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Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
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4.42%
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"Not all who wander are lost." -- J.R.R. Tolkien

294--Mexico: Guadalupe Canyon
@ CherieSpotting     Jun 02 2005 - 19:44 PST
cherie writes: 250 million years ago Guadalupe Canyon was buried under a continent of water. Now the canyon is Baja’s best kept secret. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, Guadalupe Canyon is a remote desert oasis 55 miles southwest of Mexicali. It’s the perfect place to go camping if you like to soak in private hot tubs, to hike in sculpted boulder ravines, to take a flying leap in gushing natural cold springs, and take quiet refuge in a forest of native palm trees. Here silence is golden—no music allowed!

We camped at a site called “El Dorado” furnished with a huge shady palapa, fireplace, BBQ pit and our own “fill-it-yourself” mineral spa. Sun reddened mountains and forests of palms lined the horizon where we watched the sunset and the stars bloom from the warmth of our own geothermal jacuzzi.

Sure Guadalupe Canyon is secluded, but you don’t need a 4x4 to explore Baja’s best kept secret. Rob (law student) took his VW Bus (without air conditioning) over the dry lake bed of Laguna Salada, through the twisting rocky road, finally ending in patch of palm trees.

Greg (computer genius), Kevin (Controller) and Cherie (Controlling) borrowed our friend’s car, since none of us drive vehicles with enough clearance. Jean (web designer) and Mark (sailing captain) borrowed Lisa’s (travel guide) car. We’re not dumb enough to take our own cars into Mexico! Rob was the only one who took his own van and he was rewarded with several over-heating disasters. But Rob might not see his experience as a disaster since he drank a cold beer on the side of the road while the ladies pushed his bus through the hot desert sand—even if it was only for the photo!

Guadalupe Canyon is alive with color—sun drenched desert lilies, scarlet ocotillo, lavender sand verbena, and olive cholla cactus. The vast blue skies scream freedom during the day while 80 billion stars preach romance at night.

The scenery is so spectacular it makes you drunk with joy. How else could we explain that in a moment of vacation bliss, we bought dirt? A woman came to our camp with two scraggly kids selling rich volcanic dirt in zip-lock bags. We were instructed to make into a paste and spread on our skin. Isn’t there a bumper sticker somewhere that says: Friends don’t let friends buy dirt. Shouldn’t dirt be free?

It was alleged that the special healing-dirt would leach the toxins out of our systems and make our skin supple and moist. In other words, we were supposed to get dirty to get clean. Kevin (the most sensible of the 8 campers) decided the dirt was a good buy; after all fancy spas would charge over $100 for a bath with such rich volcanic earth.

In the end we spent 4 days hiking, soaking and getting muddy under the silent gaze of the Sierra Juarez Mountains. And Kevin was right, the dirt was worth it.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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A group of 7 friends and I headed south of the border to discover a little known desert oasis called: Guadalupe Canyon.

A group of 7 friends and I headed south of the border to discover a little known desert oasis called: Guadalupe Canyon.

I think it's this way! *Photo by Jean.

I think it's this way! *Photo by Jean.

Mark and Jean enjoy the journey.

Mark and Jean enjoy the journey.

Dangerous curve ahead.

Dangerous curve ahead.

Safety first.

Safety first.

Kevin and Rob with the VW off-roading Bus.

Kevin and Rob with the VW off-roading Bus.

The boys stop for a beer, but the ladies are ready to get there!

The boys stop for a beer, but the ladies are ready to get there!

Lisa and Greg point the way!  We just have a few more boulders to cross.

Lisa and Greg point the way! We just have a few more boulders to cross.

Mark and Lisa look over the canyon.

Mark and Lisa look over the canyon.

Lisa, Greg, Mark and Jean on a prehistoric bench.

Lisa, Greg, Mark and Jean on a prehistoric bench.

The gang around our own personal spa.

The gang around our own personal spa.

Let's go hiking!

Let's go hiking!

The girls by a natural pool.

The girls by a natural pool.

Kevin cools off.

Kevin cools off.

Ouch.

Ouch.

Strange rock groups...I wonder if they're called "The Rolling Stones"?

Strange rock groups...I wonder if they're called "The Rolling Stones"?

Hiking by the cool rushing river.

Hiking by the cool rushing river.

Kevin can't wait to jump in.

Kevin can't wait to jump in.

You like swimming, don't you Kev?

You like swimming, don't you Kev?

Lisa in mid air.

Lisa in mid air.

How'd those palm trees get there?

How'd those palm trees get there?

Another beatiful day in nature's sauna.

Another beatiful day in nature's sauna.

That's our palapa on the hillside.

That's our palapa on the hillside.

Remarkably, the bus made it to camp.

Remarkably, the bus made it to camp.

Greg and Lisa enjoy a cold beer in a hot desert!

Greg and Lisa enjoy a cold beer in a hot desert!

Jean in our personal spa.

Jean in our personal spa.

The guys hanging out under the shade of the palapa.

The guys hanging out under the shade of the palapa.

The scenery is awesome.

The scenery is awesome.

Kevin's stress melts away.

Kevin's stress melts away.

Our palapa snuggled into the hillside.

Our palapa snuggled into the hillside.

Lisa wakes up to nature's glow.

Lisa wakes up to nature's glow.

Jean and Lisa.

Jean and Lisa.

Cherie and Jean try a volcanic mud bath.

Cherie and Jean try a volcanic mud bath.

Having fun being dirty.

Having fun being dirty.

Canyon dogs resting in a slice of shade.

Canyon dogs resting in a slice of shade.

It's hard to stay clean around here.

It's hard to stay clean around here.

Mark and Jean, a little muddy.

Mark and Jean, a little muddy.

The mud monster.

The mud monster.

Rob washes off.

Rob washes off.

The gang back at camp "El Dorado."

The gang back at camp "El Dorado."

Lisa, Cherie and Kevin.

Lisa, Cherie and Kevin.

Canyon palms.

Canyon palms.

The wild colors of nature.

The wild colors of nature.

Is that a pictograph?

Is that a pictograph?

Is that a pictograph?

Is that a pictograph?

Guadelupe Canyon.

Guadelupe Canyon.

Palms sprout like weeds in the mineral rich soil.

Palms sprout like weeds in the mineral rich soil.

Greg found an oven!

Greg found an oven!

Jean gives the guys a little shade as they change a flat tire.

Jean gives the guys a little shade as they change a flat tire.

The desert oasis of Guadelupe Canyon.

The desert oasis of Guadelupe Canyon.

Jean and Mark.

Jean and Mark.