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Monday, April 11, 2005

Mega hike with Megabyte

April 10, 2005
San Evaristo, Baja California del Sur (24o 55' N, 110o 42'W)

This morning we slept in late (0730) after a windy and chilly night. We didn't have any problems with dragging anchor or anything, it was just noisy and cold (63 degrees in the cabin this morning). I'll need to get another blanket out from under the quarter berth if this keeps up. We had meant to meet up with Dave and Debbie on Megabyte at 0830 but with the late start we pushed it back to 0900 so that we could have our morning coffee and some breakfast before starting out on the big hike we'd planned.

We landed our dinghies on the beach (no surf landings to worry about so far here in Baja) and set off on a very primitive dirt road. A road sign (kind of the last thing you expect to see out in the middle of nowhere) told us that it was 11 kilometers from the beach village of San Evaristo to the mountain village of El Bosque, and we knew from our cruising guides that the road continued on out from there to the La Paz highway. We didn't expect to make it the whole way since we were climbing up into the mountains via small canyons and ridges, but at least it was a road. In fact there were a couple of signs tacked to trees pointing the way for the "Dos Mares 500" and along the way we were passed by two dirt bikes, a Jeep, and a Chevy Blazer all climbing fast and throwing out lots of dust. We walked for two hours and, according to Dave's pedometer, we covered about five miles. We figured that was a good goal so we stopped for lunch and then headed back.

During ourreturn when we were almost back at San Evaristo we were passed by a truck carrying cows and when we reached the beach we saw a pen full of goats. This was a lot of livestock considering all we saw on our tour of the town yesterday were burros (including a baby burrito), or maybe they were mules, we're not sure how to tell yet. There was also a goat in a panga that looked like he was being given a time out. Don't know why he didn't get to go ashore with the rest of the goats on the beach. Well, later, after I'd taken my shower and John was just getting his, Dave called on the radio to alert us to the latest village news. I got out the binoculars just in time to catch four men loading the first of three young cows into a panga! They got the first one down into the bottom of the boat, but the second was the biggest and he was having none of it. He ran down the beach and the rope slipped out of his keeper's hands. Since all the men and the boats were on the beach I guess he figured the water looked like the safest place so he plunged in and I thought he was going to swim out to Nakia. But they got the panga launched in time to head him back into the beach and finally convinced him to jump in the boat.

In the meantime all the penned goats had been loaded into the truck that had brought the cows, and were bound for who knows where. They got the third (smallest) cow loaded in the panga (with the last two cows standing up) and, with engines roaring and hearty waves of thanks to the two guys left on shore, took off into the wind and chop. Well, they didn't make it half way out of the bay before they almost tipped their overloaded boat and cut the engine. One of their friends roared out in his panga and came alongside the cow carrier. There was a long discussion (no doubt concerning proper load placement and boat handling when carrying cows) before he left them to continue on their way. This time they went slowly and stayed close to shore before heading out of sight (and straight into the wind) around the corner of the point. We are rooting that the cows made it safely to their new home, and will be filing our report to PETA when we return to La Paz.

We had planned on continuing north to Agua Verde tomorrow, but will most likely remain hunkered down here for another day waiting for the wind to die down or change to a favorable sailing direction.

Linda (writing the blog this time) and John