Friendly San Evaristo
03 April 2015 | 24 54.77'N:110 42.16'W, San Evaristo, Baja California, Mexico
We are another 30 miles north today, anchored off of the small fishing village of San Evaristo. Here, fishermen and their families live right on the beach. The houses look pretty ramshackle to our eyes, but when you remember that they don't need insulation and that the air blowing through the glass-less windows provides free air conditioning, it all starts to make sense.
This little town also is completely off of the grid. A few houses have solar panels and a few have generators that they run from time to time to power the TV and satellite dish. No indoor plumbing here either as every place has a near identical outhouse out back. We were wondering how they got their drinking water until we came across a large generator and a collection of sheds on the beach. In the largest shed is a reverse osmosis water maker, like what we have on our boat, except with many more membranes. As far as I can figure, they run it from time to time and then fill a large nearby storage tank. Water here in the dry Baja is precious enough and this must be even more dear.
We walked out of town, down a dusty dirt track heading North until we came to large area of salt flats. It wasn't clear if they were in operation anymore, but places like this are where you get your sea salt from. It didn't look or smell too appetizing to me! Another cruiser put his foot in the brine and got a nice burn! I'm not sure why, but it was definitely pretty caustic. The draw for us to head to these salt flats and the adjacent beach was to do a bit of rock hounding. We were told that as the cliffs in the area decompose, agates and other interesting rocks end up on the beach. If I was smarter, I would have googled agates and what they look like while I still had internet last week. I would also have bought a rock hammer! As it turns out, we did find lots of very interesting crystals and rocks, but we're not sure what they are at this point.
After the beach walk, we explored the half moon, dark sand beach where the fisherman live. Our old cruising guide claimed that there was a "restaurant" on the beach, but there was nothing obviously resembling one as far as we could tell. Then, at the far south end of the beach, we saw a house with not one, but two tables out front. Surely this must mean it was the restaurant. Upon closer inspection it had a small sign painted on a surf board, and a second sign that said it was closed. Dee thought that it was actually open but that the strong wind had blown the sign the wrong way. I thought that since the wind around here was a daily occurrence that they would have fixed an obvious problem like that years ago. As you can guess, it was open and I was wrong. I forget sometimes that this is laid back Mexico and, even more, very laid back Baja. The family that owned and ran this micro-restaurant was super friendly and over the top in terms of service. We just had a few be er, but we were able to help some other cruisers translate the different fish available. They had to wait a while for their meal because the fish was just coming in from the beach just then. Talk about pescado fresco!
Another stop on our journey up the sea and another great surprise. At first glance what seemed just to be dusty collection of fishing shacks on the beach turned out to be a community that welcomed us and the other few cruisers anchored here with open arms.