Saturday, February 21, 2015

Guide Report-San Ignacio Lagoon

Game for an adventure! Donna´s 81st year

 By Maria-Teresa Solomons
Most visitors arrive at the Laguna San Ignacio by plane which lands on an isolated desert airstrip, about an hour from the Baja Ecotours camp on the “Burro” (donkey), a converted 70´s American school bus. The bus formerly named, the “cheese bus” by its kid riders,   probably saw its hay-day about 20yrs ago and equally as probably never even imagined the tour of duty it was heading for.
Now Johnny Friday, another name somewhat reminiscent of being lost on another type of desert island, has declared, says, Liisa Juuti, our Finnish head Whale-watching guide, that there will be a newer bus for next year!  Johnny is one of the co-owners of the camp who arrived here in the mid 80´s and saw the potential of all that the lagoon had to offer. What he recognized then has probably not changed much. When our octogenarian visitor, Donna, stepped off the plane last week she would have been another reflection of the quintessential memory of a community which continues to be bathed in an aura of another century.
The Laguna San Ignacio Gray Whale Sanctuary sits on the Pacific side of the 6 million acre (2.5 million hectare), Vizcaino Biosphere reserve, the largest in Mexico, along an almost uninhabited desert coast where it´s estimated about 50% of the Gray Whales arrive between February and March to breed and give birth before returning north to their feeding grounds around 5000 kms away.

For this grand lady to have left her remote southern Californian ranch to come all the way out here must mean that this desert place must hold something special and being as vibrant as she is, Donna was game for all the adventure that this experience is.