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Our Home at Loreto Bay

In early November 2009 we moved from Seattle to our "new" home at Loreto Bay. It had been almost five years since we first came down to look at the new development that promised a chance to live fully, while treading lightly, in this exciting part of the world. During that time this page has chronicled decisions and revelations about our house and the community. It began as a stop for our friends and relatives, but we found that we were getting questions from lots of people who were thinking about buying. If you have questions or comments, there are mail links above and below. (On this page the newest info is presented at the top, but first-time visitors will find basic information about the project and the area later on. Pictures may be bigger than they look. Right-click and your browser may let you open them full-size.)

A new look for our zaguan. The last year has seen some big changes in our neighborhood. Homex, the Mexican company that succeeded our developer as the owner of the hotel, the golf course, and many of the building lots within our area, has made a number of long-awaited improvements to the local infrasctructure. One important example is the main street right in front of our house, which had gone from being a boulevard to a being faux stream-bed and then a materials-staging area and is now again a nicely paved street. And, as a result of another initiative, there are now finally a few useful shops along that street, and "walkability" has begun to mean something. A produce store that's as good as any in Loreto itself has joined the little supermercado, and there are places to get drinks, snacks, meals, housewares and services. The newer stages of the project are still feeling the effects of earlier economic disaster, but even in those areas sidewalks and even landscaping are starting to appear. Also, Homex has paid the delinquent assessments that came with the lots that they purchased, ending months of contention. For those who are able to be here, life is a lot easier than it was a year ago.

Our own house is old enough to have seen most of its problems sorted out, though we did choose to have our first big plaster-and-paint job done last summer while we were out of town. We took the opportunity to do some remodeling, and you can see a picture of the new archway in our main entry at right. It makes a space for the little table that we purchased early on but never exactly had room for. By the way, for those who are interested, the story of how we spent our summer, while this work was being done, can be found on our Newsletter Page

Our roadrunner. When work began on Loreto Bay a lot of wildlife was displaced, although some of it very carefully. Apparently big trees and cacti were relocated with their solar orientation exactly preserved. Birds and animals were able to arrange their own transport during the construction phase, and many have voluntarily returned now that things have settled down a bit. In the early days there wasn't much to look at besides bare stucco, but the landscaping in our end of the village has had some time to mature. Our house is not so much a "machine for living" now as a support for bougainvilea. Wildlife is plentiful and has had time to get used to us as well. When you see a roadrunner out on the highway it's likely to be pretty shy, but the one shown at left sometimes follows Alex home from the market, and will come in your garden if you leave your gate open.

Nearby lamp-lizard Geckos are among the most iconic creatures for us subtropical expats, but for a long time in our neighborhood they seemed present only as sculpture. During the last year though they have made a comeback, as one can see by touring the neighborhood just after sunset and looking near each house's outside lantern -- there may be as many as three of the blunt-nosed lizards waiting there for insects. On one stroll during the beginning of November, we counted sixty-four on our big block west of the Paseo. Until then we had seen them only north or south of our house, but we glimpsed one on our own wall a few nights later. Right after that our lightbulb burned out, and though we replaced it as soon as we found out, we haven't seen "our" lizard since.


House finches are among the friendliest of wild neighbors. While they're looking for nesting sites they will fly through your house or spend long minutes watching you from your ceiling fan. I suspect that they're gauging your potential as a predator. They will nest close also -- the nest you see here was built in the bougainvillea right next to the table in the picture above -- but after laying their eggs the parents become secretive. I only saw them a couple of times while they had nestlings, though I spent quite a lot of time watching for them. Then, for three days in a row, we looked on as a newly-minted linnet got its first flying lesson.

Some wildlife we welcome the lack of. Based on experience during our first few trips here, Alex and I expected to be sleeping under mosquito netting much of the time, but in fact the local pest control system is very effective. I sometimes wonder about the cost to the local environment of all this comfort, but on the other hand it sure is nice to be able to wander around looking up at the stars on any chosen evening, without swatting.

Some web logs by residents:

  • Living Loreto, Drew McNabb publishes the most complete and consistent account of events in Loreto Bay and the area.
  • Casa del Milagro, a blog by year-round residents Paula Pennell and George Russell
  • A blog by Darlene Tait, a long-time resident
  • Sea Creatures, our own blog about kayaking hereabouts. I hope eventually to link to lots of useful information like tides and weather, campsites, etc.
  • Where in the World is Nellie? A blog by a former Loreto Bay employee, current resident and Loreto entrepreneur. Nellie is no longer updating this site, but there's a lot of news up till 2009. Also there's a lot more information available from Nellie through her Dorado Realty, Loreto Bay Homes and BajaBOSS offices.
  • Watch and Learn: Lost in Loreto An earlier but long-running chronicle of the adventures, in Loreto and elsewhere, of Kelli and Robert McDill.
  • The Nopolo News, with some other features like classified ads and restaurant reviews.
  • Our car has its own home page -- The Snowball Diaries.

Other information:

Some of our own panoramic pictures:

Previously published information about our house in particular:

More about Baja:

It was talk about sustainability that first caught our attention , but even for us the appeal to the senses is undeniable. The following sites have general information about the area:

We also traded paving for landscaping at some point.

We are still happy with our choice to live on the main street -- it gives us a lot to look at. We may have traded some tranquility for the vistas that other houses lack, but at this point we're glad that we happened to notice this unique lot. The offset from the house next door makes this one of the few of its kind to have a window in the dining room (though it gives up a number of windows on the back side of the house). And, most of all of course, there's the disappearing exterior wall that turned a cramped little hallway into a colonnade. Here's a picture from the Paseo Misión de Loreto.