February 26, 2015

Mexico: Kayaking from San Nicolas to Loreto

I was invited to join an eight day paddle from San Nicolas to Loreto with Baja Kayak Adventures. I couldn't wait to get on the water and sleep in my tent. The following eight days we...

watched the sunset,

collected seashells,

hiked in the afternoons,

ate like Queens and Kings,

watched the sunrise over the Sea of Cortez,

kayaked to snorkel spots,

searched for vultures, 

explored to find cave paintings,

dipped our toes in the clear water and scrambled up the volcano on Isla Coronado.  

February 15, 2015

Mexico: Baja California Sur Road Trip, Part V

When I was traveling through mainland Mexico during December a fellow dorm mate recommended Balandra Beach just outside of La Paz. Since I never turn down a serious recommendation we took the rental car for a drive along the beautiful coastline out to white sand and turquoise water. Balandra did not disappoint. To our surprise there were even sit-upon kayaks for rent. 

February 14, 2015

Mexico: Baja California Sur Road Trip, Part IV

Ever since September 2013 when I landed in Cancun I wanted to swim with whale sharks. Unfortunately, by the time I had arrived in Mexico the large friendly giants had left the Caribbean sea.

Enter winter in Baja! When I heard La Paz had whale sharks in March I couldn't wait.

To finish off our road trip my mom and I drove eight hours south to La Paz. I wasn't going to miss the chance to swim with whale sharks even if it meant I had to wake up at sunrise and crank the air conditioning and eat spoonfuls of peanut butter so I wouldn't fall asleep

After one wrong turn we parked the rental and strolled La Paz's malecon until a man wearing a visor with fake white hair gave us the best whale shark offer we had heard, 300 pesos including a wetsuit and a shark swim guarantee.

My mom and I loaded into Joel's panga and went to search for the large spotted sharks. Within minutes Joel was telling my mom and I to jump in and get swimming. Turns out whale sharks are fast and I really had to work to keep up with them. I also preferred to stay near the head since the shark fin terrified me.

Simply said: swimming with whale sharks should be on everyones bucket list.

¡T W O T H U M B S U P! 

February 12, 2015

Mexico: Baja California Sur Road Trip, Part III

{ Kuyima Camp } 

Enough with driving, we needed a boat ride added to our trip itinerary. My mom and I drove the sandy washboard road out to Laguna San Ignacio to camp along the Pacific Ocean at camp Kuyima. Camp Kuyima is a place I never wanted to leave. I felt at home and back to backpacking life within seconds. We set up our tent on crushed seashells and enjoyed the sunset followed by garlic scallops at Kuyima lodge for dinner.

After sleeping under the stars, freezing cold, we woke up early to join a grey whale tour. With only six people in the panga we powered out of the lagoon to find the whales. The grey whales in Baja during the winter months are the same grey whales we see in Canada during the summer months. The whales swim south every year to have their babies in the same lagoons along Baja's west coast.

I had low expectations for the whale tour but to my surprise we saw grey whale after grey whale after grey whale. A few times there were so many whales I couldn't decide where to focus my attention (I know, tough problem to have). A momma whale and baby even came up to the panga so we could have a little whale/human contact. Grey whales feel like a hard marshmallow, that's the best way I can describe it. After having the chance to pet the momma grey whale I was their #1 fan, order me a whale tail necklace and t-shirt and sign me up for a fan club newsletter. I am hooked on these creatures.

February 10, 2015

Mexico: Baja California Sur Road Trip, Part II

| Punta Chivato |

When I heard Punta Chivato had a shell beach we were committed to making the extra 1.5 hour drive so I could collect seashells. The drive on the bumpy sand road in our tin can was slow. I think our average speed was 3 mph but we made it without any nicks or dings. After exploring, having lunch and looking at the private planes parked outside of private homes we found the shell beach. It was unlike any beach I have seen with piles and piles of beautiful shells. I filled up my gallon ziplock within seconds. 

| Santa Rosalia |

After our car was loaded down with the beach in the back seat we headed north to Santa Rosalia, a mining town on the Sea of Cortez. Mining seems to be in Santa Rosalia's blood. The copper mines have recently reopened after being closed for generations. Although some might say that the culture of San Rosalia is its mines there is more behind the city then large trucks and black smoke. The architecture of the town center is noticeably unique. The buildings are made out of wood and it just so happends that the wood is from the Pacific Northwest. My mom and I read that the copper was shipped north and instead of the freights returning empty they were filled with wood from Tacoma. How about that?

February 9, 2015

Mexico: Baja California Sur Road Trip, Part I

After my dad flew home, my mom stayed an extra week (retired person bonus) to explore more of Baja. We rented a car through Fox Rent A Car and hit Mexico 1 heading north. 

Baja California Sur Road Trip Route:
Loreto to Playa Santispac of Bahia Concepcion
Play Santispac to Punto Chivato
Punto Chivato to Santa Rosalia
Santa Rosalia to Laguna San Ignacio
Laguna San Ignacio to San Ignacio 
San Ignacio to La Paz
La Paz to Loreto 

| Playa Santispac |

{ Sunrise }

First stop worth noting was Playa Santispac of Bahia Concepcion where we camped for a night and dined at Anna's Restaurant. Anna's food was top notch. I highly recommend the garlic prawns and their tacos were decked out. 

All the beaches along Bahia Concepcion are full of RV's who stay for months or are just passing through. At first glance we didn't like the idea of camping amongst the RV's but turns out no one ran their generators all night and for the most part once the sun went down everyone went inside their mobile homes. My mom and I quickly felt at home with our tent while we walked the beach and talked with the neighbors. 

Anna's also rents kayaks so before heading north we rented a kayak and went for a morning paddle. The water around the off shore island was so clear we could "snorkel" from the kayak. Win!

February 1, 2015

Mexico: Animalandia in Loreto

After a week in Loreto my dad had to return back to Seattle but, not without a travel companion. Animalandia, an animal shelter in Loreto, sets up a table when the cruise ships are in town in hopes one of the Mexico pups gets some love and is adopted. This chihuahua puppy (^^^) was adopted by a family in Seattle and since dogs aren't allowed on cruise ships they were waiting for someone who was flying to Seattle to bring their puppy to his new home. 

Enter my dad. 

The two of them were quite the travel duo and the two pound puppy made it home safely.