Sparkling winter day on the coast with stop at Bean Hollow

bean hollow - 1

The Adventurers had two tasks to complete today: Go coast side to visit Pebble Beach and nearby Bean Hollow State Park – and be home by 1:00 so that they’d again have heat. (Yes, it’s been out since they returned from Mexico.)

D loves the long, scenic route, so they headed up to Skyline on 84 and continued over the hill, taking the left turn to Pescadero Rd. Lots of twists and sharp turns but the scenery is magnificent – both redwoods and more open oak woodland.

They’d planned to get soup and pie at Duarte’s in Pescadero, but it’s closed on Tuesdays. (L thought it never closed!). Back on the road D took another scenic route that came out just south of Bean Hollow State Park. They drove another couple miles north until they got the the Pebble Beach section of Bean Hollow.

It was from there they did there out and back hike on a bluff top trail with great views of the pounding surf below. A good stiff breeze made the for crystal clear skies.

Oh, did we mention how much The Mag loved it…

Hike/easy/2.10 miles

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Can’t say goodbye without shout out to Armando and the bar during sunset

bar shot after sunset - 1

d and armando - 1Going through the photos, L realized that she’d failed to post their daily ritual of drinks and chips/guac on the veranda overseen by “their guy” Armando. He was off last night so we couldn’t say good bye. Let this by our farewell…

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Final morning means one last hike uphill

looking at at monkey mountain - 1

view from breakfast - 1The Adventurers head home today, so for a good leg stretcher they headed up the hill to Haramara and Bird Canyon. Given that it’s the third time they’ve scaled the hill, it seemed a whole lot easier than their first climb six days ago.

Monkey Mountain could be seen in the distance – it was less hazy than it’s been.

Then it was back for one last breakfast by the pool. It’s been a good trip.

New adventures await…

Hike/moderate/1.5 miles

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Walking up the hill to check out Haramara Retreat

l's favorite rocks - 1

The Adventurers awoke to cloudy skies and some sprinkles, and with nothing on the schedule did not hurry to breakfast. Aha, what they were supposed to be doing all week, relaxing.

top of hara mara near pool - 1Wanting something simple and not time consuming, they decided to walk up the hill to the Haramara Retreat, where one of L’s Pilates buddies has gone annually for years. It also happened to be next-door to Playa Escondida’s somewhat remote Bird Canyon casitas where new friends Cyndi and Bob were happily staying.

They were warmly welcomed by the owner Sajeela and shown into the very pretty dining room constructed out of hardwood. The views look out to the ocean and the sounds of birds are more abundant than at the lower portions of Playa Escondida (which is all ocean noise).

The three-course lunch (although the passed on dessert) was excellent albeit very expensive for the area. After lunch they were taken on a tour of the 12-acre property by [blanking on name]. About half way down they parted and the Adventurers continued down to the beach where they lounged about for awhile.

Playa Escondida was just over a group of massive boulders, that they both remembered from walking into town along the sea two years ago. (L was not a boulder fan.) It wasn’t too bad scrambling over just one set.

Alas, the last night at this very pretty part of the world…

Hike/moderate/1.75 miles

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Taking to the Pacific on kayaks

L and D kayaking at Los Ayala - 1.jpgNeither L nor D remember kayaking being mentioned as an option when they were last at Playa Escondida two years ago. Granted, there are two kayaks down on the beach but given the conditions of the surf, they’ve never seen anyone take them out. Not have they wanted to venture out on those big breaking waves.

L found out the Mexitreks offered a kayaking trip about 45 minutes north of Sayulita, launching at the small town of Los Ayala. So they signed up. They got a message from their guide last night saying the waves were such that it might not be possible. But it had calmed down by this morning.

They were joined on their adventure by a couple from Oregon, Cindy and Bob, who were also staying at Playa Escondida for the second time. They proved good paddling companions.

Nate was their able guide, steering them through the unpredictable currents and shifting wave patterns. They paused at a seclude beach, where the obligatory photo was taken.

It was a good way to spend most of the day and see more of this part of Mexico…

Paddle/3 miles/easy to moderate; walk around Sayulia/1 mile/easy

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D gets introduced to jungle golf in San Pancho

sunset on jan 15_lead - 1

D has been talking about playing golf in Mexico for the last couple of months. He’d scouted a course near Litibu Beach where they’d walked two years ago – and where L had her first taste of octopus.

d teeing off on jungle hole - 1After numerous tries at getting a tee time, he opted instead for a nine-hole course in San Pancho called Los Huertas Golf Club. Opened in 2006 (we think), it was described repeatedly at “short but challenging,” and D agreed. The photo right says it all: teeing off through a short jungle alleyway. Of course, anytime the ball needs to go absolutely straight, it doesn’t.

L enjoyed driving the cart, but even that was a bit challenging as there were a lot of steep ups and down. They were both glad they carted it.

After play, they walked the not quite two miles into San Pancho proper where they had lunch at Barracuda, which they’d so enjoyed two years ago. Not quite as good as they remembered but good enough. And great people watching, like when a man with a machete came racing down the street.

They came back to Playa Escondida were a rest before going down to the terrace to enjoy the sunset. It was very pretty…

Walk/2 miles/easy

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Giving San Pancho a more thorough exploration

umbrellas on beach at san pancho - 1

San Pancho ( real name San Francisco) is a Nayarit town for people who feel Sayulita has gotten way too big (and it has, hence the Adventurers decision to stay outside of town at Playa Escondida). They went there for dinner on their last trip here, and decided to go into town for lunch today, hoping to eat at Barracuda like they had the last time.

ceviche with octopus - 1Alas, it was either not open for lunch or closed on Mondays (they haven’t checked). But with a good hour to kill before it was time to eat, they headed down the beach to a point where the rocks wouldn’t let them go any further. Along the way the passed some large villas with huge gardens. Quite impressive.

L likes the composition of the photo of the umbrellas with the people’s clothing matching the umbrellas. Going back into town they spotted a hot dog concession not unlike Dad’s in Half Moon Bay.

L brought a Frida t-shirt at a clothing store and the proprietor steered them to her relatives new restaurant called Limbo. There L got her octopus fix, a ceviche that also featured shrimp and scallops. It was excellent…

hot dogs from vw bus - 1

Walk/took some work given the sand and cobblestones/3 miles

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