We are leaving Los Barriles tomorrow morning for Cabo Pulmo about 1 hr south. We should have internet there but it always takes us a bit to get resettled and back in the flow of things so I thought I would give a bit of an update today and then show you Cabo Pulmo in a few days. Here are some tid bits to tide you over until we send a few pics of our new location.
Cabo Pulmo has the the largest coral reef in all of Mexico and California. It also boasts very diverse marine life. It is a tourist location because of the incredible scuba diving, snorkeling, whale viewing. However it is not easily accessible. Our next home will be 30 minutes from the grocery store by washboard laden dirt roads. We are planning to situate ourselves right on the beach but about a 5 minute drive north of the main tourist area --the beach where all the snorkel, diving and whale boats come and go. The best snorkeling will be south of the village of Cabo Pulmo but there isn't a good place to park Gracie on the beach so we found a sweet little spot on the north side of town and plan to both check out what sealife we can view from there and also to take a few day trips to the south.
Cabo San Lucas
We plan to drive (with the minivan) down to Cabo San Lucas to get a few things that apparently we can only find a larger city--sweatshirt for Alia, jeans for Paul, flipflops for me, sea kayak for us all, etc.
We are currently still planning to go back up to La Paz to catch the ferry to the mainland but we aren't exactly sure when or where we will ferry to just yet. We have been getting reports here in Mexico about political situations that are shifting along with advice from trustworthy locals that may alter our direction somewhat.
A few months ago a drug lord from the state of Sinaloa escaped from prison. He was just re-arrested today. We have learned that when the government leaves the cartels alone the cartels have no reason to stir up trouble. Since this drug lord was arrested again it is probable that there will be some incidents that are caused by the cartel retaliation. How long will the incidents continue or how bad will they be...we don't know but we are paying attention.
We had originally planned to ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan (situated at the very south end of the state of Sinaloa) and then drive down the west coast of the mainland. However, a local we have met here who is from the mainland has given us advice that we should take the other ferry that goes to Topolobampo in the north of Sinaloa. His reasons make sense and we trust his advice. But, now that the situation in Sinaloa is tenuous we are a bit uncertain how to proceed at the moment. We will still be down here in Pulmo for a few weeks and that gives us time to see what is happening across the Sea of Cortez before we have to decide what we want to do.
I write all this to give you a window into our planning world. We are constantly listening, reading, and asking about things in order to make wise travel decisions. It isn't that we are always on edge or in a constant state of worry but that we have gotten used to just keeping an ear to the ground. It flows seamlessly into our daily conversations and we make decisions accordingly. As always we appreciate your prayers for our safety.
In more upbeat news, we LOVE the vibe of BCS (Baja California Sur, Baja is divided into two states, this is the southern half of the penisula) and could see ourselves staying in almost all of the places we have visited since we crossed into this beautiful state. We keep debating if we should keep traveling or just stay here! The people, the food, the culture, the pace of life, the language, the climate (at least in the winter)...we are loving it all!
Those of you on the US west coast are well aware but the rest of you may not know that storms brought on by El Niño are causing a lot of destruction. Floods, mudslides and hail storms have devastated the coastal cities from Tijuana to San Quintin. The main interstate highway south out of Ensenada to San Quentin was closed by the Federales since it was completely flooded and in danger of washouts and sinkholes. It feels strange to see the videos and reports having just been there a few weeks ago! Our friends in San Diego warned us to keep the El Niño weather on our radar and we are sure glad for their advice! Thanks Daileys...stay safe up there!
So, we are off to Cabo Pulmo. The kids (and Paul and I as well) are anxious to see if any other overlander has inadvertently poached our desired spot! We told the kids that Plan B was to park nearby and wait for them to leave! :) We'll see tomorrow!