From the time when my cousins came from a vacation in the Mexican peninsula of Baja California and related to me the natural wonders mingled with the lively tourist attractions that they saw, I have always dreamt of having my turn to visit those same golden deserts, turquoise coasts and silver-gray mountain ranges myself. I had kept that vision of myself sunbathing on powdery fine white sand with the salty breathe of the ocean around me and the call of the seagulls overhead alive for several months, more than a year actually, until finally, my friends decided to go an a spring break vacation to Baja California.
And what could I say except that all my dreams were not equally met by the sights that I saw and the events that I experienced? All expectations were surpassed and my imagination rendered not imaginative enough by Baja’s natural and cultural wonders. The public sceneries were so vividly alive with colors, sights and smells I never have before encountered that everything was rendered refreshing and novel at first sight. From market places and bazaars full of shopping, shouting, laughing, haggling people to tourist attractions such as old Spanish missions and plazas where the brightly colored cotton shirts of tourists sparkle under the warm glow of the sun, everything in Baja seemed to have that air of a continual and never ending summer and fiesta.
Of course, the beaches and coasts of Baja we visited repeatedly so that we could try all sort of water sports and recreational activities. With swimming and tanning in between activities, we tried our hands on scuba diving, parasailing, sea kayaking and banana boating, all of which were enjoyable and exhilarating especially to a group of teenagers such as ourselves.
The scuba diving experience in Baja was most memorable, and I would never forget the feeling of being submerged in warm, crystal clear, aquamarine waters where every movement I make seems to go on slow motion. The sight of a thousand colorful fishes at a time was something hard to describe. The glittering flecks of light coming from the movement of their colorful scales made me feel as if I was in a light show of some sorts and all these fishes were small colorful bulbs floating in space around me.
The sudden sight of a gargantuan whale shark, with its toothless mouth agape, was quite horrifying and the realization that this gigantic fish was as harmless as a little guppy was a comforting thought. Swimming along side such a creature, and even running my hands along its rubbery-smooth side was a thrilling experience I would never forget.
Upon hearing that their were once an abundance of clams reefs along the coasts of Baja California, we also tried hunting for treasures, in this case pearls encased in clams along the beach. We found plenty of clams while clamming in La Paz yet none which treasured a pearl within it. Nonetheless, the activity was very much enjoyable and the clams became a deliciously fresh appetizer during dinner time that day.
From shore to shore, coast to coast and beach to beach, we explored Baja California’s seaside world for almost a month and I have to say that I was the most enjoyable spring month of my eighteen year life. I am looking forward to another trip to Baja California, and whether I return to the peninsula on spring such as this one or on winter, whether I come to the coasts, the deserts or the mountains, I am looking forward to an experience as enjoyable and unforgettable as this year’s spring break.