Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The coastal mountains of Baja California between La Paz and Loreto are awesome. For days, we have been traveling north at the foot of these peaks, which rise abruptly from the shoreline - three, four, even five thousand feet, in some places within a halfmile of the sea. The cliffs are banded with color, not consistently, but in a range of hues and rock types. We haven’t begun to learn much about the geology behind the spectacle; we are still at the stage of gazing in awe as we move past the always changing mass of rock.
These mountain ranges have wonderful, but confusing names. North of La Paz is the range known as Sierra Las Tarabillas. I understood this for a long time as ‘Las Terribles’ – the terrible ones. But this is spelled differently, and might refer to a bird called the ‘tarabilla’. This range has amazing bands of color.
Further north, around Loreto, the mountain range is La Sierra de la Giganta, and we are pretty sure how that translates. We are anchored now at Puerto Escondido, and the mountains here rise very abruptly and dramatically from the shore. Tonight we watched after sunset as the mountains darkened, while Venus and the Moon sat together a little higher in the sky, as if in respect of the mountain splendor.