Thursday, June 12, 2008


Working the Salt Flats

We're busy running around Puerto Vallarta, meeting new instant friends on the bus, and chipping away on our "to-do" list for heading south this coming fall. In the meantime...please enjoy a little write up from a time when we didn't have internet this past cruising season.

Baja California
Here's one of the places we hung out a couple of months ago.

Bahia San Evaristo is a small cove with a few residents along the Baja California Sea of Cortez coast and is a favorite anchorage among us cruisers. Of course, it has all the natural beauty of the Sea of Cortez, but it also has some interesting sights.

Just over the hill from where we dropped the anchor are the salt flats. These are evaporation ponds where the workers let seawater come in - then wait for the intense desert sun to evaporate the water. What is left is sea salt - sparkling crystals with a slight pink tint. The cystals are raked into piles, then shoveled into large sacks.

Hmmm...I noticed that the sacks they were using were marked "azucar" - sugar - What? When I mentioned this to the workers they just laughed. Must be some kind of in-joke. Or rather, just the Mexican way - use whatever materials are available and assume folks are smart enough to figure it out on their own. Self-reliability.

They also got a chuckle out of the fact that I wanted to photograph them at work. It's just salt after all and their normal routine. They must have thought I was just a crazy gringa - northerner female.

Another interesting thing here (OK - to us gringos I guess) was that there was fresh water available here. Baja California Sur is a desert with very little fresh water. Here in San Evaristo, the water seeps up to the surface and creates an oaisis complete with palm trees. Not coconut palms like we see on the Mexican mainland tropical areas, but desert-type palms. There are a few houses (maybe "residences" is more descriptive - see photo) in this area which had some of the few vegetable gardens that I've seen in Mexico. Goats, chickens, dogs, children and burros wandered aound and occasionally checked us out. Our friends, Mike & Marilyn from the sailing vessel Lady Hawke walked the village with us. Here's a photo of Marilyn inspecting the gasoline powered fresh water well. Remember - this is really special - fresh water!

I tried to take some pictures of some of the many burros just wandering around the area but they just turned their backs on me. So we a have burro-butts photo. They seemed a little edgy - lots of braying going on and agressiveness towards each other so I kept my distance.

Back on the other side of the hill, Marilyn and I had a great chat with some local women. We are practicing our Spanish and learn so much by talking to folks who do not speak English at all - no cheating. I gave the little kids some toys and the older girl a spiral notebook of paper.

For the moms - I had retractable tape measures. These have been a big hit with both the men and the women! I'll need to stock up back in the city again for our trip south next fall.

Do the burros run around free?
OMG, what a cool life you have! I have been to Vallarta once and really liked a certain art gallery....can't remember the name. Very cool. Yes definitely get the book if you sew. I have made tons of things from it and intend to do more. Love love love. :0) Here's to actually taking the plunge and doing what the rest of us only dream of! :0)
That seasalt collecting is really interesting. Love the burro butt picture! :-)
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