[ A 'Good Stretch' on the Baja Iguana Trail ]

Mexico - Page 2

My second visit to Mexico came in 1969. My office job in the purchasing department of SMUD was boring, my fellow students were rioting on the college campus, Nixon was trying to turn the nation into a police state, and nature was calling again - south of the border. My wife and I wanted to find a place to settle down in the tourism business, some unspoiled place in the tropics. So we headed down the Baja Iguana Trail (there was no real road below Ensenada at that time) with a four-wheeler and a 25' trailer house. It took two weeks to make the trip from Ensenada to Muleje, at an average speed of 5 m.p.h. A very hard trip - but at that speed we were able to observe a great deal in this unique desert! No one had seen a trailer house down there before, so we were a real curiosity to the natives. We parked the trailer in the shade of a Date Palm grove, near the only river found on this 800 mile peninsula. For eight months we worked on various ideas and with local people to do something with 'roughing it' tourism in Baja (the term 'ecotourism' had not been coined yet) - but nothing worked out to our satisfaction. As usual - I am ahead of my time. But I learned a great deal about the Baja ecology by getting into scuba diving and exploring the fauna and flora of this fabulous desert by the sea.

[ Catching Sea Turtles in 1969 was a legitimate means of living off the land. ]

The third stay was ten years later when I worked with a seafood company, traveling back and forth on the Pacific coast from Zihuatanejo to the Guatemala border buying product. During the '80's I have made many trips to the country with my present wife Barbara, mostly dive vacations with side trips to the various Mayan ruins of the Yucatan. The most out-standing trip was to the Chinchorro Reef by private boat. One of the last unspoiled reefs in the Caribbean. We did not see another person or vessel on the reef for the week we were there. You can easily feed yourself from the bounty of the reef (which we did) and even swim with wild dolphins (which we did).

[ Wife Barbara & I - Back From Shopping For Dinner ]

So back to 1969 and our attempt to get into Baja tourism. When prospects didn't improve by year's end (1969) - the wife and I went off to check out another 'off the beaten track' location for tourism - the Bay Islands, Honduras