We arrived late afternoon to Galera to find that the anchorage was choppy and bouncy and the swell was impressive enough to dissuade a shore landing. Cameron and Jenny had already been here a day and managed to get to shore and reported that the town was cool and the Semana Santa crowd was surprisingly hip. There were a number of surfers at the edge of the jetty.
The next morning we woke to find ourselves between where the waves were breaking and the shore. The swell had increased during the night. Luckily they broke at a diagonal and by the time the break was parallel with where we were, it was inside of us. Still, not pretty and we decided to just take off for Escondido; landing today was even less possible than the day before.
The trip between Galera was most irritating due to a major chop (out of where?!) and vague if any wind. Then our motor crapped out. So we bobbed uncomfortably along in a less than seven-knot wind (our windspeed meter doesn’t register below seven knots). Also it was very hot and the sails were on the wrong side of the boat to provide any shade. Bleargh. Joshua started to remove parts of the motor and finally discovered that the spark plug was fouled, cleaned it, and got the motor started again. (We did not want a night arrival in Escondido.) Velella had left Galera shortly after us and went motorsailing by midway, they said they would radio us when they arrived at Escondido to let us know how the situation was, night landingwise.
Once we got the motor started, the wind picked up to sailable levels, but we were too paranoid to kill the motor. We set it low enough to not die and let it rumble in the background. Also, the wind was coming out of the direction we were headed so we had to tack back and forth the whole way. We made it to Escondido right at sunset and motored around and around the anchorage snarling at the depthsounder trying to find a decent spot to drop our hook. There is a deep canyon cutting into the anchoring area but a bump randomly placed in the middle where one might anchor on an “anchorable pinnacle,” whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. On the very bright side, Velella had dinner waiting for us when we arrived and it was just awesome; we could smell yummy smells wafting out the back of their boat as we puttered in circles.
The peak weekend of Semana Santa in Puerto Escondido is a thing to behold: there are no less than four banana boats (these are long yellow inflated things that people sit on top of and they are pulled around in circles by pangas) running at any given time, not to mention jet skis, “eco” tour boats (we didn’t figure out what part of the boat ride was the eco; they appeared to chase down pods of dolphins or just bob around looking at the sunset), regular panga fishermen, and then planes dumping out masses of skydivers. The beach is jam packed with people sunbathing and children screeching in the water. You can’t walk two steps on the beach without someone trying to sell you a banana boat ride or a fishing excursion. The majority of tourists are from Mexico City, although there is a sizable expat gringo population here. Once you make it through the throngs of beach goers, the town is mellow and quaint. And steep. You have to walk up a bloody mountain to get to the market. Luckily the market is well worth the hike.
The above is smoked maguey (what they make mescal from) and the guy would cut it into strips to snack on. It is very fibrous and has a caramelized sweet smokey flavor. It’s not alcoholic at this point, by the way.
That is a large pile of habanera peppers.
We bought some random fruits: the smaller green one has a very nice sweet flavor sort of like cherry and plum and yogurt. There is also a very large pit inside so there isn’t a lot to them. The scaly thing needs to be eaten when it is well ripe (soft) and has a flavor and texture like firm applesauce, with a bit of spice (clove? nutmeg?). Very interesting. We forgot the names already unfortunately. The market also had sweet basil and a great vegetable and fruit selection.