Friday, May 21, 2010
Bahia Magdalena/Magdalena Bay, located on the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, is for sure where
the visitor will find Puerto San Carlos. However, Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos is nowheres to be seen.
At least, not from Mag Bay.
One would have the fun and challenges via motor or sailboat of avoiding all the rolling sandbars
that just refuse to remain in one place in the estuary that separates Isla Magdalena from the Baja
peninsula. Cruisers would be especially amused to find their craft to be riding in on a incoming tide
flowing into Magdalena Bay carrying the craft up this estuary to a point that is known on the
maritime charts as 'Devil's Bend" or "Curva Diablo", where, to their surprise with the change in tidal
flow, an outgoing tide at that point is flowing in two different directions...one south towards
Magdalena Bay as expected with an outgoing tide. However, to the rider's amazement, going
north the waters are flowing not unlike a river gradually building in speed, which can be as much
as a worrisome six to almost seven knots of outflow, eventually to flow out into the Pacific Ocean
at the northern tip of Isla Magdalena through what is called 'Boca Soledad".
En-route to this point the waters flow past a small fishing community which has two separate piers.
At the first a large number of long boats, all white in colour, with powerful motors. One may see other
of these vessels, known as 'pangas' out on the waters moving rapidly about. During the season of
the California Grey Whale migrations, January through April, Experienced and highly knowledgeable
boat operators, called 'launcheros' provide excellent guide services for close-up viewing of grey
whales and on occasion their newborn calves. Calving is one of the predominant reasons for the Grey
Whales migrations from the Arctic waters to the Baja regions annually.
The second, much larger, pier is berthing for the MarEden fishing seiners. When these company
operated vessel complete their fishing expeditions, they return pier side where they are offloaded
mechanically and the catch is processed for market and other endeavours.
This fishing community is known as Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, roughly sixty kilometers north of
Puerto San Carlos by waterways.
Highway One is the Transpeninsular route from the U.S. border to the southernmost tip of Baja.
Travelling south the visitor would cross from the Sea of Cortez to a junction. The turn south would
continue on Highway One to La Paz, Cabo San Lucas and other destinations. Turning north at that
junction, the traveller would proceed through Insurgentes on a four-lane road. Approximately one
kilometer north of Insurgentes, following the signs, the traveller would turn left and follow the two-lane
road 34 kilometers west to Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos.
The are various restaurants with excellent seafood menus, very well prepared. Although they may
not be Holiday Inns there are basic accommodations available in the town., clean and comfortable.
Various tiendas would provide for your basic needs. There are very limited basic medical facilities, and a gasoline station .
Diesel is available in Insurgentes as is an ATM. Banking and in-depth shopping can be done in
Ciudad Constitucion, a community of 40,000 that is about an hour's drive from Lopez Mateos.
Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos also has a 4900 foot privately owned dirt runway that is owned, maintained
and operated by MarEden, which also operates a processing plant adjacent to the airstrip. The airstrip
is open to all visitors on a daily basis; visitors are required to register with MarEden security on arrival.
This airstrip has also been made available to the Phoenix "Los Amigos" Chapter of the Flying Samaritans,
who operate a non-profit free clinic at Lopez Mateos 10 months of the year on the second
Saturday of each month. That clinic facility,itself, has been built and maintained by the Flying Samaritans
on land donated by MarEden
Monday, May 10, 2010
May brings about new flowers and this May brought many new Sams to Lopez Mateos. It is always fun to meet new faces and blend them with the familiar ones. We saw some of the Sams who haven't been to Lopez Mateos in several years and it's always fun to reacquaint. None of this slowed down clinic progress though. With General Medicine attending 36 and OBgyn 17 leaving paediatric 10 for the medical side of the house. Ophthalmology chimed in with 23 patients helped and Chiropractic adjusted 98 folks so they could walk a little straighter. Our dentists cared for 20 folk and another 10 left with cleaner smiles. Prosthetics Was kept busy all day and realised 9 consultations for those in need. I guess that totals up with 223 folks seen at clinic not including our pharmacy since I have no way of knowing how many prescriptions were filled. That's our story and we're sticking to it.