Back to Baja

I first came to the southernmost part of Baja California in 1989 and fell in love with it. The place, the people, the desert, the waves, beaches – the same Pacific Ocean coast I’ve lived on all my life, just farther south. For about 12 years I came to Baja whenever I could. Some times I’d drive, but most of the time I kept a vehicle in San José del Cabo and would fly in. First a “Baja bug,”a VW bug modified for desert travel; then after it got ruined by being under water twice, a 1983 Toyota 4×4 pickup (the ultimate desert vehicle).

On my first trip there, I met Isidro “Chilon” Amora, who had an inquiring mind and a passion for adventure. We made trip after trip together, to remote arroyos, hidden ranchos, cave paintings, small towns, fiestas. old missions, as well as taco stands, bars, and night clubs. We had plans to do a local newspaper, and in fact did a 1st issue in 1999, but I couldn’t find the time to do it on a regular basis. It was called El Correcaminos (The Roadrunner); portions of it are on our website.

I took about a 5-year hiatus from Baja in order to get some books done. When I finished my book on carpenters in Canada, I decided to take a break, and flew in for 5 days. Chilon had been telling me on the phone about the changes, the rapid growth in the Los Cabos area. Well, here’s a real case of You Can’t Go Home Again. If you’re a southern Baja lover and haven’t been there for several years, you’ll be stunned. San José del Cabo has changed dramatically.. A huge increase in population, you wouldn’t believe the traffic, waste disposal and water problems. Costco, WalMart, Home Depot, MacDonalds and the whole catastrophe of fast-food garbage mongers. Among other things, rich Americans have succeeded in blocking Mexicans and not-so-rich gringos from access to miles of beautiful beaches. I won’t go on. Here are some photos from a place I still love, in spite of its flaws (I continue to collect way more “content” than I can get into print or electronic form):

Yuca (Rogelio López), proprietor of The Yuca Inn, points to a beautiful new gate at his hotel, built by his brother, artist and welder Jesús.

Posada lives!

Here are photos from the nicely-maintained old cemetery in San José del Cabo:

Giraffe sculptures made of rusty metal. Aren’t these fabulous!

I stayed at the Delphin Blanco hotel, which is small, comfortable, and reasonably priced.

It’s a block from the beach in Playita, the harbor town a few miles east of San José. Thatched roof cabaña rooms are $55-75 per night and there’s a nice lawn, beach chairs, and the sound of waves at night. The owner is Osa Franzen, ably assisted by Romana Flores. Osa provides good guidance on the area for first-time visitors. You can read more about it at, or contact Osa (from the US) at 011-52-624-142-1212.

More to follow on Baja in a few days.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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