Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Playa Santispac

distance = 20

Bahia Concepcion is a string of white sandy beaches along the Sea of Cortez.  The eastern shoreline is protected from the strong ocean winds and waves by a peninsula that juts out South to North, parallel to the beaches where we camped out the next few days.

Excitement over some long awaited Mexican beach days mounted as the road wended its way through some canyons to and from the shore with peeks of the shallow coves and turquoise waters that awaited us.  Coming around one last bend Playa Santispac lay spread out before us.  It was a nice view no doubt, but one I wished we were seeing from a more remote dirt road.  The sound of truck engine brakes would be in the background the next few days.  Oh well, not quite paradise but easily accessed by bicycle!
Three days later, my early disappointment had faded away.  Our tent was staked a mere 30 metres from the water under the palm leaf shelter of a palapa.  We ate delicious fish tacos at Ana's, the beachfront restaurant.  The white fish battered and deep fried was served inside folded tortilla shells with fresh salsa, Pacifico beers on the side.

The second day we rented kayaks and visited some of the other beaches further down the shore.  Schools of fish jumped up around us as a bigger fish hunted them from below.  We caught our first glimpses of rays and what Rob called a zebra fish, striped a vertical black.  The water was just warm enough for a swim during the afternoon heat.  I read reclined in the tent and watched as pelicans and what we would later learn were boobies diving in the water.

There is something very humorous about Pelicans, their sideways eyes peering out atop their long noses and what would at first appear to be an elegant dive but ending with a rather abrupt plop.  I had a nice laugh over them with a traveler named Jenny while sitting down to our last dinner enjoyed at Ana's.  We did actually cook for ourselves on the beach, our staples nicely accompanied by fruit, pastries and fresh fish bought from Mexican vendors visiting the beach.  There was something extremely satisfying about buying fresh fish, frying it up on the camp stove set in the sand in front of our tent.  We fashioned a concoction of garlic, oil and vinegar from our camping pantry stores (my green backpack) and it made for a delicious lunch and dinner (and part of dinner).     

Saturday night at Ana's was quite a party with resident gringos coming from Mulege and the other beaches for a set menu of ribs and chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers).  The traveling crowd in Baja is like none other I've experienced.  We're first hand witnesses to the winter migration of snowbirds from Canada and America flocking in their motor homes to the warm climes of Baja California.  They were at this party in majority.  While sipping a stiff margarita the people watching was exceptional, topped by a man who must have been in his 80's dancing with his cane.  Some fellow youngsters staying at the palapa next to ours brought along their hula hoops which were popular with the crowd.  Rob and I flaunted our salsa and other dancing styles before the bar shut down at 9pm.  Baja midnight, depending on who you're asking.  A short walk along the beach under the stars and we were back in our tent for the night.

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