Feliz Año Nuevo 2015: Los Frailes & the East Cape
We ended up spending most of our time on the East Cape in Los Frailes. We met a couple, Monica and Jeff, in Los Barriles and caravanned there with them. We had met before at the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, AZ last May. It really is a very small overlanding world we are discovering.
Los Frailes is a long sandy beach with a small fishing camp on one end, and a row of palapas on the other. As soon as we turned off the road, we passed lots of big RV’s camped in the bushes of the arroyo, and weren’t sure we wanted to stay. We kept driving and cruised onto the beach, and when we made our way to the other end we were the only campers. It was our first time taking the rig so far onto the beach in soft sand. There were a few episodes of spinning tires, but John finally got us unstuck, and then backed us into a couple of holes he dug to level us out.
John and Jeff working the air pressure. Jeff told us the first thing you do when you get stuck is stop and grab a beer.
So we did.
All settled in
Jeff & Monia...and Lola and Gunner. We had to keep an eye out for hawks the pups were so small.
The next morning, Jeff and Monica headed back north and we decided to stay put. We hung out there for the next three nights, too. I think a part of us was leery of making the effort to dig out. But there was great snorkeling, hiking and miles of beach to walk on. It was peaceful and quiet, and we rang in the New Year there. We saw about 10 minutes of fireworks right at sunset, cooked a great dinner with a bottle of wine from home, and fell asleep by 10. Our perfect schedule.
Sunrise all by ourselves
New Year's Eve dinner: $4 prawns and a bottle of Kistler. Camper livin'....
Morning coffee walk
Still takes him a while to wake up...
Hike up to see the view. You can barely make out our rig on the beach.
The sunrises were amazing. John on his morning shoot...
Birds and fishermen - always together
Yachts anchored in the cove
Morning fish run
It’s a strange little community that’s been created on this beach. The fish camp coexists with the campers but don’t seem to interact all that much except for the commerce of fish. A whole snapper is around $3 bucks and a big mackerel or yellowtail is $7…and those are the gringo prices. Many of the fisherman have their families camped here with them, and the RV’s fan out behind the camp for months at a time or for the entire winter. There isn’t a boat launch or dock, so boats are pushed into the water every morning by a couple of pickup trucks. The trucks shove the boats through the sand into the water by the front bumper. In the evening the boats come screaming toward the shore with enough momentum to launch themselves onto the beach, and then the pickup trucks drag them up beyond the tide line. There is a lot of hootin’ and hollerin’ going on during this whole process so it was pretty exciting the first time we watched.
Morning push into the surf
The fishermen report that every year there are less and less fish, and on a couple mornings we saw them heading into the protected waters of the marine park in front of our beach to fish, which I suppose is illegal. I do wonder what will happen to these communities when all the fish are gone from these waters. It’s the same story around the world, and a stark reminder that sustainability and poverty are so completely interconnected.
We said goodbye to the other overlanders we knew and left Los Frailes (JD had no problem at all getting us off out of the sand!). We drove south along the coastal road of the East Cape. Beautiful beaches and some incredible homes…not so beautiful roads.
Peter and Dace - we've been hitting the same spots together for weeks. Hope to see you both on the mainland!
Ornate gates to seemingly nowhere on the East Cape.
Not so ornate road markers.
Wild life on the East Cape
Beautiful views and beaches for miles and miles
Not so beautiful roads. The dirt road was an improvement over paved.
Mexican traffic cones...in all colors.
We spent our anniversary (23 years…wow, time flies) in Todos Santos again at the Rancho Pescadero hotel. Fabulous pool time, some new friends, and John arranged dinner and a fire on the beach. It was a really great night.
Dawn (she's English) and Eric reminded of us SO much of our friends Mark and Tamsin. They were the perfect proxy for friends we miss so much.
Pre dinner cocktails
Dinner on the beach
A little humor is the secret to a long marriage. And surviving this trip together.
Next we are heading back up to La Paz to take the ferry over to the mainland. We feel like we have really seen and done Baja, and are ready for the next leg of Mexico. It’s going to be an interesting 2015!