Hide & Seek – The Police Edition

We had wanted to leave the ranch in the middle of the week, as this is generally a quieter time to move around. Somehow things ended up being a rush. How we managed to run out of time when we had been there two months I have no idea, but all those little extra jobs meant that by the time we left it was actually Friday night and we were headed to Cerritos after a big camp site tidy up season.

Cerritos is a relatively nice spot to surf if your a beginner, certainly one of the easier beaches, but the car park isn’t so nice to stay in. It’s ok, but it’s not the kind of place you feel like chilling out with camper. You can’t have everything though, and we were definitely beginner surfers in need of an easy start. Kiki and Hanno had a few weeks more experience than us but they were still happy to get back into the swing of things on an easy beach. We now had two boards which we had never really used, this would be the perfect time to start learning. This is especially true if we wanted to surf at other points around the cape, they were rocky and you needed to be confident that you weren’t going to crash onto a load of rocks. 

We spent the next two days enjoying some new found freedom here. We were both pretty hopeless at surfing, but we persevered. It was nice to be able to do something active again in the heat of August and it gave us some new found motivation to catch up on some paperwork made even easier by access to the nearby hotel’s wifi.

The downside of arriving at this beach just before the weekend is that it is very popular. So much so that trying to find a space in the baby waves is sometimes a bit of a challenge. With an increase in the density of people, it is inevitable that the police turn up. Sunday afternoon we saw their car across from us in the other car park and an exodus of people leaving the beach, it was time to pack up. The beach was clearing out quickly, and before we knew it we were the only ones left in the car park. Not wanting to push it too much and have them record our details and ban us from the beach completely we decided to leave before they got close. It’s hard to know the reaction you will get, things are a little unclear on what is and isn’t allowed. Even the government website doesn’t agree with the statements from local politicians or authorities, so you’re never quite sure what you are or aren’t supposed to do. As this is really the only beach we could surf at, we played it safe.

We decided to go to the more southern beach we had previously camped at for Kiki’s birthday, it seemed unlikely that anyone would bother us down there. It was also a nicer beach to camp on, just not to surf or swim at. It was also not too far away and we could return to Cerritos a day or so later. 

This time when we arrived, we made a point not to get stuck. I can still vividly remember the smell of burning clutch and didn’t want to add any more wear and tear to Ruby that was actually necessary. We avoided the soft patch of sand and were pleasantly surprised to see that after a jam-packed Cerritos, the beach was quite empty. We parked up on a harder area by the water and enjoyed the lack of cars, it should be a peaceful night. 

After the last time when the sea had kept me awake, it hadn’t taken me long to get back into falling asleep to the sound of the sea. No such problems occurred that night. The only thing to disturb us was a large convoy of quad-bikes in the morning. They appear to have some kind of rental facility or experience at the end of the beach, and every day large quantities of quad-bikes would turn up and race down the beach towards the dunes at the other end. These had not been here last time, maybe the business has only just reopened. These were not a problem though, the beach was plenty big enough for everyone. 

As this was not a beach for swimming, we decided to take our fishing rods down to the rocks at the end and try our hand at fishing. The last and single attempt had been pretty terrible. We stood on the shores of the beach at La Pastora, adamant that if we were locked down on some remote beach we would catch fish. We couldn’t get very near the sea, as it shelved steeply into big crashing breakers.  However, we gave it out best shot, people fish from the beach all the time right? Yes, they probably do, but with far superior rods to ours. This meant we enthusiastically hurled our line out towards the sea where it just about made it to the foam of the waters edge, and then watched as we reeled our sad little jellied fish back up the sand. It seemed unlikely we would catch much and we deemed that this wasn’t our fault but a lack of a suitable position. Fishing off the rocks would be much better. 

Taking a few bits with us, we headed towards the rocks. Hanno had his rod too, like us he has never successfully caught a fish either. We spent some time remembering first how to put the rod together, and then how to actually use it. The sea here was also not calm, but it was at least possible to cast a line out into deeper water. On the first attempt, Hanno cast his line straight onto a rock where it got stuck, and the got promptly drenched by a wave. 

The boys then decided that it would be better to try a different place. Hanno tried again, and got it stuck on a different rock this time for good. He lost his float and we thought we could spy it on the rock in the sea. He spent a good ten minutes trying to time running into the sea right to grab it but never quite made it before the sea swept it away for good. 

They then both headed over to try a new place again. Lee returned a little while later carry our rod and a large ball of tangled fishing line. It took me at least half an hour to untangle it and rewind it onto the reel before he could go for another attempt. When it happened again a little while later, we decided to just cut the line. Once it has been knotted and kinked it doesn’t wind back on the reel properly anyway. Now with a shorter line, he couldn’t cast so far. Kiki and I watched from our chairs on the beach, unsurprised by the complete failure. 

Soon they’d had enough and we headed back to the campers. It was decided that the real reason for the lacking of fishing success, was the time of day. Fishermen always go early don’t they. So in order to be more successful tomorrow, the boys decided they would head out for an early morning fish. We declined to join, I was making cinammon rolls anyway, trying Sabrina’s recipe for the first time. A couple of hours later I watched as their hazy shapes grew closer down the beach before they arrived, fish-less. The real reason for not catching any fish was that the line was now too short, we needed to get some more. Further fishing attempts were temporarily postponed. 

As there was little else to do here and we imagined that Cerritos was now much quieter in the week, we decided to return. We were both just getting a feel for surfing, and keen to have another go at it. We were therefore pretty happy when we arrived to a much quieter scene at the beach and got to spend the next day or so practicing and, very slowly, improving. 

It wasn’t to be for that long however before the inevitable police arrival at the most inconvenient time. Lee was in Cabo, picking up his phone which was being repaired after an unfortunate collision with the cat food bowl. I remained back at camp with Aimee and the others. This was all fine until the police showed up again in the car park opposite. We had to pack away everything, but we had left the bigs things out the van while Lee took it. This mean we had to cram all our chairs, water and surfboards into Bruno, Kiki was not impressed.

This time, we decided to give it an hour or so and then come back. Kiki and Hanno needed some supplies from Pescadero, so we set off to do that. We stopped off at the surf shop on the way. We had walked up earlier to purchase some new fins. We had managed to break two on our new surfboard somehow,  and Hanno’s board was missing one from the start. We stopped off to drop some money in for Hanno’s fins and then continued out to Pescadero. Before too long we got a message from Lee saying he was back at the beach and the police were gone. Good news for us, and we returned without a problem for a couple of days. We wondered in fact if we even needed to move, as the police hadn’t actually been into that car park. There was another camper parked on the outskirts that appeared to have remained here throughout. 

Sunday rolled around again and this time the police arrived in force. We hadn’t yet seen them in the car park where we stayed, but this time they arrived piled into the back of police truck with a loudspeaker announcement playing. Soon the beach cleared and the car park. I suppose we should have known better and been a little more packed away, but we weren’t so we hastily threw everything into the van not wanting to be the last one left in the car park.  It seemed that it might be harder for us to return for a bit and there was another issue, in two days hurricane Genevieve was due to hit the coast. Not wanting to be so exposed, we did the logical thing and headed for the shelter of the ranch again. 

It was good to have this as an option and it would also be good for Aimee to go somewhere familiar. She had managed to draw the attention of another unfriendly dog the night before right next to the camper, causing Lee to vault over another fence to rescue her again. She seemed physically unharmed, but a bit mentally scarred, refusing to come out of the van the next day. Chico watched the incident from the top of a fence pole, a much more streetwise cat. We hoped she’d calm back down again on the ranch where she knew the place and wouldn’t be bothered.

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