February 24, 2020 ~ Baja, Mexico
Up early, and ready to hit the road for what was to be a picturesque day. But before we departed San Quintin, I snapped a quick shot of the water view.
Continuing south, our first stop was at Mama Espinosa’s in El Rosario for breakfast.
Sitting right next to Motel La Cabana, the two places are connected. Way back in 1769, Carlos Espinoza was awarded a land grant in El Rosario. One of his descendants, Santiago Espinoza, married a beautiful young woman, Anita Grosso in 1931. She became known locally as Mama Espinoza. Mama Espinoza passed away at 109, but her namesake restaurant lives on. It is still famous for her crab burritos and omelettes. The walls are covered with pictures of off-road racers who used this as a way station for years.
Side note: I found the name spelled as both Espinoza and Espinosa here.
Way before human settlement, this area was inhabited by dinosaurs. Leaving behind their bones, it became a favorite place for paleontologists as well.
The paved highway going south ended here until 1971, and the remaining 800 miles to Cabo San Lucas was only a rough, dirt path. This is the beginning of the most beautiful stretch of Northern Baja. It is the entrance to the protected area known as Valle de los Cirios. The Boojum tree is found nowhere else except in a small portion of the Sonoran Desert. Some think that the real Baja California starts here!
And the scenery did NOT disappoint.
Our overnight for the next two nights will be in the small town of Guerrero Negro, which means Black Warrior. Located 450 miles south of the US – Mexico border, the name comes from an American whaling ship that sank near the shore in the 1850’s. Although the largest tourist attraction is whale watching, their primary industry is salt.
Arriving in Guerrero Negro mid-afternoon, we decided to swing by Parque Natural de la Ballena Gris, aka Gray Whale National Park.
I was especially intrigued by all of the salt! We watched large tandem heavy-duty trucks carrying loads overflowing with salt down gravel roads.
I found out that the local company is the largest salt producer on the planet. They produce 7-9 million metric tons of salt each year. It is not mined, but extracted from the ocean through evaporation.
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow to get out on a boat and do what we came down here for – WHALE WATCHING!
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for being able to see and enjoy the natural beauty of northern Baja. Seeing both the Boojum trees and the rocks of pure salt were highlights.
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