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Friday, January 30, 2009

Traveling the road to El Golfo de Santa Clara

by Russ Black

So there we were—John, Vicki , Austin, Braden, Naomi and I—sitting in the Las Conchas Restaurant in El Golfo de Santa Clara on a chilly December 21, 2008. What in the world were we doing here? How did we wind up in this place, drinking beer and having a good time?

The day before we were all sitting around in Puerto Peñasco wondering what El Golfo was like. What is there? Traveling on the new road, how long would it really take us to get there from Puerto Peñasco? What would we see when we got there? These questions intrigued each of us, so we made an agreement that we would take the new highway north out of Peñasco and visit El Golfo. We had heard that the new road was complete and now could easily be driven even with a two-wheel drive. My wife, Naomi, and I are somewhat skeptic when it comes to listening to others' ideas about road conditions and such. So we just had to see it for ourselves before we report to others. On that cool, sunny Sunday we left Peñasco at about 1 p.m. and arrived in El Golfo at about 2:20. Just one hour and twenty minutes later! The road was great, the scenery is outstanding, and the company was great. All the perfect ingredients for a grand day out.

Along the way it is hard to convey how incredible it is to be driving down a brand new road to a new place, to explore and enjoy life. Yes the road is smooth, it is perfectly aligned and travels without any stress to the driver. It goes beyond that though; the incredible views, the cliffs to the sea, the little dirt roads going off to who knows where towards the Pinacate range. These are all things we could never have experienced in a 15-passenger van before this road was open.

I am here to report with glee and enthusiasm that the road is indeed finished, it is a smooth and easily traversed route. It is truly the gateway for Peñasco to the great state of California. Tourists have long traveled to El Golfo from southern California for weekend trips (or longer). Now these same tourists have an option: Stop in El Golfo? Or, perhaps do what we did and travel to a place they have never been before—just to see what it is like (i.e., Peñasco).

Only time will tell if this new route to Southern California will be all it has been promised. But from my firsthand point of view, once you travel the road, it will be the road of choice if you are traveling to California or to the Baja. Buen Viaje.