February 20, 2020
Day two at Playa Pilitas started after a good night’s sleep with a cool breeze blowing through the screened windows. Before breakfast, we decided to take a walk northwest up the “road” toward the distant point overlooking the sea and Isla Espiritu Santo.
On the hill to the east was a sprawling, fenced compound. Through our binoculars we discovered numerous huge houses with a paved private road. Susan and I joked that this is where the cartel must live. The compound stood in stark contrast to a few dilapidated fishermen’s shacks above the shore.
We also passed by a memorial to fisherman whose boat must not have returned and I added a rock to the pile in front. Then we came across a bush visited by perhaps a dozen Monarch butterflies.
After our walk and breakfast, we strolled the other direction to Playa Tecalote. The air was warm and the receding tide made removing our shoes, rolling up our pants, and walking through the water and ripples of sugary-soft white sand irresistible. We tried to walk through the water all the way back to our campsite but a rocky outcropping prevented that.
We returned over the bluff instead and changed into swimsuits. By now the tide was so low that we could wander out to a huge sandbar. I drew several lines in the sand so I could keep an eye on the slowly rising tide and prevent us from being stranded. We sat down in the sand and enjoyed the sun and the gentle sound of the waves. Time slowed down. We finally left the sandbar when the lines I’d drawn had nearly washed away. En route to our campsite, we stopped and chatted with Nate and Terry who were taking turns snorkeling and watching their kids. Apparently this was one of the best Baja beaches for snorkeling. Note to self: bring snorkeling gear next time.
Somehow it was nearly dinnertime when we returned. Susan set our chairs in a position to watch the setting sun from the bluff.
Before we could settle down, we watched while two local fishermen launch their panga on the beach below us. Their truck got stuck in the soft sand as they tried to pull their trailer up from the water. I briefly watched and considered everything they were doing wrong and all the safety issues related to their small craft (I’d spent the last 18 years as a boating safety expert and writer and couldn’t help it). I knew I could assist, so I headed down to the beach, used hand signals to direct them, and they finally got unstuck.
The rest of the evening was spent doing … nothing (except a quick dinner). We were enjoying staying put in a beautiful place and the weather was glorious. Eventually, we crawled into bed and let the sound of lapping waves lull us to sleep.
A couple of times during the night I was awakened by the low, deep throbbing of massive diesel engines in the ships and ferries as they threaded the channel to the La Paz port. Looking out the window, the stars blazed in the night.