Friday, December 23, 2011

Breakfast Date in San Ignacio

San Ignacio is a surreal date palm oasis in the middle of the Baja desert.  Most travelers drive right past San Ignacio on their way to the southern part of Baja.  The popular attraction of San Ignacio is the mission church in the town square. What seems to get missed by most visitors is the lagoon that has been formed by damned springs that are next to the town.  In 2003, we blasted through this area on our way south.  We quickly drove into the town square to have a look at the mission. Afterwards, as we were driving out of town, we took a picture of the water oasis - from. our. vehicle!

Since then, San Ignacio has been on our radar, especially after discovering our fondness for dates.  While we were in Australia, we became enamored with Medjool dates (usually imported from Iran).  They were $25/kg so we never bought them, but Scott's employer provided them every Friday (until they didn't).  San Ignacio has dates dropping all over the place -- our tires are covered with them!  We bought 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of dates for $3.  This morning we had date pancakes while we relaxed under the shade of the date palms.  They don't taste exactly like Medjool dates, but I'm not complaining.

Dates drying in town.  Scott enjoying date pancakes with the morning mist over San Ignacio "river/lake"
Our first day in town, we went for a hike onto the mesa overlooking town. When we came back down, we found ourselves in someone's backyard.  We navigated to one of the back-streets and headed in the general direction of the town square, where we were parked.  As we were walking, a little boy biked around us, and we exchanged holas.  After he biked past us, he circled back around.  On his second pass, he yelled "son gringos (you're gringos!)".  "Si (yes)"!  A few minutes later we walked past a man who said, "adonde (where are you going)!?". As in, "why are you white people anywhere but the town square?".  I guess our gringo-ness was definitely out of place.

We camped at Don Chon RV Park for $5/night (70 pesos).  At first, it seemed like a pretty sketchy place. It has no amenities, except for a pit toilet. Frankly, I would rather dig my own hole.  However,  we were pleased to spend 2 days parked right next to this fresh water oasis with amazing scenery.

We SUPed to the source of the San Ignacio "river/lake" -- it was a warm water spring!
While Scott was fishing the first night, he caught a tilapia.  The campground owner came to collect her money and told us the only fish in the lagoon were tilapia and carp.  Scott stopped fishing.  He says that tilapia are generally too small to justify killing/filleting.  Someone is becoming quite the picky fisherman!
"Don Chon RV Park" aka "RV Riverside Park" 
Even though we stayed only a couple of days, I felt sad when we left.  If we didn't feel such a pull to the ocean, I could spend a lot of time in San Ignacio.

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