For me, a trip to the Baja from the DC area is usually to a resort in Cabo. But this time, for the first time, I’m headed north half-way up the peninsula.
I’m meeting up with a few other folks in the town of Loreto about 8 hours by bus from Land’s End. From there it’s another 3 hours to San Ignacio Lagoon — the place of my dreams since I first heard about the place 5 years ago.
San Ignacio is one of the protected areas where the Gray Whales come to have their babies and get them ready for the long journey back to the Bering Sea at the end of March.
The whales we’re visting are called “Friendlies,” because they are curious enough to approach a small boat (panga) with some humans on board. I’ve heard they like to be petted and have their gums rubbed.
We’re talking about a multi-ton mammal here. So I’m not planning to participate in the gum rub . . . But a respectful rub on the “nose,” if you can say a whale has a nose, seems worth the reach out of my comfort zone.
Talking about my comfort zone, yikes. It doesn’t include traveling by bus, riding in a van with 10 other people, sleeping in a little tent on terrain known for scorpions and stinging worms, peeing in a hole in the ground, and spending hours in a boat waiting for a whale to show up.
I’m not complaining. Promise. This journey is a sacred one. But San Ignacio Lagoon is not Cabo Harbor. There, after you motor around to watch a baby Humpback (10 tons) defy gravity by leaping into air, you can ride back in 10 minutes to a fine restaurant and cold bottled water.
When the sun sets over San Ignacio, you really are in the middle of nowhere. I’m thinking that’s a good thing as long as the other folks on the trip enjoy my company and forget my whining about mosquitoes in my pants.
As long as it’s not a scorpion, I’m just kidding.