Home: Libra Adventure Hostel and Campground
Now that we’re on the Pacific side of the peninsula again, and camping, that means we’re back to that improbable (but apparently quite consistent!) desert fog. Condensation actually got so bad inside our tent that it began dripping onto Rett’s forehead in the middle of the night, forcing me to get out and do my best to tighten things up and dry them out. At least the effort seemed to do the trick, and we made it to morning without further showers.
We hoofed up to the outdoor kitchen to make some breakfast, where we got a chance to know our host-family a little better. For better or worse (mostly better, I think), the communal/hostel nature is a bit forced on anyone staying at the walk-in tent sites, since they don’t have any sort of picnic tables, or even really space to set up to cook. We had access to both a cooler and critter-proof dry-goods storage up there, both valuable amenities, with former being a luxury that I don’t think we’ve ever had!
We packed some lunches and then headed out for a beach day! Playa Cerritos and its surfability seem to be the whole reason this spread-out “town” exists here along this dirt road that we walked for a mile to reach the beach. It feels like a place where surfers started spending all their time a few decades ago, and then one day out on their boards waiting for the next swell they had an epiphany: “what if we could figure out a way to live here, man?” And that’s what they’ve been trying to do ever since. Heck, it seems to be a major part of why Libra is building their livable patch of desert here.
We’d gotten conflicting impressions about whether Cerritos is a good place to learn to surf, or good place for experts. Turns out it’s a bit of both, and at least today, the regularity of the waves gives aid to both factions. Unlike a lot of surf beaches we’ve observed where the guys spend a lot of time on their boards waiting for something to happen, here there is always something happening, which provides an unstoppable train of learning opportunities for beginners as well as a lot of chances for the more experienced guys to get it right on the bigger waves. We probably saw more cumulative minutes of actual standing-on-the-board surfing in half an hour here than in the past seven months of watching surfers.
There were vendors on the beach hawking lessons, but today was a little too impromptu for us to turn it into our surfing debut. Instead, our lack-of-motivation finally gave us a relaxing “beach day”, something we’d mostly failed to achieve despite nearly 20 days of beach-living we’ve done here in Southern Baja. We spread out our blanket (uh, curtain) and got some sun on the the whiter parts of our bodies, a feat made doable by the ~70 deg F air temperatures (some 20 degrees cooler than the other side of the peninsula) countering the sun intensity.
It was a strange feeling to contemplate the big Pacific waves rolling in, because it’s something we haven’t seen since California. This despite never being more than 100 miles from the ocean for our 2+ months in Baja. It’s just interesting how the character of this water is recognizable across thousands of miles and separate countries. So it brought back a lot of vibrations of those now legitimately-long-ago days, rolled away from our memories as the seasons turned over and our nomadcy entered its second calendar year.
Eventually we got up and headed south for a long walk on the beach, made possible by the fact that Cerritos is a really long beach. Crowded and filled with vendors at the northern end, it quickly empties out as you move south, leaving miles of empty sand. And not just empty of people; it’s also empty of rocks, garbage, seaweed, or really anything to disturb the nearly perfect surface of hard-packed sand. Purely in terms of walking, it’s one of the nicest beaches we’ve ever been on, and pretty high up there for everything else too. For pre-historic people, it had to be the closest thing to a “road” they’d ever seen, but I guess it only lets you move up and down along the water.
By mid-afternoon we made the trek back to camp, where we again took up residence in on the still-“air conditioned” deck. At the stools in front of the small desk looking back out to the ocean, they even have outlets where I could plug in my WiFi-connected computer while blogging. Tonight we cooked dinner at the outdoor kitchen, and then retired to our secret desert garden as night fell.