Baja Bush Pilots International Excursion 2012

Far away from the day-to-day errands, chores and work obligations is a land where sea lions snooze, snort and bump bellies on volcanic rock formations, pelicans flirt and splash in turquoise water at the edge of white sand beaches, and dolphins chase each other in a sort of choreographed dance. In this place sunsets are so brilliant they make you second guess what you are seeing. And things are just slower. This is Baja. I spent a few days there in March as part of an excursion with the International Baja Bush Pilots – my second time going in two years. It’s a seven-hour flight in a Cessna 180 across barren deserts, sharp mountain peaks and over the Sea of Cortez. In the sea, schools of fish swim around in black swarms. We stayed in Loreto this time. Last time we were north in the village of Mulege. We were greeted with margaritas at the airport – a pleasant treat after a long journey. Our friends who took another airplane down were already at the hotel, pool-side with cocktails in hand, when we arrived. More margaritas? Please. Yes, thank you. We traveled to a lagoon on the Pacific called San Ignacio, where hundreds of gray whales gather to mate. We were taken by an old fisherman with Coke-bottle glasses and missing teeth in a panga into the lagoon. Whales swam under our little boat, and nudged the side of it.  A mamma and her baby let us touch their rubbery skin. We are tiny creatures in comparison. It is good to be reminded of our place on this planet every once in a while. The rest of the trip was spent enjoying a clam bake on the beach, having a home-cooked meal at Canipole by Sophia, a woman whose heart and soul seems to go into every morsel. There is no menu – she feeds you what she wants. She showed me the adobe oven she uses to bake bread. Our multi-course meal included things like mole that had 27 ingredients, the best chile relleno I have ever eaten, black bean soup and candied pumpkin for dessert. If vacation could only last just a little bit longer.

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