Guide Report ~
Noly Lira - Jan/Feb 2015
For me, the first Baja trip of the season is always filled with a heightened sense of anticipation. News of the whale counts down in the lagoons makes its way north and over the border, so that by the time I’m meeting my tour group in San Diego, I’m as excited as my guests who are making this journey for the very first time. And this year was no different.
It was a nice, big group of eight people, including a precocious six year old and his mum from Australia, as well as an assortment of much more experienced travelers, mostly from the States. We had a well-traveled group, but most had never been to see the gray whales in the lagoons of Baja, so I knew they were in for a real “once-in-a-lifetime” experience. I couldn’t wait.
I always do my best to describe the rugged beauty of the Baja Peninsula to my guests upon their arrival, but my words never do it justice. When we drive through the towns along our route, the unhurried pace and quiet solitude reminds us that we are far south of the border.
Along the way we have the opportunity to view the incredible and vast terrain filled with vegetation that has adapted for survival in a harsh environment. The Baja Peninsula is famous for dozens of varieties of plants that are at home in such a magical yet challenging land. The giant cardon is a cactus plant that is found all along our route, and it resembles the saguaro of the Sonora and Arizona desert. On this trip we were able to see the first blooms on many such flowering species. The octillio was just starting and the chollas were stunning.
Even though we pass some remarkable sights on our trip south, not until we reach our final destination of Campo Cortez on the San Ignacio Lagoon do the guests realize that they are in a truly unique world. And as wonderful as all the unspoiled beauty of the camp and its terrestrial surroundings are, the best is yet to come, and it awaits us out in the wonderful azure waters of the San Ignacio Lagoon.
Upon our arrival, everyone settled into their cabins and they were ready for the first of many incredible meals that the camp staff prepares. Once finished, we were ready for the lagoon and we were fortunate enough to experience friendly gray whales on our first trip out. Each day of the trip was as incredible as the one before it.
With so many whales in the lagoon, you don’t know where to look -- with breaching and spy hopping all around us. On one of our afternoons we spent an hour observing the courtship and mating behaviors of the whales.
Much thanks to my first tour group of the season: Bob and Pat celebrating a 40 year marriage, Lisa celebrating her birthday, John, Shar, Cathy, Taryna, Thomas, Peggy and Mark's generous spirits all added to one fantastic and very memorable camp experience.
Until next time,