Saturday, June 22, 2013

La Paz (Mexico)

We catch a huge ferry from Los Mochis (Mexico) to La Paz at 9 am. Ship gracefully moves in the peaceful water of the enclosed Gulf of California. Water is still, blue and once a while you can see a large fish, as this gulf is shark infested so we see sharks too. Sea gulls are flying along the ship because it stirs up the water in the back and brings small fishes up and bird dive in the water like a missile. Before diving, seagull becomes like a torpedo and dives as deep as 20 feet and always returns with a fish in its beak.
Baja California Desert
Baja California Desert

I never saw a seagull fail to find a fish in water. Another fascinating thing this I notice about Seagulls is that these birds can hover at a same place even in the strong gale, like a helicopter. They are great in maneuvering their wings and tail to stay stationary in the air. As we are standing by the rails on the deck, a Mexican student engages me in the conversation; he loves Yoga but does not know where to start.
Baja California Desert
Sea Lions in the Ocean
I met many people in Latin America who love Yoga but it stays a concept to them. This girl whom I fell in love in Peru also loved Yoga but it stayed a love and passion and never came to a reality practice. Latin America is so disconnected with India.
As we are conversing, boy pauses and points to a very large vicious fish idling in the water.
He says, “This is a great white shark.”
Baja California Desert
Huge live cactus
Yes indeed that was a great white shark, majestically and gracefully swimming in the still blue water; totally ignoring the huge passenger ship.
I forgot to tell you that we are going to Baja California.
Now what is Baja California?
Baja California, pronounced in Spanish as Baha California as Baha means Lower California which is the northernmost and westernmost state of Mexico. The Baja California is a long neck of land of Mexico.
Baja California Desert
Cactus fruit harvesting
It is about 150 km wide and extending 1,300 km south from the border with California in the USA to the Tropic of Cancer near its southern tip.
For most of its length this peninsula is separated from mainland Mexico (the province of Sonora) by the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortex). Several mountain ranges form a backbone to Baja California, so that the land rises from sea level on the west (Pacific) coast to elevations ranging from about 1200 to 3000 meters, before dropping again towards the Gulf of California. Baja California is mostly deserting, since it is a finger in the water so air is moisture ridden and hence it has a diverse flora and cactus.
Baja California Desert
Huge cactus
It is the most beautiful desert in the world.
Watching sharks and Merlin fishes chasing tuna and drinking chilled beers our ferry reach at La Paz (Mexico) at 3 PM. Between La Paz to San Cablo Lucas (tip of the peninsula) lies the Tropic of Cancer line (23. 5 degree North), In India this lines passes near Bhopal and Ranchi etc.
Baja California Desert
Cactus fruits harvesting.
We board on a small colorful bus to downtown and road turns out a very scenic facing the blue sea crashing at the rocks at one side and colorful desert at one side. As we arrive near town, a very long white sand beach begins. Sand is so white and clean that it feels like sugar. Some sea-lions are also playing near the shore. Anyway La Paz is also called as Nature’s Aquarium because whales can be seen, sharks can be seen, sea lions can be seen, blue marlins can be see here.
La Paz down town turns out a nice area to walk around. Main central Cathedral and plaza is not the one of grandest even seen but it is very pleasing to be here. We take a room in a hotel in downtown and after taking a bath we walk to the beach.
Baja California Desert
Baja California Desert
Children are playing; some are having fun with a huge stranded electric ray fish. I wonder it may still give some nasty electric shock but a man says that its batteries are exhausted. I drag it back in the water by its tail so it may make it back to its home in water but it does not budge because it is too wounded and exhausted and I give it up. It is still faintly breathing, that we can observe.
Baja California Desert
Baja California Desert
When we return after a long walk on the beach, fish is still there and now dead. I guess nobody eats Electric Rays.
Next day we take a bus going towards Todos Los Santos on the Pacific coast. Road turns out a most scenic desert road full of rainbow colors. On the beach there I see a giant SUV running on the water and then it takes us a while to realize that it is a whale.
Baja California Desert
Baja California Desert
People are surfing on the huge 20 or 30 foot blue water waves. This town is full of art galleries of ancient art. We go in the water to swim but we are warned to be careful because waves may toss us back in the sands 30 feet away or just take us to the bottom of deep sea. In front of almost each shop is lying a whale bone or vertebra that is the size of a motorcycle.
Some people made a stool of whale vertebras for customers to sit upon.
Near evening we take a bus back to La Paz because beauty of desert must not be missed. We leave bus before 6 kilometers of La Paz just to walk in the extremely beautiful desert. Driver asks us if we have enough water, we show him the bottle.
We meet two men walking on the road; one is carrying a huge fish on his shoulder. Fish’s head is round. We ask him the name is the fish and it is Mahi Mahi. They ask us for water and I give them our water bottle assuming that they will leave some for us but they both finish the whole bottle and walk away.
Baja California Desert
Baja California
We wander around in the desert on our way to La Paz and get extremely thirsty because of dry air of the desert. We never anticipated that one can get that much thirsty in such a little time. Some how we arrive at the outskirts of the town in the near collapse state. We stand in front of a home and lady there does not ask us anything but runs inside and brings us water.
Next evening we see sports fishing boats arriving with more Mahi Mahi fishes. Their sides are golden with iridescent greens and blues, and their belly is white and yellow. These colors can change rapidly, excited fish “light up”, and dying mahi-mahi often turn silvery over-all with blue spots on the flanks. These colors darken when the fish dies so it is sad to see this beautiful creature die.
Baja California Desert
Mahi Mahi fish
We take a road going in the desert and in the deep We see some people harvesting fruits from huge cactus trees with long poles. We also eat lots of sweet & sour fruits.

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