San Ignacio to Loreto
I took an early morning walk into the town square before the ride today. All was quiet with just a few locals sweeping the streets outside of their shops.
The following excerpt from our tour paperwork explains today. “Ahead of us this morning is the massive ‘Volcan Las Tres Virgenes’. Which tells us the origin of recent lava flows around us. We descend Devils Grade, seven miles of switchbacks that take us down to the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez. We ride along the shores of beautiful Bahia Conception, whose deep-blue waters, volcanic islands, and isolated beaches are real Baja delights. In the afternoon we reach Loreto, the oldest Spanish settlement along the West Coast. The town offers a picturesque central plaza, shopping, and an array of excellent restaurants.”
We had a rest day upon arriving at Loreto. Our van driver took 4 of us up the mountain to San Javier Mission. Founded in 1697 by Jesuit Missionaries, it’s the oldest Spanish settlement on the Baja peninsula and one of the best preserved. Beats the hell out of me how or more importantly why they would want to create a settlement up in the mountains like they did. It was a challenge getting up there with a paved road, how did they manage without one?