Cacti-paradise in Catavina
We are sad to drive further away from the ocean, but have heard only amazing things about the areas to come...The road south heads inland away from the ocean and takes us up over some winding mountain roads and then drops into the little town of Rosario, where we understand you can't pass without two things. The first is gas, since the next station is 280km away at the sea of cortez. The second is to stop at Mama Espanoza's for a lobster burrito, which we would have done if lobster wasn't out of season. We settle instead for the crab burrito, which is great- but we marvel at the American prices in this small town in the middle of nowhere. They get a lot of 4x4 travelers, especially during the baja 1000, and clearly know the rest of us are "trapped" into stopping as well. We hit the Internet cafe and had planned on staying the night, but it's early enough so we continue to the halfway point across baja, Catavina.
As we start getting close to Catavina the landscape changes dramatically. Suddenly we are in high desert with enormous cactus and boulders blanketing the landscape. This makes for a fun drive and we are excited to pull into Catavina a few hours before sunset. We grab a drink and jump in the pool at the only hotel in town and talk for a moment to the only couple staying here- a couple who developed some real estate in cabo and still live there...astonished that people in the states let the news stop them from traveling to mexico, much less to uber-military protected baja. We check out the rancho where we heard camping was offered for $10/night but decide their parking lot is less attractive than several boondocking options we saw on the way into town.
As the sun sets we drive north a few km, look for a dirt road to pull off the highway and tuck behind some boulders in the middle of the desert. Far better view for our typical camping price: free. Other than karma and i being attacked by cacti in the dark, the space was perfect for our night in Catavina.
A few chorizo tacos later we stare at easily the clearest nightscape we've had in the trip and then call it a night. As seems to be our trend with desert camping- karma woke up barking hysterically at something and Jen continued the "search" several times into the night. She's still torn on whether the terrifying noises outside the bus were a chipmunk or a mexican ninja.