Punta Colorada 1-2Dec
We head out to Punta Colorado for a couple days to take a break from the mooring field. This is our second time at this anchorage, yet our first time on land here. Our first time here last season, the authorities of the Loreto Marine Park system had COVID-19 restrictions in place. It was last April, almost three weeks after we departed from La Cruz after waiting out the news and trying to make sense of all the different information out there.
We are now back with our cruising life at anchor. As we were preparing to go ashore on our SUP and Kayak, the Rescati (equivalent to USA Coastguard) approached us. We climbed back out of our toys to listen and learn that we are not allowed to be either in the water or on land. This was in effect for an undetermined period of time. A crew member took photos of our boat and us, we signed a clipboard stating we received and accepted the paper notice. The crew was very kind and thoughtful about our questions.
So, this time around everything is open. The first evening Chris and I paddle to shore and scout out a hike for the following day. We are here with two buddy boats, SV Gypsy and SV Beethoven. The next day, all of us paddle to shore and head out for the hike. Nina and I held back as she was nursing an injured ankle. The other four hiked to the top of the canyon and discovered they have cell coverage. 😉
Marcella found the most friendly hermit crab. Her reaction to this experience with these fun creatures was contagious to us. This brave little one was crawling nonstop, unlike the hiding behavior typical of hermit crabs.
This time around in Puerto Escondido 3-17 Dec
Chris stays on the boat to demystify the refrigerator wiring but encourages me to join the gang for a day trip to Mission San Javier; and I’m glad I did. Our ‘Covid-19 Pod’ loaded up into John and Marcella’s truck and drove north on Hwy 1 and then east towards the Sierra La Gigante mountains. It is an hour drive up a steep and windy two-lane road up through the mountains. The views were spectacular for the passengers. John had to keep his eyes on the narrow road. The mission, which is officially named Misión San Francisco Xavier de Vigge-Biaundo, is a delightful and historical visit. The village is clean and well maintained and sits alongside a river. Founded by the Roman Catholic church in 1699, the missionary’s intent was to convert the local Cochimí Native Americans to Christianity. The present mission is still in use as a church. As we walked around the small village of fewer than 150 residents, there was plenty of evidence that the semi-oasis environment is a perfect location for growing fruits and florals.
The week leading to December 3rd, the village celebrates their patron saint and many walk the pilgrimage to the mission every year. It was shared by a village local that many were still walking after the 3rd in the belief that in the end their pilrgammage will be completed and blessed.
So off-topic – leaving the mission we stop alongside the road to take a closer look at an unusual display of road carnage. The photo pretty much speaks for itself. And no, you can’t stop looking at it. So many trivial questions ran through our heads. And to think this was the last photo of my day. 😦
With the refrigerator wiring corrected, Chris and I paddle our kayak and SUP to the nearby shoreline of a salt flat area. We are off to discover a new beach. After trekking the salt flat, we come to a trail on the north side and hike up and over the hill. From afar, you can spot Juncalito Beach. The trail was pretty cool with its ever-changing textures. We can see the tranquil blue water from the top, so inviting.
A couple days later we took a midmorning hike on the Tripui Trail again, this time with our dear friend Gina from SV Raven. This trail system is a wonderful development that took many years to complete and provides many options to get your miles in. I will always be fond of this place.
We did one of our favorites, the hike up and over the hill and to the beach. Later Gina and Kevin drove us into Loreto to provision. We shared one of our new favorite restaurants, Snack22, with them. Esther, who owns and runs Snack 22, has a cool business model. Everything on the menu is $22 pesos, (or $1.00-1.20 US) depending on the exchange rate. She serves versions of traditional dishes from the region, each freshly made with a lovely presentation. I am full after two items but wish I could eat four … and her margaritas are fresh and deliciosa.
You’ve heard of doppelgängers. Well, there needs to be a term for a double location of land (?). If you’ve ever been to the Ribbon Canyon in Arizona, you could see how this canyon is a mini ribbon canyon in Baja California Sur.
The Mesquite Canyon, or Ligui Canyon, is located about 22 miles south of the Loreto Airport or about 30 minutes. As you head south on Highway 1, the town of Ligui is on your left, you cross left over the road to drive under the overpass and continue west 15 minutes on the dirt road to the end. The “trail” is located on the right corner of the riverbed.
The trail is an easy to moderate up and down hike through the canyon. The canyon starts off wide, but then narrows as the canyon was cut away by water flows. You will get wet during this hike since it’s only through the water that you can make your way through the tight canyon.
The creek can be running depending the time of year and past rainfall. It gets plenty hot during the summer months, so the hike is best done from October through June.
Not Everything Goes as Planned …
We returned to Punta Colorado only to return to Puerto Escondido a day sooner due to a change in the weather forecast. We departed from Punta Colorado shortly after Gypsy and Beethoven had left to head east over to Bahia Salinas. Being in the lee of the island kept us sheltered from the northerlies funneling through the gap between Isla Carmen and Isla Danzante. Heading back, we decided to drop down around the bottom of Danzante rather than have to tack in the channel between the two islands. As soon as we cleared Isla Carman, we had a good 15-20 knots on our quarter and we were ripping across the channel. Woot! Ok, at one point we slid down a wave and saw 9.0 knots speed over ground, so perhaps were overpowered just a bit with the single reef 😉 but it was a whole lot of fun seeing what our boat could do.
We came around the bottom of the island and made our turn into the wind, thinking we could make a few tacks and be at the opening of Puerto Escondido before 2 pm, when the winds really pick up. Hmm. Not gonna happen. The wind was gusting 20+ right where we wanted to go! We tried a few tacks but spent an hour or so staring at the same spot on Isla Danzante. that’s when we decided drop the sails and bash the remaining distance into the mooring field. As the great Howard Cosell once said*, “sometimes there’s sailing, and sometimes there’s gettin’ there …”
We made it in no problem and Carrie was a champ driving us onto our mooring ball in 15 knots of wind and chop. We tied up almost like we knew what we were doing.
* not really a Howard Cosell quote, possibly a P.L. Williams quote.
And a Little Something about Limes
What do you know about them? We learned that Mexico has been the world’s largest producer and exporter of limes for several decades. The two popular limes grown in Mexico are the key lime and lime, the latter being the traditional larger one we often see in the USA markets. The lime has more juice but the key lime has a longer shelf life.
Here in Mexico, we see them everywhere and often in abundance, probably to keep up with the daily demand. Limes are a Mexican staple and used in many drinks (think margaritas) and food dishes. The flavor is sour and sweet but mostly sour. You may even add tangy. You can purchase them almost anywhere in Mexico. You’ll find them in small tiendas, megastores, small markets, we even see them for sale at liquor stores. We have observed locals filling 3-4 produce bags at a time.
So why limes? On the biochemical side of things, limes have a cooling effect on your body. Your body has a chemical reaction to the acid level in the limes and cools you down. And apparently, lemons are the opposite. And now ponder why in USofA we serve lemonade in the summertime … (haha) Back to limes — in Ayurvedic medicine, it is encouraged to add limes to your diet when your body feels hot, irritable, sluggish. That certainly happens here in Mexico when the heat rises in late spring through early fall. And many tourists think the lime served with the beer is only for added flavor, think again, it’s doing double duty.
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