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LA to Tulum, Day 2 — Mulege to Todos Santos

By Larry Crowson

Day two

I got into Mulege after dark and drove around town a little, trying to figure out the lay of the land and the river and bay. It was confusing, as they are in the middle of several road and bridge projects, so traffic was being diverted onto side streets and I got turned around. I headed back towards the highway to find a room. I found a nice clean place for $25 with several crews of the roadworkers staying there long term so I figured it would be both safe and ok for the night.

Woke up at 4:30 am to the melodic sounds of several Ford diesels starting up, which brought a smile to my face as I have owned several of these and wondered if other folks screamed at me when I left in the morning on my many road trips.

It seemed like a good idea to get up and hit the road. I made coffee, added my usual Bailey’s to it, and was off. Quick spin around Mulege to see the river and camping areas in the daylight that I’d seen on other reports.  Definitely want to come back for a better sense of the place; this town always get slammed when hurricanes or big storms pass by and the river floods the town.

Headed out for Loreto and the goal today is to make Todos Santos before 2-3pm. This was a spectacular drive—really hard to keep your eyes on the road with all of the pristine bays or mountain vistas coming at you. As you head south, the road passes along the coast and you get many peaks at the bay and it’s beautiful. Then out into the mountain’s inland somewhat before you pop back along the coast again. The desert here is spectacular with the huge mountains just jutting up all around you.

The road is in good condition and I make excellent time towards Loreto.  The air is crystal clear and the scenery just jumps out at you if you like the desert, giant rock formations, mountains and cactus everywhere.

As you enter Loreto, you see a nice little town set against the mountains for a backdrop and the Sea of Cortez spread out to the east. Loreto appears to be a clean town and has a good-looking golf course as you leave town that’s part of a big development.

The bays and marinas are beautiful and you can see why the sailboats spend so much time here and make this their homeport to sail and dive the incredible beauty that the Sea of Cortez offers. There so many bays to stop at, whether you want to camp or rent a casita. You could spend weeks here before moving on.

It was truly hard to concentrate on my driving here with bay after bay or private beaches everywhere that were drawing me to stop and slow down and take it all in.

There is a large island just offshore that appears to have a development or small village on it. I just found myself wanting to be on one of the many beautiful sailboats out in the bays and go exploring up and down the coast. What a life—I’m jealous!

The drive from Loreto to LaPaz takes you back into the desert across towards the Pacific Ocean thru lush farming land that catches you by surprise; they obviously have plenty of water for irrigation of their fields. This part of the drive is fast and it’s dusty as the winds blows across the arid desert surrounding the farmland entering Villa Insurgentes where the road heads south now towards LaPaz. You’re close now to the Pacific Ocean again with signs advertising whale watching and fishing in the bay. Not this trip but you can go out in season and see hundreds of whales up close just a few feet away as they watch you too.

As you approach LaPaz you are once again on the Sea of Cortez.  There are lots of new condo developments, and signs point to the International airport with flights to California, Oregon and others daily.

It’s been 2 years since I was here and now there are several new shopping centers popping up with a new Home Depot, Wal-Mart and others to meet the growing demand for services. La Paz is a very nice city with one of the prettiest Malicons I’ve ever seen stretching several miles along the waterfront and out of town towards the newer developments up north. Day or night, there is lots of activity here with children playing, people rollerblading, walking or jogging past scores of restaurants. There is a lot of art or sculpture along the waterfront that are focal points for pictures for locals and tourists alike.

As I head out of town towards Todos Santos, I’ve heard about the new 4 lane divided highway that is now complete almost the whole way; it cuts my driving time down to 35 minutes from an hour.

Todos Santos before 1pm.  Not much has changed here. Time to look for a taco stand for lunch and there are many to choose from. I head to Georges, one of my favorites, serving great fresh fish tacos for 20 pesos each and a cold Pacifico.

Todos Santos is often called the Taos, New Mexico of Baja for all of the artists residing here and galleries in town. It really is a nice place and is exactly halfway between Cabo San Lucas and LaPaz, perfect for day trips or longer visits.

I will lay over here for 2 days to check on my property, see a few old friends, and see if the real estate market is improving or not as I want to see off a couple of my lots here in San Sebastian.

In two days I’ll reverse course to catch the night ferry across the Sea of Cortez from LaPaz over to Los Mochis on the Mexican mainland to continue my drive south along the Pacific coast towards Puerto Escondido and then over the mountains to Tulum in the Yucatan and then home.



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