When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
|Puerto Escondido anchorage's mountainous backdrop|
June came and went quickly with only one stop early on in a major city for one day to re-provision, do laundry, wash the boat, and take long showers (even Nikki), and an additional one on the last day in Loreto to do same. June has been a month of mostly mingling with nature, visiting very small villages, anchoring in beautiful and quiet coves, sleeping under clear starry nights highlighted by the Milky Way and at times dry lightning in the distance, hiking, bouldering, swimming in warm waters, visiting other cruisers and enjoying books and the company of each other. June has seen us cross the 2,000 nautical miles milestone for this journey. And June was the month our youngest son, Adam, completed his first Iron Man Triathlon – we are impressed!
|Base of mountains near Steinbeck's Canyon and anchorage|
At the very end of June, and from our first ever mooring (yep, had never moored before – interesting to lean forward and try to grab a line attached to a buoy of some sort and quickly tie it to the front of the boat – that part is not that frightening however, what is scary is to trust that the mooring is safe and secure and can handle your boat’s weight in any weather – remember, this is Mexico – they are not that safety conscious and they don’t carry insurance even though WE have to!), we made a trip to Loreto, a small town of 16,000 people about 25 kilometers away. After 21 days at sea, we were keen to find fresh produce to restock our now meager supplies. To get there you have the choice of costly taxis (upwards of $50!), irregular buses located about a 30 minute walk away, ask to share a ride with a local, or hitchhike. We tried to find rides to share but were not lucky so we started hitchhiking. Both times we went to Loreto we were blessed with finding very kind and generous people to pick us up and bring us back – It couldn’t get any better.
Loreto is a very quaint little town with ficus covered archways leading to the main plaza and church. A lot of thoughts and care go into creating a great feel for this town. It was election weekend in Mexico and for that reason, no stores were allowed to sell liquors during that period and many places were closed, which normally would have been opened. It made for a quieter time than usual.
|Green archway in downtown Loreto towards main plaza|
|Jesuit priest adobe house from the 1700s now belonging to local ranch family|
|Hotel's interior with inner courtyard|
|More archways towards beach|
On the second trip to town, Terry and Dawn (s/v Manta) gave us a ride to the Sunday Farmers' Market. They said they were returning to the marina at a specified time if we wanted to ride back with them. We bought what we needed at the market then did a tour of this beautiful little town and were back in plenty of time to catch a ride back with them. As it turns out, Terry rides the back of giant manta-rays (upwards of 20-22’ wide from tip to tip) in an area about 200 miles south of Cabo San Lucas. His favorite, Willie, even picks him up at his boat. Terry has his diving tanks on, and he rides Willie for 1-1.5 hours under water before Willie gently brings him back ‘home’… It sounds both amazing and a little scary at the same time. Terry has been a diver for over 30 years and knows every good area. He has made a film for the Discovery Channel which helped put away illegal ray killers/harvesters in jail and create a reserve for these beautiful animals.
Before departing Puerto Escondido, we were going to top off our gas tank for the dinghy motor. As we were preparing to do this, a gentleman putting away his sailboat (s/v Best Day Ever) for the season gave us whatever gas he had left. As it turns out, it was exactly what we needed to replenish our supplies and it was free. Are we living right or what?
Before the high heat of the day and after taking Nikki for her morning jaunt, we headed for a hike up a canyon about one hour walk away from the marina. It is nicknamed the John Steinbeck Canyon; for this famous author has visited and written much about this area in “Log from the Sea of Cortez”. Boulders in this canyon are humongous and very varied in colors. I have never seen rocks this turquoise before. They really pop out at you against the mostly reddish brown boulders in the background.
|Boulder of Steinbeck's Canyon dwarfing palm trees|
|Up Steinbeck's Canyon|
|Dried up pool, about 20' deep|
|Another dried up pool, about 30' deep|
|Where the canyon really narrows|
|Fig tree crawling out of rock|