North from Nopoló

The big storms this autumn rearranged the landscape around Loreto. Though it is again possible to drive from the Mission to the Zaragosa neighborhood, the level space in the arroyo San Telmo where the market was held is simply gone — the tianguis has moved to a spot on the highway to the north.

South from Nopoló, the rocky skyline wasn’t in much danger.  Water would flow around the big headlands, not over them.  But to the north, between our beach and Loreto, the level and mostly walkable land is a different story.  This morning I paddled up to La Salinita to see what the shoreline looks like now.  The answer is, every beach that had a lowland behind it was an inlet, some quite impressive in size.

El Tular, the first big arroyo north of old ruined pier, provides a good example.  We have written of this watercourse before, first on January 18, 2010, in “Earlier Posts”, and again on a page with its own name, “El Tular”. Those notes show a low spot in the beach, suitable for wading.  A lower tide may mean more dry land, but today’s picture is of a creek instead of a beach:

TwoLar There are in fact two distinct mouths, and  stretching seaward from the familiar snag is a bar that runs at least a hundred yards out to sea, possibly offering a surprise to boaters used to running up and down this coast.

Further north a ruined signpost has long marked an intersection where three roads came together at the beach.  The low shore just north of there is now a lagoon and the intersection itself is about all that is left of the roads.  And again, between the southern two of the three sets of palapas at La Salinita, a low but usually passable spot has become an inlet.

No more bicycling into town along this route.  But the news is not all bad.  The local wildlife has recognized this change as an opportunity.  Besides the usual birds I saw what may have been a Belted Kingfisher, and an osprey followed me around for a while.  On my excursion into El Tular I met an eel about a yard long but  without memorable markings .  At first glance a lot of beach has been destroyed, but actually there’s probably more coastline than there was before — it just has a more convoluted shape.


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