Sunday, February 8, 2015

Breaking News – there was a Full Moon in Loreto this week!

A fairly recently adopted, and semi-regular (clear weather permitting) event occurred this week, an informal Beach bonfire celebrating the Full Moon was held just north of the Loreto Bay Development under the auspices of the Nopolo Association of Property Owners.  As I am on their mailing list I received an email from Alois, their Secretary, earlier in the week inviting people to gather at the usual spot, a stretch of sandy Beach between a now vacant Hotel property and the Sea of Cortez.  While most of the length of the Beach is accessible on foot, the “NAP” has arranged vehicle access for these events by having a normally locked gate on the old Hotel property opened so those attending can drive down to the Beach and park.

In spite of the fact that Fonatur, the Mexican Government agency that manages the Nopolo area surrounding the Loreto Bay Development, has recently torn up parts of the access road in preparation for paving, I was able to make my way to the designated entrance, although I did encounter a white burro free ranging in the brush near the opened gate.  I parked my vehicle near the dozen or so others that were there ahead of me and made my way to join the other “Moonies” that were gathered around the blazing driftwood fire.

After taking the requisite “moon over Isla Carmen” shots before the subject got any higher in the night sky – and hearing from several people that I had just missed the moon rise which had apparently been spectacular, big and ruby red as it broke over the jagged peaks of Carmen in the dark distance, I then settled down with one of the cervesa I had brought with me and enjoyed my surroundings.

Recognizing several acquaintances in the couple of dozen people who had gathered there that evening, I was soon involved in a conversation with a person who introduced herself as someone who lived in Nopolo full time and she had recognized me from the Blog, which she was a regular reader of.  This sort of “local recognition” doesn't happen very often so I enjoyed talking to her and hearing her stories of “Living Loreto”, which was now her and her partner’s full time home.

Later I got into another conversation with an old friend who also lives in Nopolo and he told me about his daily morning swims around Punta Nopolo, the rocky point at the end of the Loreto Bay Beach that gives its name to the surrounding area.  Now Manfred has been a free diver most of his life and he is one of the few people who braves the chilly 65 degree water at this time of year, so I was interested in hearing him raving about the large and healthy sea life population he sees on his morning swims just offshore from where I live.  Meanwhile, Alois’ wife Kathy encouraged me to sample her homemade lentil soup which was keeping warm just outside of the bonfire glow, while others skewered some hot dogs to roast over the bonfire.

Later I joined another conversation between a neighbor of mine and his fishing buddy, who also lives in Nopolo, and they introduced me to the person they were talking to who they had just met that evening, and who, incredibly as it turned out, had gone to the same High School back in the US as the fisherman!  What are the chances, thirty odd years later, to meet someone standing around a bonfire on a beach in the Baja that you used to go to High School with?  Not sure what that number is, but let’s call it serendipity, for starters!

As the moon continued to rise, shrinking in the sky but giving everything a silvery glaze, I mingled with a few more friends and neighbors before I decided to head home again.  As I drove the short distance back to my Home I reflected on the quietly enjoyable evening I had had – nothing “earth shattering” had happened, just a few beer and a few conversations, meeting some new people and seeing other friends and neighbors – all with the beautiful backdrop of the Sea of Cortez bathed in moonlight!  But as I thought about it, I realized that was what was special about it, an impromptu get- together on the Beach to watch the moon rise and re-connect with friends, old and new – it doesn't take anything more than that to remind me why it’s special to be “Living Loreto”.