Juncalito, Baja Sur
We return to Playa Santispac for a final night on Bahia Concepcion.
Stop on the way to bring John some ice and an 8pack for his kindness, but of course, he splits it with Jen throughout the evening. When walking out of the tienda with ice a few gentlemen on the porch start asking us where we are from and about the bus, and before long we are coerced into sharing a beer and their picnic lunch with them on the front porch of the store. I guess their plan when waking up at 5this morning was to go fishing, but somewhere along the way it turned into drinking and its clear by the time we arrived that they wouldn't be getting any fishing (or anything else) done today. Borrachos.
The tropical storm offshore (Ileana i believe) is weak enough to not be threatening but is sending us several micro thunderstorms and today was simply one 2minute-15minute lighting/thunder/rainstorm after another- all with intermissions of perfect weather and sunshine in between. We spend a bit more time in VW101 and then enjoy dinner. Can't seem to get tired of making tacos filled with grilled meat and veggies, fresh tortillas from the small tortillerias, and spicy salsa.
As with the last few days, the breeze that blows through our palapa all day stops around sunset (ensuring both some bugs and a hot night in the bus). As has become habit, we hop in the ocean to cool off before bed and are so glad we did. The looming storm tonight finally blocked the full moon enough that for our first time here we got to play in the natural wonder that is phosphorescence. If you've never been to a beach/shore with phosphorescence it's time to add it to your bucket list. These microscopic creatures glow when disturbed which means you can snap your fingers underwater and set off a lightshow in your palm that looks like tinkerbell just landed. Of course, we didn't settle for finger-snapping but twirled and danced and performed underwater karate for a long while entranced by the glowing trails that highlight and follow each movement. Such a magical experience that we haven't seen since Thailand and had almost forgotten about.
In the morning we head back towards mulege' to return the incorrect mount, then honk at John on the way by the playa and move on to points unknown. We had planned to take the small road that cuts across baja over to Scorpion Bay, but we understand there are still no waves and have been warned that the bus wouldn't make the trip on this poor road ...certainly not in our current condition, or with the current road condition after recent storms.
Instead we head to Loreto. Interesting town on the water but with no real access to the beach. We try what we read was the best campground on the beach but find only RVs with giant palapas/houses built around them ...clearly no longer mobile. We also see no sign of life, so we decide the vibe isn't worth the almost $30 fee and in danger style we dunk and dash in the cool refreshing pool. We pull off a few miles south but this village has no camping, just more of the RV lean-to's. Apparently this is simply what houses look like here...an RV on the bottom with a few poles holding up a sleeping porch and a giant palapa roof above. I'm not against the "drive in and build a shade/sleeping structure over your vehicle" thing...but if youre in an rv, I assume the basic principle was freedom- so why not leave yourself the ability to pull out and explore, and why build these things packed in like sardines with 50 other gringos?
We also try out Puerto Escondido, where we once again find no sign of life other than the security guards. This is clearly another of the "towns" earmarked for tourism. The marina is in place and has several boats (possibly all vacant), and all roads between the highway and marina have been laid out like an American suburb. Every light post, stop sign and wall has a "for sale" sign on it (in english) without a single building to be seen. You have to wonder how long after the tourism returns it takes for his place to buy up, and you have to wonder who the first person is to buy and build their house (or RV lean-to) in the middle of this blank slate. On the upside, this weird little place has a tienda so we stock up on water and a grab a tasty coconut Popsicle that is out of this world delicious on this very hot afternoon. The store owner speaks a bit about his unhappiness with the development occurring nearby, but adds that he is happy that he will no longer be alive when the project is completed.
We settle instead for 15 minutes of off-road driving down a dirt road/dry riverbed to a free local beach near juncalito. There are hundreds of yellow butterflies fluttering all over. The beach is gorgeous and the snorkeling just off the beach terrific. We spend the evening in the water and I finally spear our first fish. Nothing record breaking, but the three small fish made for a nice appetizer before our grilled pesto and pine nut pizza, kitsilano/hell's kitchen style.