Santa Rosalia is an interesting place. It was a French-owned mining town and they sent their copper to the Pacific Northwest. There, instead of returning with empty ships, they filled them up with lumber to send back to Baja. As a result, the town is mostly wooden buildings with large wrap around balconies. Quite different than the usual stucco and cement we see everywhere else.
The big attraction here is the Eiffel-designed church. It is a prefab metal building that is actually rather plain on the outside. Inside, it looks like a regular Catholic church. The church was revealed at a 1889 Paris World Exposition, where Eiffel also unveiled the famous tower in Paris. He won an award for the church. It was later bought by the Frenchies in Mexico for this town.
The other attraction is the French bakery. Bode had fallen asleep in the car, so I ran in. They had several French/Mexican goodies without egg and butter, so I bought a couple. He was awake when I came out, immediately ate 2 of them, and I went back in for more.
Also, if you’re missing your firetruck in Fresno, it’s here.
We continued on to Mulege, which had been recommended by several people. It was a really nice town, and everyone is pretty accustomed to seeing norte-americanos. It was getting late, so we found a cheap motel next to a very clean laundromat and headed out for pizza. Yes, it’s that easy here.
From what I’ve gathered, usually this time of year Baja is packed with snowbirds from the US and Canada, but not so this year. Most places are empty, and I’d say 90% of the gringos we do meet are Canadian (and 90% of those are from British Columbia.) I think the bad publicity and economy have kept out the Americans.
So far, we’ve felt very safe here – everywhere in Baja. Most of Baja is set up for travelers, but not over-built like so many destinations on the mainland. For the most part, the Mexicans speak English (or at least enough to do their business.) They are also very accommodating when I’m trying to practice my Spanish. It’s sort of a mixed blessing when I try really hard to ask questions in Spanish and they respond in English.
The next day we headed a few miles south to Bahia Concepcion. We were all hungry, so we pulled into the first beach/campground that we thought had a restaurant. The restaurant was closed, but we ran into Kassandra and Justin, whom we met at the Bay of L.A., and pulled up near them for the night.
They were cool enough to entertain Bode and play cars and trucks in the sand. They hosted the bonfire later that night and more folks (more Canadians!) from down the beach came over to swap stories.
The Bay of Conception was beautiful, and the water was safe for a 4 year old. There were nice sailboats lazily moored off the beach – something we haven’t seen yet in Baja.
There are lots of great looking beaches around here and we’re starting to see more and more campers lining the miles and miles of clear blue water. And, it’s getting noticeably warmer.