It’s been one week on the road!
It was not as quiet on the beach as you might have expected, with voices floating over from the village and truck engine brakes from the highway.
While I make a ham and egg breakfast, Big Dog goes off exploring.
“There’s a better spot around the corner, just over that hill,” he announces. I remember seeing it from the highway but couldn’t figure out where the access road was. Well, it was right here. And that beach is Playa Escondida, the Hidden Beach. (The beach we camped in last night was Playa Posada Concepcion.)
“Al” who lives in Posada stops by on his morning walk for a brief chat and we find out that despite the number of homes Posada has electricity only between 10am and 10pm through a big generator.
A man in a truck pulls up. He’s got fresh scallops. P200 for a kilo. He also has big beautiful shrimp (frozen) for P300 and different kinds of fish — yellowtail, marlin, etc. — for P200/kilo. The fresh scallops sound like a real deal so I buy a bag.
After breakfast and cleanup, we move the short distance to Playa Escondida. There are a handful of palapas on the beach and we even get one. Actually, it’s still in construction, being rebuilt today by two Mexicans. Half a dozen other campers share this beach, including the Big Blue Mercedes. How did they manage to get here before us, before I remember the wasted Punto Chivato trip.
After settling in, we blow up the kayak for a short cruise. Other kayakers and stand-up paddlers are also taking advantage of the super calm morning bay, with several little islands jutting out. We circle the closest one. There are caves and grottoes. Seagulls, pelicans and frigate birds sun themselves on rocks.
“Hey, Belgian!” Big Dog shouts to Mr. Rock Climber coming around to tackle a rock wall.
The afternoon is chill time for everyone. I read some, Big Dog naps a bit… The Vanagon couple from our whale boat are also here. So is the Swiss Van. There’s a truckload of dirt bikers from California. (“We’re Left Wing Bikers!” one of them tells us, the Bernie sticker on the truck reinforcing their political leanings.) Later, two older bikers on big BMWs set up tent next to Big Blue Mercedes. These guys are from Sacramento. It’s nice being in a camp where everyone is so friendly.
Vanagon Man is going out fishing and I somehow get talked into offering to clean his fish.
It’s getting dark so I make dinner: butter braised scallops and linguine. The scallops are incredible! I have never had scallops this fresh and sweet and tasty. While we eat, we listen to the guy in the truck camper next to us playing beautiful music on some kind of string instrument. It turns out to be a harp and is muy romantico.
Before I can finish my dinner, however, Vanagon Man returns with a bag of perch-like fish. I put them in our collapsible bucket and wash them in the ocean. I really want to wait until the morning to clean them – it is too dark now – but the Vanagon Couple wants to eat them for dinner so I take myknives out to his cutting board. When I pull out a fish, it starts to flop violently and in my haste in trying to catch it, I slice my thumb open on one of the knives. I are bleeding profusely. I go back to get a paper towel to wrap around my thumb but it is still bleeding. The knife was sharp enough that there is not much pain but there’s fish blood and my blood all over the place. If I were the Vanagon Couple, I’d be so grossed out, but it doesn’t seen to bother them. Mrs. Vanagon is snapping a hundred photos while I hack away at the fish. The knives are sharp enough to slice through your thumb but not enough for easy fish cleaning.
Luckily, “Manuel,” a local Mr. Vanagon knows is nearby and he comes and cleans all of the fish, even skinning them. If only they had gone to Manuel to begin with. Now, I am stuck with a bloody thumb AND a lingering fish odor.