For the past eleven days we’ve been living/camping at what Gringos call The Wall (Punta Santa Rosarito) and loving it. Hard to say why we really are enjoying it as much as we are, but it’s been good to us so far. The surf has been small but fun, although the rides have been short compared to Punta San Jacinto. It’s clearly one of those places that can get good – really good and really, really good from what we hear. There is nothing here in terms of development – no buildings, no one lives here, no fences, no cows. The desert landscape is stark as we’re on a low lying windswept point with the only man-made structures being some windbreaks built of stacked cobblestones. Not surprisingly there is no cell service to give us access to the Internet, so we have to get connected while in the nearest town, which is 50 miles away. Nonetheless we are having a blast surfing here and enjoying being out in the middle of nowhere in Baja. Perhaps we’re finally settling in to a groove, finally slowing down to the point where Baja could catch up with us. Perhaps the it is the complete lack of “everything” here that we needed to allow ourselves to really enjoy being ourselves. Perhaps it has just taken nearly a month of living in our measly 98 sq. ft. of indoor living space for us to adapt to such constant tight quarters.
We’re here at The Wall with a few other gringos, most of who are seasoned regulars and have been coming here for 20 years or more. Katy and I enjoy meeting each of them as we all have our individual stories and personalities as travelers that makes us each unique, but we all share the passion of chasing waves. One couple in particular: Glen and Roberta from Pacific Beach, CA are great people and seem to enjoy our company. Glen, a very talented craftsman, makes didgeridoos out of agave stalks with wood working tools and fiberglassing supplies he brings down with him. Back in San Diego he’s a custom surfboard shaper (Glen Horn Surfboards). Roberta is taking advantage of the lonely dirt tracks out here to train for a marathon she’ll be doing next spring. Other folks include another Chris from San Francisco, who has one of the most infectious laughs ever, and Joe a utility worker from San Diego who borrowed his daughter’s VW Van to go where no Bend yuppie Eurovan (triathlon support vehicle) has dared to go – the brutal roads of Baja.
In our daily lives back in the U.S., we strive to live sustainably while still enjoying ourselves. Travelling in Baja has been a refresher course and eye opening as to how little we really do need while still living comfortably. Yes, it is humorous to talk about sustainability while driving a Cummins Dodge diesel truck thousands of miles. True, this is not a carbon-neutral event, but we are using far fewer resources here than we do in our modest lifestyle in the States. Our challenge is to conserve our supplies so that we can stay in place as long as possible without having to go to town to resupply. We know if we can stay here at The Wall long enough we will see a good swell and we don’t want to miss it. Our camper has a 100-watt solar panel for all our electricity consumption. We have a 30-gallon water tank that we fill with Mexican water for our showers and dishwashing, and everything else except drinking water. We have two 5-gallon water jugs with purified drinking water. Our 5-gallon propane tank takes care of our refrigeration and cooking needs, and hot water as needed. We separate our trash into burnable paper stuff, compostable food waste (which gets tossed into the desert), and trash. Recycling is rare in most places in Mexico. With these resources, we are good for at least 12 days or so.
In Mexico there are fewer attempts to hide human impact on the land. Trash disposal here consists of individuals discarding and usually burning trash out in the desert as only the largest towns have any sort of trash collection. For that reason, the impact of 1st World packaging (plastic) is so in-your-face evident on the landscape of this 3rd World country. Due to limited financial resources here in Mexico, average consumption is much less than that of Americans. But in the States we do a much better job of, in some ways, hiding the affects of that consumption.
Food is another basic supply, which we will need to resupply, but one which there is no way for me to conserve. Surfing takes a lot of calories and something about being in the water just boosts the appetite. I have been able to catch a few super tasty fish which helps stretch our food supply. And, seriously, it doesn’t get any better than eating a Halibut caught a mere hour before cooking. I caught a small 20” Halibut here on the first day, which made the best fish tacos ever and helps stretch our food supply. Got skunked for a couple days, then caught a 24” Halibut and a small Calico Bass yesterday. That fish fed us well for two meals so it’s been a fun activity/challenge/past-time getting into the fishing thing. So, living on the beach is treating us well with waves (most days) and fresh fish (some days), which add up to about all we came for.
Oh, the weather. Punta Abreojos gave us the first taste of real warm temps with beach temps of about 80 degrees. Here at The Wall it has varied greatly, mostly dependent on the wind and the sun. The coolest days have been in the high 60’s and the warmest in the mid 70’s. The sun is out most days, but there are usually several morning hours of marine layer that gives us a little reprieve from the sun. There have been a few days it hasn’t completely burned off, but overall its be sunny most of the time. The wind has been mostly onshore with some significant winds, which makes us appreciate our exquisitely constructed cobble stone windbreak.
Clearly I’m feeling a fair amount of longing for fall trail building with my bros in COTA as I added a new development to the stone work in camp. Sitting in camp with no surf drew me to build a trail through the cobbles to the water, complete with rock-armored steps.
Currently we are sitting out a bit of a flat spell as far as the surf goes, and our swell window points to the northwest. So for all you freaky winter lovers up there in the PNW, we find ourselves sitting here rooting for you to get your early winter dumps of snow. Those snow storms for YOU mean surf for US! So get those “Pray For Snow” parties fired up ASAP!