Hiking the north tip of Isla Angel de la Guarda, April 18th 2003.


This was a planned layover day so we slept in late, had eggs and bacon for breakfast and got ready for a hike. I looked at the topographic map and chose an arroyo that might get me well into the interior of the island. We hiked across a low area from our beach almost to another beach we had paddled passed the afternoon before. But we turned left into a wide valley of cardon cacti. Following the washes we eventually found our way into a narrow arroyo like the ones I have hiked into on the main Baja peninsula. This one lead us steeply but easily into the mountains until we had to stop and turn back. We climbed up to the top of a dyke to catch a breeze and look down the arroyo while we ate lunch. On the trip back we used what we had learned from our elevated views to find a shortcut that had us back to camp in less than the two hours out. In the arroyos and washes we saw the remains of chuckwallas, a local iguana, that had been eaten by raptors. Some of the bodies still hanging in trees. Back out on the plane we finally saw a live one, smaller than the dead ones we had seen.

Back at camp and after a rest we went paddling to explore a natural cove on Isla Mejia. We found a yacht there, the “Solstice” and got a weather forecast from them. The Solstice says that it is registered in Colorado, and when we asked about this we did verify that Colorado does not have any shoreline to dock a yacht on. Patrick fished all the way out and back again with little luck. The wind started to come up and make the water choppy, not the best weather for fishing. But as we approached our camp again I heard Patrick yell out. In the glare of the afternoon sun I could just barely make out Patrick with his fishing pole bent double. I was 100 meters away but figured he was going to need help so I turned to join him. The sun was low on the horizon and I had to squint to see Patrick’s boat but I could no longer see him in it! When I got close enough I found that he was in fact out of the boat. The fish had been a large one and it had pulled the line down to the rocks on the bottom. The line must have broken on a sharp edge and Patrick had gone over backwards from the release of tension. Upside down he didn’t want to loose his pole, so he exited the boat. Patrick got back in the boat without assistance and we paddled the short distance back to camp.


All text and images Copyright © 2003 by Mike Higgins / contact