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Another Kind of Buried Treasure

by Serina Newman

Since I have first visited the peninsula of Baja California when I was 5 years old on a summer vacation with my parents and sisters, I have made sure that I would keep on returning to that place as much as I possibly can. Baja California is a delightful vacation destination for individuals of families, and couples or groups of friends. Whether you have a lot of cash put aside to spend on vacation or if you have a limited budget, you are sure to enjoy the time you spend in this place where entertainment and fun is not something you need to buy. And even if you have a month of vacation time to look forward to or you have just a couple of days, your Baja vacation can be a wonderfully long trip or a momentously enjoyable one.

Just a few months ago, I went to Baja California with my friends who, despite being strapped of cash, decided to drive south of the border with me to spend a long weekend in Baja. Being sick of the gray scenery and nose-numbing cold that comes with the autumn and winter months, the fresh warm breeze and the mellow golden sun of Baja was definitely a welcome relief that greeted us in La Paz.

Being short of funds, we made do with a small, one bedroom rental cottage we found and were very pleased with the clean interiors, the quiet, uncrowded surroundings and the beautiful beach front location. During the first day we were in La Paz, we did nothing but swim and splash around along the beach which was just a few miles away from our very own rented cottage.

The beach was unbelievably beautiful, and like so many other beaches in Baja, this one was covered in powdery fine white sand and bordered the warm and vibrantly blue waters of Mar de Cortes. Even from the beach, you can see brightly colored patches in the water where coral reefs can be found. Everything seems to take on a brighter, more vibrant hue at Baja California. ANd when you do go La Paz diving, the beauty is escalated a hundred times over. Fishes are not just simply gray or silver but many display a wide array of colors, shapes, sizes and textures. From thousands of small, neon colored fishes, medium sized black and blue ones, and large rock-like fishes, submerging beneath the waves would introduce you to a whole new world inhabited by colorful, amazing creatures.

And even the shores of La Paz, Baja California are home to all sorts of interesting creatures. Hermit crabs carrying their brightly colored homes behind their back continually scurry around the sand leaving their many, pin prick footsteps in the sand while brightly colored starfishes hugging the rocks and shores show off their million little spines and bright colors.

One other creature that you can find along the shores of the beach in La Paz is the clam. In fact, there are hundreds, or maybe thousands, of them littering the beach or hiding just beneath the sand waiting to be dug up. With a few plastic spoons, we went clam digging and it was surprisingly, a very enjoyable activity which vacationers who cannot afford to rent power boats or snorkeling equipment can do.

The three of us were able to fill two buckets with clams which we picked up along the beach, dug under the shores, or found along the sand in the shallow waters. They had such beautiful, interesting shells that made them appear like gems buried underground. We cooked the clams into all sorts of dishes, from clam chowder to clam quesadilla to seafood pasta. Not as yummy as those in authentic La Paz restaurants but they were also ok. Not only were they freshly delicious but the activity of digging for the clams themselves was also very fun, like digging for buried treasure. This other kind of treasure however, is better than gold because it is edible.

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