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Maciulla: Desemboque to Puerto Lobos

(1) Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 11:25 AM
Subject: Route and Cautionary Notes

Thank you for contacting the Cortez Chronicles. We're always glad to hear from fellow solitude enthusiasts.

Yes, there is a sign (blue, I believe) on the highway a few miles out of Desemboque that will take you around the farming area and south around the first estuary, Rio Asunción. The mileage chart (1) in our article "Desemboque and Beyond, 3/17/2004" covers that portion of the journey in reverse; however, it takes a shortcut and reaches the highway a few miles south of the blue sign. This road is reasonably obvious on the highway as the main alternative to the road at the blue sign. Either way you'll wind up at the same place, Campo Ostricola at Rio de la Concepción. Much of the trip follows the "take the best road" rule. The estuary (Concepción) is protected for its mollusks and should not be molested. At the Campo Ostricola road intersection Barra Los Tanques is mentioned again on the bottom of the sign (2). Take that fork and follow it around Rio de la Concepción. Reference mileage charts and description (3-5) in "Barra los Tanques, 4/27/2004." Once again, you have to read some of our mileage charts and description in reverse since we do our better logging on the way out. The road around Rio de la Concepción is best taken at lower tides due to wetness (we haven't observed the road at high tide, but there is a potential that it may be impassable at high tide).

You can piece together a pretty accurate set of directions by combining several of the mileage charts in these two articles and reviewing some of the text that accompanies them. For example, mileage 18.2 - footnote 6 of the last chart (5) in the 2nd article is the fork where the shortcut and the road from the blue sign on the highway meet. Mileage 18 of the 2nd chart of that article (6) identifies the blue sign on the highway; use the partial miles in combination with the last few entries of reference (1) to compute the distance from Desemboque to the blue sign. Mileage 4 of the 3rd chart (3) of that article (rather than mileage 6) is the correct turning point to cross Rio de la Concepción. Overall mileage of 6.5 (5) around Rio de la Concepción (from the point back to the intersection at Ostricola) is more accurate than the accumulated mileage of 9 (3-4) because of the backtracking that was necessary in finding our way. Please note that IT IS DIFFICULT TO AVOID GETTING STUCK when attempting to re-enter the road around Rio de la Concepción from the beach at the south end. It is much easier to drive on to Puerto Lobos, and if you get stuck here it may take you longer than driving back through Lobos, not to mention the physical labor involved in regaining flotation.

Following are links to above references in the text:







For a spectacular aerial view of the coastline, go to, click [Satellite] in the upper right-hand corner of the picture, drag the Desemboque area to the center of the map and begin alternately magnifying the view and dragging the picture until you've found the precise area. With good eyesight you can actually see the roads we're talking about, that take you from the Desemboque highway around the two estuaries.

Finally, Puerto Lobos is around twelve miles south of Rio de la Concepción. There is no road, and so it is necessary to drive the beach. It's an easy trek except for a couple of rock-strewn areas that require carefully picking your way through at low tide. Reference Old Woman of the Sea: 10/03/1998 for a romantic description of that coastline.

Likewise, it is possible to drive the beach northward from Desemboque to the Salinas peninsula. This must also be done at less than high tide due to some low cliffs that prevent leaving the beach when it is under water.

The trek from Puerto Peñasco to El Golfo has long been one of our favorites. We like the long road through the dunes and camping at the southernmost tip, north of Bahia de Adair near the lighthouse (Caldron beach).  Reference Orphans of Pothole Beach: 07/04/1996.

Let us know how it goes. Good luck!

L. Fox

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(2) From:
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 11:46 AM
Subject: Thanks

First thank you for getting back to me! Your e-mail was full of very helpful info. I at least now know that the way from Desemboque to Puerto Lobos can be done, it's still up in the air if our group can do it but we'll give it a shot.

Again thanks,
Pat Maciulla

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Larry K. Fox


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