Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Road Trip to La Paz: Loreto to La Paz

The last leg back to the boat started at 09:30 when we departed the Damiana Inn. Before leaving Loreto, we took a left at the first corner south of the Inn and drove the two blocks to the Malecon. The view across the water was of Isla Carmen. The sun was out, the air was clear and the island looked inviting. We continued north along the Malecon
before turning left back into the neighborhoods in town. The gardens were all in bloom with bougainvilleas being one of the predominant flowering vines. We made a quick stop at the Pemex on the outskirts of town. Once the tank was topped off, it was out to the highway and south to La Paz and Citla.

We continued south, past Puerto Escondido and skirted along the
Sea of Cortez for a few more miles before beginning our ascent west into the Sierra de La Gigante mountain range and across to agricultural communities of Villa Insurgentes and Constitucion along the Pacific coastal plane. The mountains in this area are steep, majestic and rugged. They're cut deeply with canyons and give rise to jagged, naked peaks. The climb lasted for the better part of 18 miles before starting the straight and gentle descent to the coastal plane.

The ride from Villa Insurgentes south begins as a straight and nondescript two lane tarmac that widens considerably as it enters Constitucion, with its traffic lights and cross streets, only to constrict again to two lanes at the south edge of town. The road continues to be straight for a few more miles before curving and undulating through the desert scrub, making its way southeast and back towards the Gulf of California.
Along this stretch, the road passes through a number of small pueblos and past several roadside monuments, some simple and others grand. Around 1:15 p.m. we got our first glimpse of the Sea of Cortez since leaving its shores south of Loreto. There's just a few peek views of the water with La Paz spread out along it's shore. By 1:30 we've arrived at the entrance to town at the Whale Tail monument and a short 30 minutes later are pulling into the parking lot at Marina de La Paz and back to our boat.

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