If you have been reading our blog, you know we both love to hike and were really enjoying all the great hikes in North America. We have been struggling to find places to hike in Baja, I guess given that it is a scorchingly hot desert covered in cactus and volcanic rock makes sense why there are not a lot of established hikes. While we were at Baja Concepcion, we met a guy named Gary who drew us a map of a hike around the mountains to some beaches near where we were camping. If you read about our hike in Alaska where we had an epic fail from our hand drawn map, you would wonder why the hell we would dare to venture out on a fools errand again. I guess I am a sucker for a good adventure.
Richard, Ashley, Sam and I woke up, filled our packs with water and snacks and started climbing the volcanic rock mountain next to our beach. It was really hot and within five minutes we could no longer find the “trail”. So we winged it.
As we hiked, we would find the trail and then lose it. When we lost it it meant that we were scrambling up some pretty crazy rock faces. There were a ton of really creepy spider webs all over the volcanic rocks, but no spiders visible (thank goodness) and our biggest goal was to avoid finding a hand hold with a cactus in it or a giant spider.
There were points on this hike where we definitely felt very lost, and had to gain altitude to try to figure out where we were in relation to the coast. We also hiked to a few dead ends where we would have to split up and see what path would get us around a certain dead end (as in long drop to the sea). There were also moments that Ashley and I started to comment that the hike was starting to not be that fun (it is really hard to walk for hours on loose volcanic rock in the hot sun). But just as we would be slipping into a grumpy mood, we would reach a peak and have a view that made it all worth it.
We finally found our way down off the mountains after about 2.5 hours. However, to get to the road we had to hike through a dried river bed. Baja had just had some really unusually heavy rains and so the plants were lush and the mosquitos were breeding like mad. The last bit of hike was HELL. I will not sugar coat it. We were swarmed with mosquitos. I nearly bathed in citronella (wish I brought Deet on the hike) and Sam had to walk behind me and kill them as they landed five at a time on my back. At one point Richard looked like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown, with about thirty mosquitos just following him. Surprisingly, I did not get a ton of bites (thanks Citronella) but Sam got eaten alive on his legs, poor thing. Overall, the hike took about four hours and was totally worth it, we saw some really beautiful views and I would do it again (well, maybe not the bug gauntlet).