SATURDAY, April 24
The 28th parallel is the border between Baja California and Baja California Sur. To cross the border your vehicle must be disinfected for a M$20 fee. The process is simple. After paying the fee, an attendant turns on a device that sprays a fog of pesticide from a narrow gap in the roadway. Drive over the gap and, voilà, infection free. Doesn’t do a thing for the flu.
The bartender at the Malarrimo Hotel in Guerrero Negro broke into a big smile when Chris and I walked into the restaurant. The next thing did was place an emergency order for more tequila. Just kidding.
Told the waiter we were looking for a guia aves (bird guide). He set us up with Mario’s Tours, which is run out of a restaurant on the highway. First Arturo showed up. He’s not the guide. Franco is the guide, and we will pick him up on the way. Franco, as it turns out, knows something, but not much, about the the area’s avifauna. But he is enthusiastic. So we spend most of the next 3 hours stopping in various places on the outskirts of town – in a relentless wind – while I tell our 2 new friends the names of the birds we see. At least we didn’t have to drive.
Chris arranged a whale watching tour in a nearby lagoon. Stay tuned for a whale watching report.
Bird of the day: Osprey. It was on the ground no more than 100’ from us devouring a large fish. A nest was nearby with an Osprey in residence. I assumed the feeding Osprey would have some explaining to do when he/she returned to the nest. Other birds we saw were Reddish Egret, Tricolored Heron, Little Blue Egret, Eared Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Willet, Double-crested Cormorant, Caspian Tern, Western Grebe and, of all things, Eastern Meadowlark.
We’re still sparring with AT&T. Our last unlock request was denied due to the phone be active on another account. The AT&T customer service rep figured out what was going on and forwarded a memo to the unlocking department. Will they unlock the phone? Stay tuned.
To catch you up:
THURSDAY, April 21
Another day of driving to make up for the ground we lost to the camper repair. We stopped in San Quintin to do laundry at the laundromat we used on our first time through town. The woman who runs the place must think she has a new regular customer.
I checked the status of our 20-gal propane tank in San Quintin – slightly less than half full. I hadn’t filled it since we left Pacifica. Every Baja town bigger than a wide spot in the road seems to have a branch of the Silza company that fills propane tanks – which Mexicans use for cooking, water heaters, etc. The fill cost M$100 or approx $6.
Instead of driving directly back to Guerrero Negro, our turn around point, we stopped in Catavina at the Rancho Santa Inez RV Park – no hookups, no wifi. I wanted to photograph the Boojum trees in the rocky landscape around Catavińa.
Ate lunch in a small restaurante in Cataviña with dirt floors and house sparrows flying in and out – also a place for the local delagacion of the Policia Municipal to hang out and yell into their cell phones.
Hombre in a pickup truck hauling hay bales stopped at our campsite. I said “dos noches” and he said in perfect English “two hundred for 2 nights.” As I handed over the cash I hoped that he owned or at least ran the place.
Spent the evening photographing Boojums and other desert plants on a ridge across a dry river bed from our campsite.
Bird of the day: Grey Thrasher (lifer). Our first life bird of the trip. Chris spotted it.
FRIDAY, April 22
Out at 6 am for first light in the desert. Chris had breakfast ready when I got back to the camper.
We walked the 1 km down the driveway to Hwy 1. (The camping guide book (2009) we use described the driveway as paved. It must have been last paved in the Nixon administration. It’s now a bone jarring track.) Got back to the RV park at 9:30 am; really warm in the sun with no breeze.
Saw a Hooded Oriole in a palm tree near our campsite.
I used the camper’s built-in shower for the first time; to date we’ve been showering at RV parks. We turned on the water heater for the first time. After waiting 20 minutes I had plenty of agua caliente for a Navy shower.
Bird of the day: Gila Woodpecker, seen hammering away on top of a Saguaro cactus.
Hasta más tarde…