Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Ahhhhhhhhh, The Sea of Cortez
We drive a long and hard nine hours from our border encounter. Well, save one of the RVs who "needed" to stop for breakfast in Santa Ana, Sonora at Elba Restaurant. It was populated by many Mexicans and families ... a good sign and a decent breakfast.
Finally our fearless leader takes an exit and we follow along the nicely paved road. Within 6 or 7 miles we see palm trees and off to the left - YES - the pure azule of the Sea of Cortez. The Totonaka RV Park was a pleasure especially compared to the Nogales site! The area was extremely clean, most everything was painted white, and a variety of swaying lush green trees offered cool shade on the sites.
Our peer caravaners, who have done this trek 35 years pull into their favorite sites close to the exit (for the 6am exit) and are set up talking to people around and sipping cocktails. But us novices - we were probably entertainment for their "happy hour". First, Ro tades off and gets "stuck" where he can't turn around (because we can't back up with the particular kind of braking system we have on the PT Cruiser we are towing) and so we have to unhitch the entire car. Next, we try to find a slot along the roadway like one of our buds did. The RV lot owner comes running out to tell us we can't park going that direction. Ok, we wander around the farther away, more private vacant spots and we locate one with a lovely wide tree offering a nice pool of shade for us. Ro begins connecting all the lines - AND - yep, out runs this woman towards us telling us she just signed up and paid for that site. Roland probably could have killed her, but he rapidly re-packed the lines and we swong around to another site. Are you laughing yet? But we couldn't hook up the car in this particular site (and you don't want to be hooking up the vehicle you are towing at 5:30am). So I point him to another site and he vehemently parks it and says he's NOT moving again. I gently navigate the lil' red PT into a position that affords us space to hook up the hitch and heave a giant SIGH. Finally, we have a location!
Off come the clothes in trade for beach wear and - ZOOM - we three are headed to the beach!!! We stop for a photo op at these gorgeous giant cacti puncuated by sun-bleached cow skulls (Georgia O'Keefe anyone?) and you can see how jublant Roland looks before we get to the sea (just a little sarcasm)? On the beach the sun is still warm and the caressing comfortable breeze, refreshing. Ro heads straight into the water and Cody spins and chases the waves. I'm smilin' and cracking up at my two boys antics!! Me, I'm scouring the beach for fascinating shells and actually, find the rocks and tiny pebbles more intrigueing. There is a huge diversity in rock types. Now I'm no geologist, but there are volcanic, granite-like, conglomerate types. Yes, I did bring a collection
back with me. My favorite shell was a cone-like shell who's bottom part had been warn partially off, and in the lil' caverns revealed by the opening inside were tiny, perfectly sized rocks 'squinched' into the caverns. And they would NOT come out, believe me I tried!
I waded and chased Cody some and then Ro 'n I just collapsed onto the beach, poking the pebbles for the most unusual "find". Cody, exhausted, had flopped half in the sand and the other half on my green pack, covering it with wet sand and a wet puppy. Who knows how long we stayed ... but it revived us. And we returned for dinner, another walk along the beach after dark for Cody - then early to bed.
While getting our breakfast down and final packing done before the 6am take off, we have a knock on our door. One of our peer caravaneers tells us they are leaving at 5:50am. Ok. Faster I go. We're there, ready and reporting for "duty" on time. And out we pull into the dark morn once again. Back onto the main highway south along Mexico's west coast, 15, even the stars are still out and visible (yes, the little white squiggle in the blue sky is a star when Elaine can't hold the camera still).
Let me forwarn you, this next 30 hours ahead hold the biggest adventure day of the drive down.