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Trip Report Loreto, Baja California Sur (Nopolo) Trip Report #1

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Seven miles south of Loreto lies the region of Nopolo. In recent years, a new development called the villages of Loreto Bay has been created. This beautiful piece of heaven is aimed at healthy living in a resort type of lifestyle. Having said that, it is nothing like any place I have stayed before.

Upon arriving at the Loreto airport, you immediately think pristine, clean and quiet. With only one flight per day, it isn't what you would call a tourist destination. Most people visiting here are spending their winters escaping winter to our north. Alaska Airlines flies from Los Angeles on a turbo-prop plane. The flight was enjoyable, but not always on time. The flight attendants were attentive and the airline served complimentary wine/beer along with snacks for purchase. Processing through customs at the Loreto airport was not fast, but who cares, I am on vacation. Only one clerk was on duty so with 70 or so people to process, she had a full hour ahead of her. If you don't want to wait too long in line, I suggest you book your seat in the front of the plane!

Our friend picked us up at the airport (although it is easy to rent a car here as well) and we made the short journey to Nopolo. It was getting on dusk, and although the view was stunning, it would be the next morning I realized that I really was in heaven! Driving on roads here isn't for the faint of heart. While they are paved, well maintained roads, there is no shoulder for error. There are lots of large transport trucks that drivers try to pass along this straight stretch before heading into the mountains - so going the speed limit doesn't seem to be the norm. Cattle and other animals litter the road and if you see a vehicle with its four way flashers on, slow down as it is a warning there is life wandering around where it shouldn't. Also here when you are driving and put on your left blinker, it indicates to the driver behind you, the road is clear to pass. The government has placed pull offs at the main entrances to places so you can simply pull over to cross rather than confusing the driver behind you. With no lights and if there is no moon, driving at night isn't something I looked forward to.

Our trip was from Dec 29th to Jan 12th - so an opportunity to see the Town of Loreto and Nopolo decorated for Christmas and to ring in a new year! When you think of Mexico, you imagine hot days lounging by the pool. This wasn't the case! The daily temps hover around 22c and in some exceptions we saw upwards to 27c. And even though that is hot for a Bluenoser, the sun simply warmed the skin without any humidity to make it unpleasant. Mornings and evenings usually warranted a light jacket, although I saw a woman on the beach one morning wearing a parka! I only wore pants on two occasions and shorts and short sleeves were my choice. We went swimming once, the water cool but again, warmer than the water in the height of late August in Nova Scotia!

The Village of Loreto Bay or Nopolo are like nothing I have seen before. They are built without any space between them. Stone walkways with beautiful lush vegetation, join them together to make a feeling of being in a small european village where everyone has lived for centuries. Each have several levels of living space with lots of outdoor living space to enjoy the beautiful weather. Our accommodations were on the beach with a spectacular view of the water and the Islands of Carmen and Coronado. The sunrises and sunsets are amazing and the way the shadows play on the huge rock formations in the sea of Cortez, make for great pictures. We also experienced a full moon while here, and it literally lights up the entire beach. Nopolo doesn't have "street lights" per se around the homes and none on the water side to perserve the night skies!

Our first morning we wondered down the streets of the Village. It was eerily quiet, with a few workmen commencing their daily construction routines. The first thing I noticed was everyone said hello or good morning! The sidewalks where the construction is taking place are jagged, and it seemed an afterthought probably would have been, should have waited until all the buildings were constructed. There are a huge number of unfinished units and a couple of very large condo units sitting idle. This is due to the mismanagement of former developers of the area. The Mexican government has now taken over, and it seems to be moving along. However, having said that, the recession has certainly taken the toll on the area who used to rely mostly on Americans. Canadians are also very evident here as owners of homes, mostly from the western provinces.

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