We walk the dogs on the beach and they take their first dip in the Sea of Cortez. Manly chases the whitewater as he runs along the surf, and Biela goes for the seagulls. A large and majestic bird flies above us, and I learn that in Spanish it is called "aura". It sounds very exotic but the English name is much less romantic: turkey vulture.
It’s 3pm and we have no reservations whatsoever… so we improvise a plan to find one. We stop at the first “real estate agency” on the way. A US veteran called Richard greets us and explains that he has no rental by the beach that accepts dogs and that we’ll have a hard time finding one. He points us to the former 'Club Med’ resort that closed in the eighties and is now operated under the name ‘Club Paradiso Resort’ … with the same rooms (i.e. never renovated).
Richard also warns us about driving at night, and he explains why: “There have been a few stories where cars were intercepted at night… but the real issue is that a lot of people drive shitty cars without tail lights, and sometimes truckers stop in the middle of the road because there is no shoulder. There is also livestock, so you could hit a cow or a horse. My brother’s horse was killed this way, a beautiful mare.” Everyone told us not to drive at night, but this is the first time we get the real reason. It’s not about bandits or drug cartels or corrupt cops: it’s about shitty cars, badly parked trucks, and livestock. This is so refreshing! We thank Richard and make our way to Club Paradiso. The rooms look just like they were in the seventies: we run away. On the way back I take a detour towards a “mirador” (scenic viewpoint) and then take the wrong turn into a cool housing community overlooking the water. Security guards inform us that this is private property and they give me a rental agent’s card. Less than 2 hours later we move into an apartment directly on the water - in a completely different part of town that we would never have found by ourselves.
The owner hasn’t rented it for a long time but he loves dogs so he’s pleased to welcome us. That night we look back at the chain of events that lead to us finding this place… improvisation is a beautiful thing!
In the evening as the temperature cools down we drive our 4x4 to a beach and do what the locals do: sip a beer and enjoy the ocean breeze. The dogs dare each other to swim into the ocean – these two can get just as competitive as we are. At night we watch the ocean from our balcony and enjoy the light show provided by our thunderstorm at the horizon. At last it stopped following us!
We get up exhausted by a tough night: the rainstorm followed us from Arizona all the way to Hermosillo. After breakfast, we flip a coin (or rather a tortilla) to decide where we go next. San Carlos wins the tossup against Bahia de Kino. A short 2-hour drive takes us there. This sleepy beach hamlet bordering the Sea of Cortez is a perfect place to rest and recharge. The entire village seems empty and our waiter explains that this is low season: Americans and Canadians are here in winter when it's cold at home, and the Mexicans are here during the weekends. In the meantime we have the restaurant for ourselves - maybe the entire town as well.