Thursday, July 11, 2013

Puerto Escondido and Beyond

Everything about our 9-day stay in Puerto Escondido was delightful. I wouldn’t have minded staying longer but we have made plans to spend August back in the States. With only 3 weeks left on the Baja side of the Sea, we need to keep moving.
Puerto Escondido doesn’t offer a lot in the way of services but the cruising community there is exactly that, a community. Some have been there living on their boats for more than a dozen years, a few have moved ashore but are still cruisers at heart, and many others come and go with Escondido as their base. Some, like us, are just passing through but all are warmly welcomed into the family. I was happy there.
We made some great friends and spent a lot of time with them. I had previously heard about Thea from a mutual friend in La Paz and, in fact, had read about her in a book about the Camino de Santiago. I think that we were meant to find each other. They had left Vancouver, Canada last August within a day of our leaving Seattle. We had stopped at many of the same places along the way, hung out with some of the same people, and ended up sailing into Escondido within 15 minutes of each other. We thought we would buddy boat and explore the islands for the next few weeks but mechanical problems kept them from leaving and it was a very sad good-by.

While in Escondido we rented a car and spent 2 days exploring on land with Thea and her husband, Jonathan. We spent one leisurely day in the nearby town of Loreto and on the second day, drove 30 kilometers over a winding mountain road to visit the 18th-century Baroque style mission at San Ignacio.

 We spent last night here in Ballandra, a large and well-protected bay on Isla Carmen. It is lovely but the welcoming party, dozens of thirsty bees, is impossible to deter and I have already been stung. The bees are quite a problem for cruisers throughout all these islands, coming to the boats in search of fresh water. Last night I rinsed off my beach shoes with fresh water and this morning they were covered in bees. A dripping faucet, a sink full of dish water, even damp laundry will bring them in by the dozens.

From here we will wander until we cross the Sea of Cortez to Guaymas where the boat will be hauled out of the water for a fresh coat of bottom paint. After that, back to Baja or venture south? We have no schedule, no itinerary, and no plan other than to keep on cruising at a snail’s pace, living in the moment and making our decisions one day at a time.

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