Thursday, August 5, 2010

Puerto Escondido – An Interesting Place

Puerto Escondido is an interesting almost surreal place.  It is enclosed on three sides by mountains so is reputed to be an excellent hurricane hole, safe from sea swell and weather.  It is also hot as heck as I noted in my previous post.  It has one marina with no slips, only a dock to which only a handful of boats can tie.  The inner harbor has mooring balls; when you arrive, you hook onto an unoccupied mooring ball and then when you get the chance, you go into the marina office and pay (approx. 30 cents per foot (of your boat) per day).  Another option is to anchor in very deep water in the outer harbor, known as the “Waiting Room”, for free.

The marina has a pool (like bath water these days), a hot tub (who needs it these days), a restaurant, a self-serve laundromat (who’s doing laundry these days), a little store with snacks and alcohol, and a room with tables and chairs and a couple of couches (generally  used by people for working on their computers).  Given that there is nothing else around here, many of us spend a lot of time on the internet.  There are a group of ‘lifers’ who sit outside this internet room beginning at about 9 a.m. and drink beer all day.  I believe they call themselves the Circle of Knowledge, but I’m not sure if that’s what other cruisers coined them in jest.  They hang there in the shade drinking beer all day – no joke – until the sun goes down.  Nonetheless, the morning net (when cruisers check in in the morning on the VHF radio, get the weather, get any local assistance, etc.) is cheerful and informative (yesterday there was  discussion of how to get rid of a fearless fox hanging out in the garden).  The net operator each morning brags that this is truly the best place to be.  Perhaps they have air conditioning?

As I mentioned, there is really not much in the way of civilization around here. It is interesting that Puerto Escondido at one time, due to its geography as a natural harbor, was to become the next Cabo San Lucas.  The government spent a lot of money building the infrastructure, laying out roads and electricity and plumbing, thinking that if you build it, they will come.  Not so.  Apparently no one wanted to buy the lots for a million dollars, so there are wide roads to nowhere lined with street lamps, but nothing around except this marina and up the road a bit, a little hotel with about 20 rooms.  That’s it. 

Civilization is about 20 miles north, in Loreto, which is a nice sized town with an airport, many interesting shops, some good restaurants, the first mission in the Californias established in 1699, and a great museum with exhibits about early Mexico, the Spanish conquest and the missionaries.  We even found a ‘gourmet’ food shop that sold canned albacore tuna, pretzels, bamboo shoots and whole wheat pasta (the first we’ve seen of these items in many months). 

The problem with Loreto is that there is no way to get there unless you (a) get a ride from someone who happens to have a car (note: most cruisers use their boats to get around and don’t happen to have a car in their bilge); (b) hire a taxi for $50, which is then yours for the day; (c) walk out to the highway (about 3 miles) in 118 degree heat and hope that the infrequent bus suddenly becomes reliable and will pass by; (d) walk out to the highway (about 3 miles) in 118 degree heat and thumb a ride; or (e) rent a car for $40.  As noted in my last post, we opted for (e) and it went well.

Why don’t we just take the boat to Loreto?  Because there is only a small fishing boat anchorage inside a breakwater – in other words, there’s no protected place to anchor overnight. 

Apparently people come to Loreto for the sport fishing.  We’ve caught nothing, and Michael is now looking into buying a larger spear gun and selling off our current smaller one.  Perhaps when we go out to the islands around Loreto (Isla Carmen, Isla Danzante, and Isla Coronado), we’ll have better luck catching our own dinner.

We’re definitely trying hard to shake things up and get out of what we are feeling is like a rut – all due to the heat – so we are hoping to leave in the morning for the islands to do some snorkeling, fishing, and cooling off.

Still hot as ever,
Puerto Escondido, BCS, Mexico

1 comment:

  1. Hope you find what you're looking for - a break in this heat and some fresh fish. Perhaps that's why not too many people live there.