Friday, April 22, 2011

Bounching around between La Paz and Los Barriles

April 6 -->21, 2011
Leave Tecolote again since it has been very windy, and a bit lonely. Drive back to RV park in Los Barriles. Hot showers, internet and electricity again.
Decide to take a long bike ride down to Cabo Pulmo, it was about a 70 mile round trip, part highway and part dirt. Stopped by Rancho Leonero, it was fairly well visited by Hollywood types back in the 50's as a first class fishing resort. Beautiful old school rock and timber construction, neat restaurant and lodge area. Lots of photos on the walls of famous visitors. Had a beer there, then rode on to La Ribera via dirt roads still. On into Cabo Pulmo. It is supposedly one of the northern most coral reef systems in the world. The little town totally survives on visits by scuba divers. But compared to other reef areas I've been to, this didn't seem too impressive. No real beach snorkeling available. All reef access is by boat to offshore spots. Apparently world famous and spectacular, but not from what I can see. Rode back to Los Barriles via main highway.
Cabo Pulmo
Was sunning at the pool one day and I hear all kinds of commotion on the deck/bar area and at waters edge. I looked for the source, and I can see a 20-30 llb rooster fish attacking little ladyfish in the shallows. It was like those Nat'l Geo clips where killer whales are trying to run baby seals up the shoreline. The rooster fish was fiercely trying to pin/herd the other little guys, often swimming on it's side to get into the shallows. It was raw nature and an epic event for Baja fisherman. So within a couple minutes, three guys came running down to the shore there, armed with thousands of dollars worth of fly gear, and start surf casting  trying nab this famous and somewhat rare game fish, running up and down the beach trying to place a fly in front of this thing. No luck though. But a sailfish did get landed that afternoon.
Me posing with someone else's sailfish

The hot weather is bringing out better fishing. It peaks in the late summer, but it's starting to get there. A boat came in with 3 Dorado, first multi-hookup this season. Dorado (also called Mahi Mahi) are prized as one of the very best fighters, and they are gorgeous in the water. Brilliant green and yellow, but that quickly fades to dull blue/green when caught.

Now back to La Paz after a week or so in Los Barriles. And back on the beautiful (and free) Tecolote beach. Having some battery problems, even after a full charge, they drain to nothing in less than 24 hours. So now needing to run my generator once per day to keep batteries stable.

Sunday morning the 17th, a man shows up with a work crew that starts assembling a big tent/canopy right in front of my camp. Then a couple porti-potties arrive, and then a truck delivers bags of ice. I gotta ask what's going on. Turns out this guy is throwing a huge birthday party for his 10 yo daughter. Neat guy, apologizes for the disruption, and then invites me come have lunch with them. Soon a catered tow-able kitchen arrives and starts serving out fine burgers and hot dogs. And sure to his word, he comes over and says order what I want. I have a truly fine burger built for me and was invited to sit down and stay. I tell him I'm a bit timido, and head back to the RV with a nice plate. All the people at this party were well-off, dressed nicely, good manners and clean newish cars. It was interesting to see an upper middle class group of locals
Bacon wrapped hot dog punched into the middle of my burger, awesome.

Semi trucks stop by here often, I think to pass time waiting for the mainland ferries at Pichilingua. So this trucker parks and proceeds to clean up his rig, wash windows, etc. He's ready to go, but finds himself stuck in the sand. Two different 4x4's try to tow him out, but aren't able. The driver disappears for 40 minutes and comes back leading in a big Navy troop carrier type vehicle. Mexican Navy to the rescue! They easily pull him out, fist bumps all around. There were 4 or 5 navy guys, no weapons evident except the driver had a small pistol in his pants pocket.
Navy rescue

The beach is really filling up with people now, lots of cars, various off-road vehicles and loud music until 2am.  And it's not really Semana Santa yet. But it is sure giving me a taste of what it will be like in a couple more days. Semana Santa (Easter) is quite the occasion. The kids are out of school all week, but the parents really can't get here until Thursday, most workers are let out at noon. Not much sleep this night, music and high winds. OK, I've seen enough to know I can't handle this when the crowds show up.
Tecolote is filling up rapidly today
  So I leave the beach and head back to the "safety" of Los Barriles. On the way out of town, I stopped at the main "peoples market" in the central district.. Many different vendors, strange food items, odd looking veggies and fruit, and some interesting aromas. Very colorful indeed.
butcher shop
  Back in RV park in Los Barriles, and I witness another fine Baja sunset.

the two tall "palms" on the left are cell phone towers.

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