The stone mission church at Mulegé was built between 1757 and 1766. The Ford Raptors are of more modern construction!
A viewpoint or lookout is behind the mission, up some stairs.
This is Ricky Brabec, a motorcycle racing legend and following this trip, won the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. Ricky was the first American to ever do that!
The Mulegé River as seen from the mission lookout point.

Cemetery at the mission.

DAY 4 (WED MAY 15): South we go!

The itinerary today was to try and get to the oldest European ruins in all the Californias, San Bruno. In 1683, months after a failed colony attempt at La Paz, Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino and Admiral Isidro de Atondo y Antillón re-crossed the gulf again and landed at the San Bruno beach, walked 2 miles inland, and established their new colony, with a fort, on top of a hill. Remains of the triangular-shaped fort are still visible on this hill.

First, we went to the mission visita of San Juan Londó. Cameron did not know of it and being just a half mile off the highway, it is an easy site for his tour to see. Londó was a farming location and a sort-of visita for San Bruno (1683-1685). Around 1699, it was redeveloped as a visita for the Loreto mission and even considered to be a mission by the Jesuits. However, as it did not have a benefactor or full-time priest assigned, thus it was not a true mission. The short road west to Londó is at Km. 30.

At KM. 26 is a bridge over the San Bruno arroyo and on the south side, a road goes down to the dry wash. This is the access to the site (4WD only) and there is also a gravel/ sand mining operation in the arroyo you pass by. Now, the arroyo forks and the road leading north to the ruins is hard to spot. We go down the right branch to the estero and come back out to the highway and try the Playa Publica road to San Bruno beach next. This is at KM. 24 and in the military checkpoint compound. You get checked then almost make a U-turn to take the road east to the beach, right through the middle of the checkpoint structures. We go to the beach, it is beautiful and I chat with a fisherman at his shack just over to the left by the estero.
He tells me to go back and see the white gate for a road going north.
First, we take photos at Playa San Bruno. This is where the Spaniards landed in 1683.

San Bruno

Some writers call San Bruno a mission, but it was more of a colony attempt to gain a foothold in California. It lasted less than two years. Poor water supply, lack of food, and scurvy all were hard to overcome. Kino and Atondo did make a crossing of the peninsula from here making them the first to reach the Pacific by land.

We first drove as close to the site as possible, did not see a trail through the shrubs and tried to find another access. We all parked on the flat to the west of the hill. The drone was launched and Jimmy and I looked to find any sign of the fort. Meanwhile, the others hiked to it and found it first. They found a good trail up from where we first drove to, it was simply hidden to our eyes. I walked directly from the Raptor to the hill and up to the site. We all returned the way I went and said the trail they took up was easier.

The north side of the fort. The church was located here and houses were nearby.

Here I am on the south side (pointy end) at the place others have photographed from the better trail up.
I take photos all around the fort.

Cameron talking to the camera for the TV show.

Plan of San Bruno, north to the right.

Drone photo of San Bruno’s hilltop triangular fort, north to the left. Cameraman and film producer Jimmy Lee Cook is the drone pilot.

Next, time for lunch at Concepción Bay!

DAY 4, in the PM

With success at getting to San Bruno, we make a beeline for lunch at Mark & Olivia’s Playa Buenaventura where we have a cheeseburger in paradise or some carne asada (I think)… I was one of the cheeseburger eaters, and it was great as always!

Mark & Olivia’s Playa Buenaventura Cantina
Baja Nomad sticker
Mark chatting with Curt LeDuc.

Cameron and another took a swim before lunch was served.
Everywhere along the Sea of Cortez that week was beautiful, the water was flat, no white caps, and warm! A great time to be in Baja!

After lunch, they were asking about a side trip to another place and I recommended they see the fantastic Playa Frambes Lighthouse Resort run by Baja Nomad ‘Bob & Susan’. It was great to visit with Bob & Susan, again. I was last there with Baja Angel on our 1-year anniversary (2009).

Playa Frambes Lighthouse Resort (Freshwater pool)
Bob and David K (note camera crew is in the lighthouse)

From there we headed north to the Tres Virgenes volcano power plant and eco-resort before arriving at San Ignacio for a night at the La Huerta Hotel, where we had a great dinner! Cameron invited the owners of the ice cream shop to join us.

Curt and our Raptor at a Santa Rosalia Pemex station.

We take this side road to see the geothermal plant and the eco resort.

Great views from the tower.

Back at Mission San Ignacio.

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