Baja California Sur, Mexico: Bajas y Altas!
Baja California; Literally in Spanish, ‘Low California’. Whilst the week in Baja was certainly filled with some highs, and ridiculous lows (including a trip to the hospital at 2 AM to get the quintessential, and right of passage, needle in the behind to fight against what turned out to be a bad case of gas), the trip was also filled with ALTAS!
Having successfully finished the first semester of ‘studying’ in Guadalajara, myself and six friends decided to buck up and pack up our belongings for what was to be the most beautiful (think sunrises fit for a rainbow paddle-pop colour scheme), nature-orientated (turtles crawling out of the sand to stumble and bumble to the ocean), and ridiculous (seven 20-something year old’s driving a family mover – enough said), week of our lives.
Having heard a lot from fellow friends, we knew that Baja was going to blow our minds. The camping and oceans were enough to awaken the inner coast in me! We touched down in La Paz on Thursday afternoon and headed to Playa Balandra, where upon unpacking our 2-man Walmart shacks, a lovely Mexican man came to take our food order and delivered fresh ceviche and piña coladas to our hungry tummies! The drive from La Paz to Playa Balandra was beautiful enough – think cactus filled hills and little fishing villages. This is the Hollywood Mexico that we all knew. We woke up in the morning to a pre-arranged whale shark and seal lion swimming sensation! (‘Mar y Aventuras’ is a fantastic company if needed) This took us out to Espiritu Santos island, where we swam and flipped with wild sea lions, and learnt the hard way that whale-sharks are a lot harder to spot if it’s cloudy above.
After a sleep-less night on a beach between Cabo San Lucas and Cabo San Jose, we were blessed with the beautiful beaches of Cabo Pulma. Empty except for a few gnarly Californian dudes searching south for some soul-soothing waves. We downed some (warm) beers on the beach. As the search for ceversas frios continued, we stumbled across what might have been an oasis for alcohol. Beers turned to mango mojitos, and maybe 6 drinks deep, we had signed up for the honeymoon suite (for 7). We spent the rest of the afternoon playing cards and chatting away, and ridding our scalps of sand.
The last few days in Baja were spent driving up and down the southern roads, peeing into the wind on highways, Oxxo dinners, amazing banter and pure happiness. Todos Santos (and neighbour to the famous ‘Hotel California’) was a fantastic sleepover. Beach fires and BABY TURTLES hatching in the morning is something I will never forget; along with the little unlucky turtle who was gobbled up by a dog whose owner had turned away for 4.65 seconds. The last night was spent awakening our inner ‘Alexander Supertramp’ and we spent the night in an abandoned bus, which was 1/10 for accommodation as we had our own pet rattlesnake! But 17/10 for views.
Thank you Baja for everything. Thank you for helping me learn that sandbugs are more itchy than mosquitos, that ocean swims are the best showers, and that nothing can get us BAJA!