Sunday, November 2, 2014

Doctor's Point - good for what ails you!

Last weekend I took part in a relaxed hike that was organized by Norm who started an informal group about a year ago of ex-pats from in and around Loreto, who get together in the Fall and Spring for outings into the areas around Loreto, and occasionally further afield on overnight expeditions.  I have been following the announcements of these hikes with interest for some time, but up until now I had not been able to participate due to timing conflicts (yes, some of us have to keep to schedules even in paradise!).  So when I received word of this, the first hike of the new Season, I made sure I was free to join them.

Norm and his wife Maxine live on the north side of town and these outings often begin at their home, which is where I was heading, driving along the Malacon in town, when I saw a cruise ship anchored offshore of the town Marina.  Loreto has been a cruise ship port for years now, but this Season there are more stopovers than in past years, with 15 scheduled between this October and next April almost all of them belonging to the Princess Cruise Line.  With thousands of passengers on each ship, the impact is definitely felt in a small town like Loreto, when these tourists come ashore and can be seen strolling the streets, stopping in stores and restaurants and photographing some of our historic sites.

I was the first to arrive at Norm and Maxine's, but we were soon joined by their daughter, who was visiting from the US, and two other hikers.  Norm commented that last year about 20 people had shown up for the same outing, but he never knows how many of the 100 or so people on his email list will participate in an event.  We left in two vehicles and headed further north of town on a rough dirt road heading to our destination: Doctor's Point, a rocky point of land across from Coronado Island, just past Picazon Restaurant, which I have written about in past Blogs like:

After a short 20 minute drive over what would only be called a "road" in the Baja, we came to a somewhat structured parking area at the edge of a well maintained chain link fence.  After everyone (including the two dogs who were our companions on the trip) collected their stuff out of the cars, we paralleled the fence as we climbed a small rise heading towards the Ocean.  Just before we reached the shoreline there was a passageway through the fence that we crossed through and then continued north along the shore towards the point of land ahead that was our destination.

Sometime in the past apparently a Doctor had purchased this rocky outcrop with a 270 degree view of the channel separating it from Coronado Island.  The Doctor had started to build an ambitious home of natural stone which featured a high domed roof that became a landmark for sailors passing by (hence the name, Doctor's Point).  But the building was never finished and was apparently abandoned for years before a Developer purchased a large tract of land, including Doctor's Point, and erected the perimeter fence around 2008 - just before the global Real Estate crisis - since which, any future development of the area has been on hold.     

The reportedly beautiful beginnings of the stone residence are now long gone, and in its place is a rather utilitarian long low concrete building with a thatch roof apparently built by the current Developer/Owner, half of which is devoted to a couple of bedrooms and the remainder is a storage room for several boats and other equipment.  Although the building is well maintained, except for some damage to the thatched roof which may have occurred during the recent storms, there was no evidence of recent usage and our group of happy wanderers were grateful for a shady place to rest after our half hour hike from the parking lot.

After a snack and something to drink, the rest of the group headed down to the shore for some snorkeling while I enjoyed wandering around the shoreline watching crabs scuttling over the rocks and hundreds of butterflies drifting with the breeze and lighting on the odd flowers that have blossomed since the rains this Fall.  Thanks to Norm, I am including beautiful shots of some of the fish he saw while snorkeling the rocky shore, in addition to which there were several large eels, an octopus and a lobster spotted.

After the snorkelers came ashore we gathered up our belongings back at the building, we made our
way back the way we had come and drove the cars the short trip back to Picazon, where we rewarded ourselves with cold drinks under their Palapa, enjoying a cool breeze off the water.  There was some discussion at the table of future destinations for hikes, and plans for some overnight excursions to come.  But mainly it was a pleasure just to enjoy meeting some new people, seeing some new sights and enjoying a drink at one of my favorite spots in the Baja.    

I hope to be able to participate in more of these outings in the future, time will tell how busy a Season it will be in Loreto Bay Real Estate, but I enjoyed the simple pleasure of getting out and going for a "stroll" (we all agreed afterwards that "hike" was too strong a word for this outing), see some new sights and meet some new people - all in the beautiful surroundings that I never want to take for granted - this was another wonderful way of "Living Loreto"!