Hubby was up at 5:30 to leave for his fishing trip. He never has a problem rising and shining when there are fish involved. I got up early also to do some work online before our trip up into the mountains outside Loreto. We had 8 people signed up to go to San Javier Mission, over an our away up a steep, dirt road. Our guide, Leighton, was to be here at 9, then 9:30. When she finally arrived we had the usual confusion. We had too many people for one four wheel vehicle, and everybody wanted to ride with the tour guide. First, Oscar, our driver, went back to town to get a bigger car, then we had to stop for bottled water. It was nearly eleven before we were off. So much for an early start.
The trip was worth the wait. We found an ancient olive tree, were stopped by a heard of goats led by a dog, we navigated scary hairpin turns on a dirt road that climbed into the mountains. We stopped at some “questionable” Indian drawings (the authenticity was in doubt, according to Leighton,) we crossed a continental divide where the water begins its run to the Pacific, we saw the original donkey trail, from the mid 1600′s, that was used to get up to this oasis in the mountains.
San Javier was a surprise: a real town; small, but complete with cobblestoned streets, a restaurant, a few houses, farms, and the mission from the 1700′s. There’s even a tourist shop. The plans are to pave the road up the mountain, so they seem to be getting ready for more tourists. Leighton gave us a tour of the church, officially named Misión San Francisco Xavier de Viggé-Biaundó, it is one of the best-preserved missions in Baja. The present mission dates back 1758 and has survived the years so well that is is still in use as a church. After we were done exploring, we had lunch and started back. We made a few photo stops on the way down, but the driver seemed in a hurry to get home. It was a wild and bumpy ride down the mountain, through the back roads of Loreto and into Loreto Shores RV Park. Hubby was waiting. They caught a lot of fish so he was happy. He didn’t even seem to mind having to sit locked outside of the RV, waiting for me for two hours, since I had the keys with me.