It used to be that gringos could drive down to Rocky Point, stay in a bungalow, or find a campsite at Sandy Beach and be in a sufficient space to carefully skinnydip. Now, these spots are under high rise hotels and have a resort atmosphere.
I had been looking at satellite images and making inquiry for a few months, wondering if I could get back the sense of freedom that Mexico used to offer. DF had mentioned a desire to head south and suddenly everything fell into place, including the weather. It is a long drive the through the Sonoran desert to Puerto Penasco/Rocky Point and then we had yet another hour, or more to attain our goal, which was a beach villa in a remote enclave.
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The trek leads down two lane highways through some of the most incredibly beautiful desert and some of the most desolate desert on the planet. After passing the base of Kit peak observatory’s mountain, there is that sense of leaving the familiar. I hadn’t been this way for 20 years, which was previous to the big buildup to exploit the coast of the Sea of Cortez for the tourist’s dollars. There is now a tourist friendly aduana system which politely waves us through, instead of the feared Federal police waiting for the $10 graft handout. Armed patrols of soldiers with recoilless rifles boldly run down the highway to protect multi-million dollar investments. The strip of third-world potholes is gone. Cell phone service has replaced the several emergency telephone stations along the way.
Mexican nudity law is simply deemed illegal, as far as I have so far discovered. This is nebulous as to a clear definition of just what nudity is. What’s more, it is placed in a context of the individual interpretation of what a law officer is supposed to do about it. We had chosen to smuggle our naked bodies through, disguised as typical tourist. Most police officers respond to that which is different and get curious and I figure that that is probably an international character tendency. I slipped on an old Hawaii shirt decorated in palm fronds and cargo shorts. In our Honda Civic with its back seat filled with beach toys and coolers, we raised no eyebrows. This being dressed is more uncomfortable physically, but it is made up for in a world with a sense of unpredictability. I wanted to get a better feel for the new century’s territory before carnuding.
After driving nearly an hour through sandy desolation, the desert again blossomed into healthy deep green creosote and then hills filled with organ pipe and saguaro cactus. This appears every bit as lush as our more northern Sonoran paradise.
A few groves of olive trees and something that look like four foot tall fennel and we find our turnoff next to a small subdivision. There seems to be no cause or reason for people to live here, other than land. It appears that literal shacks of burlap and old corrugated tin had slowly blossomed into modest homes. There is a school, and a community center. The orchards and fishing in the distance may be what sustains these people.
Another seven miles on a gravel road, west toward the beach, brings us to our gated community. Out of nowhere, large villa-like homes spring out of sand dunes. We sign in on a clip board offered by a smiling man who introduces himself as Arturo and continue up the hill.
There are about a dozen of the villas right on the beach stretching out over a half of a mile or so. We have a crudely drawn map and a numbered key. We go where our place is supposed to be. I try to fit the key to doors like a game show. We are excited by the outer opulence of the digs. Soon, I have to return to the gate for better directions and we fit the key into number…. In this much time, we are realizing that this town is mostly deserted.
One of a set of broad double doors opens into a foyer with stairs going up and down.
Down, we see a large room feeling open with windows across the wall to the west. The view stretches from a beach below to across the blue waters to the horizon.
This place is huge!
We quickly explore the floor plan. We are excited. DF wants to run down to the beach, now! “Let’s go to the beach! I just want to put my feet in the water!” I manage to talk her into at least unloading the car and dumping everything in the foyer.
She fishes out her tan through bikini and I a pair of colorful underwear briefs and we make our way down the 80 foot drop that slopes down a sand dune to the beach. It looks and smells wonderful. Looking north, or south, after the buildings end, the gorgeous beach stretches out for miles. I had anticipated this in my strategy for a nude beach. It isn’t far from the enclave to where there is no human activity. Maybe two miles to the south is a group of fishermen and boats. To the north, there is only beach and dunes for several miles. There are several miles of desert to the road that is east over the dunes. A quarter mile strolling along a beautiful beach and we will be truly liberated naturists.
The next project is to inspect every one of the seven bedrooms, baths closets and kitchen. I step outside, throw on the main breaker and the place comes alive. We are compelled to the top floor multi-tiered bedroom, with its dome made of brick.
It opens out onto a large balcony with a fireplace.
Stepping outside, the sea breeze caresses our very nude bodies. There will be no use of shoes this week. We lean on the banister and we comment that we are being truly blessed.
First Excursion Down the Beach
Having settled in, leaving most of our belongings in the central foyer, rather than stretching it across the huge three story house, we again glide through the loose sand down the 80 foot tall dune. There are a few people amongst the tide pools. The tide is going out, the beach width is growing. We have decided to head south. It is less far to go to leave the others back in “civilization.” It is not long after, that we leave the houses behind us. I drop the briefs. I can see the others on the beach far enough away that I would have trouble telling if they were nude.
A crane takes off before us, its long legs about the same length as its neck, with the football shaped body centered, wings gathering air. Not far from us, I see a small island just under the water. By the time we arrive, it has become exposed. The tide is going out rapidly.
In the very far distance, I see some sort of civilization. I had seen this in the satellite images. I suspected fishing boats. I hope to arrive there before sunset to find it out. I faintly see something long and black going out to the sea, looking like a giant caterpillar.
We hear a quad motoring behind us. Startled we turn to look. It is still very far back at where the villas sit. Sound is carried on the wind. We know that we would have ample warning.
A pack of pelicans leave, a cute young sandpiper stays behind, close to us in trust.
Channels from draining ponds and tide pools uncover rock formations and corral.
The waters cut through the sand making amazing and varied contours, ripples, fans and small canyons in the sand.
We feel the texture of this beach as it continuously changes. A layer of sea shells and small rocks is replaced with stiff ripples. Smooth hard pack then changes to plush cushioning, as our feet sink deeper into the softer moister saturated surfaces. The sound of waves turning over into themselves and crashing to the sand is everywhere.
Wispy clouds gather and the sun creates a patch of rainbow in them. It will be a fine sunset.
We have come close enough. I have been observing the giant caterpillar in the far distance. We see lights on the open boats coming in from the sea. It is actually a truck with a trailer driving out to tow them ashore to a safe harbor and away from the high tide. There is a swarm of birds out there. Locals are cleaning fish and there are scraps.
We turn to see the grand super moon beginning to peek out over the top of the large sand dunes, just as the sun begins to set. We greet the huge smile as it takes its place. “There she is”, “Magnificent!”
The beach has become amazingly wide. The sun’s golden light creates incredible color and contrast with the shadows and the blue.
Our two shadows fuse together, looking as if we are a huge giraffe-like creature as our legs move in unison.
This place is just too wondrous to not be indulgent in it.
When we find ourselves parallel to the houses, but at the far reaches of the beach. We gather our bottoms back on. Tonight, we will walk under the full moon and see which homes have their lights on, which in this village are occupied. For now, anyone might have binoculars, or a telescope. There is a powerful one in our bedroom. We feel a chill; it is about time to return and finish settling in. As the sun drops into the ocean, we make the sounds of sizzling through our teeth.
Full Moon Walk along the Beach
I have brought a drum and rhythm instruments, a guitar and a didgeridoo. We are pleased to discover that the acoustics in the second floor great room are like singing in the shower as we gaze out the large picture windows. Four windows are open, the sea breeze and sound of the waves pass through them to our naked bodies, as we gaze from the couch.
After warmed over pizza, some kambucha that resembles a sweet rose, and chocolate covered berries, we are eager to walk under the full moon light. It has come to its transit. I grab a long sleeve t-shirt and a sweat jacket, nothing else is necessary.
As we stroll across the beach, this time to the north. Soft waves are calm and small enough to only be lapping peacefully, yet the immensity of the body of water still holds us in an awe of its power. Boat lights can be seen out on the horizon. We look up. Our villa is a snow-like white; aglow against the deep blue skies.
We take our time along the beach. There is no goal, only the moment. Orion languishes lazily on his side, resting on a great dune above us. Shells highlighted by the moon dot the beach like little stars. One clam shell is opened to us and has moister in its bowl. There are two tiny reflections of the moon in it. We stop to look. As we rock forward, the two tiny moons come together clinging as one. We hold each other and rock back and forth making them kiss. DF creates a soft “whoop” sound as they do this. The sound that two reflections make in the night, I suppose.
The super moon tide is returning, the report tonight states that it will be 23 feet higher that the low. All of the rippling waveletes and tiny dunes are under the water, now. I feel the sand moisten under my feet, percolating up and then around them.
One of the older houses rests on a point that is washing away. It looks abandoned. Gigantic tires have been deposited at the base to hold back erosion, futilely. One good storm and it may be crashing down. We begin to dance together. I reminisce of other dances together in the full moonlight. We gently sing, “Dancing in the Moonlight.”
Back at the villa, we are standing four stories in the sky, on the top roof balcony. There have been lights on in only two of the other buildings over the entire gated complex. It feels like it is all ours. Lights twinkle only in the far distance. We have an immense nude playground. I turn to DF, bob my head up and down and smirk, “This is really good.”
Below, there is a large band of dry sand, a band of wet sand, a thin line of white waves, a deep turquoise blue and then sky.
I had fallen asleep looking at the amazing Moorish brick dome in the deep dark red light of a table lamp next to the bed. Something, something, prompted me to awaken to see the super moon beaming across the water. From our bed, through the open window, a large yellow orb is smiling at me. An indescribable beam, heads my way. It is that special moon silver light, yet with a yellow tint. It is running across the ocean’s ripples of endless waves, which silhouette through it. I sit up and climb out of bed to see where this patch leads. There below me, as the cool air flows through the open window, in a tide pool, lays the bright calm reflection of that yellow moon.
DF stirs to share my amazement. I fall back, peacefully at sleep.
I’m nudged. “Look, the moon is setting!” The moon’s bottom disappears under the waters.
I’ll publish the rest of our tale, Part II, in a few days.