Sunday, December 8, 2013

What's to do in Loreto Bay?

We are now in a relatively quiet spell between American Thanksgiving and Christmas and currently the majority of the population of Loreto Bay is made up of Seasonal residents, but there are still a fair number of renters and short-term visiting Homeowners here.  Given this relative lull in activity here this week, I decided to address a question I've been asked many times over the years: "What do you do in Loreto Bay?"

Well to begin with, this is a mainly unstructured community, so most people here typically find their own
activities, but there are some groups that do get together - like a popular yoga session that meets several mornings a week at a Community Palapa located near my home.  Others of a more sedentary morning persuasion tend to congregate at El Corazon, our beautiful barista-style coffee shop on the main Paseo, where good coffee, fresh pastries and friendly conversation can usually be found.

Now with three Community Pools within the development, poolside activities have become a larger part of the lifestyle in Loreto Bay - whether that means actual swimming in the Lap Pool, or lounging and reading a book or playing a round of backgammon.  Another option is the Hotel, with their poolside bar and restaurant providing nourishment and thatched beach umbrellas providing a perfect spot to spend some time gazing at the beautiful Sea of Cortez.  The Hotel beach is also a great place to launch a kayak or paddle board into the usually calm waters.

With the significant numbers of dogs in the community, there is another social circle on the beach itself with the dogs and their owners taking long walks together in the surf.  While solitary beach combing is also a popular pastime, particularly as the sun rises from behind the off-shore islands - an ever changing spectacle that is guaranteed to get any day in Loreto Bay off to a good start!

With our community surrounded on three sides by a Golf Course, for many Residents playing 9 or 18 holes is a regular part of their weekly routine, and an affordable one at that - with unlimited monthly green fees still only $240.00.  The perimeter of the Golf Course also makes a great walking/jogging trail with beautiful Mountain and Ocean vistas providing the entertainment.

For those looking for more adventure
 we have our own Tour Company in the development offering bicycle and ATV rentals, guided hikes, kayaking, boat excursions and fishing trips among other seasonal activities like whale watching in the spring.  Although commercial development along the Paseo is in its early development, there are several places you can get a good massage, and a spa, as well as some other opportunities for "retail therapy" - to which will soon be added a private workout room with exercise equipment and a new grocery/flower shop.  Also our local Community Center is available for interested groups to get together for Bridge or Mah Jong, and there is also an impressive collection of donated books available there for loan, on a loosely structured "leave one, take one" basis.

Living, as we do, in the center of a Marine Park on the Sea of Cortez (which Jacques Cousteau called "the aquarium of the World") I would be remiss not to mention more about fishing, a popular activity among many who spend time here.  While you can fish directly off Punta Nopolo, at the south end of the community, either from shore or a kayak, most "serious" fishers either have their own boat here or hire a panga and captain to take them deep sea fishing where catching many species including tuna, dorado, and sword fish is not an uncommon experience, depending on the season and water temperatures.

There are also interesting drives and/or hikes in and around the surrounding area of Loreto.  With historic sites like the San Javier Mission and Cave Paintings less than an hour's drive away and numerous trails into the Sierra de la Giganta Mountains nearby, we live in a fascinating part of the world surrounded by natural beauty and exotic terrains.

As more ex-pats spend more time here there is a growing volunteer ethic that finds ways to support and enhance the larger community surrounding us here.  Many of these activities, both fundraising and participatory, benefit the local children, particularly like those who are in the Internado (part-time residential school system) who spend Monday to Friday going to school in town (in fairly Spartan living conditions) and then they are bused back and forth on the weekends to the remote Rancheros where the rest of their families live year round.  The growing numbers of winter residents here in Loreto Bay have augmented the activities of a core group of Volunteers who have been active in the town of Loreto in years past.

There are also some local service agencies like the Optimists Club, which meets in town and also raises monies and organizes activities (like an upcoming Santa's Breakfast in Loreto) that help local kids and others less fortunate to enjoy something special during the Holiday Season, as well as at other times of the year.

When all of this is added to a fairly active personal schedule of dinner parties and impromptu sunset
margaritas, or get-togethers at the Wine Bar, or even a low key Community Concert by Los Beach Dogs,  like was held late afternoon, one day this week, suffice to say most of us manage to keep as busy as we want to be most days here, which is another reason why we love "Living Loreto"!