Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 5 – January 9

We had a relatively short trip today (as the crow flies) - - we went south along the coast for a short distance and then turned inland over a mountain range (approximately 1,500 feet) with a lot of twists and turns and steep hills and descents. We reached a straight boring road on a desert plane – lots of cactuses.

Along the way we saw attempts at farming, but it was basically desert land in a low enough spot to be pumped onto the surface.

At the end of the plane we took Route 1 over a small mountain range into La Paz (175,000 people), the largest city south of Tijuana on the Baja Peninsula. The city has an attractive waterfront promenade with roller skating and bicycle riding. The benches along the promenade offer views of the deserted offshore islands and beautiful turquoise water.

We went looking for camping spots but elected to stay in a downtown hotel with a large sign proclaiming “keep all valuables with you - not responsible for lost or stolen articles.”

Tomorrow we will take the ferry from La Paz to Mazatlán – about a 12 hour trip across the Gulf of California. The ferry looks enormous and is largely used for freight (looks as though they will be packing our motorcycles into coat closets).

Evident in La Paz is the financial meltdown – the tourist trade is significantly down and there are frequent examples of “see through” buildings laying half finished waiting for the economy to improve.

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