Surf to Snorkel, East Cape
Waking up to the sound of waves with a sunrise backdrop continues to be a treasure we've unearthed on this trip.We spend an hour or so watching a handful of surfers below and eventually pack up to continue our way up the cape. Luckily the sets weren't lining up quite as regularly as last night, so we didn't have quite as hard time pulling ourselves away as I might of thought.
We continue along the dirt road at a snails pace and finally pull in to 9 palms (at least we think). Soft sand here so we park off the beach and grab our chairs to take a front row seat under the closest palapa, then watch for a while and soak up the breeze. It's well over 100 and both the view and breeze are a welcome change from the driving. We think back to the surf instructors we met a few weeks ago and talk about calling them to see if we can connect- and who should walk out of the water but Chucho and Jose. Apparently they drove up the cape to take a father and son from BC to 9 palms...outstanding.
We weren't sure we were getting in the water as the waves are still quite large, but they assure us this is a good spot and we remove the boards from the rack and paddle out. We get mostly worked over in the hour or so we allowed ourselves in the full sun and come back to our palapa exhausted but so proud of ourselves for finally taking a crack at the bigger waves. We watch for another hour or so before being able to pull ourselves away. As much as we want to stay and surf here until we are pros, this is an exploratory trip around the cape and we are much in need of the laundry and other services of the campgrounds further up.
The road from here turns from bad to worse. Almost impossibly bad. We notice at one point that a 3 mile stretch took us probably 45minutes. We pass through maybe a half dozen arroyos where we honestly didn't think we would make it up the other side. In most cases we had the make an attempt, slide back down the hill and give it another go (or three). In a few cases Jen had to get out and help navigate the obstacles (and ever so slightly lighten the load), and in many we bottomed out either front or back. Again, a great reminder that E is not a Synchro. For anyone planning to drive the east cape in a Kombi- our advice is to wait a few years for the road to be completed.
The drive is however, gorgeous. We talk about how easy it would be to live or setup a taco stand on any of the uninhabited hills overlooking a break...but then just as quickly come across a Sotheby's real estate sign reminding us that everything has been bought up by rich cabo visitors and is well out of our element even if we considered it.
We pull into Los Frailles, where we understand the Manta Rays jump out of the water (a must see on my list) but it's sadly the wrong time of year. The campground is also completely deserted and far too soft for us to camp anywhere but the middle of the road. We did pull over for a quick snack and break from the driving. I crawl under the bus to make sure everything is in one piece and to tighten the bolts on our transaxle support as the shifting has been getting increasingly difficult as we rattle along. Mental note to jack up the transaxle and crank down on them later.
E has some new battle scars as proof of the trip, but overall handled this "road" like a champ and got us to the other side. It was a terribly hot and exhausting day of driving, and while we planned on getting further along we pull into the bay of cabo pulmo stoked to call it for the day. We camp at Los Arbolitos, dawn our snorkel gear and swim out around the point around sunset. The visibility here was quite poor, but the number and size of the fish was remarkable.