Baja field trip
After spending a few days relaxing and enjoying the company, we feel the itch to move again. Plus, we don’t want to over-indulge into Jim and Carens’ hospitality; or the trip might end right here…
Percebu is known as a great shell hunting place. Jim & Caren come down to visit and the four of us walk the beach as Jim educates us about shells, herons and tides. Very interesting stuff.
Our evening is eventful, one event occured, as the militairy show up and seem to be highly interested in talking to some dudes who had just packed up their gear on the beach mere minutes ago and looked like they were in a rush to get to the beach bar. We didn’t think much of it as it’s routine down here to be in a rush to get to the local bar…
Think the military would have wanted to talk to me too if they’d seen me taking pics of them? I think so.
After just a few minutes they leave and everything is back to abnormal. It’s Baja!
More photos to come in a later post as we will be back to enjoy a day here with the kids.
We had stopped both in Puertocitos and here at Campo La costilla on our ATV ride in ’07.
Kids in their early twenties with machine guns greet us. None of them is fluent in english but most speak some. A young soldier wants to see inside the camper. He comments about us being on vaccaciones as he stumbles upon the sweaty beer cans we just got from the local store.
“Es muy bueno!”
And we’re off. There’s a bit of nervousness going on when we come to these check points as we were told some military tend to collect stuff left sitting around in vehicles when inspecting them. So far, after two inspectionnes, we have nothing special to report. Guys are normally smiling, polite and just do their job as they should.
We explore Gonzaga a bit and find ourselves at Alphonsinas, a sea food restaurant on the bay, famous with the off-road/dirt bike crowd. There, we learn where to go to rent a palapa for the night. We have to go back on the road that’s under destruction (not construction) to the store about one kilometer from the ocean and pay them there. This makes good sense in Mexico.
Back to the store where we had first stopped to get stuff, we pay our due fee, $130 Mx or about $10 US for one night with unlimited access to the toilets.
As I walk out of the store, I see a small gathering around No4. Gringos from California and some of their Mexican friends are curious and ask France questions about what this is and where we’re going. When he finds out about our Argentina destination, one of them wants to come along and asks if he could be our driver. I look at him carefully, studying him from head to toes, trying to make up my mind as fast as I can as he seems quite impatient to go.
M: “Sorry man, maybe next trip when we come back in a Unimog!”
We chit chat a bit with our new found friends Christina & Fernando and after telling us they are just back from a one day fishing trip with a local fisherman, they generously offer us a full bag of fish, fresh of the day. Fernando even throws in his recipe for ceviche. So cool of you guys. Mucho gracias!
Some of them have a door, some a seat or a roof, but finding one that has all of the above is a rarity. That’s possibly why a Gazillion flies swarm around to enjoy them.
My personal favorite. Papel not included.
Basically, what you do is squeeze juice out of fresh limes. Add fresh diced fish, herbs and seasoning to taste and let fish sit in lime juice for about 3 hours or until cooked. The cooking process actually takes place in the fridge! From lack of experience (or talent), we added the tomatoes and onions to the lime juice while we probably should have added them to the cooked fish.
We take off early just as planned, around 10am, and hit the Rancho grande store again this time for a well deserved shower. We then spoil ourselves with a lunch of home made ceviche served on fried tortillas de maiz. Menoun, menoum! It’s delicious! Cooked just right, it’s refreshing and cool. Thanks Fernando!
The good news is: We have enough fish for more!
Next stop: Coco’s corner.
The paved road ends about two kilometers from here and I understand the old road is muy malo so, not wanting to risk running out of fuel in the desert, I ask the store clerck if they would sell my some diesel.
Speaking of fuel, this store is really ”à la page”! They have rarities out here. I had heard about propane fueled television before but I this is my first in person sighting of one! Perfect for your Mexican fish camp!
We end up camping just feets from the upcoming Baja 1000 race course. Too bad the race isn’t on!
If you like surprises, you’ll love Mexico.
We’ve been in Mexico about ten days now and, at first we were shocked, then we were frustrated, then we were pissed and then we kind of got used to it and now we find it funny and amusing. Frankly, sometimes we’re still pissed but we always find a way around obstacles to get what we need.
What am I talking about? Here’s just a few examples
The camprground has showers but they have no water.
The camprground has showers but they only have cold water.
The camprground has showers with hot and cold water but the hot water is on the right hand side.
The camprground has showers with hot and cold water but they have no curtain, or roof.
The sign says they have internet, but it doesn’t work today. Maybe magnana.
The sign says they have fresh made bread, but the lady who use to make it died… 5 years ago.
The sign says open but the door is locked shut.
The sign says closed but the place is open…
The store has refrigerators but no power. Fridges are used as regular shelves. Beer is kept cold in ice boxes.
You HAVE to go and the place where you are has three toilet stalls. One has no paper, the next one has no door, the third one has no seat, take your pick.
The bathroom has a soap distributor (empty), a paper towel dispenser with actual paper in it (broken) but no water.
The room has a light but no switch to turn it on.
The room has a light but it’s burnt.
The room has no light. And no windows.
The open gas station has pumps but they have no nozzles.
The new gas station has pumps and nozzles but it’s been waiting for it’s first fuel delivery… For 2 years.
The gas station has pumps, nozzles and fuel but doesn’t take credit cards and the attendant has no change.
The gas station has pumps, nozzles and fuel but is closed today. Maybe magnana.
There is a post on the street corner but the stop sign is gone.
There’s a post and a stop sign on the street corner but it’s hidden behind trees, or a another sign, or a building, or whatever.
The bathroom has two urinals and one toilet which broken.
The shower has hot water, when it’s sunny. Plan on an afternoon shower.
The menu says they have (fish, shrimp, steak or your choice of dish here) but guess what? That’s right, magnana.
The list goes on and on and on…
All of this we saw for ourselves between this trip and the Quadtrek trip.
But you know what? We love it down here. This not Canada. This is not the USA. This is Mexico and;
Everything’s different in Mexico.
That’s Baja and we love Baja!
To be continued…