Ballandra, so many activities

Our timing was pretty good but not perfect as we were just beat by Stargo (whom we had met in San Juanico) into the anchorage. We brought the total to four boats, which meant we still had a good spot to anchor. Through the early afternoon three more boats pulled in and I was taught that I should have pulled in closer to shore as a 24 foot monohull tucked in front of us just 47 meters away. Thankfully the wind was reasonable and it wasn’t a problem.

Steve and Margo (Stargo) made the rounds to invite everyone to an afternoon bocce ball game, so out came the kayak and to the beach we went. It was a fun time playing four v. four. As seems to be typical some throws were good and others not so much. The real challenge however was the terrain, the “jack” was frequently put in tricky spots risking rolling your ball in the water (and getting DQ’d) or landing far away. Julia and I went one for two and left with a smile on our faces. After the Bocce ball we headed up the hill overlooking the bay. A perfect end to the day.

The next morning we took a hike to the salt ponds of Salinas (see this post for details). It started simple enough following the wash basin, but as fingers spread out navigating became a bit trickier. This was not a well marked path but at random times we did find a rock cairn or two. Getting close we had a decision to make. A one-in-three chance to pick the correct route. We guess wrong. Still hoping for a view, we scrambled up a steep hill, around a ledge, and up another section of pure scree. When Julia slipped and slid down a few feet, for the second time, I called it. Just not worth the risk. So begrudgingly we turned around. Of course getting back down to the wash was even more challenging. Ugh. But after twenty tense minutes we were back on more level ground and able to hike back to the Ballandra a bit over three hours after we left. A project for next year…

Before heading back to the boat we took some time to relax. Julia beach combing while I found a spot to read my book. The day was quickly slipped away and after a late lunch we headed back to shore to again climb the hill that overlooks the bay. It is pretty much the ideal place to watch the sunset and we took in the amazing views.

The following morning, before heading back to Puerto Escondido, we took the kayak out to the south part of the bay. Another rock scramble to a high point with yet more amazing views. I wimped out on the snorkeling front while Julia stepped up and went for a swim. The 72 degree water was below my minimum, what can I say… She reported back there was lots to see but once around the point the swell and current picked up which cut her swim a bit short. With that we returned to Strikhedonia and headed south.

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