Monday, January 3, 2022

Puerto Lobos, Sonora

New Year’s Day in the fishing village looked pretty much like any day. The wind honked all day, sweeping across the rocky peninsula with a chill blast that kept us in the van except when we dressed up to go for a walk in the bright summer sunshine. This was not what we came south to enjoy. 

Rusty was driven indoors by the wind too and our plan to set up table and chairs and mooch around working on our faded Florida tans went by the wayside. 

The Sea of Cortez looked dramatic with the onshore wind and waves built up in the vast arc of beach that Rusty and I walked in the morning. He ran and I followed and eventually we got back to GANNET2 flush with exercise and a frost bitten nose for me. 

The dinner menu as planned by the chef of Café Gannet called for a sausage stir fry with quinoa however amongst all our stores we lacked a vital ingredient. We got dressed for a bit of polar exploration in pursuit of the elusive Red Onion. 

We met no zombies on our walk but we did meet dogs of all shapes and sizes, not emaciated but outdoor dogs certainly who came into the street to inspect Rusty. They are all bark and no bite and he soon figured out his place. 

I didn’t get to see the store as I stayed outside with Rusty and an overly friendly dog who tried to nose between me and my bud and he was not happy. Then some arse in the village set off a couple of loud fireworks and Rusty got a panicked look.  I put him on the leash and kept him close. It’s PTSD from his time as a stray when Everglades farmers tried to shoot dogs abandoned on their land. 

Layne found the red onion and we headed back to the van. The welcoming committee was over it and we passed the house with a million dogs amid a pack of sleeping indifferent locals. Rusty’s tail went up, his bounce came back into his strep and all was well once again. Plus we had the onion. 

We took a short cut bored by the walk along the road. We wandered through mangroves, stepped over a fast running salt water creek, through another one, through sticky mud and over soft sand. Rusty got bored waiting and wandered off with a couple of new friends to explore. He met us up the street as we climbed the hill back to the van in our exclusive windy vacation home neighborhood. 

Later, after lunch and a nap we walked out for the last time across the beach, round the hill and up to the lighthouse. It was windy as hell and cold. I looked out across the frothy white water and decided it was time to go. South. 

Back at GANNET2 Layne was in total agreement and we plotted our escape. The idea is to stop in Hermosillo and pick up some fruit and vegetables in the city and then move south to see if we can find some Florida temperatures for outdoor living. We’ve proved to ourselves we can handle cold and discomfort. The van is perfect for our needs. 

We got six month permits for ourselves and our vehicle at the border which along with our six month insurance policy means we don’t have to leave Mexico before the end of June. At this stage we are keeping an open mind but it’s on the cards we may spend more time exploring Mexico and skip Alaska. We know we can be cold but it’s not brilliant fun for us. 

Those considerations are for later and we shall see. Certainly there is no point in crossing to Baja where it will be just as cold. We crave outdoor living not polar expeditions. 

This was the perfect first stop for us, a way to ease into a new culture, a way to avoid the New Year’s noise and a place for us to slow down and find our feet and we are very grateful to Todd. 

Time to roll. Six hours to Guaymas from here with a stop at Costco in Hermosillo, mostly to see what they offer in Mexico as our needs are modest. 

It’s a pretty place off the main road but we would like to be in a town with some life. Everyone wears masks in Mexico, no discussion. A sidewalk café, some beer and tacos, some window shopping as we walk Rusty, all in shirt sleeve weather; that would be nice. 

Rusty’s adaptability and his curiosity and his happy wagging tail make our van a home. This is a poor country in these marginal places and people don’t have much but their dogs have even less. He’s a lucky guy and my priority is to reassure him and keep my distance from the little beggars. We carry food for them but I’m not here to change their lives. Rusty sees to that! 

We shall remember this place fondly but we are ready to be explorers.