Puerto Escondido – 23 miles North by Boat
Conversations in Bahia Agua Verde led us to buddy boating with Emma Bell North to Puerto Escondido (Hidden Port). Along the way, winds were light but we stuck with sailing for a while until we clocked our speed at 0 knots. Our course over ground, was also 0 knots. We were hoping to sail all the way to our next destination, but we might as well have been anchored. We used our dinosaur to help move us forward and soon enough we met some new friends. A friendly dolphin came to join us at the bow and another whale waved hello as he showed us his tail off our port side.
The inner anchorage at Puerto Escondido has a fee but the outer anchorage (called The Waiting Room) is free. We decided we’d go for free and spend our money on a hamburger instead of renting a piece of sand to curl under our anchor. As we approached the Waiting Room we wondered how many boats were there before us? At first I counted 5 but as we got closer that number quickly grew to 30! We were even more confused when we saw they were all tied up to privately owned mooring balls. (It wasn’t mentioned to us prior.) We were hesitant to anchor amongst a field of mooring balls because the swing radius of our boats would not match up, but we safely kept our distance and dropped the hook. We took in the beautiful scene. The setting sun danced around the large cliffs that surrounded the edge of the water in both anchorages. It felt like we were sitting at anchor amidst the Colorado Rockies!
The marina that was scheduled to be built in Puerto Escondido has been put on hold for now. A fuel dock, restaurant with free wi-fi, pool, lending library, and small but well stocked store is at the moment still available to cruisers in the area. But, the current scuttle amongst cruisers is that the owners of the future marina are raising the rent for the store and restaurant, which may force them to close. Additional provisioning can be completed in the nearby town of Loreto. Puerto Escondido even had it’s own version of the La Paz cruisers net each morning, except they end with a joke of the day.
A pirate walks into a bar;
Bartender: “Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while. What happened, you look terrible!”
Pirate: “What do you mean? I’m fine.”
Bartender: “But what about that wooden leg? You didn’t have that before.”
Pirate: “Well, we were in a battle at sea and a cannon ball hit my leg but the surgeon fixed me up, and I’m fine, really.”
Bartender: “Yeah, but what about that hook? Last time I saw you, you had both hands!”
Pirate: “Well,” we were in another battle and we boarded the enemy ship. I was in a sword fight and my hand was cut off, but the surgeon fixed me up with this hook, and I feel great, really.”
Bartender: “Oh, but what about that eye patch? Last time you were in here you had both eyes.”
Pirate: “Well, one day when we were at sea, some birds were flying over the ship. I looked up, and one of them shat in my eye.”
Bartender: “So? What happened? You couldn’t have lost an eye just from some bird shit!”
Pirate: “Well, I really wasn’t used to the hook yet.”
Emma Bell joined us in the anchorage (mooring ball field) a few hours later and we all headed in to shore to get a well deserved hamburger. We ate our “bacon” cheeseburgers and watched VH1 on the television, laughing at all of the music videos from the 80’s we had never seen! A surreal atmosphere for sure. The tiniest piece of bacon topped our delicious burgers. Emma Bell ran into some friends on another boat who invited us on a day trip to Loreto the following day.
Loreto – 15 miles North by Taxi & 15 miles South by Taxi
The next morning our group of six piled into the taxi with a cabbie. On the way to Loreto we sped past a very large caravan of large campers. Evidently, the population of Manhattan decided to go RVing that day and descended on the ol’ transpeninsular highway like the plague. We ran into some road construction that stopped us dead for a good 20 minutes. To kill time, tourists and locals alike jumped out of their stopped vehicles and took a leisurely stroll, right down the middle of the road. We all watched the road crews clear massive boulders that were hurling down the mountain. Dodging dangerous rocks was great fun and before we knew it we were back on our way.
Loreto is a quaint little town with a population of 12,000, a perfect day trip. We wandered the streets aimlessly, toured the mission’s courtyard and wandered through various shops with traditional Mexican artisan work. We had fun looking through all of the little painted dishes and even added a ceramic pair of coffee mugs and a mini salsa bowl to our kitchenware. We are touristas at heart I suppose.
After running around town with the hot sun beating down on us, we decided to search for some refreshments. What fun-hating lunatic could pass up a trip to a kitchy bar named “The Giggling Dolphin?” Not us! The establishment did not disappoint. Not only was the bartender a delightfully quick-witted gentlemen, but the bar was a converted fishing runabout and the finger food was quite good.