Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Baja California Sur, Mexico.  A dry, vast desert region surrounded with an artist's palette of beautiful blue ocean water.  
Bordering the west side is the Pacific Ocean.  Cooler water, ocean swells, heavier tide changes, and heavier surf.  
On the eastern side, the Sea of Cortez.  Warm, calm seas, with post card visuals of a breathtaking spectrum of blue water and white sand beaches lined with palm trees.  

(Picture courtesy of world

The 700 mile long Gulf of California, or what is also known as the Sea of Cortez, is the body of water that separates the Baja California Peninsula and the mainland of Mexico.  It was named after the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes by Francisco de Ulloa in 1539.  The Sea of Cortez has been considered one of the most diverse seas on the planet.  It is home to thousands of different marine species.  Some of the more commonly known are the snapper or "pargo", yellowfin tuna, striped blue and black marlin, dolphin fish or "Dorado", Sailfish, yellowtail, Roosterfish, a variety of whales and sharks, just to name a few.  

Last month I had a spectacular opportunity to visit this magical place.  

Wanting to spend every minute I could in a new place, I left on the first very early flight out of Redmond.  To the east, the skies were clear and beautiful.

To the southwest, and the direction we were headed, the skies were much more threatening.

When I landed in Cabo San Jose airport, by the first look at things, you would have never known that Hurricane Blanca, with winds hitting upwards of 130 mph in some regions, had just left the area not but a few days earlier.  I was in heaven the first step I took off the plane, yes, even at the airport.  The 86 degree air, although slightly humid, smelled sweet and salty.  The way the sun hit my face made me smile.  I knew instantly, this was going to be a very memorable visit.

After going through the baggage claims, the customs process, and getting asked a multitude of times if I needed a taxi, I was able to meet my very good, life long friend, Michelle.  Michelle and her husband Brian purchased their vacation home down here several years ago and I had this fantastic opportunity to meet and stay with them in their home.  All the while, taking advantage of a multitude of recreational pursuits and learning about a whole new wonderful culture.

Since Michelle and Brian live in a more remote/out of the tourist area, we stopped in San Jose del Cabo near the airport to pick up some more supplies for the house.  This store was equipped with an escalator for your shopping carts!

The smells of the local market were beyond compare!  The fresh baking and tortilla making that was happening made me want to take it all with me.  I am not a big fan of sweets, but everything in the case was beautiful!

Very cool desert type decorations around the house.

This is Norma.
She has her own 'cook in your house' catering business.  She brings all of the necessary ingredients for your order and comes into your home and uses your pots, pans, utensils, stove, etc. to make the meal.  Afterwards, they package up the leftovers in the refrigerator, wash and put away all of the dishes, and clean up the kitchen.  Unbelievable!  

Brian and Michelle bring her into their home about once a week.  From scratch, she cooks true authentic, homemade Mexican food for them.  Norma also brought her daughter, Anna to help.  Very sweet ladies!  This night, they cooked chicken mole, pico de gallo, rice, green salad, corn and flour tortillas, homemade chips, and tortilla soup.  We asked Norma and Anna to join us but they politely declined.

This was absolutely one of the very best meals that I have ever had in my life!!!  Bar none, THE best Mexican food that I had ever had.  What a treat!  Thank you Norma and Anna for making the very best, freshest food!

After dinner, Michelle and I decided to grab the Polaris Razor and take it for a ride on the beach to explore the sights.  Because of the recent storm, a lot of soft sand had been moved into the ATV trail and well...this happened.  Being about a mile from the house, luckily, there were two very nice young gentlemen, Chris and Louis, that were fishing and lent us a hand digging the machine out.  And for the record, flip flops double as a very good shovel type tool!

This is the view I had from my hammock under the palapa.  I slept here every night and let the Sea of Cortez sing me a lullaby and woke to it each morning.  
It was terrible.
(Who am I kidding?  It was heaven on earth!!)

The palapa I slept under that provided spectacular ocean views.
(Out of respect and to maintain privacy to Brian and Michelle, I have cropped the full view of the house and altered the picture color)

This was the view from their back deck.  A beautiful first night sunset on the Sea of Cortez.  

What a very fulfilling first day!  After a full day of travel, taking in a few of the local town sights, eating an authentic Mexican dinner prepared in the house by locals, riding on the beach in the Razor,  and meeting a couple of the neighbors, it was time to hit the hay.  Another full day planned for tomorrow!  

"The free exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world."
--John Steinbeck  


#dirtyfingernails #treadoutdoors #outdoorwomen #centraloregon #bendoregon #outdoors #seaofcortez  #bajaadventure


  1. Wow Marn, what a wonderful first day!!! I love authentic Mexican food... I am so excited to read about the rest of your adventure..

    1. Thanks Tiff! Yes, it was a fantastic trip! Can't wait to get back down there.