Pos: Pos: 15.7633,-96.1119
Loc: Playa El Tejon
Acc: Hilleberg Allak 2 tent
Dist: 44,0 km
Start: 07:05 End: 18:00
There is a car arriving at our beach around five-thirty, and flashes straight on our tents. I try ignoring it and turn around for another brief nap, but it is not working, I am wide awake. I also hear the ladies whispering, and at aroundI think we can also start moving. I call over “are you awake?” but no answer. I keep on packing, and after I get outsde, I think it is high time for them to get up! I call again “Are you awake?” – I shake the tent, but no answer…hmmm, are the so deeply asleep? The sun is raising already! I drag my boat to the water’s edge, and see my two happy paddling partners coming down from the restaurant sites where they found a bathroom. Perfect! We continue packing, and are soon ready to go!
I mention this morning – just in case – that there are only two rules to paddle WITH me – Do not paddle to my left side (as nobody should paddle so close to the rocks as I like to do), and do not paddle ahead of me. Sure…! An almost empty, slim double kayak, maybe forty kilos, with two moderately experienced paddling ladies is not equal to compare to an almost fully loaded expedition kayak, maybe eighty kilos, with only one, though very experienced and strong paddling lady and I know how tempting it is to enjoy the feelingto be able to ‘leave me behind’.
The break is easy, and their launch goes fine without my help. And off they are! Rule number two forgotten. I HATE IT! But I keep my composure, smile, and try to ignore this unpoliteness and do my own paddle. I am thinking if they want it like that, their loss to be able to ask me thousands of questions and get a free one on one resp. two coaching. But I also know for some reason paddling in Mexico is quite much about ‘competencia’ – competition of speed. Expedition paddling or touring sea kayaking is barely existing, so I put it to them not knowing what they are missing.
I soon switch on my music about fivehundred meters behind the double kayak, skirt the rocks in between some open beach stretches with a lot of pleasure, paddle my speed and am immersed into my thoughts – until I see a lighthouse on an inviting looking headland. The landing behind the point looks easy, I get the attention of my ‘paddling partners’ and I suggest them to land. They agree, I land first and see there is a small shallow open river coming out very close to the rocky point – and a fishing boat is kind of stuck in the opening, waiting for the right wave to get afloat and out. I land easy on the flat beach beside the river mouth, but notice some stronger side wash from the outflowing water.
I wave the ladies in, and on good timing, I catch their boat and they jump out. The heck, you need to release your paddle leash! This time, it works ok, as break and sidewash and kayak weight is mellow and I get the lightweight double up the beach with on hand by myself. We drag both kayaks further up to be on the safe side, and happily find the path up to the light house. What a stunning view over wonderful cliffs, the rivermouth and a tiny village! It is worth a stop.
We launch again, and unfortunatle, my bow fitting which already ripped off once whe a strong person pulled the heavy kayak on the deck lines, popped again. But I can fix it once again quickly. The double kayak catches quite some water, on their independent launch. No problem, we have pumps and sponges!
Across a big city with a busy Sunday-afternoon tourist beach, I know there is an island where we easily can paddle inside, and I aim with not many words into the bay. It takes a while my ladies notice my plan, they have been paddling this area already, but always far offshore – ‘racing’…and being scared out of inexperience to come closer to the cliffs. That was also the reason why we missed meeting each other on the water yesterday. But they now see with my guidance how close one can go without problems! I noticed already around some lumpy headlands, they are sitting firm in their saddles of their ‘double horse’. I dare to take them even through some easy rock gaps – and earn two broad smiles! Well, maybe Rebeca’s smile is a bit more broad. She sits in the back seat, is the more naughty one with a good English and has the directional control. I am not really sure if the more shy Ivalu in the front, who does not speak much English, has the same pleasure? But Rebeca confirms she is fine!
The ladies in the double kayak keep on following through gaps me where they feel it is fine, and all goes well as I do not take any risky stuff. And if it is a bit more tricky, they go around. Finally, they admit they LOVE this way of paddling! And they think what they have missed so far, just ‘racing’ along far offshore…
Around a headland, I spot a tiny snow-white coral each, dead calm, and I feel we need to land again to explore and to maybe do some snorkeling! I love coral beaches for the sound of glass of the dead small bleached coral pieces. This tiny one is special as on the shore, not only the small pieces cover most of the sand, but plenty huge dead coral pieces are also scattered around. Plus a bunch of plastic bttles and chips bags…I collect them all to a neat pile, this is the least I can do for this tine small coral paradise! But Rebeca goes a step ahead, as they have plenty of volume space in their double kayak, the suggests to load it all in there and to dump it in the city properly. Perfect! My kayak would not have the free space.
We do some snorkeleing, and I pass my toys around, a swim goggle and a mask with snorkel. The coral reef is massive and under the overhangs, lots of fish are hiding. Nice to watch, and well worth a swim or two!
On my beach exploring and trash collecting round, I find two shells of two large turtles, possibly eaten by humand right here on the spot. Both dried empty back shells have still the neck and a complete head attached. One is unbroken, and I have a new hat or a new front hatch cover! It looks so nice that I wrap a small bungee end from my deck bag around the turtle’s stiff neck while the back shell covers all of the front hatch. She can have a ride out to Huatulco, it will be a nice arrival! I also collect the complete belly shell which rides under my spare paddle.
We stop in the next wide bay on another inviting calm looking reef beach, and carefully float just about over a barely submerged reef to the white beach. We do some more snorkeling, climb a cliff which is home of hundreds of crabs, and I share a grapefruit with my ladies. A fresh fruit on a hot beach is so nice!
We keep on skirting the coast, and Rebeca and Ivalu enjoy discovering bay after bay and the cliffs in a new way although the have paddled past here a few times offshore One last stop on a tiny, rarely visited beach, a fresh avocado is the menue out of my day hatch, and it is soon time to land in Huatulco city beach to meet Heriberto as agreed! We paddle behind another island where there is even a line separating a corner from the boat traffic as a diving area, but no boats or divers are ere on a lovely Sunday afternoon.
We reach Huatulco beach by five o’clock, but there is no ‘reception comitee’ like in Manzanillo – and honestly, I do not mind as I plan to keep on going tomorrow. I had my rest days in Puerto Excondido. But we need to make a quick decision as night is falling soon. We cannot camp here on this crowded city beach, and I absolutely do not fancy a hotel stay. Even a home stay with a frind of herberto seems like too much of an effort, and afer he shows up, we finally decide to meet on a less crowded beach further on, Playa El Tejon. We just reach there in ast light, I quickly put up camp while Heriberto has brough my food bag in Rebeca’s car. I select some thins as it looks like I have packed too much, and herberto takes the rest and the large turtle shell back to Rebeca’s car. I even dumped my stove and cook pot, as I will not cook in the evenings.
I endless check maps, satellite images and long-term forecasts, and see tomorrow is still fine. Then comes a day with some stronger wind in the afternoon, and then it is fine again until Sunday. I hope to be in Puerto Aristo by then, to maybe wait out a period of stronger wind and higher waves. Rebeca volunteers to pick me up latest on December 18th wherever I am to catch my flight back home from Mexico City on Decemeber 20th.
It finally was the most wonderful paddling day of this section, with two lovely ladies as escort on the beaches. They said tey learned a lot today! They like to continue with me one more day tomorrow – although I could not help to remind them to rule number two…