February 24, 2020
In the morning in Baja, the wind is usually light. But this day, by noon, it was howling and blew 25 mph + all day. It’s the kind of wind that makes camping hard.
There are some real contrasts between waiting out wind in a truck and in a sailboat. Many days I waited out wind while sailing. On a boat, it’s dangerous to head out when it’s too windy and you’re forced to stay anchored at the mercy of the wind. The anchor must be checked for holding frequently and the boat moves a lot. Going ashore by dinghy is likely out of the question so you’re forced to stay aboard. Winds like these can last for days (this one was predicted for four). Uncomfortable as wind is when truck camping, it’s really just an inconvenience. There’s no danger and if we really wanted to, we could drive for a day and might find a completely different weather pattern. But camping in Baja Mexico usually means beach camping, which if it’s windy, means sleeping with and even eating a fair amount of blowing sand. So, we adapt.
Even though we were still at a campground in Loreto, the wind made it hard to cook, and sitting around in our camp chairs just meant inhaling a lot of dust because the campground was made of sand. Whipping palm fronds above us made the wind sound even fiercer than it was. The inside of the truck by now was coated in a thin film of dust and the outside looked worse than when we drove for hours on a dusty dirt road. The truck is not big enough to stay inside for extended periods when the weather is bad – not that we’d want to. The wind might present some challenges, but it certainly would not stop us from walking.
This day, we walked over eight miles just around the town, exploring, browsing at stores, and even finally finding the elusive propane canister we needed (at a fishing/sporting goods store).
Late in the afternoon, we came back and sat in the front seats to relax and get out of the wind for a bit. I even dozed pleasantly. While I dozed, Susan checked out restaurant reviews both online (using the spotty internet) and in a book borrowed from other nearby campers.
We considered asking the couple from Colorado to join us for dinner, but they were vegans and were finding it difficult to find places to dine out in Loreto. Given the quality of restaurants (we learned Loreto was coming to be known as a foodie destination), we didn’t want the vegan limitation. We decided to try nearby Mi Loreto for dinner. It turned out to be as fabulous as last night’s dinner was. Chile plantano (with plantains, raisins and nuts) and the best nachos ever made dining out a real treat.
We slowly strolled back to our campground, continuing to absorb Loreto’s offerings. The extra time here as we waited out the wind allowed us to more thoroughly explore the charming town. It’s one that’s not so hard to envision living in. The town has many good restaurants and enough gringos and locals to patronize them. It’s laid back but growing, quirky but beautiful. Yet, we missed the road. City life is a nice respite (and here it is not too expensive) but finding new places to live someday is not our purpose. We travel, explore and marvel at the world and love the unexpected experiences we find when we travel this way. We were really getting into a groove and going home may be harder than we thought.
We weren’t going to let the wind stop us so we decided the next day we’d drive a half hour away for a hike. We’d cover our heads so our hair didn’t get in our eyes and let the wind blow itself out until we could leave for a place where we could take a whale watching tour (which is not possible in strong winds).