Travel Journal

Baja California - LA - January 1 - 4

(Friday 11 January 2008) by Karin
Happy New Year to all you readers....
Spent the first day of the year and our last day here on our little beach. Tried not to think too much about the departure from this little piece of paradise.
Wednesday early wake-up and pack-up. While Laila and I went for a last walk Harald packed Landy. First stop in Mulege for gas and water. Unfortunately we bumped into another car and got to stay in town for another 8 hours. First wait wait wait for mechanic. Next, wait wait wait for insurance people. Next, paperwork and believe me... they are not in a hurry. Take your time. Final wait for the mechanic again. Luckily we did not have to stay at the police station all day so we visited the musum (ex-prison), read our books in the town square and walked to the Mision de Santa Rosalia de Mulege. The mission was founded in 1705. The construction of the temple was started in 1754 and finished in 1766. We still spent too much time at the police station but finally recuperated the car and were able to continue our journey. Even though it was getting dark, after our forced stay in Mulege we decided to drive to Santa Rosalia and stay the night at the historic Hotel Frances, a wonderful example of Santa Rosalia's picturesque wooden building which has been reopened as a hotel. Inside squeaky wood floors, polished high ceilings and thick fabric-designed wallpaper. The courtyard out back has a pool surrounded by a mini-museum of mining artifacts and implements.
Enjoyed a nice hot shower.
After a not so good night, an early wake-up and a good breakfast we left for Catavina. I enjoyed the ride watching the fascinating desert region. Will I ever get enough of it? Several stops later we arrived in Catavina, located in the Baja Central National Park. Because of its strategic position, far from anywhere, many Baja travellers spend the night in the Catavina area, an enchanting, boulder-tumbled landscape. We do so too in what Laila and I baptized the "pinky" hotel. Outside walls pink, inside walls pink, curtains pink, bathroom tiles pink, even the soap is pink..... Someone here really must like pink.
After a good night sleep (would that be all that pink ;-) ???) we all woke up early. First part of the trip is stunning. Beauty around me almost makes me cry. But the further north we go, the more towns we pass, and the scenery changes, not for the better. One and a half hour wait at the border in Tijuane after which we continue on freeway to San Diego and on to LA. What a difference with Mexico; 6 lane motorway, modern buildings, lights, no animals crossing, etc. Back to civilization?
A few hours later: 'home' again.

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