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It started off as a daytrip to Ensenada - an opportunity to try out some of the newer wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe at the start of May. Aurora, Juan Carlos, Norma and myself headed south knowing that the journey would be slower than usual due to the newer road being closed for rebuilding after subsidence the previous December. This meant we'd need to follow the old road south, a road which bends inland near La Misión and offers spectacular mountain scenery in contrast to the coastal road under repair.

 

No visit to La Paz would be complete without a day's boat trip to the island archipelago which lies to the north of the city, consisting of Islas Espiritu Santo and Partida as well as the isolated rocks known as Los Islotes.

 

The Museo de La Vid y El Vino ("Museum of the Vine and the Wine") in the Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley) was built at a cost of $5.3 million, and opened in 2012 by the then president Felipe Calderón. Is it any good?

We tend to think of three locations when we talk about the winter calving lagoons for the California Grey Whales that lie on the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula : Laguna Ojo de Liebre (Scammon’s Lagoon) in Guerrero Negro, Laguna San Ignacio and Bahia Magdalena. Magdalena, however, isn’t really a single location at all, but a 300km long complex of lagoons, and therefore there is more than one option for those who wish to visit: the largest is Puerto San Carlos (population 4,700) to the south, which is favoured by daytrippers from Los Cabos and La Paz. Less than half the size and less visited is Lopez Mateos (population 2,000), but small can be beautiful and in this case makes for a relaxed whale watching experience at least the equal of what is available elsewhere.

Here's our recipe for this Baja Californian classic. This version comes from my sister-in-law from San Felipe and demonstrated by Norma.

Located half way down the Baja California peninsula, Guerrero Negro lacks the palm tree picture postcard appeal of San Ignacio to the south,  but it does have its own attractions which make it an interesting place to visit.

Some of the guide books refer to it as the Cantú Grade, after an ex governor, but the spectacular mountain road which connects Mexicali to Tecate and Tijuana is known locally as La Rumorosa.

Situated just 70 miles south of the US border along the spectacular Pacific coast, Ensenada offers a relaxing alternative to Tijuana, its more boisterous big brother on the border. That's not to say you can't have an action-packed visit though, with a variety of attractions within easy reach.

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 Tijuana's Revival: Part Four

"So where are we going for lunch, then?" I said as we pulled away from La Revo in the centre of Tijuana. "Los Cabos" came the reply. "Eh? That's 1,000 miles away, this car will never get there and back, and we all have things to do tomorrow!" I responded. "Don't worry" I was told "we'll be there in no time".

Tijuana's gastronomic rebirth has received a great number of plaudits in recent years, from the likes of TV food travel hosts Rick Bayless and Anthony Bourdain. The food fusion known as "Baja Med", developed in TJ and in nearby Ensenada has lead to a new kind of tourism in the region, with adventurous visitors from both sides of the border taking curated Tijuana taco tours and also sampling the fine food and wines of Ensenada's Valle de Guadalupe.

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