Saturday, January 15, 2011

Road Trip to La Paz: Tijuana to El Rosario

We've finally wrapped up the house chores deemed necessary to complete before returning to Citla and cruising the Sea of Cortez. Now it's time to drive from our home in San Diego back to La Paz, where our sailboat is berthed at Marina de La Paz. We finished packing and loaded the truck the night before leaving. Early to bed for an early start tomorrow morning.

We made it to bed at 10:30 Monday night and then spent a fitful night fretting about not waking up early. At 4:30 a.m. the alarm went off and we got up, finished packing the last of our items and left the driveway by 06:30. We crossed the border at Tijuana at seven and drove south to
meet up with our old Baja buddy Dennis Seisun. When he heard we were heading south, he decided he needed a Baja fix and said he would follow us part way down the Peninsula. We met up with him just south of Playas de Tijuana, exchanged two-way radios and continued on south.

The road conditions between Tijuana and Ensenada were good along
the toll road. This sixty mile stretch has three toll plaza's each costing around $2.25 U.S. Traffic was relatively light all along our first driving leg. The roadway south of Ensenada was being repaired along many of the grades out of the various valleys. Still, we made the trip from the border to El Rosario, just shy of 200 miles, in six-hours, arriving at 12:30, in the afternoon.

We got a room at Mama Espinosa's before heading out in the Seisun's
Forerunner to visit Punta Baja, west of town. This place has special meaning to us; we spent the 4th and 5th of July, 2009 cold and wet, waiting out a blow from the north during our bash back from Baja on Citla. The weather today was glorious, with blue skies and blue water. A contrast to what we remembered from our last stay.

Fish, lobster and sea urchins are all taken from the waters in and around Punta Baja. We learned that the fishing cooperative just outside of town served as the processing plant for the sea urchin roe that is all shipped to Japan.

Road trips with Dennis are always an adventure, so we had to locate this cooperative and see if we could get a tour of the plant. With minimal directions we were able to locate the cooperative. Once there, we were shown the graciousness that characterizes our encounters with the Mexican people; we were invited into the Plant and given a
full tour,complete with a tasting of the fresh roe. While Kathie is not a big fan of uni, this was a hit with Dennis and I. Special thanks to both Daniel and Efren for their kindness and hospitality in sharing their operation with us.

What followed that day was dinner, margaritas at Mama Espinosa's and a good night sleep. We awoke to a gloriously sunny morning and enjoyedpumpkin bread and coffee with Dennis on the front patio. We took our leave by 9 a.m. and headed towards San Ignacio. Hasta pronto, Dennis, y bien viaje!

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