Dolores Hildago, Magic Town, MX

Hildago is located in the state of Guanajuato near San Miguel de Allende and has a population of about 55,000 people. The main economic activities of Hildago are tourism, crafts, grape growing, sheep farming and ceramic factories. It is also one of 36 villages in Mexico that has earned the right to be a Pueblo Magico. Some of the criteria for this designation consist of the following;

1) a population of 20,000 or more and be within 2 hours drive of a major tourist destination

2) have ancient peoples, history and culture

3) they are protagonists of important events and legends

4) have perserved symbolic attributes along with beautiful architecture

5) its people maintain their customs and traditions

As seen in the photo gallery, Talavera is the main ceramic factory and retail outlet in the Hildago area. It is also the most outstanding brand of pottery made in Mexico because the design of pieces is highly regulated by tradition. Briefly, the pieces are all hand made with only natural clay´s as opposed to chemically treated and dried clay over a 3 to 4 month period.  After the pieces have been created, they are also hand painted. In order to earn the brand name of Talavera, pieces must be made in specific locations and from workshops that have been certified by knowledgeable  officials.

Part #2, Route #1 of Baja, Mexico

As indicated in the previous article about the transpeninsular highway of Baja California, ninety percent of route#1 is  desert land which consist of little more than mountains, dormant volcanos, towering cacti, and sand dunes. The only exceptions are a few old mission towns such as El Rosario, Guerro Negro, Santa Rosalia, Mulege and Loreto. With the exception of Loreto, most of these old villages do not offer many  tourist attractions. Loreto, however, does have a few luxury hotels, a world class tennis center, an 18 hole golf course and an international airport with non stop flights to and from LAX. In addition, there is a deep water marina nearby in Puerto Escondido for cruisers and sailors. Eventhough, the rest of the transpeninsular highway is still surrounded with undeveloped land, there are many campgrounds, surfing, fishing and sailing opportunities along the way for those who enjoy outdoor adventures.

Part 1, Route #1 of Baja, Mexico

The Baja Peninsular of Mexico is one of the longest in the world and extends from the U.S. Border with Tijuana to the Los Cabos area  where  land ends and  meets the pacific ocean. In 1973 Route #1 , an 806 mile stretch of road otherwise known as the transpeninsular highway was finally completed,  making it possible for  tourist with the average passenger car to drive  from Ensenada to Los Cabos.  Although, it is a narrow and  winding road in many places, it is generally well maintained. That said, it is still necessary to exercise more caution than usual when driving this highway for a variety of reasons. First, there are quite a few blind curves and blind hilltops where livestock or other obstacles may be  in the middle of the road. Secondly, the road for the most part does not have  any shoulder  you can rely on for a safe margin in an emergency situation. Finally, driving at night is not recommended because there are very few street lights, reflectors, or painted lines to assist driver navigation.

Driving down the transpeninsular highway along the Pacific Ocean, tourist will pass through a series of small villages after leaving the Ensenada area. Once the road turns inland at El Rosario, however, most of the highway passes through  undeveloped and sparsely populated land including vast deserts, mountains, dormant volcanos, sand dunes and towering cacti. .  In addition, tourist will see a few old mission towns with an interesting mix of cultures including Latino, Hispanic and Anglo before finally arriving in La Paz which is  the modern capital of Baja California Sur.

Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Once the capital of Baja California Sur, Loreto was also the first European settlement in the Californias over 300 years ago. After serving as the capital for 132 years, La Paz superseded Loreto as the capital of Baja Sur and for all practical purposes Loreto  faded into oblivion until 1973 when the completion of the transpeninsular highway finally brought the city within reach of the average tourist.

Today, The Villages of Loreto Bay  is one of the largest resort communities in North America committed to sustainable development.  It is being developed by the Scottsdale, AZ based Loreto Bay Company and Citigroup Property Investors. The master plan involves a series of romantic, walkable seaside villages each of which will be pedestrian friendly, including retail, entertainment and recreational facilities. Eventually all electricity in this community will be generated by wind turbines while bicycles and electric cars will be the primary means of transportation around the villages.

Offshore fishing remains a principal tourist attraction, as well as, an international airport, world class tennis center, an 18 hole golf course and the Loreto Bay National Marine Park.

Baja 500, Desert Off Road Race

The 44th annual Baja 500 events begin this year on June 1st and concludes on the 3rd of  June. As always the race starts and finishes in Ensenada, Mexico. The event is sponsored by Tecate and organized by Score International which is the off road sanctioning body in the sport of desert racing that was founded by Mickey Thompson in 1973.

Score races are held in both the USA and Mexico. The main score events include the Laughlin Desert Challenge, the San Felipe 250, the Baja 500 and the flagship Baja 1000 off road race. At the end of this series of championship events the overall winners are determined by a point system which awards teams for starting, finishing and some additional points for a variety of reasons.

Each race has separate catagories for cars , trucks, motorcycles, atv´s, dune buggies and baja bugs. The fastest and largest class of off road racing vehicles are the trophy trucks. These trucks cost upwards of $250,000 to build and feature high powered engines that exceed 700 horsepower and can reach speeds in excess of 135 mph even over rough terrain. The engines must be naturally aspirated and of the same make as the body of the truck. Surprisingly, they are 2 wheel drive vehicles with otherwise custom suspension systems designed to handle some very challenging road conditions.