In Spanish, “abreojos” means “open your eyes” – and they are. It’s my new favorite Spanish colloquialism. Open your eyes, take it all in, add up the details to see the big picture with an open mind and heart.
A two-day drive (only 400 miles or so – but everything takes so much longer here) from our last spot at Punta San Jacinto, we have posted up here at Abreojos for a few days and it hasn’t been without triumphs and challenges. No longer “California Lite”, this is the nitty gritty, no messin’ around Baja.
As per usual – we arrive during the daily afternoon off-shore whipping winds and we are tired, hungry and have gone two days without surfing (gasp!), which makes for a couple of cranky monkeys. As we scope the area for a place to camp, we come upon a small beach encampment comprised of an 80’s era motor home and a classic Silver Streak trailer belonging to Mark and Franz, ski bums from Utah. We are instantly welcomed to camp next to them and they immediately fall in love with Dozer and start showering him with doggie biscuits. So, they become our latest victims – new people to talk to!
An 80+ kilometer drive off the highway, Abreojos is a fishing village with a very successful fishing cooperative that supports the fishermen and allows them to invest in large things like a tractor to help pull the lanchas up on the beach. The bounty is evident. Although the land is a desolate, sandy desert, the water just feels alive. It moves and ripples with life, from the stingrays on the sandy bottom to the pods of porpoises right off shore. Lobster season has just begun and the fishermen are energetic in “town”. Word on the calle is that they pulled in a total catch last year of $US 3 million (that’s US dollars, not pesos). They are proud to make their living here and are always seeking ways to improve their business.
And about those stingrays…Chris got nailed this afternoon in two feet of water. Through his reef bootie – and clean through his foot. Entry on the top of the foot, just below the big toe, exit through the side of the ball of his foot. The pain is this writhing, excruciating pain, the kind of pain that is beyond the best and most creative expletives that you can imagine. (Remember the Crocodile Hunter? Yeah, he died when a ray stung him through his heart.) The remedy is to submerge the wound in the hottest water you can handle for as long as possible. Thanks to our stellar neighbors, we were able to provide a steady supply of hot water (and Tecates for the patient and Nurse Katy). Within an hour and a half, the pain disappears, the wound almost fully closes up, and the whole incident is nearly forgotten.
On the flip side, we had our first fresh fish dinner – a nice Corvina that Chris caught right out the front door. Good eats and it provided for two nights worth of dinner, which helps our bellies and our budget!
Despite the beauty of this place, the surf here isn’t shaping up to what we were hoping, so we’ll be moving on, likely heading north again to the Seven Sisters area. Sigh – another day on the road tomorrow. Nos vemos…..