Santa Rosalia's heyday was when it was a French mining town in the late 19th, early 20th century. The old mining and smelting infrastructure is still around, rusting and decaying. There is still an active mining going on here and the mining town character has been preserved. The town is rough around the edges, but seems like an thriving community; we passed by a cultural center where people were taking music lessons, a community gym with volleyball being played and the little stores around town are all stocked up and decorated for the Christmas season.
We're staying in the Frances Hotel, an historic place that purportedly was the dormitory for the girls who worked in the brothel during, back in the day. It's a comfortable old place and will be the first time we've slept on land since leaving Petaluma.
I'm taking advantage of a decent broadband connection here in our hotel in Santa Rosalia to upload a ton of photos taken over the past couple of weeks.
Here they are. Enjoy!
Isla Espiritu Santo
|The varied and striking geology of the island is apparent from a distance|
|Motoring due to light winds gave us the opportunity to take a detour through some small islands of the coast of the main island.|
|More island geology. "Grand Canyon By the Sea"|
|The island is indented with many coves, most with a beach and some greenery at their innermost portion.|
|A chartplotter view of Caleta Partida as we entered, showing several of the many other anchorages indenting the coasts of I. Espiritu Santo and I. Partida.|
|A stunning sunset welcomed us to Caleta Partida on our first evening|
|We took the dinghy to the cove next door to find the trail up to the top of the ridge, the rim of the crater of a long extinct volcano.|
|Renee getting ready for the hike, before the mosquitos started biting. We didn't stand still long after that.|
|The trail head at the mouth of an arroyo.|
|Flowers decorating a cactus.|
|One of several good-sized lizards we saw on the trail. This one is about a foot long.|
|Renee looking at something and a tree bending over to examine Renee more closely.|
|A panorama of Caleta Partida from the ridge of Isla Espiritu Santo. To the north is Isla Partida; the gap between the two islands is to the right. If you look closely, you can see Intermezzo and the half dozen boats with whom we shared the anchorage.|
|Intermezzo looking very tiny anchored in Caleta Partida.|
|Hiking at the top of the ridge. Hard to believe it, but there were more hungry mosquitos up here than in the arroyo below.|
|This is the tiny cove at the north end of Isla Partida where we anchored Intermezzo to swim with sea lions at two tiny outlying islands. Only room for one boat and a private beach for a picnic and expand the extent of tanned skin.|
Bahia Los Gatos
We took dozens of pictures of the rock formations at Bahia Los Gatos because we found them so beautiful and interesting. It was hard to select the ones to post, so I uploaded a bunch.
|The Baja coast on the way to Bahia Los Gatos.|
|Intermezzo anchored in Bahia Los Gatos.|
|One of the many pictures of the rock formations at each end of the bay. We hiked up to the top of this one.|
|Another of many rock formation pictures; I won't caption them all.|
|Bahia Los Gatos from the crest of the rocks we hiked up.|
|A panorama that provides a perspective of the landscape beyond the bay.|
|Hiking the narrow crest of the rocks.|
|Dr. Livingston, I presume?|
|Renee and the turtle shell I found on the beach.|
|Our modest Thanksgiving dinner anchored by ourselves at Bahia Los Gatos. "Pollo de Celebrar", garlic roast potatoes, mushrooms in escabeche, mixed vegetables and (vintage) cranberry sauce, all washed down with a delicious 2008 Rafanelli zin.|
|Santa Rosalia was and still is a mining town.|
|Ruins of the smelter on the waterfront.|
|Hotel Frances, where we slept on land for the first time since leaving Petaluma on October 5.|
|This church was designed by Gustav Eiffel. It is a prefabricated structure, once exhibited at the Chicago Worlds Fair and shipped to Santa Rosalia from Belgium.|
|A typical street in the Santa Rosalia town center.|