Source: Gary Graham’s Blog on WONews.com, Thursday, July 13, 2017
Rumors of an impending book, Baja’s Wild Side, reached my desk recently and I was eager to learn all I could about it. I immediately called an Outdoor Writer (OWAC) buddy, Diana Lindsey, owner of [Sunbelt [Publications] and publisher of Baja’s Wild Side, to get the scoop on the impending publication.
She was as eager to talk about as I was to hear about it. While I had never met the writer, PhD shark biologist, Daniel Cartamil of Scripps Institute of Oceanography personally, his reputation preceded him.
An enthusiastic photographer and passionate conservationist, Cartamil’s research brought him to one of the wildest and most remote pieces of Baja California’s Pacific coast regions, one seldom visited by many tourists. There he developed a unique relationship with a local fisherman providing him unparalleled access to natural places still untouched by the progress of many parts of Baja.
On a personal note, on my very first drive down Mex 1, shortly after the road was completed with a couple of buddies and after a longer-than-it-should-have-been lunch at Mama Espinosa’s restaurant in El Rosario, on the recommendation of Mama Espinosa, herself, (post on Mama Espinosa) we ventured west on a marginal dirt road toward Punta Baja to camp overnight near a local fish camp. Arriving at dusk we turned southward and camped on a deserted beach.
Baja or not, the early morning was overcast and chilly … not exactly what we expected. However, we did warm up to the view featured on the Baja’s Wild Side website as well as page 49 of the book, Baja’s Wild Side, before we resumed our Baja adventure south on Mex 1 in search of the Baja sun we had been promised.
Like many others, then and now, good fishing and sunny days were the nirvana sought; like horses headed for the barn with blinders on, so it was pedal to the metal until we found it! In our case, Loreto and Nopolo Cove satisfied our blended expectations that first trip.
Sure, there were a few side trips, here and there … Laguna Manuela for one, plus Magdalena Bay.
Next it was Cabo San Lucas (Santa Maria Cove) and camping on the beach when it was still pristine, long before it was developed. We ended up leaving my 23-foot Blackman skiff in Cabo for several years and flew back and forth to enjoy Baja.
That was, until we settled in the Buena Vista area and ultimately at Rancho Deluxe at East Cape in the late eighties. Still speeding to our destination and ignoring the many side trips other than Magdalena Bay.
It wasn’t until 2007 that Rancho Deluxe was purchased by a developer and we purchased the Roadtrek. At last, we began slowing down and exploring interesting side trips off the familiar beaten path of Mex 1.
Cartamil’s Baja’s Wild Side,with its 100 spectacular photographs of remote landscapes, wildlife, and cultural treasures, along with observations and stories, reminds us there is an unexplored area of Baja’s Pacific coastline, from the high sierra, to the ancient cave paintings hidden deep in the desert, to the surf-pounded Pacific, all begging to be explored.
For those of you who are still in a rush to get to your favorite spot at every opportunity, I get it. I’ve been there, done that … and would do it all over again if I had the opportunity. But I recommend you pick up a copy of Cartamil’s Baja’s Wild Side for your coffee table for future reference when you slow down a tad.
This is a “show and tell” book that will remind you that you are missing out on a very unique part of Baja to the west as you zoom by El Rosario, seeking more of the Baja you’ve learned to love.
Regardless of your personal favorite, one thing is certain; it has changed dramatically since you first discovered it. Don’t miss the opportunity to view some of the Baja coastline although threatened, still remains pristine by comparison: Perhaps, first by picking up a copy of Daniel Cartamil’s magnificent contribution about a relatively small, seldom-visited part of Baja’s west coast.