The Baja Divide – Part 3 (Towards the Missions)

San Ignacio > Rancho Los Girasoles > Cerro San Miguel > Mulege > Los Hornitos > Loreto

After accepting that we really couldn’t fit her in our luggage and giving up on #operationkidnapcanela (see end of last post for details!), we got back on the road and left the relative coolth of the desert oasis of San Ignacio. We made good progress towards the coast and headed to one of the boat operators to see if we could get out on the water to do some whale-watching. We were aware that it was late in the season but figured that the whales weren’t likely to keep to a strict schedule and surely somebody would be willing to take us out on the slim chance of seeing some. Lo and behold, we were told that the season had ‘finished’ two days before and the whales had therefore all gone. All I can say is that Mexican whales clearly have good time-keeping!

We pushed on over the coastal salt flats, for the most part good riding, but with occasional pushing through deep sand as the route crossed the dunes. With a generally favourable wind, we made good progress and racked up our biggest day of the trip thus far, at 106.7km. With the wind not letting up and no natural shelter to be had, we were relieved to come across an abandoned building that provided a corner to set up the tent out of the wind.

Frustratingly, just as we were bedding down, the wind did a 180-degree turn and our chosen spot was no longer very sheltered. Moreover, unbeknownst to us, the wind was kicking up ash from a previous fire and, by the end of a somewhat difficult night, we woke to find most of our gear covered in black soot. You win some, you lose some!

The next day continued over salt flats before heading back inland across a scorched landscape. Weary from the day before and feeling the heat, it was an immense relief to come across water and greenery when we reached the canyon that would take us up and most of the way back across the peninsula. Beyond just water, there were even fish in the intermittent pools and, stopping to clean our dusty bodies in one of them, we discovered that the fish were keen feeders. Dangling our feet in the water, we experienced a fantastic foot spa treatment – the same treatment costing $15 for 10 mins at Mexico City Airport!


  1. I trust that the locals told you exactly which day the whales arrive, so that you can plan your next trip? 🙂

  2. Delighted to see that you are both now fully fledged Loretonians, although I don’t recall my own 9-year induction involving any R&R!

  3. Actually, that last comment (and probably this one too) was from Colin G.! No women to keep you company in the last century.

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