Big Trip Across The Back Of Baja (part
By JOHN M. DERBY
April 25, 2019
Editor’s Note: The following is continued from
last week — the last of two parts from a Legacy column
by Publisher John Derby that was first published 14 years
ago, on April 14, 2005.
Our fears of having the truck break down in this kind of
country were all too realistic as we pushed on through some
of the most beautiful country we had ever seen.
Totally untouched by man with the exception of the little
dirt road which seemed to go on forever.
This road seemed to follow the river gorge as it cut a steep
gash in the mountains which went straight up on both sides.
We followed our intuition heading west and eventually started
to see signs of human habitation.
A couple of small rancheros were located far back off the
road. There must have been springs for them to get water.
These must have been very self sufficient individuals to
survive in this area.
First we saw signs where water had been, and then we saw
the actual river with running water. The little town of
San Isidro was not far ahead. We converged with a well traveled
road, perhaps the one which we were supposed to use in the
San Isidro was a very small town but it had built its own
water aqueduct system similar to what the Romans had done
2,000 years ago which ran alongside the road carrying fresh
water to the homes and the farms which now became numerous.
The road was even paved between San Isidro and La Purisima
but beyond that on the way to the coast the road was dirt,
rocks and eventually sand. We headed for a little fishing
village called San Gregorio located at the point of a lagoon.
Wooden lobster traps lined the beaches making it evident
what the catch of choice was. Even in these coastal towns
the lobster would bring much more than any fish.
We had our lunch of cheese, salami and Akmak crackers. It
was a beautiful place to sit and watch the waves crack against
the beach. Only a small shallow inlet was deep enough to
allow the fishermen to run their pangas (boats) out through
At one house, a group of fishermen were mending their net
while another group seemed to be waiting until the wind
died enough to go out and set traps.
We made our way out of that village to look for a larger
town which might provide lodging and a restaurant. Such
a town we found 50 miles south off the main road called
A new motel had just been built which claimed to have hot
water showers. The electrical device to heat the hot water
was attached to the shower head and had to be turned on
to make the water hot.
Everything was fine until touching the faucet to adjust
the water and a shock came through the facet handle. It
was enough of a jolt to make a person not want to try it
We finished our showers just as the power to the heater
switched off, then with a T-shirt in hand, reached over
to shut off the water.
That evening we dined in an excellent restaurant which served
lobster, shrimp and sauteed fish in garlic. Everything was
prepared well, and we went to bed, well fed and as clean
as one could get with the shower.
The next morning, there was no water, so we felt fortunate
that we had gotten our shower the night before.
We took the long road home because it was paved, but we
had memories to spare of our trip across the back of Baja.