Thursday, December 27, 2018

In and Around Loreto, Baja California Sur

In between our sea kayaking trip and the mule trip into the Sierra San Francisco, we had three nights to rest in the town of Loreto. We explored a bit and found some great areas.

This is the façade of the Mision de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó. It is the first of all the California missions being established in October, 1697. Conchó was the local Indian word for "waterhole" and the site was chosen because of a spring of fresh water.

The old mission is beautifully maintained on its interior as well.

This is not the original mission church as this stone building was begun in 1740 and completed in 1744. A functioning mission was abandoned in 1829 but by then the little village of Loreto had grown up around it and so the church continues to be the center of life here.

Parts of Loreto have been gentrified for gringo tastes. This lovely shaded street which leads east from the Mission is full of shops and restaurants.

Our group of ten had arranged for accommodations in Nopolo, about 10 miles south of Loreto. This is a modern resort that attracts Americans and Canadians who want to escape winter.

Shrimp from the barbie! Delicious!

One day, we took the road west to San Javier. This side road travels through some wonderful country. This giant "shark's tooth" (background) is an intrusive plug that invaded the surrounding crust. A colleague of mine has studied this plug and has determined that it was emplaced quite shallow in the crust - maybe only 500 meters from the surface. Erosion has exposed it to us today.

This is a view of the same plug from the west looking east. A small chapel frames the view.

This cat greeted everyone as we peeked inside the chapel.

A large dike cuts through the surrounding rocks near the plug.

The reason San Javier exists at all is because the waterhole in Loreto proved to be inadequate for the growing of crops and a new location was found farther inland where there is more water.

In fact, this is one of the largest perennial sources of water in the entire Peninsula of Baja.

Only two years after the establishment of the mission in Loreto, Indian guides led the Spaniards to this spot where the Mission San Francisco Javier Viggé-Biaundó was established. This village today has only about 200 inhabitants and it is very quiet and remote. This mission building is the main attraction although we had a wonderful lunch across from it.

The back side of the mission church. Having grown up in Alta California, I have a special affinity for these Spanish missions.

On our way north we passed Bahia Concepción. Next I will post about the mule adventure in Baja.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wayne, I really enjoyed your great photos and well researched article on Loreto. I have the pleasure of living here in Loreto at least half of the year. Please post more of your research on the geology of this area!
Saludos. Diane Berryhill