First off, IES is located in the Gulf of Californina (aka Sea of Cortez) near the town of La Paz, which is on the lower end of the Baja Peninsula, in the state of Baja California Sur, Mexico. The flight from Mexico City is a little under 2 hrs.
I contacted www.kayakbaja.com, who are located in La Paz, and they were very helpful in providing us information to help us plan our trip. They gave us an excellent map with descriptions of each beach and lots of other tips. We were able to rent all our gear from them (kayaks & equipment, tent, sleeping bag & pad, wetsuit, snorkel gear and dromedary bags). They even had 2 bottles of white gas to sell us, saving us a trip to the gas station to pick some up.
To begin, we flew from St John's - Toronto - Mexico City. We decided to do an overnight in Mexico City to go and see the ruins of Teotihuacan. What an experience, MC was nuts. The ruins are abou a 45 min taxi ride (cost $65) from the airport and the traffic was insane. I've been a few places, and that was something else. But our driver was good, very friendly and got us to our destination safely. We stayed at Villas Arqueologicas Teotihuacan, which is right next to the ruins. The hotel was inexpensive, and nice. The ruins were unbelievable, with the tallest pyramid in the western hemisphere. I'll share a few photos of that, because its amazing.
|Pyramid of the Sun|
|Pyramid of the Moon|
The big problem you have here is water. There is NO DRINKING WATER on the island, so you have to bring your own. 1 gallon per person per day, and i must say that was pretty bang on for us. Now, how to carry 18 gallons of water in 3 kayaks along with everything else for 6 days is another problem. We bought 18 gallons and the store, and were able to rent 11 dromedary bags from kayakbaja, which was great, made them take up much less space.
|Thats a lot of H20!|
|See you in 6 days amigos!|
Our plan was to paddle about 8kms to beach #3 (they were numbered on the map we had printed off). Its amazing how everything is so new and amazing when you are in a new place, especially if you have never been there before. I had never been to this part of the world, so seeing cactus and this type of desert landscape was amazing for me. The island itself is very hilly and mountainous, a lot more than I expected, so it makes for quite the backdrop to paddle against every day.
|Interesting rock formations|
|Our first campsite.|
|The are a lot of pelicans in this picture|
|Amazing how life can spring up anywhere|
Before supper we snorkeled out through the cove, swam to the other side and snorkeled back to the campsite. That was awesome, lots of little nooks and crannies to poke in around. That evening, we were getting supper and saw some movement on the rocks. Turns out it was a ring tailed cat who was curious. Later that night he got into our kayaks and tried to get some of the bags open. I had to go out and shoe him away. I didn't get a picture, but here is what they look like.
|Ring Tailed Cat|
|Heading into beach #9|
|One of the 4 sea turtles we saw|
|Pictures never do it justice, but this one captures the colour of the water pretty good|
|We ended the day on Isla Partida, beach #14, total distance paddled around 18kms|
|You can hear the sea lions from a long way off|
|Paddling through a sea arch|
|They were everywhere, and very curious|
|This guy came up and sniffed my waterbottle|
|Rob had these two swimming circles around him|
|After our fun with the sea lions, we headed down the eastern side of the island. The conditions were amazing, flat calm|
|Shallows between the islands|
The next day we planned to paddle back close to where we were gonna pick up, and then take it easy and relax for the day. Along the way, we saw a manta ray close to the surface.
Rob really wanted to snorkel with mantas, and low and behold we came across two huge mantas that were on the bottom. Rob booted into a beach, got on his snorkel gear while I kept track of where they were. Trent then towed him to the mantas and he was able to get next to them. They were about 8ft across. I couldn't get a picture when he was next to them, but got a few of the mantas.
|Our last camp. Beautiful, but lots of bugs. I got stung by a bee too|
|Waiting for pickup the next morning. Our shuttle was right on time!|
My knee held up really well, which was a surprise. I thought the snorkelling would be more troublesome, but it wasn't bad at all. Bit of grinding and crunching going on in the joint, but nothing serious. I can safely say my arthritis is under control. Hopefully it stays that way.