Baja Down & Back, 2006 travel blog

Sunrise at Catavina RV Park

With a bit more light you can even read the park's sign

The sun is about to awake the crows

Oasis at Catavina

Hiking in the oais valley

Lupine in the valley

Graffiti defaced bolders

Hotel at Catavina

Local gas cost big bucks from these guys

Roadside diner, Mexicna style

A Mexician competitor to McDonalds

Goats on the open range

A common road sign along the road

Government Gas Station, as are all in Mexico unless you buy it...

These off the road bikers were doing a 1,000 Baja trip on...

Typical school yard

Typical school

Houses on a hill

More housing

More houses

Typical business buildings

Dirt street on parallel the highway

Another dirt sideroad

End of day priefing at Posada Don Diego RV Park

Tuesday, 2/28/2006, Day 26

We were treated to another spectacular sunrise which afforded yet more Kodak moments. We decided to hike to an oasis about ½ mile from the RV park. We still have a hard time accepting the fact that desert springs do not cause rivers that run to the sea, but instead seep into the sand of the river bed only a few feet from where they start.

The rock formations around the spring at Cativina are impressive: huge rounded boulders mix with cactus and palm trees. However, the amount of graffiti that adorns the most spectacular boulders here is very disturbing.

As we exited the ravine in which the spring was located, Nandy noticed a local crouched and partially hidden behind a boulder. She had glanced up from watching her footsteps along the rocky path and saw the man and greeted him a good morning with her limited Spanish, to which he replied appropriately. She was somewhat mortified later when Steve asked if she had realized he was taking a dump. She had not.

Half of the group left before the scheduled departure time, again going it alone or in small groups along the highway north toward our next destination. Dick stated this will become standard on further caravans back up the Baja. Running alone or in mini-convoys reduces the frustration of those travelers not part of our group who are trying to work their way past us in either direction. A few years back the Mexican government started to enact regulations on caravans that would have forced them to split into groups of no more than three rigs. The adamant negative reaction from the caravan organizations caused the government to back away from this idea; albeit a good one. Caravans bring a considerable amount of tourist dollars into the Baja which the government did not want to chance losing.

This day's drive brought us back to the Pacific coast, passing through various agricultural areas and larger, but still hardscrabble, towns. Through many of these towns, Route 1 is two lanes wide, but the shops are set back with dirt parking and driving space between the shops and the highway. Think of these areas as multidirectional dirt roads on either side of a paved highway. Traffic is coming at or past you in both directions at various speeds on both sides of you. Since you are not traveling fast, it's not as dangerous as it sounds, but caution is advised.

The entrance to the Posada Don Diego RV Park was directly across from kilometer marker 173, but the entrance was hidden enough so several rigs shot past it and had to make U-turns further up the road. No one wanted to miss the planned Good Sam buffet dinner at the park's restaurant. Except for the complimentary margaritas and flan for desert, it was a North American meal consisting of a salad bar, chicken, fish and BBQ ribs. Strange, be we have not really missed American food. The food we have had, mostly local foods, has been tasty and filling.

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