Greetings from Loreto -- 2014


Since we've taken to driving back and forth between Loreto and Seattle, we never know quite what to expect when we arrive. This was another rainy year in Baja California, and big storms at the end of the season once again rearranged much of the geography nearby. Bicycling is still a big part of our lives, but some of the places we used to go to just aren't there any more. The local plant life enjoyed the weather a lot though -- we may soon be able to stop thinking of this as a desert. Our orange tree, shown here holding up the bicycles, in its third year of production, promises to yield about two dozen oranges, all of them destined for the juicer.

A niche for storage and display. Besides the burgeoning vegetation, our neighborhood is looking better in nearly every other way. Actual sidewalk now connects our house with the second phase of the development, Agua Viva. A restaurant has again opened in the green storefront on the corner there. Work has recommenced on at least one of the big mixed-use buildings in between. A new general store is set to open, replacing the much-lamented Evan's (or "Julie's") that we lost last spring.

In Loreto itself, the big news may be the opening of the supermercado "Ley," a big chain here in Mexico. Many people used to drive the fifty miles to the store in Ciudad Constitución for the bargains there -- we've done it ourselves; so the convenience of having one right here on Independencia is huge. They have a deli section, with tables, just like you might find in the U.S. Once every week or two we buy a whole roasted chicken from them and live off it for days. Perhaps coincidentally, the selection of goods at El Pescador seems to have improved, so we still do much of our shopping there (and get our windshield washed at the same time).

Dalí, the famous restaurant-supply store in town, closed last spring -- sort of. Pedro Lopez, who runs a restaurant at the airport and another at Puerto Escondido, took over the space and some of the stock and he has become our source for many of the essentials. We wish every success to Beatriz and Jose Luis in their new venture in La Paz too.

A niche for herbs as well. Wildlife update: Not much hiking has occurred since our return, but on a trip up the newly-discoved slot canyon south of Ligüi we saw a very brave little Western Patch-nosed snake, Salvadora hexalepsis,, along with the frogs, dragonflies, harvestmen, and one big hairy Brachypelma familiar from last year's hike in the next canyon over. Pictures of some of those are still available through this link.

A new tablecloth. Our local geckos are resting for the winter and seldom visible, but one has such a good location that he still shows up sometimes. Our porch light has a big mounting plate, with holes for four large screws at the corners; but the upper-left screw is missing and the hole is just large enough for a lizard to scoot in and out. On these evenings only the head is usually visible. We had a kitchen gecko for a while early in the fall, but I think that life there was just too hectic. Another is slumbering beneath one of our big flower pots, and won't leave even if disturbed.

The tall flowers that replaced the vines by the pergola.

Kayaking gets us closer to even more wildlife. Some areas that were high and dry in years past are now accessible to paddlers, thanks to the recent storms. Ranges have changed for reasons possibly unrelated -- a couple years ago boobies were rare, but now there's a colony of Blue-footed Boobies right on Punta Nopoló. There are a couple of updates from this fall on our kayak blog, for those who may not have seen them yet.

The front gate, from the kitchen. That's about it for recent events. For those who are following the saga of our little car, there's an annual update on its webpage, THE SNOWBALL DIARIES. For those interested in Loreto Bay in general there is a lot of previously published information below, and more pictures of our house and our travels in the area. For another picture of our front gate, scroll down, or click here!

Some web logs by residents:

  • Living Loreto, Drew McNabb publishes the most complete and consistent account of events in Loreto Bay and the area.
  • Casa del Milagro, a blog by year-round residents Paula Pennell and George Russell
  • Sea Creatures, our own blog about kayaking hereabouts. I hope eventually to link to lots of useful information like tides and weather, campsites, etc.
  • Where in the World is Nellie? A blog by a former Loreto Bay employee, current resident and Loreto entrepreneur. Nellie is no longer updating this site, but there's a lot of news up till 2009. Also there's a lot more information available from Nellie through her Dorado Realty, Loreto Bay Homes and BajaBOSS offices.
  • Watch and Learn: Lost in Loreto An earlier but long-running chronicle of the adventures, in Loreto and elsewhere, of Kelli and Robert McDill.
  • The Nopolo News, with some other features like classified ads and restaurant reviews.
  • Discover Loreto

Other information:

Some of our own panoramic pictures:

Previously published information about our house in particular:

More about Baja:

It was talk about sustainability that first caught our attention, but even for us the appeal to the senses is undeniable. The following sites have general information about the area:

Morning light on our front gate.

We are still happy with our choice to live on the main street -- it gives us a lot to look at. We may have traded some tranquility for the vistas that other houses lack, but at this point we're glad that we happened to notice this unique lot. The offset from the house next door makes this one of the few of its kind to have a window in the dining room (though it gives up a number of windows on the back side of the house). And, most of all of course, there's the disappearing exterior wall that turned a cramped little hallway into a colonnade. Here's a picture from the Paseo Misión de Loreto.