In The Desert
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Gonzaga Bay, Mexico
Gonzaga Bay, Baja
When you leave San Felipe and head south in the desert the first main town you come to is Puertecitos, Baja. This town has a very neat thing going for it -- hot mineral baths. At high tide they are under the water in the Sea of Cortez. There are 3 different pools with different water temperatures! How neat is that? The road to Puertecitos is now paved and the last part of the road -- seen here is being upgraded with a new road and bridges as of 2009.
Of all the shore birds you'll see in Baja the Frigate Bird is one of the neatest. When sailors saw them back in the days of sailing ships it was a sign of approching land. These birds are really something to see. They are also sometimes called Man of War Birds or Pirate Birds. And they are related to pelicans.
Traveling down the main road is really an experience knowing that this is the same road traveled by the racers that run the Baja 1,000 road race. This road is mostly a 2 wheel drive road, but does have a few bad places and flat tires are common here with all the sharp rocks. Dune buggy's, motocross bikes, and even volkswagons are a common sight on the road. Some people even dare to drag their travel trailers down this road. And everyone takes photos along the way. This area is remote and you should travel with a friend in the desert here on day trips anywhere you might decide to venture off or on the road here.
The rock island picture below is a volcanic upshoot and there is a lot of earthquake activity in this area -- geysers (see below) and old volcanos. The San Andreas fault runs down through the center of the Sea of Cortez.
The rocks Linda is holding are pumice stones found on the beach just below the above photo of the island. A porous or spongy form of volcanic glass used as an abrasive. These rocks were very light in weight. Neat find and more evidence of volcanic activity in this area along the coast.
When we got to Gonzaga Bay we immediately found a bunch of neat shells along the beach. Day trips in the desert like this make you want to go back, again and again. Gonzaga Bay is a friendly town where most of the natives speak very little English, so practice up on your Spanish, although you could make it without Spanish here if you had too. The people are very friendly and laid back. You can collect shells here and take them home.
The town sits in the desert just East of the Sierra Madre Mts. and right next to the bay which is protected by islands and provides a natural breakwater. There is a beautiful sandy beach and the sunrises here are outstanding. Linda took this on our first morning at the Motel. Alfonsina's Motel resturant is the best game in town and the scenery at your doorstep there is amazing. Day Trips to Gonzaga Bay from San Felipe are easy and very rewarding.
One of the most amazing things about Gonzaga Bay is shown right here. See the large white rocky area at the base of the mountains? This an area that has an intermittent geyser. The whole canyon there is full of onyx, which is banded and very colorful.. You'll have to find your way into that area, and it requires a short hike to get to it, but it's worth it. See the lower left quadrant of the Wikimapia Mexico map below!
A lot of homes, trailers and old buildings down here have huge whale bones for decorations in their yards. Here's Linda standing next to one of the many whale bones to be seen here in the desert.
All along the coast during your trip you may find different places in the desert where you can have day trips to little pools in the Sea of Cortez. It really is amazing what can be found in these pools in the way of shells, and sea life. Even the dog had fun here. It'll give you a nice break from the long drive if nothing else.
Wikimapia Mexico, Gonzaga Bay
This is an inter-active Wikimapia Mexico Map. You can zoom in / out and drag the map to scroll. Shown here -- Gonzaga Bay, Mexico.
This trip is over 100 miles and takes about 4 hours if you don't stop. But there are too many things along the way. This trip could take several days.