When we last updated, we were in La Paz. Finally, we are under way again, our first stop was Partida, one of our favourite anchorages. Seachelle joined us there for the one night but from Partida on we have been on our own.
That’s not to say we have been alone. The cruising community is a generally social group and often when you pull into an anchorage or marina other boaters will come and introduce themselves. Happy hours or sun downers on someone’s boat often are the result.
It is amazing how often you find people or places in common during these visits. When we were pulling into Puerto Escondito one of the boats invited us to a beach potluck/bonfire that the cruisers in the area were having that evening. We attended and while getting to know this couple from Colorado it turns out their daughter lives in Coquitlam and they will be visiting soon so we will get together again then. Another happy hour conversation revealed several people in common we knew from back home. It truly is a small world.
Our travels so far have taken us up the east coast of the Baja Peninsula with stops at; Isla San Fransisco, San Evaristo, Los Gatos, and Puerto Escondito. We spent a few days in Escondito and rented a car to drive into Loreto.
What a cool place Loreto is. We really enjoyed walking around the town checking out the Malecon, the shops and restaurants and central square with the historical church. Built in 1697, it is the first of the Spanish Missions to be set up on the west coast. Eventually 23 more missions were built throughout Baja with Loreto serving as the head. Loreto’s population is 15,000 and tourism and fishing are the main industries.
From Puerto Escondito it was off to Isla Coronados, San Juanico, Santispec and our current location Santa Rosalia.
Bahia Concepcion is a large bay, 25 miles in length, we anchored in Playa Santispac. As well as a popular anchorage, its also a place for the RVer’s to park their rigs and camp on the beach. There were probably 40 or more of them including a Unimog type unit that came over from Germany. Three times a week, Carlos comes by with fresh baked goods he sells out of the back of his vehicle. The Vegetable truck comes by a couple days a week too, along with two restaurants, this was a great place to spend a few days.
Santa Rosalia developed as a mining center in the 1860’s due to the rich copper fields in the area. The major mining company at the time was French, so the town has a unique blend of Spanish and French architecture. Kind of reminds us of New Orleans. The Iglesia Santa Barbara is a metal church that was designed by Eiffel (you know the Paris tower guy). It was built in Europe in 1889, then disassembled and shipped over on one of the mining company’s ships.
Walking along the waterfront will bring you to the remains of an old smelter complex, ore silo, and the remants of a marina in the basin that was destroyed by a hurricane in 2014. In several locations throughout the town there are displays of old mining equipment. The mines were operational until the 1950’s, plagued with problems of low wages, poor working conditions, strikes, it shut down and reopened a couple of times. In 2010 a consortium of Canadian and Korean companies reopened the mine and Santa Rosalia is again a thriving mining town where copper, cobalt, zinc and manganese are mined.