Hitchhiking in Mexico to Cabo Pulmo

Our second day in Los Frailes, Vicki and I made the trek to the nearby Cabo Pulmo where the dive shops were located for the Pulmo reef (a protected national park). It was about four and a half miles but our friends on Thelastic clued us in to hitchhiking to shorten the trip. I had never hitchhiked before but I seemed to get the hang of it and after twenty minutes of waking we flagged down a car and hoped in.

Picture missing, why? Because I suck

Turns out it was an American who comes down twice a year to stay at his father-in-law’s place. He had driven out to Los Frailes to buy fresh fish from the fishermen, sweet. Upon getting to town he explained he was at the “nice” Radisson and pointed us to Reef’s dive shop.

At Reef’s we found they did have space for tomorrow’s dive but it was unknown where the diving would be because of strong winds and swells from the North and the national park staff assign dive sites in the morning for each dive company. That checked off, the beach was calling. It isn’t a big beach but we checked it out and could see the waves, not far off shore, breaking on the reefs. Seeing a gate that looked open I sent Vicki to check it out, we decided it was a private residence and that it would be best to not barge in. But as we were walking away a friendly voice beckoned us over. Turns out it was our friend that gave us a ride into town. Funny how life works out.

An open gate is an invitation, right?

We met his wife and learned that “Radisson” is who owns the land that their casita and open air house sit on (American’s can’t own land in Mexico) and that there isn’t a resort, just seven individual lots.

Open air house

It was interesting talking with them about the last twenty five years and the changes to the area (it is still very small and rural, but now the reef is a protected area). They filled up our water bottles and an hour later we figured it was time to let them get back to whatever they were doing before we stopped by.

The trek back to the boat needed to begin so we started walking. It was beautiful with the waning sun on the hills but also a bit concerning since we had quite a distance to cover if no one picked us up…

Oh no, the sun is setting

The kilometers clicked as we saw a few cars going into town and zero going to Los Frailes. Oops. Maybe we should have made for an earlier return. Still by my calculation we should only have forty minutes in the dark if we had to hike the whole way. About half way home the first car came over the crest of the hill and while my thumb was out, the single lady evidently didn’t feel we were harmless and gave us a shrug. I get it. On we go.

Another kilometer and we had resigned ourselves to trudging the whole distance. The sun was now below the horizon and darkness was setting in as a lone pickup truck can rattling down the dusty road. Literally we heard him long before we saw him. Thankfully this time he was willing to take us on. Vicki was motioned into the passenger seat while I jumped in the back.

Seems safe enough

It might have only saved us a mile and a half but damn were we thrilled. A couple minutes into the ride what do we see, but Harrison and Janis out for a run. Silly kids (okay they are both 24, so not technically kids), running on a dirt road, in the middle of nowhere Mexico, at night. I shrugged.

Eventually, well after dark, we were all safely back aboard and could share our adventures of the day over dinner. Good times.

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