Map of Baja

in baja sur
The Islets of Bahia Coyote
La Trinidad
Guerrero Negro and Dunas de Soledad

in baja norte
Tijuana to El Rosario
El Rosario to Catavina
Catavina to Bahia de Los Angeles
Bahia de Los Angeles to San Felipe
Mountains of Baja Norte
Canyons of Baja Norte






courtesy of
Erik Gauger
copyright 2003

I did this with some hesitant success, and after one fall into the sea, I followed Brother Hans around the bend. "This is where we climb up," he said. I followed him. For a climber, this short boulder-effort is a walk-in-the-park, for me I see plenty of jagged rocks below my feet.

"One of the things about climbing," he said, is that climbing up is much easier than climbing down. You first." "No way, can't do it," I said.
"Of course you can."
"What if I just climbed a little lower."
"Not safe."

When I jumped off a rock into the sea in an abandoned island in Mexico, I knew why we came here, and why Hans made me jump. He followed with a splash and said, "Hey, we're in Mexico!"

It is remarkable, how, despite the relative obscurity of a place - Isla Guapa, home of the blue-footed booby and endangered osprey - man-glass appears anywhere, even here. It is shameful, but representative of Northern Mexico in general, where trash is everywhere, anywhere you go. Relative cleanliness is deceptive; because trash is mostly just visual environmentalism. We have our white-trash throwing their Pabst's on the roadside. The Mexicans have their Mexican-trash throwing their Dos-Equis in the ditches.

Whether or not someone is there to clean it all up or not, the Sea of Cortez is still being raped, and the Colorado River a dying river, despite how many clean-up crews are working their shores. Most of environmentalism is obtuse at best from the vantage of home, but travel objectifies it; makes the smallness of the world apparent; the influence of man clear, and the purpose of it all in bold-type. To see something with your own eyes is to understand something in a way that no book or painting can imagine, no photograph can cover, no song can turn alive.

Carl Sagan once wrote of discovery, "When you make the finding yourself - even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light - you'll never forget it." Those television sportsmen do it because they are still in love with man's basic desire for sport: to run, to challenge oneself, to compete and to hurdle oneself into the air. This thought startles me, as Brother Hans and I leave Isla Guapa for Isla Bargo - sport is man's closest tie to nature. In our modern world, it is our only common tie to it. It is impossible to love sport, and not love the idea of conservation.