Day 152 All the way from Loreto to Juncalito

Loreto to Juncalito

Dec 6

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Paola Guadalupe Bailon Cisneros and her extended family.

Before leaving Loreto the poodles and I took one last trip to the Marina. The town center was bustling, the trees still laden with colorful paper balloons and there were groups of people enjoying the lingering feeling of the holidays.  I had just stopped at a park bench to people-watch and to give the poodles some water when I hear several girls giggling as they passed by. They were pointing at the poodles and talked among themselves as they swung their path a little closer.  I said, “Buenas Tardes,  Qué quieren decir hola a las perras?”  I’ve been practicing this phrase because my saying, ‘Qué quiere acariciar a los perros (Do you want to pet the dogs),” isn’t understood by anyone.   It’s the word acariciar that I just can’t get out of my mouth.

What a beautiful family!  Two sisters (aunts), cousins and the patriarch were all eager to ask about the poodles.  They each shook hands with me and introduced themselves.  When the patriarch shook my hand I couldn’t believe how the strong and muscled yet gentle his hand was.  I always joke about having ‘man hands’ and yet mine disappeared in his grasp.  It was clearly a hand that’s done a lot of work through the decades yet wasn’t calloused or hardened.  The family was visiting Loreta for años nuevos de fiesta.  Everyone laughed a lot and the poodle girls ate it up, even Nickel enjoyed the attention.  I got an email addy from Paola, the young lady on the right, so I could send her the pictures. We’re now pen pals trying to help each other hone our language skills.

It was a wonderful farewell to Loreto with the added treat of treats for the road…..

pastry


It should have taken about 20 minutes to reach our next destination but, alas, it took quite a while due to a tiny adventure on the way. loretomap According to my Mexican Camping book the pull-off leading to a ‘free beach’ is .3 miles south of mile post 97 on Mex 1.  It’s not the easiest thing for me to keep my eyes on the winding roads and discern between arroyos, ranch trails and dirt roads so I was traveling slowly trying not to miss the turn.  At just the right spot there it was a very rough narrow dirt track leading into some pretty dense brush so I pulled to the side of the road to contemplate whether it was wise to drive down this miserable road.  According to the book it’s .7 miles from Mex 1 to the beach so I decided to walk the road first in order to make sure there was room to turn around if things got iffy.  As I got out of the truck, ahead on the highway, a pickup pulled off.  Not wanting them to see me walking down the road I let the dogs out for a potty break and kept an eye on the guy who’d just gotten out and was shoveling sand into the back of his truck.  After waiting a while it appeared that things were legit so I took Nickel and headed down the track.  After walking for a while it was clear that there were a few places for turning around if necessary, so I stopped short of the .7 miles, I got back into the truck and pulled onto the nearly nothing of a road.  The branches of the acacia trees slid along the sides of the camper and I could hear the big thorns scrape like nails on a chalkboard.  The road was incredibly rough and I couldn’t imagine RV’s, like the guide-book said, could make it through this area and I soon reached a part of the road that was completely collapsed and we were forced to stop.  The book was clearly outdated.  I decided, since we were there,  to take the dogs for a walk and look for the beach but soon realized even that was futile, the trail quickly disappeared and we were hiking through what was apparently grazing scrub.  I turned around to head back I saw our man walking along to a rock slide in the distance.  As I gathered the dogs around me and said, “Hola, Como esta?”   We had a short broken spanish conversation where he told me that he was looking for rocks for his garden (big flat ones not like the ones here) and wondered what I was doing.  I told him that my book said there was a beach at the end of this road, and thought this road was odd.  He laughed and said Oh no.  That’s up the road about 200 meters.  It was all very harmless but a little unnerving.  I’m pretty sure he followed me in because he was worried that I was up to some mischief.  He quietly left warning me to be careful as I turn around and pointed out a good spot to do so.  After a bit of a struggle to turn around, drive back through the acacias and back 200 meters onto Mex 1, I  saw the road. How did I miss it?   Down a more reasonable dirt road (as described by the book) we went and at mile .7 a beautiful beach spread out before us.

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Loretta Bay National Park

 aka Juncalito Beach

TinTin was tired of the rigmarole…

tintin

Click TinTin’s picture to learn about the origin of the word rigmarole


We found a nice spot to camp

home

Set up house

oso

And the Poodles finally got to PLAY

girls

CLICK HERE TO SEE SOME POODLE ACTION

Que Es Esta- Esta es……#2

 Esta es……

Not to be confused with a Sea Pen , what we have here is a Pen Shell

also called

Callo de hacha or Concha de hacha in Mexico

penshell

Click this sketch to read an extremely comprehensive paper on mollusks

Pen Shells will only be found on sandy or grassy bottoms exposed by very low tides.  Pen Shells live buried almost up to the tips of its shell so in their natural habitat they’ll look like this:th

penshellmEAT

Apparently these have the taste and texture of a scallop

In Mexico, there are two members of the Family Pinnidae, known as ‘hachas’ (hatchet) shells and as mentioned in the previously, is the highly prized anterior muscle. What’s pictured on the previous post and what the dogs were so anxious to eat wasn’t the muscle of the animal but the dried byssal threads and filtering system.

penguts

 

Pen shells have been harvested by the Comcáac Indigenous Community of Sonora (the Seri Indians) for centuries at extreme low tides from October to May. To day, due to the demand for this tasty meat, the Pen Shell is being overfished and the Seri harvesters are being put at risk by diving for their collection.

To learn more about how the Seri People are working to protect the Callo de Hacha and make their harvest a renewable resources click the picture bellow:

commons

 

 

 

Day 149-150 Que Es Esta?

Still in Loreto


Jan 3-4

girlsseal

I conceded and gave Nickel my wallet…. after emptying it of pesos course. You’d be surprise at what she’s inclined to buying.

nickwallet

Nickel carrying her wallet while watching Pelicans. Maybe she thought their beaks were big pocketbooks and she was going to give them some change.

Our first walk of the day was to the Marina which is a very nice walk along the harbor amongst with several large bronze statues; a Whale Shark and several Sea Lions, lines of fishing boats and dozens of Pelicans, Boobies, Gulls and terns taking advantage of the easy capture of fish in shallow waters.  Nickel was absolutely engaged with the Pelicans as they plummeted and crashed into the water.  I was worried at one point she might just follow a few into the bay.  Once again we were met by people asking questions about the dogs and children wanting to say hello.  Of course this was Eureka’s favorite part.loreto-marina

Later, the poodles and I scavenged along the shore north of Loreto and came up with some interesting creatures (at least parts of them) to research.  I thought it would be fun to post pictures and let you guess what they might be.  This might be too  much for the squeamish so be forewarned.

We’ll call the game…..

¿Que Es Esto(a)….. What is This?

Hints will be given as you go down the page and answer will be posted the following day.


¿QUE ES ESTA?stingrayhip This is my pelvis.  The poodles have decided this is the best thing on the beach to eat.  Their mom says it’s a good source of mucopolysaccharides, proteins, collagen, calcium, suffer, glucosamine and chondroitin.  Who cares.  The poodles say it tastes Grrrr-8!

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What’s your guess?

 

 

 

 

 

 

stingstinger

You might have thought I was a shark but you’re wrong.  This is my tail.  

Think you know????

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stingray-head

Nope, not a funny mask but that is my mouth.

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stingray

Have you guessed what I am yet?  Don’t be too sure!  ………….  

Tell us! What’s your best guess?

Day 147-148 Flotsam and Jetsam

Beach Combing

 January 1-2

beach

The poodle girls and I spent the last two days walking the city and treasure hunting on the beach.  While I’ve indulged my inquisitiveness by looking for tiny shells, the poodles have discovered the joy of vertebrate and invertebrate dining. There’s a large number of these washed up on the beach and my thought is that they’re probably discards from fishing nets. There are quite a few trigger fish that have been filleted

trigger2 triggerbut I’ve also seen lots of stingrays, sharks, puffer and a whole slew of others creatures. Due to the dry desert air most of the remains are desiccated. For some reason, of all the tasty treats to choose from, Nickel prefers the puffers.wpufferOf course I can’t let her have those due to their long spines and potential toxicity, and besides, there are plenty of rays and sharks to go around. I figured it’s a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin so I let them chow down.

eureka

lick

I was very pleasantly surprised to see such a clean beach. It was void of the usual plastic bottles and bags although littered with a plethora of seashells, fish fragments and other ocean tidbits; plenty to keep us all busy for a few days.  It’s not like what I saw last week when we drove from the central desert to Santa Rosalita and the shock I felt viewing the beach as we drove into town.  Sadly, Rosalie isn’t alone and probably represents many beaches across the world that are situate near industrial areas (this beach was north of town and near a mine).  And let’s face it!  My being here is contributes to the garbage issue: I’m also part of the problem. I mean, really, just the number of dog poop bags alone could tip the scales!  Never-the-less it was a shock to my system to witness after glimpsing the cobalt blue sea on the horizon as we approached the Sea of Cortex and my fantasizing about white sandy beaches.  I’m happy to say that the flip side of this is the effort I’ve seen by the local people to pick up, clean up and recycle.  The message is getting through.  In Guerraro Negro I drove out to a spit of land and saw what seemed to be a school project (since most of the people appeared to be in their teens) of a dozen or more people with large white bags picking up garbage along side the road.

Sometimes I have conflicting emotions about being a wealthy american barging my way through poorer and/or struggling countries but I think this is an example of a positive impact tourism can make (at least for the environment).

pelican

So back to Loreto…   I was warned by the campground owner not to walk the dogs up the beach due to some very large mean dogs so we walked south. Aside from one or two people, we never saw anyone and we were able to walk for miles.  It is a fairly rocky beach, which was perfect for me.  The days have been in the 70’s with wild wind to keep us cool and the surf rough…. bringing in all kinds of exciting things to discover.

 I’ll leave you with a few fish faces

parrot

Parrot Fish

fishnick

? yellow fin?

and Nickel wanting demanding…..MORE!

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♣”There’s a simple mnemonic that helps distinguish flotsam from jetsam. Flotsam (or floatsome) are those items which are floating as a consequence of the action of the sea. Jetsam are those which have been jettisoned by a ship’s crew (although that may float too of course).”♣

 Click here to read a little more about the origin of Flotsam and Jetsam