(Click here to read Part 1)
We catch views of Bahia Concepcion driving up from the south and it is stunning. We turn in to El Requeson down a bumpy dirt road and stop at a partially standing palapa. It is incredibly windy but the scenery is gorgeous. To our left is a sandbar with a few RV’s and a mangrove. To our right is a beautiful desert landscape dotted with cacti.
A woman approaches and convinces us to camp at Playa La Perla, a little further down the road. Monica and I walk over the hill and are pleasantly surprised by a string of palapas along a quiet beach. We set up camp and as we spread out to gather firewood, we meet the people staying down the beach from us. They are organic strawberry farmers from Oregon who have come down with their seasonal workers to get a locals tour of Baja (how cool is that?).
The next morning we wake up to destruction from a mouse. Apparently we were a little careless when putting our food away. Lesson learned. After cleaning and disinfecting, we resume our morning activities. The water is delightfully calm for swimming and snorkeling, the sun is shining and we enjoy coffee while digging our feet in sand. We visit Mulege for lunch and when we return our neighbors give us tips on how to spot clams, and it’s not long before we have plenty for dinner.
The sunset is gorgeous and I set up my camera and tripod to photograph star trails, this is possibly the most visible night sky I’ve ever seen. We settle in for an evening next to the bonfire, gazing up at the stars and cooking up those clams.
As we drive up Bahia Concepcion, we see the other camping spots are just as beautiful, but they are packed with RV’s. We definitely made the right decision with La Perla. A note about camping here, there is a small fee collected nightly by the people who live there, the guidebooks mention that toilets are present but what that means is a rickety wooden structure with a bucket and a Mexican blanket serving as a door. You’re better off digging a hole in the desert.
We make a quick stop in Santa Rosalia for lunch and to stretch our legs a bit, it’s a mining town with a French feel and it’s in a pretty cool location right on the Sea of Cortez, but we don’t have much time to stick around.
San Ignacio is easy to fall in love with the second you turn off the highway and onto the palm lined street. Breaks in the palm trees allow you to see glimpses of birds frolicking in the river. We find a room at Ignacio Springs Bed and Breakfast then relax by the river with a beer. Monica takes a paddleboard out while Matt and I zip around in a kayak, there are several other boats lined up here available to the guests.
Later, we head over to a place called Tootsie’s Bar and Grill for a cocktail. We sit out in the courtyard and marvel over the great space. It has a shabby chic vibe with tables and chairs scattered around and it’s surrounded by abandoned buildings and a giant tree that fell back in the 80’s and has been laying there since. As we leave the smell that is wafting from the kitchen is heavenly but it is getting late so we decide to grab a quick bite at a taco stand.
San Ignacio is definitely a place I would love to visit again, and in retrospect we really should have stayed another night and taken a boat tour at Laguna San Ignacio to see the calving whales.