Saturday, July 9, 2016
Checking in at La Ramada
Sunbeams burst forth at La Ramada sunrise
After pulling anchor at Isla Coronados, we sailed north towards our destination of La Ramada.
Dolphins swam and danced before Espiritu's bow wake
Captain Chris, happy to be at sea
We spent several days anchored at the small bay of La Ramada. It's kind of like the hotel except there's no food, no cable, no room service, and no noisy neighbors keeping you up at night.
And, unlike the Ramada Hotel, dropping the hook in La Ramada is absolutely FREE. :-)
La Ramada is about halfway between Loreto and Bahia Concepcion
Pretty, isn't it?
We spent several days anchored at this isolated, desolate place with our friends aboard s/v Trovita and s/v Neeltcke. It was lovely -- however, after almost two weeks away from Loreto and a grocery store of any kind, our veggie hammock looked like this:
Yep. That's one sad little onion where two weeks previous there had
been a great bounty of papayas, bananas, avocados, mangos, etc. Yikes.
Thank God we had our watermaker, at least! When one finds oneself in an isolated, harsh environment with nothing but canned food, one realizes that all that is really important is fresh water, and of course, COFFEE (which we have plenty of).
But there are no serious reefs for spearfishing in La Ramada. And we were almost out of bread, tortillas and eggs as well as fresh produce.
We had heard stories from other cruisers that there was a farm somewhere inland that might sell us some produce if we were nice. This mythical "farm" -- if it even existed -- was said to be about a mile's walk up the dusty dirt road into the desert.
A farm, in the middle of the desert?
We were doubtful, but we were also down to just one onion.
"A day without fun is a day that eats shit." -- Hunter. S. Thompson
My point is, it's up to us to find the fun in even the simplest of our daily activities. That's one of the things I love the most about cruising. You could say that we were trapped in the hot desert without fresh food and now we had to trudge up a long dirt road in hopes of getting scraps from some farm that may or may not even be there?
Or, you could say:
Well, it's a beautiful day for a hike. We've never been here before (in fact, few humans ever have or ever will be), so we may as well make an adventure of it and go exploring! Sounds like FUN!
We packed up several bottles of water, slathered on the sunscreen and headed into the desert.
The dirt road to the mythical farm in the middle of the desert
After walking for about a half an hour, we heard some ominous growling sounds coming from under a bush. Curious as to what type of mammal would be able to survive in such harsh conditions, I slowly approached the source of the scary animal noises.
WHAAA? What in the hell is that? A wolverine?
Chris begged me to keep my distance, which I did -- not based on his appearance (cute and cuddly) but by the scary, growling sounds it was making.
I found out later it was the Baja version of an American Badger.
As this photo from the Arizona Independent shows,
they are not to be messed with.
Also, look at those claws!
After a few minutes observing (at a safe distance -- don't worry, Dad!) our new, violent
little friend in the wild, we continued on up the dirt road deeper into the desert.
Gringos trudge through the desert on what might quite possibly be the dirt road to nowhere.
It was beautiful, though. The desert is growing on me.
After about an hour we came to a fork in the road. We turned right and hoped for the best.
And suddenly, we were there! The farm in the desert was real,
and it had a name: Rancho Escondido!
You've never seen a woman so happy to have 3 tomatoes,
one cucumber and one garlic!
But wait -- there's more!
He also had a tropical, desert island, palapa style chicken coop, and sold
us a dozen fresh eggs for about $1.50 U.S.
Rancher Jose took us on a tour of his little place. There was a large, clean palapa
with several lovingly maintained saddles
I spent several minutes giving this beautifully groomed horse a good scratch. See the outhouse in the distance? I walked towards it to do my business, but as I came close I heard ominous growling noises coming from the bush next to the outhouse.
I'm fairly certain it was our friend the badger who had followed us to the ranch. I never saw him, but despite my serious need to relieve myself, the badger won out and I let him be.
I guess he deemed himself Lord of the (outhouse) Manor.
"Stay away from my outhouse..." the badger
wheezed and sneered ominously...
Okee dokee. It's all yours, dude. It's not as if we're surrounded by miles and miles of empty desert where I can take care of business in perfect peace and harmony...
We made it back to Espiritu safe and sound with our bounty from Rancho Escondido. I'd call that a very good day.
In other news, after weeks of Chris valiantly attempting to keep him alive, we can now make the announcement:
My Kindle is dead.
(courtesy of Alan Dapre)
So, like the word addict I am, I've been feverishly shoring up and storing up
actual books from exchanges all over Baja.
My favorites remain biographies, autobiographies and memoirs.
Me reading a Jacques Cousteau bio
Being of the female persuasion, my absolute favorites are memoirs and biographies of great women. But when the average cruiser book exchange is 75% Tom Clancy, James Patterson and Jackie Collins, my favorite genre is slim pickings indeed.
I was so desperate for female biographies that I even
read -- cover to cover -- "The story of Justin Beiber's Mom."
Yes. Boredom and desperation will do that to a person.
I love it when fellow cruisers insist that they only read the classics. It's only Dostoyevsky, Chaucer and Dickens for them. Well. It's not that I don't believe them, exactly...
...well, OK, I'll say it. I don't believe them.
But it's not only the autobiography of Justin Beiber's mom for me. I, too, recently read a classic.
Yes, I read Hamlet from cover to cover.
OK, OK, it was the abridged-comic book-graphic novel Hamlet.
Better the abridged-comic book-graphic novel Hamlet than none at all.
At least now I know what people are talking about when they say that
Rozencranz and Gildenstern are dead.
We're currently at the marina in Santa Rosalia doing minor boat repairs. All is well!
Good luck with things up there in the U.S. We leave the country for a few short months and almost immediately things start falling apart in our beloved home country.
We, and the world -- are watching.
Let's keep it smart and sane up there. Please.