San Ignacio, Mexico

Trip Start Apr 11, 2010
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Trip End May 20, 2010


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Flag of Mexico  , Baja California Sur,
Friday, April 23, 2010

San Ignacio is a small town in the interior of the peninsula that grew up around a Jesuit-founded mission. The town sits in an oasis created by a stream flowing from the nearby Sierra de Guadalupe mountains.  The San Ignacio oasis is full of beautiful but non-native date palms, so looks almost like something out of the Middle East.  The center of the tiny town is built around a shady plaza dominated by Mission San Ignacio de Kadakaman, active for almost a century in the 1700s and still used as the town's church.

According to my guidebooks San Ignacio is located in one of the driest parts of Baja where it almost never rains.  So needless to say, I was very surprised when I was awakened by the pitter-patter of raindrops and water making through the mesh in my tent onto my face in the middle of the night.  There's no need to put the cover on my tent in a place that never rains, is there?  They don't call it Lonely Liar for nothing.

It was clearly San Ignacio's off-season since almost all the tourist services were closed.  Reached by dirt road and not far from San Ignacio is the San Ignacio Lagoon, an inlet of the Pacific that's one of the best locales for whale watching excursions during the January to March season when they congregate in the lagoon.  So most of the few people hanging out at the gringo-oriented "Rice and Bean" restaurant/hotel/campground complex were of the land-raping dirt biker variety rather than the tree-hugging whale watcher sort.  I encountered enough dirt bikers in my weeks in Baja to conclude it's a sport (if you want to call it that) that appeals almost exclusively to loud-mouthed yokels.

With the abundance of date palms San Ignacio's local culinary specialty is Pay de Datil, pay being the Mexicanization of pie in English.  My slice was quite delicious with date pieces set in a creamy texture similar to pumpkin pie but without the pumpkin flavor.  The other local goodie is Pan de Datil, more like a date bread.
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