Leaving Guerro Negro we were bound for one of our favorite places in the Baja, Bahia Concepcion! From last year’s trial run we knew exactly what to expect…delicious tacos, tasty margaritas, phenomenal beach camping, and great people.
There was one stop that we wanted to make along the drive down, San Ignacio. This little town sits in an oasis in the middle of the Baja desert surround by date palms. Finally some shade! We spun into town for lunch, checking out the historic church and some of the local culture. Several families were setting up tributes to their families for Día de Los Muertos.
Peeling out of San Ignacio, we made quick work of the road to Bahia Concepcion as we were familiar with the drive over and through the mountains and the myriad of switchbacks. We breezed through the mining town of Santa Rosalia before making a stop in Muluge to stock up on supplies (beer and dinner). After another 15 minute drive we finally arrived at Playa Santispac, Bahia Concepcion. We quickly setup camp and enjoyed a couple cold beverages with our neighbor, Craig. What a riot this guy was! There is definitely a strange eclectic mix of people you meet on the road.
The next morning, we woke to the sound of him and his niece, Sarah, laughing and having a good ol’ time. As soon as we poked our heads out of our tents (Mitch out of the hammock), we discovered that the two of them were 2 bottles deep into champagne, and it was only fuckin’ 730 in the morning! Our only option at this point was to join the raucous duo and have a couple morning beverages ourselves. Retired life definitely has it benefits! By the end of it, the team had successfully drank 5 bottles of champagne and one or 2 cups of OJ…
It was 9am and the drunk duo really needed to get a move on towards the Homeland, so they hit the road, while we worked up quite an appetite. Luckily, there were several vendors caravanning the beach selling delicious empanadas for the low low price of 20 pesos, “I’ll take them all!” Justin exclaimed, and for good reason too, these puppies were delicious! The next vendor wasn’t selling empanadas or any food for that matter, but was offering to take people out on his ponga to catch chocolate clams.
After some bartering, hemming, and hawing, we finally agreed on a price that would make those in the States think we took advantage of Ol’ Chicho, but in reality he was beyond stoked. We grabbed the tequila and snorkel gear and headed for an adventure at sea. It wasn’t long before we were all in the water trying to figure out what the hell we were supposed to be looking for. Good Ol’Chicho didn’t give us any hints, tips, or tricks. After an hour searching and no luck the three of us gave up, retreated to the ponga, and sipped on our delicious bottle of $2 tequila.
Chicho wasn’t ready to give up though. We quickly motored on to another spot. He was insistent that we have clams for lunch. The water clarity was much better at this spot, but we still couldn’t for the life of us figure out what we were supposed to be looking for. He’d find small bubbles rising up from the sand, reach deep down, and somehow pull out a clam. Cold and exhausted, he eventually brought 9 fatty’s to the surface for harvest. He was disappointed with his catch and promised to take us back out tomorrow if we were dissatisfied. A dash of hot sauce and a squirt of lemon and we were eating some of freshest, most delectable, sea food any of us had encountered! We were beyond satisfied.
We spent the remainder of the day relaxing in the hammocks, chatting with neighbors, and drinking a few margaritas. While Playa Santispac, and all of Bahia Concepcion for that matter, has been one of our favorite place in the Baja we were keen to continue on south before the droves of geriatrics showed up in their big RVs for the winter. Motoring on, we had our hearts set on whale sharks and the aquarium of the sea, Cabo Pulmo.