Stolen Kiss

Stolen Kiss

February 21, 2010

Ha Ha the Baja

(As opposed to the Baja HA HA!)

Departing Bahia San Carlos well before O dark 30, we had good winds and managed to sail all but the last 10 of the 73 miles to Santa Rosalia. Being a little lumpy in the middle of the Sea, as it often is when there is enough wind to sail, we had green water over the bow which served as an indicator that indeed we had not fully fixed the leaky front hatch! We were impressed by the way the boat sailed, which is of course why we purchased her. It has been a very long time since we sailed with 3 layers of thermals under our offshore jackets!! A tads cool out there in the early morning. But we were happy..Our first long sail in a while!! We did manage to take a photo, but it’s a little too dorky to publish!

Santa Rosalia is a quaint little town with a French flavour; wooden buildings and narrow streets, renowned for its bakery and hot dogs! Peter of course came away with many little treats to munch on!

The old copper mine and paraphernalia are there to remind us of its history.

The harbour is small with an old and new marina and enough anchoring space for a few yachts.  Whilst the old marina is falling apart, it is cheaper and therefore full! 

The church was designed by Gustav Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower Fame) in 1884 and transported here over two years and erected in 1897. Similarities???

With moderate northery winds we made good time south over two days to Bahia Concepcion where the WOW factor began. Nice sandy beaches, hot springs and clear water, surrounded by stunning  mountains.

The girls on Lovely Lady organised a tour for us with Salvadore, hiking and swimming through very cold water in Cañòn Trinidad to look at cave paintings that were between 1500BC and 7000BC. Awesome!

On the way we stopped for a short introduction to ‘Bush Medicine’. There is a lot more to a cacti than a prick in the finger!!

The nearest town, Mulege, has an interesting history as it originally served as a maximum security prison before the Jesuits moved in. When the prisoners were released, they opted to stay in Mulege and bring their families to settle there. Mulege is on a river and surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches; understandably more of a favoured location than the desert! So most of the people here are related and have some criminal history in their past. The prison is now a museum, closed for repair at the moment due to the hurricane damage suffered last year. There are some great restaurants in the town and interesting stores to amble through.

The small streets accommodate all types of vehicles….

Getting in and out of towns now is a matter of hitching a ride with the Americans that reside in the vacinity..of which are many. Some are yachties; others have condos, with the remaining balance being RV travelers. It is a while since we have both relied on hitch hiking (well, except for the sailing!!!!) as a mode of transport.

 We have met some amazing people doing amazing things! Some are heavily involved in assisting the development of local towns. One American gentleman we met proudly showed off his three roomed dental surgery that also has a chiropractic clinic attached. Interestingly, he was a retired electronic engineer who now teaches locals how to make dentures! We can see how that works! Two Australian dentists and one from NZ come to Mulege every year for a month for clinic. Many Mexicans arrive on horseback to nearby ranches then get a ride into town for the clinic.

More wonderful sailing south has taken us down to Puerto Escondido, just south of the beautiful town of Loreto. Passing through Isle Coronados Channel was like coming into another world. Very protected seas from the surrounding islands and the sensational, craggy, Sierra de la Giganta mountain range.

Apart from seals and huge pods of dolphins, our wildlife experience so far has been minimal. Coming home from late night shopping in San Carlos just before we left, walking down our dimly lit dock, a bird suddenly letting out a squawk in front of us and flying up to sit on the nearest rail of a yacht, I just happened to glance down and noticed a piece of ‘rope’ slithering! Stopping Peter just in time, we took a few quicksteps back and watched the snake, along with the bird that by now was getting rather upset that we had interrupted his dinner! We tried hiding behind another yacht, but it was cold and we were hungry and the bird was not sure of what to do. As Peter just does not ‘do’ snakes, I tried to throw a nearby block of wood to scare the snake and maybe he would fall into the water. We assumed he was a water snake, even though he was long and thin! However, the snake was now mad at us and decided to try and come over our way. By this time we were standing on dock boxes! Finally, a nearby hose was the answer and to the disbelief of the bird, we hosed the snake into the water and made a safe passage with much haste to the boat!

Another encounter with the wildlife was rather amusing. Peter and Skip (Traveler) were chatting on the dock when a pelican happened to be cruising near by. A cormorant surfaced with a burst of water next to the pelican, which instinctively opened its mouth to grab…the cormorant by the neck. The cormorant shrieked; the pelican realising his mistake let go of the cormorant. Cormorant looks in disbelief at the pelican…’what do you think you are doing?’ Pelican sheepishly replies ‘I am very sorry, I thought you were a fish! Cormorant paddles off in disgust. Pelican watches cormorant then paddles off after him, snuggling up close. Cormorant glares at the pelican who once again apologizes profusely. The two of them paddle off together. Birds of a feather………….

During our short hikes, we keep one ear out for the 'rattle' and impending danger.  We did see one likely candidate but he was sleeping, so we did a quick exit!

Our first whale sighting – a humpback that first breeched near us then continued to slap its fins every time it surfaced. As we were on a collision course we thought we would give room and opportunity to our companion!

Having been told by several yachties of a great hike up the mountains to the waterfall, we decided that it had to be done. An hour’s walk before we actually got to the canyon was a little wearing in the heat (we are now in shorts!); then we started the climb. Although an easy scramble to begin with, there were some huge boulders to get over. We found a few cairns indicating the preferred path, (after we had climbed up an over the boulders) and of course the easy path on the way down!!! We were rewarded though with some magnificent views of the islands, the canyon itself and some very cool rock pools.

We decided to stay a week in Puerto Escondido and continue working through our never ending list of jobs. At least we have re-bedded and re-sealed the front hatch and fixed dinghy leaks.

We hear that the most beautiful scenery, anchorages and array of wild life is between here and La Paz and that summer is just around the corner so we look forward to embracing it and being able to swim and snorkel and put our thermals away!

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