Friday, March 20, 2009

Now this IS Mexico

December 20th to 24th

Ensenada is a largish (quarter million people) city catering mainly to cruise ship tourists and Americans who made it past Tijuana. We head straight out in search of something a bit more authentically Mexican. We camp at Santo Thomas having the whole 4 acre site to ourselves. We wake to hear Bing Crosby Christmas carols blaring out from the connected motel. "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" - in Mexico, are you crazy?? No, we need to go further for authentic Mexico.

We climb inland....

And the terrain gets bigger....

And longer....

A sign says 1176 kilometers to La Paz which is the next city en route. There's pretty much nothing above 5000 people in between here and there, and we're getting a big empty country type of feeling....

Occasionally the road does get busy....

And then, finally....
I reckon this is a bit more authentic. 30 feet tall cacti....

This is the Cardon - the world's largest cactus and this is a baby. Full grown they can tower a colossal 60 feet. And perhaps this....

This is the "inverse carrot cactus" - all orange and green in swapped places. Officially it's called Cirio or "The Boojum Tree" (no really - it is) and they occur only here on the Baja. Seriously weird stuff. Smells of honey as well.... One of the world's slowest growing plants, (managing a foot a decade) it looks like a stick for about 100 years, when in a fit of activity it divides into 2 or more branches. This means this mature fifty-footer may be more than 500 years old.

Now this IS Mexico, and the road is just incredible too....

This is San Augustin...
All of it...

I mean the whole town is in the photo. We camp a night and double the population. It's Christmas Eve, and the place is swinging!!!
Getting excited now and I just hope Santa knows where to find us....


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