Bahia Concepcion to Santa Rosalia
20 June 2011
27° 20.244N 112° 15.784'W
Our last northing in the Sea was from El Burro Cove in Bahia Concepcion to the old French copper mining community at Santa Rosalia, 48 nm north. We made the hop transiting outside Isla San Marcos on May 25 and went inside the old harbor to obtain a slip from the Fonatar's Singlar marina and were in by 1610.
Mining was begun here in the 1860s and this community was established by the French Company El Boleo in the 1880s. The harbor was built in 1922 using blocks of slag from the mining process. The French continued to operate the mines until the 1950s when it was turned over the Mexico. The mines were closed in 1986. A large number of artifacts from the French and subsequent mining operations remain and much of the original architecture has been preserved. This community is unusual for the Baja in that the French imported wood for the construction of much of the buildings and a steel church, Iglesia Santa Barbara, designed by Gustave Eiffel was constructed here. The community and mines have an interesting history that makes this place unique in the Baja. They have strived to maintain the wood facade of the community and it appears that much of the more recent construction is of cement block overlaid with wood, at least on the street side. Interesting stuff, other than that it was pretty typical Baja Mexican town!
Did I say it was hot here? Well it was, quite warm to about 100°, but we made the best of it. The marina, like all the Singlar facilities has a small pool that we took advantage of mid-day. The evenings were pleasant enough and we did the tourist thing in town, sampling a bacon wrapped hot dog from Chuyitas hot dog stand, buying fresh pan and pan dulces from the original, 1902 panaderia or bakery. We visited the mining museum and basically walked the entire town. There are no large hotels or any real developed tourist industry here, just a few roadside motels to service the motorists transiting Mexico's Highway 1, which passes through town.