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June 27, 2013

Revisiting Remote Baja California With WILDCOAST

Another great Site Visit to the Valle de los Cirios Coastline.
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This past month, WILDCOAST staff went down on a site visit to the Los Cirios coastline in central Baja that contains some of the most ecologically important and unique coastal ecosystems in Mexico.  It is a hauntingly beautiful desert mosaic of Boojum trees, Cardon, and blooming desert succulents.  WILDCOAST has been able to protect over 30 miles of points, beaches and wetlands on the Cirios coastline through our Wildlands conservation program.

We left San Diego at 4 am with a group of WILDCOAST partners, heading down Highway 1 to arrive by dark after nearly 12 hours of driving, including 2 hours of dirt roads.   We were relieved to set up camp in shelter of one of the many beautiful points that dot this coastline.  Over the next two days we enjoyed the desert solitude of Baja, chatting with fish camps up and down the coast, surfing and paipo-boarding fun waves, visiting ancient Indian caves, and checking out some important sites that now have protected status.  One these spots, a pristine wetland, had well worn wildlife trails weaving in and out of the canals of the wetland.  We were able to see tracks and prints of native species that inhabit the area.  The beach that ran along the wetland was littered with bones of sea lions and crab skeletons and piles of kelp; it was a beautiful example of what a pristine and functioning ecosystem should look like. 

 After two days on the coast we headed inland and across the peninsula to Mision San Francisco de Borja, a beautiful mission built by Spanish missionaries in 1762.  We toured the mission and took a cool dip in the natural springs for relief from the nearly 100-degree heat.  After a couple more hours on some rough dirt roads winding through the gorgeous valleys of central Baja, we made a pit stop at Bahia de Los Angeles for a quick dip in the Sea of Cortez before the long haul home. 

 In all, we drove about 300 miles on some of Baja’s roughest dirt roads, swam in the Pacific and Sea of Cortez in one day, ate some delicious albeit strange looking shellfish called geoduck, visited some of our newly protected areas and had an absolutely amazing time in Baja, which never fails to surprise and impress.    

 

Check out the photos here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wild-coast/sets/72157634078315040/