Bahía de Tortugas, Baja California Sur – Flotsam and jetsam

The north beach of El Vizcaíno is famous for its flotsam and jetsam. Wind, waves and currents wash everything that’s in the waters of the North American west coast, from Alaska on southbound, onto this beach. Among this are even sometimes loads of drugs that were dropped or lost from a ship or an airplane. We start a search for interesting legal stuff, but we only find garbage and some bones that we can’t identify. In the Malarrimo fish camp is a big whale’s jawbone that was washed ashore, a bit to the west a grey whale idles away. The major part has disappeared except the head and some vertebras. The skin is nearly petrified, and the rest was done by carrion-eaters so that the odour experience is limited.

The coastal road from Malarrimo to the north-west ends at a lighthouse and is only suitable for 4WD. From here we take a good dirt road back to Bahía de Tortugas and further to the tiny fishermen’s village Punta Eugenia at the north-west promontory. There are signs everywhere prohibiting fishing, and regularly a kind of rangers patrol the coast to make sure nobody violates the exclusive fishing rights of Bahía de Tortugas’ four fishing cooperatives. Especially the lobsters and abalone snails that are sold for a remarkable amount of money to Taiwan bring the fishers relative affluence.

Then we head south on a desert road to Punta Asunción and further to Punta Prieta where are again secluded beaches to camp. Dolphins jump, coyotes howl, and pelicans fish. The beach close to the waterline consists of sand, but further up billions of white thick mussel shells were deposited and rounded foot-friendly during the years.

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