Cruising through the area of Baja called the East Cape we found small towns and beautiful beaches. Our target was Cabo Pulmo but we went a little further and checked out Los Arbolitos. That was a beautiful beach with palapas for day visits or pitching a tent under. There was a short hike along the edge of the shore and a high cliff. The hike led to a strange beautiful bay which offered a some-what protected cove, powdery white sand and perfectly round boulders the size of beach balls. The rocks that jutted out of the surf were wind-whipped and water-etched. It was a great place for the dogs to climb on the rocks, chase crabs and swim. But as with all of the shoreline on these days- it was too windy for us to jump in and enjoy the water.
Back in Cabo Pulmo we were able to talk to a few people about the possibilities of volunteering through a program called WorkAway www.workaway.info We had been hoping to give some time to this marine preserve or the children of this community. However, after a couple of conversations and reading between the lines of what we being said we realized that this was not a good fit for us. Cabo Pulmo has a couple of non-profits that are working to preserve the area and serve the community. It is a beautiful marine park and a precious resource that is worthy of support. But we determined that our time and energy would be better spent in other ways. This determination changes our plans for the next 8 weeks or so! More on that later.
Settling into the perfect camping location was a breeze. Literally a breeze, because the wind did not let up the entire time we were there! We found a spot in a former RV park that had a large concrete pad and a flat place for the van. This gave us a view of the ocean as soon as we awoke each morning. We quickly settled in to the space, and rode our bikes up the dirt road to find cold drinks and meet up with friends we had come to visit. With our chairs out and the ocean in front of us, this turned into a great place to stay for a few days.
The bay of Cabo Pulmo features the northernmost coral reef in the Sea of Cortez. This reef forms a rectangle around the bay, at about 300 yards off shore. This offers some protection from the churning seas when the Santa Ana’s or Northerly’s are blowing. But even with the reef, the waves are crashing to shore and the ripples are forming white caps offshore. And just beyond the reef the waves are large and imposing. The winds were whipping at 10 to 15 knots, which brought typical activities to a halt. No snorkeling, no diving, no windsurfing or kite sailing. The sea was busy thrashing about, and so the folks on shore were taking care of other tasks. We saw construction, repainting, landscaping and relaxing. We chose relaxing, as did these two horses that wandered into our campsite.
The sunrise was beautiful and left us hoping for a calm day. But the winds picked up again and the next day was more of the same. Mango dug herself a hole to settle into. Out of the sun and out of the wind under a bush, she was happy as a dog in a hole! Mike took the dogs for a walk up the big hill behind Cabo Pulmo and they took great photos of the bay. If you look closely you can see the van nestled in the trees near the shoreline with the slab beside it.
Four days of wind were enough for us. This might let up in a few days and we could come back. But we needed ice, water, food and a break from the relentless whipping. We decided to head toward Cabo San Lucas to visit a friend, restock supplies, take showers and put on our thinking caps. It is time to review our plans and intentions and decide which way we are going next- and when.