Baja Road Trip Continues ~ San Quintin to Guerrero Negro

February 24, 2020 ~ Baja, Mexico

Baja Desert Landscape

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.

A bit of a gray morning, but the water view was enough to make me smile

Continuing south, our first stop was at Mama Espinosa’s in El Rosario for breakfast.

Mama Espinoza’s sign

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.

Inside Mama Espinoza’s

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.

Wild equine along the road
The tall trees with “fringe” on top are Boojum
Rocky and dry, yet stunning to see

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.

Skeleton of a gray whale
Karen, Dick, Joanne, Tim

I was especially intrigued by all of the salt! We watched large tandem heavy-duty trucks carrying loads overflowing with salt down gravel roads.

Loaded with salt

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.

Salt is lining this pond as the water evaporates
Rocks (and the cross hanging on the wall) are made of pure salt

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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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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15 Responses to Baja Road Trip Continues ~ San Quintin to Guerrero Negro

  1. Kelly MacKay says:

    Hope I get here some time

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks amazing and sounds like a great trip to do. Always a country i have wanted to get to hopefully one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember the huge salt evaporation areas, Joanne. Impressive. We use to fly over them on occasion as well on our trips to PV.
    Your mention of the off road racing reminded me of the time that Peggy and I came on the Baja 500 in progress. It was absolutely wild! 🙂 –Curt

    Like

  4. That first shot looks like lots of places in Arizona and there are boojum trees in the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. They’re fantastic-looking and remind me of something Dr. Seuss would have created in one of his books. The salt creations are interesting and the salt flats remind me of the Camargue in southern France. The burritos sound amazing. I’m so happy I already ate lunch or I might be drooling. 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    • I thought that the Boojum trees were so interesting, and yes, I think your Dr. Seuss analogy is perfect. We visited a salt producing operation in Cambodia a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. The Mexico production is on a whole other level though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks awesome. I’ve been to Cabo, La Paz, Loretto and that’s given me a taste. I’d love to do a roadtrip.

    Like

    • We enjoyed driving in Mexico much more than we thought we would. In the past, we have either flown into a city (Mexico City, Acapulco) or arrived by cruise ship (Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada, Cancun, Manzanillo)

      Like

  6. What were the temperatures like? I see mostly long sleeves, long pants –

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pastor Cathy says:

    Bajo Road Trip Continues ~ San Quintin to Guerrero Negro

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Beth says:

    I’ve never seen the boojum area so green! How pretty! What a great road trip!

    Like

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