The Big Trip Across The Back Of Baja (part 2)

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Publisher
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 first place.
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 the surf.
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 Lopez Mateos.
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 twice.
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.


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