Baja California, Mexico (Part 3 of 3)


This final part covers our visit to the amazing oasis town of San Ignacio, situated about 100 miles southeast of Guererro Negro and our return to San Diego with one night stop back at Cataviña. The two major attraction that attracted us to this small but beautiful town were the church, Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán and the super friendly town people. After spending two nights, we made the long 12-hour drive back to San Diego.

Mar 1 (Day 6)

Jim had planned the trip in such a way that we would be at San Ignacio on Sunday when most of the folks of the town were expected to be at the church. We left the hotel and reached the square next to the church. There was hardly anyone either in the church or around the square and we took our time walking around the town to capture some images. There were a couple of restaurants and a telephone office along with some smaller stores that sell groceries and supplies, but all were closed.

Homefront near the San Ignacio Town Square
Nikon D610 65mm f8 1/200sec ISO 250
San Ignacio Telephone Office
Nikon D610 112mm f5.6 1/400sec ISO 500
Storefront at the San Ignacio Town Square
Nikon D610 105mm f5.6 1/40sec ISO 500

By around 1000, people started arriving at the church. Jim had brought pictures of people he had taken during his previous visit and handed them over to the appropriate folks. He does this every year, and they were eagerly waiting for their pictures. He seemed to know pretty much everyone in the town. All of us attended the service. After the service, we photographed the people at the church and at the square.

Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán
Nikon D610 30mm f8 1/200sec ISO 100
At the church courtyard
Nikon D610 85mm f2.8 1/400sec ISO 100
One of the side entrances to the church
Nikon D610 65mm f8 1/100sec ISO 250
Church Main Entrance shot an hour before the service
Nikon D7100 85mm f7.1 1/320sec ISO 400
Two cowboys were kind enough to have their pictures taken
Nikon D7100 85mm f8 1/400sec ISO 500
A girl going home after the service
Nikon D7100 85mm f4 1/400sec ISO 220
A Guitar Player in front of the church playing his instrument after the service
Nikon D7100 85mm f5.6 1/320sec ISO 180

I walked around our hotel, The Desert Inn after lunch and captured a few images.

The Desert Inn Courtyard
Nikon D610 24mm f11 1/200sec ISO 250
The Desert Inn Swimming Pool
Nikon D610 24mm f11 1/160sec ISO 200
Palm Leaf

In the afternoon we visited the nearby river where a few men were fishing. There were date palms on either side of the river, planted by the Jesuits in the 18th century. Below are two images of the fishermen that I captured.

San Ignacio fisherman
Nikon D610 65mm f8 1/400sec ISO 500
San Ignacio fisherman
Nikon D610 70mm f8 1/400sec ISO 800

Mar 2 (Day 7)

It was time to get back to San Diego, about 12 hours north. After breakfast, we drove to Cataviña where we stayed for the night at the same hotel, Hotel Mision Catavina. In the afternoon, we drove a bit north to the Boulderfield for a sunset shoot.

A Barrel Cactus
Nikon D7100 30mm f16 1/50sec ISO 100
Cardón Cactus with Moon
Nikon D7100 24mm f14 1/50sec ISO 100
Cataviña Sunset
Nikon D7100 24mm f13 1/100sec ISO 100
Cataviña Sunset
Nikon D7100 24mm f13 1/20sec ISO 100

Mar 3 (Day 8)

Some of us got up early to shoot sunrise images in the back of the hotel. There were numerous types of cacti. Here a few images from the shoot.

Cataviña Sunrise behind the hotel
Nikon D7100 40mm f13 1/20sec ISO 200
Cataviña Sunrise behind the hotel
Nikon D7100 40mm f22 1/20sec ISO 200

After breakfast we started our 300-mile drive back to San Diego. On the way, we stopped to see cave paintings. I didn’t shoot any images of the paintings, but I did shoot an interesting looking cardon cactus that I called Touchdown Cardon.

Touchdown Cardon
Nikon D610 46mm f10 1/400sec ISO 400

We stopped for lunch at San Quintin, small town about 120 miles north of Cataviña. A few miles south of the US-Mexico border we encountered a drizzle with a double rainbow. Jim stopped the van, and all got a few shots of the beautiful phenomenon.

A Double Rainbow
Nikon D610 28mm f10 1/320sec ISO 400
Double Rainbow
Nikon D610 45mm f10 1/320sec ISO 400

We reached the border at around 1730. We dropped off the van, cleared US customs and immigration, reloaded our luggage into another van and returned to San Diego.

Overall, it was a terrific trip superbly organized and executed by Jim. Spending close to 9 hours with the gray whales is something that I’ll never forget. I highly recommend Jim’s tour to Baja for a fantastic, hassle-free experience.

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