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In search of more whales

Mexico day sixteen

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Boat off Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos

Another day with an early start and no breakfast, as we had to be at the office of the Land and Sea Tours company by seven! Thankfully it was almost next door to our hotel and our friendly driver Bruce was there very soon after us, so we didn’t have to hang around at all. We picked up three more couples at hotels in and around Loreto and then drove across the mountains on the road Chris and I had taken a few days earlier. The views were just as spectacular for most of the drive but as we drew closer to Ciudad Insurgentes we found ourselves in low cloud. This persisted as we crossed to the Pacific Coast at Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos. This small town is a commercial fishing port for ten months of the year, but from mid January to mid March the fishermen clean up and repaint their pangas and turn them to a different use, whale watching.

Once at the dock Bruce led us to one of the small stands where we were given life jackets before being led to our boat by its captain. We headed out into the bay, the atmosphere still rather misty. We slowed as we passed some mangroves on an island, to see the frigate birds and cormorants roosting there.

Sandbank with sea birds

Magnificent frigatebirds

Then we were off to look for grey whales who come to these warm seas to mate and calve. We'd been told that quite often these magnificent beasts will come so close to the boats that you can pet them, but also warned that of course these are wild animals and there are no guarantees you will see them at all. In the end it was a ‘medium' day in Bruce’s estimation. We didn’t get to pet any whales, but we saw loads, several quite close to our boat. However I found them much harder to photograph than the blue whales of two days ago as they were moving faster and surfacing less. Just the same, it was a fabulous experience!

Chris photographing a whale



Grey whales

Grey whale and calf

On the way back to port we stopped again to photograph some birds.


Sea birds

Once back on dry land a delicious lunch of fish, shrimps, rice and salad, eaten at one of several simple restaurants, was included in the price of the tour. Bruce told us this whole area existed only to serve the whale watching trips and was closed down for the rest of the year. After the meal we had a bit of free time to explore, and I came across a couple of women giving a small dance performance.


Dancers in Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos

On the way back to Ciudad Insurgentes Bruce pulled over to show us some desert plants, including one he called a ‘walking cactus', which grows horizontally along the ground. As it does so the oldest part dies off, giving the impression that it has actually travelled. Searching the internet later I found it referred to as Creeping Devil, Stenocereus eruca. It is endemic to this central Pacific coast region of Baja California Sur.

Walking cactus or creeping devil

Walking cactus or creeping devil


We had to detour to drop one couple off at a very flash but isolated hotel by a golf course some miles south of Loreto, so by the time we got back it was nearly three. We went for a coffee at La Route to make up for not having had one all day, then went back to the hotel to weed whale photos (we’d both been shooting in burst mode), do a bit of packing and check in online for Wednesday’s flights.

For dinner we went to Mita Gourmet in the Plaza. When Chris ordered the chicken cordon bleu he was warned it was prepared from scratch and would take a bit of time, but not over an hour! In compensation for the wait, caused apparently by an unspecified problem in the kitchen, we were brought some excellent fish tostadas. We also had the distraction of a very sweet tabby cat and some live music, with Spanish versions of well-known pop songs. When it came Chris’s dish was excellent but my chicken mole (chosen for the third day in a row because I didn’t fancy anything else on the menu) had rather too much chilli for my system to cope with, so I had to go easy with it. Afterwards we shared a dessert of flan while enjoying the last few numbers by the musician, finishing perhaps inevitably with La Bamba. A nice way to round off our time in Loreto.

Posted by ToonSarah 11:41 Archived in Mexico Tagged birds food desert mexico plants dance seas seabirds cacti whale_watching

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The dancers' costumes are very colourful and I like the idea of a moving plant.

by irenevt

Thanks Irene, it was fun learning about that cactus!

by ToonSarah

the walking cactus sounds so interesting! Never heard of that!

by Ils1976

It was new to me too Ils!

by ToonSarah

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