Around the Tip of Baja Sur
We are having some technical difficulties with this post, here it is but it will be a little more “polished” when we get to a fast and cheap internet source in a few days… Thank you.
From La Paz we headed south to Todos Santos, which we had heard is a neat little town on the pacific side. Todos Santos has a nice downtown area with lot’s of art galleries and stores with a nice mix of crafts and art by locals and expats who have made their home there. It is a good town to spend an afternoon walking around and enjoying the shops, the scenery and the relaxed atmosphere. We stayed at a little campground in town which was nothing special but they did have electricity for us to plug in and recover. We are still having troubles with our dead/dying battery, and are now having to find some place to plug in every few days. This tends to work out though, as it is nice to have a hot shower and a place to recharge all the other electronics every few days anyways. At the RV park we met a couple, Brian (Tallman) and Laura, who were on their way down to the east coast a little north of Los Cabos. They manage a small hotel on the beach there for the winter and they invited us to come stay a few days and check it out when we headed that way.
After a night away from the beach, we were missing the sound of surf to lull us to sleep, so we headed down the coast and found a beach a little way south near Los Cerritos. It was kind of a weird place to stay… apparently the land along the beachfront had been divided up and sold without deeds (this seems to happen often in Baja), some shady business had gone down and the property is sitting in litigation limbo, which in turn makes the property open for free camping. The whole beach was divided up and fenced off into tiny parcels and it was a maze of fencing to drive through to find an empty plot to set up camp for the night. It was yet another beautiful beach and we were happy to be lulled to sleep again by the sound of the waves crashing in the surf.
The next day we headed down to Cabo San Lucas. We were somewhat reluctant to go there as it sounds pretty much like a tourist trap, but at the same time we have this tremendous curiosity to see everything we can, so into the city we drove. Cabo San Lucas turned out to be the tourist trap we thought it would be and we ended up driving through town without stopping. The town is set in one of the nicest bays in Baja as far as beaches and water go, but unfortunately the infrastructure has been completely built around tourism and there is not a single authentic or interesting place in town. We drove on to San Jose del Cabo a few kilometers down the road. The two towns are referred to collectively as “Los Cabos” since they are so close to each other, but we found San Jose has been developed more tastefully (in our personal taste I guess). The town is more enjoyable for strolls around town. There is a nice “historic” part of town with neat shops and art galleries housed in old restored buildings that give it a nicer appeal than Cabo San Lucas. We spent an afternoon walking around and checking out the shops. Driving through Cabo San Lucas and looking at all the restaurants had given us a craving for a hamburger for some strange reason so we found the gringo-est looking place in town and had a delicious burger and a beer while watching a Steelers game.
The next day we headed north to some hot springs near Aguas Calientes that Brian and Laura had told us about in Todos Santos. Apparently Aguas Calientes has nice hot springs, but it has been well developed for more tourism so we opted for the lesser known springs. The hot springs we went to are outside of the small town (10 houses or less) of San Jorge on a ranchers property. The spring comes out at the base of a big rock cliff and there is a beautiful sand bottomed pool that has been formed with rocks, sitting up above a small creek of cold water. The water isn’t especially hot, but it is in a beautiful setting and best of all we were the only ones there. We spent the morning soaking in the pool and laying out in the rocks, occasionally getting in the cold water of the creek running below.
When we were sufficiently soaked and our toes and fingers wrinkled, we headed north to Cabo Pulmo, where Tallman and Laura are caretaking at Papagallo, a beautiful little hotel on the beach. Bill, the owner of Papagallo, was there as well and we had a great few days hanging out with them. We really liked it here. There is a main palapa building with bricked in rooms 2 bathrooms, a kitchen area, and living area, as well as two more rooms upstairs near by. A really nice little patio is attached out front with gorgeous views of the beach below. This place would be perfect for a large group of people to come stay and relax for awhile. It is very comfortable and we instantly felt like we could easily stay a month or maybe even longer….The other great part of Papagallo is that is located in the middle of a big empty beach right near one of the only hard coral reefs along the pacific coast of north america and a marine sanctuary. Needless to say the snorkeling and fishing here is excellent. As I said before, we could have easily set up camp and hung out here for awhile, but the immenseness of the journey ahead keeps pulling us along, making it hard to stay in any one place for more than a few days.