We arrived in Puerto Escondido last night, a large natural harbor. It was my first good night of sleep since leaving La Paz; even the lightning storm that cruised by in the night couldn’t keep me away. (This was our first night with no swell or wind waves to toss us around inside the boat while at anchor.)
This cove is considered a “hurricane hole,” a safe place to ride out a big storm. Just in time, too, since a small storm is headed our way. It’s predicted to be a depression by the time it gets here, but even if winds are “39 mph or less”, I have no desire to feel that at sea. Twenty-five feels plenty dicey to me.
We had a really great time in Agua Verde. I didn’t want to leave, but we needed a break from the heat at night there. When there is wind at night, it’s like dragon’s breath off the land. While there, I interviewed a bunch of people, and we walked around in the desert with the cows and goats. When asked about change, the first thing that people mention is the population growth: it’s gone from three families to 400 people in the past 20 years. The people I talked to knew this because they grew up here, and their grandparents grew up here. When I asked about what they saw in the future, everyone talked about the road into town and how it would soon bring electricity, then very soon after that, tourism. There are tourists “from the sea” now, foreigners on boats in the (much cooler) winter months, but they expected more very soon coming from the land. They seemed to talk about it with a little bit of dread, since everyone mentioned that they stay in Agua Verde because it’s peaceful. But they also thought it would bring work for the young people in town, and “that’s good, right?”
But I think my favorite part was the unexpected visitors to the boat just before we left. We were flooded with the boys of Agua Verde who arrived by kayak or by just swimming from the shore. I gave them fresh water and homemade granola bars, and we gave them free reign of the boat, though they were quite respectful and wouldn’t go anywhere unless we led the way. They were fascinated by our guidebook, and they loved the pictures of the coast in it, pointing out to each other the places they have been. Soaking wet, they peered around the cabin. They even noticed the picture of my old dog, Keogh, which is tucked into the window above the chart table. They lingered on the photo: he’s so handsome they all said in awe, and I agreed. They were my first visitors to comment on the photo. It seems like kids get the important things.