Nine kilometers (about 5.5 miles) south of Cabo Pulmo and forty minutes later I found the unmarked campground of Los Frailes. All the roads in were sand and I nearly cried. After getting stuck in Los Barilles I was terribly afraid of getting stuck in the sand again. I found a spot that seemed safe enough, it had a nice view of the ocean but there was no shade and the wind was still howling. I did cry. I didn’t want to be completely exposed to the sun and the howling wind for another day.
Resigning myself tobeing sandblasted, I climbed out of my rig and went for a walk on the beach. Within a few minutes I met Capitan Ron, the resident ex-hippie surfer dude. Ron was probably pushing 65 hard-lived years, I imagine he was rail-thin in his youth but now he sported a belly that looked like he ate a hedgehog, his skin was hanging loose on his too-thin arms, and he towered over me at 6’4”. He walked straight inside my comfort zone, poked me in the chest with his finger, and told me I need to get out of the sun, “you’re going to be very upset if you burn yourself on the first day of your vacation.”
Less than 15 minutes in Los Frailes and I was already considering moving along.
It was getting late, I had been on the road for too long, and I had had my share of misadventures. There was cold beer in the refrigerator so I decided to drink a beer, go for a swim, take a nice walk on the beach, then go to sleep. Maybe I would wake up with a little more energy and a new outlook on Los Frailes. In my youth, the day was always bright when I first awoke. After many years of running a business, the shine had worn off and if I went to sleep in a black mood it was usually still black in the morning, grown-up problems don’t just vanish overnight.
When I awoke the next morning I was greeted by a beautiful sunrise, a gentle and cool breeze, and a dead calm sea. The beach extends for miles to the south, so I put on my bikini and sarong, released my hound, and headed in that direction. We had the most delicious morning swim, the water was just as warm and clear and amazing as it looked.
On the way back to the rig, we ran into Capitan Ron, this time he was a bit more respectful of my boundaries (I learned later that it is probably better to avoid Ron after about 2:00, he likes to start drinking early). He gave me the lowdown on Los Frailes. Most importantly, I learned that the snorkeling along the northern wall of the beach was the best in the entire Cabo Pulmo area. I wanted to pull out my snorkeling gear but by that time the wind was coming up and the water was getting choppy – visibility was rapidly diminishing. Snorkeling would have to wait.
My child-like ways were returning. I awoke with a smile on my face and everything was right with the world. Los Frailes was beautiful. I had a new neighbor who was really nice and interesting. The swimming was fabulous and the snorkeling was quite possibly even better. I decided it was a sign. I had work to do and the view from my office window was exquisite. The howling wind, instead of being an irritant, became an excuse to settle down and accomplish something.