Baja – Fresh-caught Dinner!
Notes from the field – er, beach – for Thursday, October 27, 2016:
*sigh* 😉 Back to paddling again…(Oh, a note: people paddle canoes and kayaks with paddles; they row boats with oars. Now you know. So there.)
On our final paddling day, we moved from Isla Espirito Santo to Isla Partida. It’s no big deal, because the channel separating them is *really* narrow, and I think you can wade across it at low tide. But nonetheless, we were going to explore a new island!
Along the way, we were introduced to a narrow fissure at one end of an inlet, into which it was possible to paddle our kayaks. My paddling partner, Wynne, and I chose not to go in it, but some of the others did. Going in was no big deal, but depending on their level of experience, it was either uneventful or comical watching them back out.
One thing that has always grabbed my attention, whether while I’m driving on an Interstate or paddling a kayak, is geological displays. Highway cuts are always a great place to see how the rock layers under our feet can be folded, curved, squished, or otherwise changed from how they were originally laid down, but there are other places to find these layers as well. One such place was the shoreline of Isla Perdita, which has eroded away to show several distinct layers – not of sedimentary rock, but of volcanic. Since different layers typically erode at different rates and in different patterns, their juxtaposition can be quite beautiful:
And with this particular kind of volcanic rock, the erosion patterns within a layer can be other-worldly:
Alas, all good things must end sometime – but sometimes they’re replaced by *other* good things! In this case, the paddling was replaced by some hiking into the island’s interior. If you remember my description of an earlier hike as being “2” on a presumed scale of 1-10, this one rated a “7”. We walked up the beach to where the island rose from the sand:
It turned out not to be *quite* as hard as it looks in the photo, but it was no cakewalk, either. But we persevered, and along the way found a couple more fresh pitahaya fruits to savor. Partway up, we had this gorgeous view of “our” beach to enjoy (the mountains in the distance are part of the Baja Peninsula):
When we finally reached our destination, it was at the edge of a cliff that fell off to a dry lakebed. On the other side of the expanse we could see through a gap to the Sea of Cortez, on the far side of which is mainland Mexico.
When we all got tired of staring off into the distance, we retraced our steps and returned to our beach.
We discovered that the crew had not been idle during our absence. Rather, they had taken the panga (you remember what a panga is, right?) and gone offshore to catch our dinner! I’ve never been good with fish names (Grouper? Cod? Frank? Carl?), but fresh-caught, fresh-cooked fish was on the menu – and it was DEE-LISH-US! There was plenty of it, and we all, including some laughing gulls (seriously, that’s what they’re called), ate our fill.
But do you want to know what the highlight of the day was? ICE CREAM! Real, fresh-churned (well, fresh-shaken-in-a-Baggie) ICE CREAM! Although we only had about a spoonful each, it was a real treat!
And then, for the piece de resistance, we saw a black jackrabbit!
With that, Dear Readers, I’ll bid you a good night. We have to rise early on the morrow for an extra treat – another swim with the sea lions! – before returning to La Paz and civilization. And whale sharks. Mustn’t forget the whale sharks!