Day 7 – Cataviña, Baja California Norte to Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur
8:15 am, November 22, 2014
The next morning we rode back to this small oasis of beauty in the Baja desert and took these photos.
The Curious Cirios Plant also known as the Boojum Tree
The cirios plant, also known as the Boojum Tree after a line in Lewis Carrol’s “The Hunting of the Snark”, seems to grow like a cactus but is of the Ocotillo family. They have long tall trunks that grow 8 feet and higher. They sprout leaves up their trunk that grow profusely during and after the rainy season, and they bloom with lovely white or yellow flowers from a bunch of shoots right at their top. Some Cirios have one or two branches that grow parallel to the trunk that also bear leaves. This was the end of November and these curious and bizarre plants were still green.
The walk through the cactus, palm and cirios desert today was amazingly beautiful. But we needed to move on — on to Guerrero Negro, the largest town in the Mexican State of Baja California Sur, our next stop on our adventure.
The Road to Guerrero Negro
The scenery was stunning!
Once again we were into cactus as far as the eye could see. The road was straight and heading south into more and more sun. Although it was hot in the sun the wind was high making it cool to ride. We rode past bare patches of dirt, sand and scrub, more cacti, then a small village or two.
It was an odd experience to be riding along the main freeway through the Baja Peninsula and come upon a small village with a single stop light in the center of “town”. We respected the speed limit going through these villages; there were many school children—in smart school uniforms—walking along and laughing together. But whether or not we wanted to slow down, major road bumps made it mandatory!
We saw a multitude of “graveyards” for old, beat-up cars and tires. We saw tires everywhere! Frequently there were taco stands or people selling wonderful smelling food nearby.
Everyone seemed busy.
Cleaning, sweeping, digging was going on everywhere.
Road signs warned of cattle on the road but all we saw were cows and horses grazing on the sides of the road, not very interested in us. There was little traffic and most of that were trucks (semis) which we passed with ease.
Many comments about travelling through the Baja warn of narrow, winding roads with no extra room to pass other vehicles. It’s true, the edges of the road are very narrow and the lanes themselves are just wide enough for commercial vehicles to pass each other with an inch or two to spare. It was most difficult on hills where some trucks and RVs took wide turns especially going downhill.
As we neared Guerrero Negro the land on either side of the road became even more sparse and desert-like. Just before the Baja California Norte border with Baja California Sur, lies a fabulous motel and restaurant. It appears to be in the middle of nowhere and it is. This small, rather non-descript inn has an excellent reputation for cleanliness, friendliness and 5-Star dining. This is where we stopped for two nights of fun, pleasant company and superb dining.