Baja History

Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula:

This long narrow strip of land stretching south from California USA is 750 miles long as the crow fly. If you drive Hwy 1 all the way to Lands End in Cabo San Lucas you will travel 1,007.17 miles. If you drive hard it is a 21 hours and 40 minutes on a good day. Baja is divided into two states, Baja California Norte (North) and Baja California Sur (South). The two States are divided by the 28th Parallel.   At its widest point it is 123 mile wide and at its narrowest point it is 26 miles wide. To cross the Sea of Cortez to reach mainland Mexico at its narrowest point is about 56 miles and at its widest point is about 123 miles. The San Andreas Fault runs right down the middle of the Sea of Cortez. The peninsula is moving away from the mainland at a rate of 2 inches per year. Not to far from La Paz in 15 feet of water you can see the fault line and feel the hot water.

Most people consider Baja as a waste land or outpost of old wild west Mexico. Its mountainous rocky landmass is longer than the country of Italy.  A scarcely populated, remote world of fishing villages, mining towns and exotic hideaways.

This brutal landscape has an enormous variety of wildlife. Home to rattle snakes, spiders, scorpions, lizards, birds of prey, mountain sheep, coyotes and a few wild horses. The land is dotted with cactus, palm trees,  fruit trees, deserts, tropics and bamboo, mountains and beaches. The sea and coast is home to whales, seals, dolphins, sharks, octopus, stingray and a whole host of tropical fish.  There are some plants and animals that are only found in Baja.

Baja California’s history is colorful with drama and intrigue of pirates, tribes, explorers and thieves and movie stars to mesmerize the adventurers. John Wayne spent a lot of time at Papa Fernández place.

  
Pictured here is Jan Lee, Roger, Papa and Uncle Stu in 1998.     http://www.papafernandez.com

Papa passed away on February 20, 2001 at 104 year old, but his family keeps the camp and small restaurant running.
There are still left over props from the movies that John Wayne created just north of Papas.

There are lots of stories played out on this strip of magical wild untamed land. Even today, as world travelers flock to Baja to soak up its extravagant beauty, mainland Mexico still treat their peninsula like a remote settlement with mystical power.

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