segment of our expedition took us from Bahia Maria to Mission San
Francisco Borja in the center of the baja peninsula. To do this
journey required yet-another dose of slow, wash-boarded gravel
road. But, once we were past the rough segment, we had a
reasonable paved highway until our jumping off point to the dirt.
The photos below are what we saw.
Mexican road crew loved Matt's 416.
photo above shows elephant trees on the left, yuccas in the foreground,
a cirio and a yucca in bloom in the background.
the way, we passed this raptor nest. I think this is an eagle
rather than an osprey.
passed some impressive stands of cactus on our trail to nowhere.
Cholla are in the foreground above, Creeping Devil cactus on the right.
of the cirios had multiple heads that branched again.
our way into the mountains we passed many ranchos. This rancho
had a reasonable Ford pickup body in the "front yard".
is classic central baja terrain.
end of the line. The vaqueros confirmed our fears that we were
way, way off course. 2 hours in, 2 hours out, then off to the
actual road to the mission.
arrived at Mission San Francisco Borja around sundown and found this
fellow wandering around. Ever hungry, Matt was asking for a large
tortilla to wrap him up.
mission had some palapas and allowed camping for 100 pesos per
vehicle. The place was interesting and the deluxe toilet
accomdations were included in the camping fee.
did not use the palapas, but rather just raised the roof in the parking
lot. The photo above was shot the following morning.
mission site was a true oasis including palm trees, fruit orchards,
bean fields as well as a hot springs. Kathleen and I did not
avail ourselves of the "you dip" shower, but the others did and came
back with happy faces.
mission was much bigger and in much better repair than I had
envisioned. Built in the 1750s by the Dominicans, it cost the
lives of over 1,000 indians during it's construction. It was
abandoned in the middle 1800s. The family that lives on site has
personally done the reconstruction of the mission. Our tour guide
said that he is the 7th generation of his family that has lived here.
was quite a bit of intricate stone work on the facade of the mission.
spiral stair case was made of hand-hewn stone steps.
stairs led to the choir alcove above as well as providing acess to the
roof. The guide stated that the due to the stone walls, the acoustics
are excellent here.
gutters were also made of hand-hewn stone and were carved with an
intricate star-in-square design.
asked the tour guide to take our photo. Rear (L to R): Nancy,
Matt, Kathleen, Bob, Dan, Ron. Front: Kai, Bill.
view of the stone pulpit.
don't know if the painting is original, but I am certain that the
electrical connections are not.
wash basin. The water comes out at the base of the shell and drains
through the floor.
mission is built at the confluence of 2 (usually) running
arroyos. Even if the streams are not running on the surface, the
water table is close to the surface to make a well a reasonable source
A good view of an Old Father cactus.The mission was a reasonable camp spot. It was odd having the families living across the parking area from our camp, but the facilities were clean. But, their dogs cleaned us out. We turned our backs on them and they jumped on the table and ate our left-over bratworsts.
|Trip Home Page|
Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2011, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.