Arroyo de la Viper to Loreto, April 10th 2007.

In the morning we paddled past the last of the cliffs and osprey nests and started along a low gravely shore towards Loreto. We passed the chain link fences that enclosed the dirt airstrip here. We passed the partially finished hotel that looked like a monastery. We started passing gringo houses and palapas with big RV’s parked under them. We stopped to talk to one of the RV owners on his beachfront lot. This area is starting to get too civilized for me. However, off in the distance we could see Isla Carmen, a large rocky island that I want to explore some day. So I will be returning to this area again.

After a morning break on a beach in front of somebody’s beachfront lot, we headed straight across a bight towards Loreto. We planned on stopping at a waterfront restaurant for a nice lunch on our last day on the water. But when we arrived at the beach north of the marina everything was closed. We talked to some tourists sitting under an umbrella in front of one cafe. They said the café would be opening in an hour or so, but the only food they served was hotdogs. We figured there would be a better restaurant inside the marina and continued on. Unfortunately, the marina at Loreto turns out to only be a hundred meters wide or less! We made it around in no-time and could still see the same closed café from the other side! So we continued down the shore if the town.

From the water we could see a few restaurant/bars on the edge of town but the shore was protected by a long breakwater of large broken rocks. When we finally came to the next sandy beach we were past the majority of the town. Here there was a hotel but no restaurant we could see. Andrea Wolf walked around town and talked to some locals. The people she found were employees of the hotel and they opened up the hotel restaurant for us! So we only had to walk across the beach to get to the nice lunch we had planned on. From the shaded tables in front of the restaurant/hotel we could keep our eyes on our boats.

After lunch it was only a short paddle to the RV park where the cars were parked. Two weeks ago I had seen the water between the buildings but did not know what the beach really looked like, especially not from the water. I was also driving my new Toyota 4Runner for the first time in Baja and wasn’t sure I would recognize my new car when I saw it. But I finally spied it between the buildings from the water and we landed for the end of our trip.

The camp manager opened a chain for us and let us drive our cars down to load the kayaks and gear. An “Ugly American” tourist who was staying in one of the houses along the shore came down to chew us out for removing the chain and driving on “his” beach. He went off to chew out the property manager (who mostly ignored him). Welcome back to uncivil-ization! We arranged to camp in the RV park and walked into town for dinner at a carne asada taco place. Our kayak trip was over but we still had to drive home.

All text and images Copyright © 2007 by Mike Higgins / contact