Febraury – 2020
It was time to move on. Looking at the forecast we had a few days to get north before the northerlies kicked up again. We hoisted anchor and motored out of Bahia Concepcion under a cloudless sky while pelicans criss crossed in front of us in their never ending search for fish. We really enjoyed Bahia Concepcion and will be back for an extended stay when the water warms up a bit. The run up to Chivato is only about 14 miles from Posada Concepcion. The water was so still it seemed as though we were parting a mirror as the bow creased through the water.
Clearing the point we were joined by a pod of dolphins. No matter what we are doing our attention seems to focus on these amazing creatures and time stands still as they play in Pellucidar’s bow wave.
The run is pretty straight forward but there are a couple of reefs on the way that we had to make sure we identified and located before Pellucidar did. We arrived early in the afternoon dropping anchor in about 14 feet of water. The clarity was not as good as we had hoped and we were not able to see the anchor. With the water temp in the mid 60’s we probably would not be doing alot of snorkeling anyway. I asked G2 if he would dive on the anchor. I had no idea giraffes could give such a sinister look!
We dropped the dingy in the water and headed for shore to do some exploring. The guide books mentioned a couple hotel complexes and maybe a restaurant or two. As we approached it was evident some (most) of the hotels had not survived as well as a large majority of the town. Suprisingly there were still a number of residents enjoying the lifestyle with very few of the amenities we have become so used to in our daily lives.
Landing the dingy was uneventful (always a good thing!) on the gentle sloping beach. This was not the typical sand beach but made up of smaller granular pebbles. There was a small concrete launch ramp with enough water on the side at high tide allowing us to disembark without getting wet. That doesn’t happen very often. We normally wear sandals or flip flops and carry a dry bag with shoes, socks and a towel to dry off. As we approach shore we jump in and pull the dingy up on shore. Once it’s secured we dry off, switch shoes and commence with exploring. This was way too easy!
We walked North East toward the point past the large hotel that sadly looks like it has been closed for some time.
We have seen this scenario played out repeatedly along the Baja. I have mixed emotions. I’m sad for the people who lost their dream but on the other hand I love the solitude that cruising the Baja provides. Large developments like this would take away from that. It’s selfish I know but I’m sure the time is coming when these large developments will flourish once again and be common place.
We continued on past a few very nice houses and some we suspect are available as Air BNB.
We headed away from the point down a dirt road toward a building that looked like it could be a restaurant / hotel. It was painted in bright colors which was a stark contrast to the dry landscape surrounding it. And the paint looked fresh! We walked by what seemed to be some kind of manufacturing building long ago abandoned. Many of the corrugated panels were missing but some of the machines remained although quite rusted. As we passed by the wind was moving the loose panels creating a haunting kind of melody. It was very cool and erie at the same time but not intriguing enough to hang around! We double timed it up the road.
The “town” was for the most part gone. Not sure how many residents are left in Punta Chivato but it can’t be many. We had a pretty good view of the town once we crested the hill. You can see for yourself!
As we got closer to our destination we spotted another couple heading our way and it seemed they may have come from the restaurant / hotel. We stopped to chat for a moment and inquire regarding the restaurant. They had just come from having drinks but said the food looked good as well. They were an English couple who caught the travel bug about a year earlier. Paul and Chrissie had completely rebuilt and outfitted a Landrover Defender they named Stirling then had it shipped to Canada.
They traveled across Canada, up to Alaska and now down into Baja Mexico. They decided to begin documenting their travels through the eyes of Sterling, their beloved Landrover. Stirling is amazing and is what I would consider a modest form of a transformer! You can follow along at https://defender-adventure.com/
Their ultimate goal is to circumnavigate the globe via Stirling. They have an amazing story and the videos are fun to watch!
We had been talking in the middle of the “road” for quite some time. Finally Linda says, “we realize you just came from the restaurant but would you like to walk back and join us for another drink?” We walked to the restaurant together and enjoyed a fun afternoon getting to know our new friends and sharing our adventure stories. We have heard it over and over on our travels “the adventures are great but its the people you meet along the way that make the journey special.” How true that is!
As we headed back toward the beach we toured the “golf course” We hope to come back and play a round someday. It is quite something and not for the faint of heart!
We decided to stay an extra day. Meeting and visiting with new friends is always a priority for us but in doing so we never explored the shell beach we had heard so much about. G2 decided he needed a little break and really did not want to join us on our walk along the beach so we left him aboard Pellucidar to enjoy some quite time.
We took the dingy to shore and visited with some of the folks who had set up their RV’s on this side of the bay. Steel, the gentleman who owned the hotel / restaurant was renting out spaces next to his house for very reasonable rates. There was room for 3 to 4 RV’s to look right out over Bahia Concepcion. Our new friends, Paul, Chrissie and Stirling had moved from the Eastside and relocated here under the pergola on the right of the building pictured. (I think this picture was taken when they ran to Mulege for supplies) We decided to catchup later that afternoon for a bite at the restaurant.
Linda and I began our exploration along the water walking toward the west in front of some very spectacular homes. This section of the shore was a mix of sandstone and solid rock. We never tire of wandering amongst the beauty nature creates and the vast variety the wind and sea sculpture the landscape!
As the sun climbed from the horizon and warmed anything in its path the pelicans seemed more interested in sunning themselves than fishing.
The hike along the shore was not exactly straight forward. One minute we were down along the water and the next we were high above the water on magnificently sculptured cliffs. As the distance from the point increased we noticed some of the homes were either in serious need of repair or totally deserted. One home sadly looked like it had never been completed.
We had read a lot about this shell beach in the guide book so our expectations were high and the beach did not disappoint!
We’ve never seen such a large collection of shells in so many variations of size, shape and color. We spent many hours slowly continuing up the beach stopping often to examine a new color or design. Shells are like snowflakes. No two are the same. Colors vary between a dull off white to brilliant shades of yellow, magenta, white, coral, etc. Some are polished to a bright sheen where others are rough and porous. We saw shells wafer thin and others that were thick and heavy. Spiral, fan, clam, and conch shapes. From aggressive ridges to shells where the ridges were barely visible.
At first we felt guilty for walking on the shells and did our best to avoid as many as we could but we soon realized this was impossible. We reached a section of the beach where the quantity of shells began to thin out so we turned our path inland to intersect with the road. Let’s just say it’s a good thing we have GPS on the boat! We are a disaster when it comes to navigating on our own.
The road we thought paralleled the beach angled inland as well. I started singing as we wandered around in the desert.
We did have to detour a few times as there was a deep arroyo (that is Spanish for big ditch!) that cut through our path. It was too steep for us to attempt in our current attire. We did enjoy the landscape with its unique flora and fauna as we wandered around aimlessly in circles. Now I know how the Israelites felt wandering through desert for 40 years! Eventually we came to a barb wire fence. We climbed through and found ourselves on the runway of the dirt airstrip. We kept a close eye on the sky as we followed it back to town!
We reached the dingy and headed back to Pellucidar to pick up G2. We wanted to do a photo op at the golf course then head to the restaurant where they had WiFi so we could FaceTime with Owen and catchup on a few emails.
Golf course photo op:
We closed out our last night at Punta Chivato with a fabulous dinner amongst new friends. The next morning we caught the incoming tide, hoisted anchor, set the sails and headed for Santa Rosalia.