By Martina Dobesh, Via Baja.com
I’m bouncing along on a washboard road raising dust in great billowing clouds, wondering what the hey I am doing. My friend and I were struck by the Baja Adventure Bug at the same time and I talked her into taking a drive with me to a place I’d seen on the map, on the Pacific Ocean, south of Ensenada and west of the vineyards of Santo Tomas called La Bocana. I was actually hoping to get a story about early wine production and the shipping that was said to have happened there, predating the Russians in the Guadalupe Valley. But as sometimes happens, the adventure became the story — a tale about La Bocana, a remote and beautiful cove with a history.
We passed by great expanses of onion fields in a lush valley cut by the dark green mountains of Sierra Seca. I marveled at the production going on as workers sat with huge piles of green onions, the aroma reminding me I was hungry. I stopped to take a picture and waved. By the hearty response, you would have thought a party had just broken out.
The long off-road drive from the Santo Tomas valley takes you through the canyon of the Sierra Seca.
I was making a big mistake, we pushed on deeper into the valley toward the elusive Pacific. The hills became a mixture of red stone and golden sandstone. We stopped at a cattle crossing and the fence to the right had a sign that read Punta China. Later I would learn from Horacio Gonzales of Terra Peninsular that La Bocana (the mouth) was actually where in the early 1900s illegal Chinese immigrant were dropped to made their way to the fields of Mexicali.
Just south of La Bocana the point of land was named after the Chinese immigrants, uncountable numbers never made it to Mexicali.
Finally we arrived it to where the “mouth” (also “entrance” ) met the sea, and it was so foggy that we couldn’t see the ocean. I was really disappointed as I saw my “story” was turning into la basura (trash). The La Bocana store was closed and we wondered if it was actually ever open. A grassy area for camping was inviting with shade trees, a lagoon and bird sanctuary. At one time
this was a busy fish camp, but this day it appeared peaceful and quiet. Certainly La Bocana is ideal for fishermen and hardy campers who want to stay for awhile. We saw not a soul on the beach. Surfers, also a hardy breed, venture to La Bocana, because, as they say, an “exposed sandbar/point break has fairly consistent surf. Summer offers the favored conditions. The best wind direction is from the northeast. Tends to receive distant groundswells and the best swell direction is from south/southwest.