Postcards

Apr 5, 2021 by The Old Gringo

People come to Puerto Peñasco to enjoy what our town has to offer the vacationer/sportsman (sportsperson??)/fisherman (fisherperson??). People visit our fair town for any number of reasons, but one reason seems to be predominant…we are a short drive from the U.S. border. It makes coming to Peñasco from points north pretty easy. The road from the border is in good condition and, police notwithstanding, one can tool along at highway speeds and make it from Lukeville to here in about an hour or a little more. Welcome.

I’ve visited and lived in Peñasco since the late 1970’s. I’ve watched our town grow from a sleepy fishing village into a dynamic, ever-expanding, tourist haven. All changes are not to my liking, but for the most part, they have improved the lives of many residents, and for that I am grateful. While getting folks to come and enjoy our beautiful town is one goal of this paper, as well as most of the businesses that rely on tourist dollars for their livelihood, there is much more to learn about this nation, its people, its culture, its history and its geography. Since we are but a small cog in what we can call the great wheel that is Mexico, visiting Peñasco could be just the beginning of a beautiful relationship, and an exciting adventure…if you are up for it.

Toward that end, my editor has given me the green light to post a series of pieces about a trip that, by the time you read this column, will have been undertaken and completed around Baja California (north and south).  Having ‘flown the bush’ throughout Baja (and a bit of the mainland as well) for some 15 years, I have had the wonderful good fortune to have visited many small towns and villages along the “Magnificent Peninsula” in a small airplane. Landing on unimproved dirt strips, flying over the rugged “cordillera” or spine of the Baja, enjoying the hospitality of the gracious people was, and still is, a thrill. Few people ever get the chance to see or do that. Fewer still get the chance to revisit those places.

This time, my wife and I with some friends and neighbors, who are also Mexico aficionados, are “doing” Baja by automobile and hoping to re-visit some of those towns and to share that experience with you readers. The plan, such as it is, is to begin from Peñasco go up though El Golfo, around to San Felipe and follow the east coast of the Baja peninsula all the way to Cabo San Lucas (although we are not going to stop in Cabo), then up to Todos Santos and the west coast, across the wine country near the U.S. border with California, and back to Peñasco.

I will be writing “postcards from the road,” and maybe add a photo or two describing our adventure in detail. There will be much to tell you, and show you, about a piece of Mexico that is rugged, largely unpopulated and absolutely spectacular! In fact, Baja is almost a country unto its own…it is that different from mainland Mexico.

As it is with Peñasco, the real story of the trip, in addition to the beauty and charm of the country we are traveling through, is the people we will meet and/or have met on the way.

The object of these ‘postcards’ is to give you a taste of what you can do, if you have an adventurous spirit and want to enjoy a different sort of travel experience. Perhaps you have been afraid to experience traveling outside of Puerto Peñasco? Or you are nervous about all of the stories in the news(?) about this, that or the other thing about travel in Mexico? As with any travel, proper planning, that includes COVID restrictions and reports of road conditions, etc. is the key to an enjoyable and successful trip. I will report everything as it happens, and you can decide if you are up for the challenge.

By the way, if you are interested in learning about Baja California, Jack Williams’ book “Baja, the Magnificent Peninsula” would be worth your time to read.  Hasta luego amigos!

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