves on the marshy estuary side. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 26.5485, -112.9886 

Estero el Cuarenta - Beach - DunesEstero el Cuarenta - BeachEstero el Cuarenta - Beach - SportsmobileEstero el Cuarenta - Beach - BirdsEstero el Cuarenta - Beach - MangroveEstero el Cuarenta - Beach - Mangrove - Bird - Yellow Crowned Night Heron

Then I drove the causeway back across to the salt flats, and continued my journey north again. I passed this abandoned building in the vast emptiness. (My map calls this place Julio Valencia.) The dessicated head of a hammerhead shark lay nearby. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 26.5848, -113.0240 

Julio Valencia - Road - Dam - Salty PondJulio Valencia - Abandoned BuildingJulio Valencia - Abandoned BuildingJulio Valencia - Hammerhead Shark HeadJulio Valencia - Poles - NestsJulio Valencia - Salitrales San Ignacio - Salt Flats - Mirage - Looking Southwest to El DelgaditoSalitrales San Ignacio - Salt Flats - RoadSalitrales San Ignacio - Salt Flats - Sign: "Reserva de la Biosfera el Vizcaíno"Salitrales San Ignacio - Salt Flats - Sign: "Reserva de la Biosfera el Vizcaíno"Laguna San Ignacio - Bird - Osprey

Reaching Laguna San Ignacio, site of whale watching tours that happen during early spring, I headed north — returning to the paved Highway 1 at San Ignacio.