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Under California

My last 2007 trip was to Baja California, the mexican south part of that huge and wild territory which starts as the home of Hollywood industrie and the Gobernator, and ends as long narrow portion of paradise licked by the turquoise waters of the Mar de Cortes and the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean. I went with E. and a friend of him, who is photographer. I met them at Tijuana, after a 40 hours bus trip from Mexico City. Just the two days at the bus is a great travel itself, but today I can just write a brief impressions summary. As most of my travels, this one started with a book: Baja California, tierra incógnita (unknown land) by Fernando Jordán, a mexican journalist borned in Mexico City, who fell in love with that mexican land. As he says, Baja California is almost an island: it is surrounded by a sea and an ocean. In the north, where it finds its only conection with land, it is desert and border with USA (I must say that maybe it has one of the most conflictive border cities in the world: Tijuana). The second beginning of my trip was at Edgardo's mind. Baja, as locals call it, became both a dream and an obsession to him during last months. This beautiful land hosts many different weathers: from desert to pleasent beaches, from oasis to mountain, from short winter days to almost tropical mornings. Here you can find amanzing human traces: the missions, 17th century buildings (or newer) surrounded by an amazing nature, founded mostly by jesuitas monks; and the the famous cave paintings made by nomadic indigenous groups. Animals will amaze you: grey whales coming from Alaska in order to give birth to their babies, friendly sea lions, huge groups of birds as only inhabitants of protected islands, a beautiful kind of deer with zeebra's printed neck ... And plants are also outrageous: cirios (a plant with the form of an inverted carrot, with white wood and green leaves), sahuaros (tall cactus), choyas (prickly green balls), bright desert flowers, golden leaved threes... Tree places amazed me the most: the lands nearby Rosarito, Cataviña's desert and Espíritu Santo (or Holy Spirit) island. And my favorite city, a place where I imagined myself living in, was La Paz. Rosarito is a small town in Baja California north part. I was amazed because of its contrasting landscape: the deep blue ocean, the kilometers of empty land, the lonely stands of delicious seafood... Everything was so bright, cold and beatiful there, the weather was sunny and windy... And for me, a girl raised in the largest city of the world, home of twenty million people, it was amanzing to see such an empty land with almost no houses or people. Cataviña is part of the desert in the border between the North and the South of Baja. It is --except for the Sahara, that is very different-- the most beautiful desert I'd ever been into. Here you can find like huge river rocks, and even a cold water pot! As there is water in this desert, you can also find amazing flowers, and the sky above is always perfectly clean and blue. Espiritu Santo Island is in front of La Paz. It is a protected wild life area, with amazing rocky formations, sea lions and coral reefs. Image from the mexican movie Bajo California. It is about a Mexican-American artist who travels all along Baja California looking for his ancestors and making artistic installations with leaves, rocks and water on his way.

5 comentarios:

Gernot dijo...

Hello Adiana,
first your English is excellent.Just a few misspellings here and here and a Spanish spelling instead of English.
Should I say that as English is my second language.....:)
You wrote a very nice article about Baja Norte and Baja Sur which I enjoyed reading.
I live in Rosarito with my wife and also in San Diego. I am familiar with both worlds.
I am selling Baja properties to the Americans and have noticed a small drop off in sales because of the bad publicity about all the killings going on in Baja.
Keep writing about the good things that are here as I love it her too.
Yo no soy gringo, soy Austriaco.

Adriana del Moral dijo...

Hi Gernot!!
First of all, thank you for your comment, but I will apreciatte if you're more specific about my mistakes...
And yes, Baja is lovely but is more than that as you know. I think about Mexico the way I think about India: you can't just say you love the country unless you had feel, at leas once, you hate it. Otherwise, maybe you're not in love with Mexico, you're just a tourist (which is not bad, but is different).
But yes, Baja has many good things that I fell in love with.
Y sobre ser austriaco... a su modo, Baja es Babel.

Californio dijo...

Hola Adriana,
Magnifico trabajo
¿Has leído El Mar Roxo de Cortez? otro libro de Jordán.

Adriana del Moral dijo...

Gracias por tu comentario, Californio. Hasta ahora sólo conozco dos libros de Jordán, y entre ellos no está el que tú mencionas... Me gustaría saber de qué trata.
Los libros de él nos los prestaron en la representación de Baja California en la ciudad de México, pero dime tú... ¿es Jordán un referente para los bajacalifornianos? ¿Se lee mucho?
Sigue en pie el plan, próximo post sobre Ensenada.

Californio dijo...

Hola Adriana,
Tienes razón, para ser más precisos "El Mar Roxo de Cortés" es una recopilación de sus entregas, editada por la UABC en 1995-96, una especie de bitácora de viaje por el Golfo de Cortés que iniciaría en La Paz y terminaría en Nayarit, pero falleció antes de emprender una segunda etapa si es que la habría.
Si, Fernando Jordán es referencia obligada para quienes conocen Baja California, particularmente lo es para los nativos.