Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 4th Weekend, Shell Island to Gonzaga Bay to El Rosario

Our daughter Kristi joined us for a 4 day Baja weekend. We had planned to spend 2 full days on Shell Island then go to El Rosario via Gonzaga Bay to show Kristi more of Baja and check the progress of the new highway construction, south of Puertecitos.

As things turned out, we had a fantastic first day (Saturday), but Saturday night severe winds whipped us and wrecked our sun canopy and tent. The result is we packed up and headed south a day early. The same wind capsized and sunk a fishing ship, the 'Erik', near Gonzaga Bay. We didn't hear of the tragedy until 2 days later on the news.

Saturday afternoon, Art and Nora in their new 4WD motor home arrived near our camp, but across the lagoon as the high tide covered the road onto the island. The next morning, they walked over the empty lagoon (low tide) and shared with us some delicious lumpias and ox tail soup! We all left the same time Sunday morning and headed south.

In El Rosario, we booked a room at the Baja Cactus Motel and had two very restful nights there before coming home. On Monday, we showed Kristi some of the sites around El Rosario and on Tuesday, we took a lunch break at the oak grove 3.8 miles west of Hwy. 1 in the Santo Tomas valley. This was the site of the first mission of Santo Tomas (1791), before it was moved after 3 years.

 Shell Island camp
 North end of the island
 Looking at Baja from the island

 Looking south, down the island
 The access road covered by high tide (it is an island!)
 Art and Nora

 The Enchanted Islands, just after the big storm
 Highway 5 construction, 30 miles south of Puertecitos
 Kristi at Gonzaga Bay
 Elizabeth and Kristi
 Elizabeth is my love.
 Boojum trees on Hwy. 5 near Cocos Corner
 Sun setting Baja cactus scene, Km. 105 on Hwy. 1
 The second El Rosario mission site from 1802
 The Punta Baja lighthouse
 Punta Baja panga launch area near lighthouse
 Driving down La Bocana Beach to the north end
 Lunch break on the beach
 Interesting cliff erosion
 La Lobera (Km. 47.5) sea lion crater

 Baja Cactus Motel, El Rosario

 Oak Grove Campground, Santo Tomas Valley
First site of the Santo Tomas mission, 1791, next to oak grove 3.8 miles west of Hwy. 1 off the Puerto Santo Tomas road (turn left at mile 3.5).

The following road log was made on the July 4th weekend, 2011.

MILE / KM. Marker

0.0 San Felipe (Traffic Circle by Pemex stations, south turn)

0.8 Pemex station and market on south side of town

6.0 Left Turn off Airport Road, Km. 0
(add 6.0 miles to following for distance from traffic circle)

The next 45 miles are well paved, but many short, steep and unmarked dips will require reduced speed to avoid damage.

0.0 / Km. 0 Airport Road/ Puertecitos Road Jcn.

12.5 / Km. 20-21 Rancho Percebu Road

15.7 / Km. 26+ Shell Island Road

18.6 / Km. 31 Bahia Santa Maria Road

19.3 / Km. 32+ Nuevo Mazatlan Road

21.5 / Km. 35.5 Colonia Delicias (markets/ restaurants)

29.6 / Km. 49 El Coloradito Road

32.8 / Km. 54 Campo Cristina Road

35.4 / Km. 58.5 Los Olivos Road

36.1 / Km. 60 Arroyo Matomi

36.3 Rancho San Rafael (well)

43.4 / Km. 72 Playa Destiny

44.9 / Km. 74+ PUERTECITOS (paved) Road
The newest paved additions to Hwy. 5 are well engineered, wide and are designed and signed for high speed. However, frequent rock slides onto pavement require caution.

0.0 / Km. 74+ Puertecitos Road

5.0 / Km. 83 Bahia Cristina

6.1 / Km. 84.5 La Costilla

7.2 mine road

16.4 El Huerfanito Road

18.9 Bridge at previous end of pavement (July 2010)

20.1 / Km. 311 Change of Km. markers, distance from Mexicali

23.6 / Km. 317

24.1 / Km. 318 END OF PAVED DRIVE, detour onto older road, regraded smooth. Pavement ends just ahead on new roadbed.

25.5 Okie Landing site.

32.0 END OF NEW ROAD CONSTRUCTION and end of smooth dirt detour on older road.

32.4 Campo Delfines Road

35.6 Las Encantadas Road

37.7 Punta Bufeo Road

42.4 Papa Fernandez' Road, roadbed south of here is better/ faster.

43.6 Miltary Checkpoint

45.0 GONZAGA BAY PEMEX/ ALFONSINA'S ROAD/ RANCHO GRANDE MARKET (Pemex closed from 2-4 pm for siesta)

0.0 Gonzaga Bay Pemex

1.2 Campo Beluga (2.0 mi.) and El Sacrificio (4.2 mi.) Road

7.1 Las Palmitas Oasis (4.7 mi.) and Santa Maria Canyon (4.0 mi.) Road, right.

14.4 First Boojum Trees on Hwy. 5.

14.6 La Turquesa Canyon Road, right.

18.4 Las Arrastras (site) Road, right.

22.1 Coco's Corner (Puerto Calamajue and Mision Calamajue road left).

34.8 Hwy. 1, Laguna Chapala (CataviƱa is 33 miles north).

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