Vizcaino Peninsula: Malarrimo & Bahia Tortugas

Malarrimo Beach

Next on my agenda was an expedition to the "trash beach" of Malarrimo, which I had last visited in 2002. I had high hopes of finding curious items washed up from the 2011 tsunami in Japan. My favorite part of the journey turned out to be camping at the dramatic edge of the Varadero river canyon where it joins the Ceribe canyon. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 27.6291, -114.4974 

Road to Malarrimo - Arroyo Varadero & Arroyo Ceribe - Canyon View - Sunset - SportsmobileRoad to Malarrimo - Arroyo Varadero - Canyon View - SportsmobileRoad to Malarrimo - Arroyo Varadero - Canyon View - Sportsmobile (aerial photo)Road to Malarrimo - Arroyo Varadero & Arroyo Ceribe - Canyon View - Sportsmobile (aerial photo)

The next morning, I followed the Ceribe (dry) river down to Malarrimo Beach. Much of the "road" is simply the river bed itself, part sand and part rocks. Slow going!

The "trash beach" turned out to not be very exciting. There was significantly less trash around this time, compared with my previous visit. And none of this plastic detritus was very interesting.

Malarrimo - Trash - BeachMalarrimo - Diesel Container - BeachMalarrimo - Trash - Beach - Driftwood Shack - Refrigerator

Nonetheless, it was exciting to be at such a remote beach — which, apart from the trash, was beautiful!

Malarrimo - Beach - Sportsmobile (aerial photo)Malarrimo - Beach (aerial photo)Malarrimo - Beach (aerial photo)Malarrimo - Beach (aerial photo)

Heading back south, I considered taking the "pipeline road" northwest and follow the north coast of the Vizcaino Peninsula, but I got spooked by the thought of getting my van stuck so far from any help. The "road" itself looked rarely used, with only a couple of motorcycle tracks visible. At a pipeline valve, I encountered a series of moisture-collecting bees, busily coming and going. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 27.7188, -114.4286 

Road to Malarrimo - Pipeline Road - SportsmobileRoad to Malarrimo - Pipeline Road - SportsmobileRoad to Malarrimo - Pipeline RoadRoad to Malarrimo - Pipeline Road - Water Pipe with Bees

El Chevo

I took the long way down the Vizcaino Peninsula, driving south to the paved road, then west to Bahía Tortugas, and finally north again to shore — and I camped at the beach a couple miles east of the fishing town of El Chevo. (The main road is still unpaved for a few miles through Sierra los Indios.) The residents of El Chevo seem to be very concerned about poachers — there were many signs warning about illicit fishing, and I was paid a visit after dark by a couple of friendly security guards ("vigilancia") patrolling in a pickup truck. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 27.8089, -114.8281 

Camping Near El Chevo - Beach - Sign about Illegal Fishing: "El sector pesq. tiene la finalidad de la prevención y ejecutar operaciones ilícitas pesqueras. -Vig."Camping Near El Chevo - Sunset - Beach - SportsmobileCamping Near El Chevo - Sunset - BeachCamping Near El Chevo - Sunset - BeachCamping Near El Chevo - Beach - Looking West (aerial photo)Camping Near El Chevo - Beach - Looking East (aerial photo)Camping Near El Chevo - Beach - Sportsmobile (aerial photo)

There is a distinctive red and white striped lighthouse at Punta Loco. Climbing up inside, I encountered a huge nest on top — complete with three eggs! I quickly retreated, allowing the osprey parents to return. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 27.8078, -114.8385 

El Chevo - Punta Loco - LighthouseEl Chevo Village - Punta Loco - Lighthouse - BeachEl Chevo Village - Lighthouse - DoorEl Chevo Village - Punta Loco - Lighthouse - StairsEl Chevo Village - Punta Loco - Lighthouse - Osprey NestEl Chevo Village - Punta Loco - Lighthouse - Osprey Nest - Osprey EggsOsprey

Bahía Tortugas

I explored the Bahía Tortugas area, starting with the town on the west side of the bay See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 27.6916, -114.8918 , and working my way around clockwise to Punta Clambey. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 27.6263, -114.8453 

Bahía Tortugas - Town - BeachBahía Tortugas - Town - BeachBahía Tortugas - Beach - Looking East (aerial photo)Bahía Tortugas - Beach - Sportsmobile (aerial photo)Bahía Tortugas - El Rincon - Fishing Camp - Beach - Sportsmobile - Looking West (aerial photo)Bahía Tortugas - Bahía Clambey - Beach - Looking East (aerial photo)El Rincon - Fishing Camp - Islotes los Morros - Cabo Tortolo - Beach - Looking Northwest towards Bahía Tortugas (aerial photo)Bahía Clambey - BeachBahía Clambey - Shell - BeachBahía Clambey - Lobster Shell - BeachBahía Clambey - Beach - Sign: No Fishing for Clams, Abalone, Lobster, and Sea Snail

Osprey Nests and Power Lines

In addition to lighthouses, ospreys really seem to love power lines as nesting sites. Leaving Bahía Tortugas, I found these power line workers busy trying to remove an osprey nest. Luckily other power lines seemed to include nesting platforms, or secondary poles away from the live wires built specifically for nests.

Bahía Tortugas - Power Line - Osprey Nest - RoadBahía Tortugas - Power Line - Osprey NestOsprey Nest - Power Line - Nesting PlatformOsprey Nest - Power Lines - Put Nest Here, Not There