Baja California


Between deserts and cacti, waters populated by whales and sea lions, always a clear sky. A voyage into the Mexican state of Baja California.

Italia

This travel experience was born from a “random assemblage” of six people united by a single passion: travelling by motorbike.

So those six sinister characters (Fausto, Lucia, Marco, Serena, Marco and Vincenzo) goes to Los Angeles to enjoy a delicious French Dipped Sandwich from Philippe the Original, waiting to reach the Baja California (i.e. the Mexican California).

The Baja California Peninsula is a long strip of arid land that is colorated along the coast and around the river beds that are formed during the rainy season, bounded by the waters of the Sea of Cortez on the east side and by the Pacific Ocean on the west coast.

The Los Cabos region

Our adventure starts from the southern end of the Baja California, from the Los Cabos region – aka the “End of the Earth” being the last territory of the peninsula –  which presents a curious duality:

  • on the one hand the quiet San Jose del Cabo, that maintains the look and feeling of an authentic Mexican pueblo, with its central square, its narrow cobbled streets, its colonial buildings;
  • on the other hand Cabo San Lucas, on the opposite side of the “Corridor”, famous for deep sea fishing and for many bars that “pumping” blaring music.

It is with Stefano, an excellent local guide, that we visit one of the most popular places: El Arco, also called “Land’s end“, a big arch of rock that forms a sort of window on the ocean, along with cliffs and rocks molded from the fury of the winds and the sea force, which are home to a colony of friendly sea lions.

Cabo San Lucas - El Arco

The next day we start our journey to El Triunfo, the old mining town, where stands the curious chimney of Gustav Eiffell, the artist who built the Parisian tower.

Start of bike tour

Finally the long awaited moment comes: the departure of the actual tour, the one full of such kind of emotions that only the two wheels can offer. A HD Electra Glide, a HD Street Glide, a HD Heritage Softail and an Indian Chieftain will be the our travel companions for the next days. Two cute characters of EagleRider Motorcycle Tours provide support to us, Jeff and Sean, who seem escaped from the pen of a cartoonist but that show a professional guide and a faithful driver of the mean of support.

We drive along the Mexican Federal Highway 1 from south to north, run into the town of Todos Santos, La Paz, Baja Magdalena, Loreto, Sant’Ignacio, Guerrero Negro, Catavina, San Quintin and (about 1.300 mi).

The scenery is simply magnificent: bright colors and intense, amazing and intoxicating scents, pure white beaches, wilderness and arid where cardon – cactus by the powerful arms that rise up to 18 meters – and cirios – a kind of inverted carrot – are the undisputed protagonists of the Cataviña’s desert, a spectacle of nature. It seems to be entered into a western movie screenplay: desert, cactus, the sky always clear of a dazzling blue.

Cataviñá - Cardon Cactus

But the Baja California also has its own history, represented especially by the remains of the ancient missions of the Franciscan and Jesuit monks – who reached the Baja California in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth century with the aim to evangelize native peoples – including those of San José del Cabo, El Triunfo, Todos Santo, Sant’Ignacio and Loreto.

We are so full of enthusiasm also thanks to a special meeting, unique and unrepeatable: the sighting of gray whales. Aboard a small boat we incredulously admire the terrific spectacle offered by the splashing water games of big cetaceans along with their offspring. It’s in these very warm and welcoming waters that gray whales migrate from the Arctic every year from January to March, to breed and care for their puppies.

Bahia Magdalena - Ballena Gris

Just outside Ensenada the territory offers a completely different landscape, following the route of the wine that is produced here and that is exported around the world.

Returning to the United States

It’s time to enter into the United States and enjoying the show offered by the landscaped path along the coast, where the windsurfers show their jumps and stunts on the waves. We reach San Diego, a natural and cultural oasis, the prototype of the Southern California town that evokes the timeless image of the famous Beach Boys song, “California Girls“: sun, sand and palm trees! The climate is ideal, sunny and temperate all year round.

The last stop is Los Angeles, departure city of our adventure, where we leave our motorbikes. Still a challenge with food awaits us: the famous burritos Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac Cafe, an explosive Mexican dishes. And also this time the man won! It’s time to return, while our eyes still keep the images offered by the whales, by the cardon, by the cirios, by the desert wind, by the vast beaches that overlook the ocean, by the Mexicans with their peaceful way of life.

Not the usual motorbike ride, to which we are accustomed, and not even the journey that we expected to do… aware that to make this adventure really special it’s been the group! Once again we come back rich of new and beautiful feelings that make us live and make us grow. Adios Baja California!

Acknowledgments

Marco of America in Moto: thank you so much for arranging an amazing trip for me.

Awards and Prizes

The article:

 

macchina fotograficaSome photos to inspire you to visit Baja California

Pellicola cinemaWatch the video

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