After driving through the desert that surrounds Cataviña we arrived upon the date and palm oasis of San Ignacio. The small village is a shining island of concentrated life juxtaposed to the sparsely populated desert. The heart of the palm forest which surrounds the village square presents what I imagine to be the perfect bird sanctuary. The sound of what must have been over a dozen different species of birds created the auditory backdrop. Although we only spent a few hours in the town we resisted the temptation to extend our stay. We were excited to get to our next stop, Santa Rosalia.
Just outside of a copper mine, Santa Rosalia is a bustling town busting at its seams. With only two one lane streets working their way through town it was bumper to bumper during our entire time there. The town church is an unusual steal structure designed by Gustav Eifel (yes, that Eifel). To match, Santa Rosalia has the only French Bakery you’re likely to find on Baja. On our way out of town we couldn’t resist the offer of a street vendor for corn on the cob. Prepared just as Zali had taught us, each cob lathered with mayo, sprinkled with cayenne and sprayed with lime juice. Don’t knock the mayo until you’ve tried it.
Just south of Santa Rosalia, our guide book took us 10 miles down a curvy dirt road to a desolate beach on Punta Chivato. As we lay in bed with the rear hatch open to the ocean, and the sound of the waves lulling us to sleep, I began to sense the nerves I’ve had since the boarder easing. Travelling into Mexico had ceased to exist only as a concept and is now a reality. The myths we had collected over the past year will now be put to the test.