We were relieved to see that the gas station in town was open as it closes if the gas delivery doesn’t come. Our rig didn’t have enough diesel to make it both across the gas gap and also do the extra hundred miles or so for this side trip. For cars that run low, there are a couple of pickups with “barrel gas” at the Bahia turn. Folks do tend to find a way.
Water is scarce here (no campgrounds offer water hookups or water for filling your tanks), so we filled our tanks in Cataviña. We checked out Daggett’s campground and used the dump there (only one in town). While Hector handled the stinky slinky I checked out Campo Archelon next door.
Campo Archelon has a fascinating history. Betty and her husband Antonio arrived in 1979 to set up a sea turtle research station. At that time, the turtle population was diminishing but they were still being hunted for food. Their research ultimately help prove that the turtles needed protection and new laws were finally instituted in 1990 to protect them across the Mexican shores, a critical habitat for the global turtle population. The research center is no longer there, but the cabanas and the palapas still in place for the RV park had been set up originally to house volunteers and for educational meetings.
There is still a feeling that something good happened here. Antonio senior passed away a few years ago and Betty now runs the place with her industrious son Antonio. Check out our review of this lovely campground here.
That night we were graced with the first beautiful sunset of the week. What a spectacular place!
Bahia de los Angeles is known for occasional high winds from the north (Nortes) which were blowing on our first day there. So we drove over to the little town. We found some interesting murals and a few small businesses but not much else of interest except for a lovely little museum.
The Museo de Naturaleza y Cultura is a museum that was founded by an American lady, Carolina Shepard, who has lived 40+ years and raised her family in Bahia de los Angeles. The museum has many examples of marinelife and shell species, indigenous artifacts, exhibitions representing the history and ecology of the region, mining and ranching artifacts and more. It is clearly a labor of love. Surprisingly, we found Betty from the campground overseeing the museum. Carolina humbly gives much of the credit for the museum to all of the people who have given their time to it and Betty is apparently one of those people. We were fortunate to meet these two pillars of the community,
An interesting thing about the town is that most of the residents have to get non-potable water from a nearby well, and potable water from a nearby spring. We saw Antonio head out several times in his truck to acquire water. The campground uses a system to capture seawater to flush the toilets and for two little sinks outside the toilets (clearly marked as salt water). They use the good water for the showers and for a faucet located outside the shower building. Moving water is hard work!
At dusk every day, when the tide was low, shorebirds, wading birds, pelicans and gulls gathered on the rocks to catch their dinner. There were oystercatchers, great egrets, great blue heron, different types of seagulls, pelicans, reddish egrets, greater yellowlegs, and more.
That was our evening entertainment prior to the magnificent sunsets. The sunsets had different colors and patterns each day. A magical place.Antonio the younger has ambitious plans for the place. A new restaurant is under construction and he was continuously working on the garden, the buildings, and helping the guests with advice and assistance.
Hector and Brenda