Home: Playa Estucasa beachside palapa
Yesterday morning we had to “endure” our first sunrise on this beach with birds as our only wildlife to view on the water. So today, the dolphins remedied that, returning in far-larger numbers than the other day, and staying in the bay for a much longer time. It gave a chance for a few people to successfully get out on their human-powered watercraft (at least one in her pajamas!) and interact at the most-intimate level.
Rett was mad that I had scrambled back up the hill to get the best land-based vantage point of their activities, since she wanted to join the others in the water. But given that we don’t actually have our own watercraft, it would have been quite unlikely that the kindness of our neighbors and our lucky timing would have extended to helping us get out there at dawn before the dolphins had moved on. And watching (and listening!) to them from the beach was still pretty special.
We’ve been sleeping without our tent the whole time, and once again converted back to living-room mode on our purple blanket for the morning. Coffee and scrambled eggs as our normal breakfast, and then finally a pretty lazy morning after such an unexpected amount of activities over the last couple days. We’ve always said that our Helinox Zero chairs are our favorite “extra” piece of bike-touring gear, but for these beach stays, they’ve turned what would have been a basically-impossible living situation into something that’s actually quite comfortable.
With nothing on our schedule, we thought maybe we could see if we could get out on a kayak today. Rett had heard there was a tandem that someone on the beach was willing to rent for a low price, but we couldn’t find that person, so we decided to just explore a bit on foot past the north end of the beach, an area we hadn’t been to yet. On the way back, we saw Lisa from BC coming ashore, and she immediately asked “hey, do you guys want to borrow my kayak?” Um, yes, thank you! People have offered to lend us their kayaks/paddleboards/etc. multiple times for days now, so it wasn’t totally surprising, but still, our luck at becoming the beneficiaries of everyone’s generosity seems neverending.
We didn’t go far, just doing a loop around the nearby island that appears in all my pictures, but it was fun to be out on the turquoise waters again at kayak speed. We seemed even better at our kayaking skills (helped because the paddles seemed more suited to this sit-on kayak than what we had with the sit-in kayak we’d rented at Santispac), and also were pleasantly reminded that neither of us ever ended up with sore arms from that first day of kayaking.
When we returned to shore, we met Kevin, Linda, and their soon-off-to-med-school daughter Elizabeth, newly arrived to the beach from San Diego. It was nice for us for the first time to be able to be beach-welcomers, and give them a bit of the lay of the land, including our sad-but-true decision to be finally leaving tomorrow, which would open up a palapa for them.
We learned that Kevin is a bike-tourer (and owner of dozens of vintage bikes, with few, if any, younger than me). So that might have let to an even stronger+quicker bond than we’ve made with most on this beach, though I suppose there’s a good chance that even if we’d arrived via RV we would have talked for an hour while they plied us with drinks (including an absolutely wonderful Coronado IPA!), food, and good questions. Because that just seems to be the way around here! And in my opinion, arriving to their unexpected, free, kayak-up bar was even better than Rett’s dream of a swim-up bar in Cabo!
We got about twenty yards back in the direction of our palapa, before we then stopped to talk with Larry and Nancy, who had been on the beach since we arrived, but were also leaving tomorrow. While I checked out their Sprinter van setup, I learned that it was a new relationship for Larry, who had been a very-independent world-traveler for the last 10 years, and was essentially surprised to have stumbled across a woman he loves, and was now working to figure out how to adapt his life to fit her into it. Sounded a bit like an older version of myself! Meanwhile, Rett learned that Nancy was a follower of early-retirement guru Mr. Money Mustache, making her at least the 3rd one on this beach (after me and Lisa the whale-watcher), which is an understandably high percentage, and it was interesting to hear how a person a bit older than his target-audience has still taken value from his message.
Then we finally made it back to our palapa, and between appetizers and pasta+wine dinner, got a nice visit from Greg and Donna, our neighbors to the south in the dual white vans, who liked the quieter living in “the country” vs. “the town” at the north end of the beach. We’d met them yesterday when they’d finally returned to their portable-palapa with their one van that they’d driven down to Cabo, but today learned that their unusual two-van, two-person setup was an outgrowth of them also meeting relatively-recently, at some sort of van-conversion meet-up.
And that reminded us that George and Penny had also met “only” three years ago! I say “only”, because all these couples feel like such solid partners when you first meet them, and not at all like some kind of gross meat-market hookups, that you just assume they’ve been together for decades. And all these “new” relationships (along with the independent Val from Santispac) led Rett to a bit of a hopeful epiphany: for the first time since we’ve been together, she said she would be able to see some light in the dark future that would follow if she ever lost me. Rather than making me feel disposable or unwanted, that knowledge gives me some peace, because, as much as she likes to make me promise “she gets to die first”, that’s unfortunately a guarantee I can’t make. So thanks to all those couples for exemplifying love and support found later in life!
Lisa the Kayak-Lender and Mike the Beer-Run Driver had come down to our end of the beach to have dinner with Donna and Greg the Fish-Giver, the latter so named because, just as we were finishing up our own dinner, Greg came back with two grilled fresh-caught coconut-butter-seasoned triggerfish filets on a napkin, and said “here, we have too many for us to eat”. I thought our dinner was good, but that fish-dessert was the best of many great things we’ve had on this beach, and I also loved how there was no “we’ve got extra if you want it?”, just “here, eat this”.
On our last night at this beach, we made sure, on the way back from the toilet, to play once more with the bioluminesence. And we were rewarded by the best show so far, with handfuls of tossed water flashing bright as it splashed back home. Which made me suddenly think of skipping stones! And yes! Even though it was dark and the stone itself was invisible, each skip of the rock across the surface was revealed by a glowing disc lighting up on the water, like a sci-fi video game. Except it was real! FLASH-FLASH-flash-flash–flash. I guess even the algae didn’t want us to leave this magical place…