El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve
Although I still feel the toll of being away from nature, when I write these stories, back at the office, in front of a computer, and with hundreds of responsibilities and projects, I’m happy to have gone. I didn’t know how much I would miss it. Now I do.
Because of a misunderstanding with Oscar and Jaime, we stayed fifty more minutes in the town when they had left already. This is the main reason why it’s necessary to bring radios. There’s no internet or telephone service other than in certain areas and, if you travel in a group or in two cars, it’s important to stay communicated. Next time we travel deep into the desert and the sea, we’ll have to pack them.
After losing them in a town of 150 people and seeing the procession that took place next to the horse ride for the festivities, we departed at three o’clock in the afternoon towards our last destination: Las Tres Virgenes, in El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve.
Since we had to eat, we decided to make a stop in Loreto. That way I, the only one who hadn’t been there, could also have the opportunity to see the town. We ate clams, shrimp, and fish; nopales, rice, and pork chops; arrachera, corn, guacamole, and steamed vegetables. We also saw the Mission of Our Lady of Loreto Concho, considered mother and cradle of the missions of the Alta and Baja California, founded by Father Juan Maria Salvatierra on October 25, 1697.
When we finished, we returned to the cars, curious about our next destination, the furthest place we would reach.
We arrived at Las Tres Virgenes at ten o’clock at night, tired by the four-hour ride, but amazed by the kind of weather that was now receiving us. The wind blew and touched our faces while, in the darkness, we met the last hosts who would welcome us on this journey. It was a family made up of Cuquita and her two sons, one of which was Pablo, the guide who would join us on the expedition.
Something I was very excited about was seeing my friends the stars again. It’s one of the memories that linger with me, even right now while I write. I close my eyes and see them, illuminating the way.
The place where we arrived had cabins with beds and their own bathroom. It’s common for people staying here to hunt bighorn sheep—with a special permit. The main entrance, where the kitchen and dining room is, has photos of this activity. But these cabins also accommodate people who want to visit the reserve.
We woke up the next day eager to make the final tour. By car, 23 kilometers from the cabins to the entrance of the reserve and then just hiking: 4.8 kilometers there and 4.8 kilometers back.
A sight like no other was appearing before our eyes as we walked in a glen, in the middle of two big, huge rocky walls with stripes of different shades. There used to be a sea there. Now, there are plants and remains of clams and shells.
Pablo was an excellent guide. He described exactly the type of plants we would find and why the temperature changes gave those colors to the rocks: shades of red, beige, and green. We took our time to soak in the imposing scene, contemplating every detail. This delayed the hike a little, but we didn’t care.
We found cave paintings different from those of San Miguel de Comondu. Pablo said it was because they’re younger. “They must be around five thousand years old.” This makes the image more colored and the shape clearer. We were able to see whales, people with spears, and the sun. Another peculiarity of these paintings is that, apart from the usual red, they had white. Also, the rock on which they were painted was curved above our heads, in a sort of cave.
We wanted to stay longer, and between photos and explanations, Oscar had the idea of meditating with mantras inside the gap. While I meditated, I felt at peace, in harmony with nature. Connected to myself.
This trip takes approximately four hours. We, the excited ones, did it in six. As we started at seven in the morning, by noon, when we walked back, the sun was waiting for us.
We were on the boundary that divides Baja California, so the drive to Los Cabos would take us several hours. We took a break in Mulege to visit the mission and stretch our legs. Mulege is an oasis full of palm trees and vibrant blue shades of sea. Its mission was founded by Father Juan Manuel Basaldua in 1705 and has faced adversities like the American Intervention War, from 1846 to 1848.
Give us the opportunity to keep telling you stories on our next editions, because we will return to Mulege. After this journey, we are convinced that, to know a place, you must stay overnight at least once.
Having seen the mission, we said goodbye to Oscar and Jaime, and began the drive home.
Traveler, this is how far this story goes. Between each town, highway, meal, climbing, star, camping, oasis, ocean, guide, and local there are many micro stories that only you can know what they’re about. What we present to you is only a part of what you can feel and experience if you venture on a Journey between Two Seas.
The feeling is indescribable. It’s difficult to put in words the adventure that awaits you, not only of landscapes and activities, but that personal one that you get to find if you only dare. Dare to discover, traveler. And you’ll see that, on your way back, something in you will change.