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baja, Dozer, Driving, Food, Mexico, Spanish, Surf

Esta Muerto

Let’s see, we’ve had some challenges:  ear infection, stingray wound infection, significant stitches on the face, gnarly stomach flu, big rainstorm, a dead refrigerator and so on.

Here’s the deal – yep, all those things have happened in the last month.  But, we know that this is part of traveling, and part of putting yourself outside of your perceived comfort zone.  We are not on a vacation.  We are just living life for a year, albeit a less conservative life than most.  Not to be so very cliche, but “it beats sitting at a desk.”

We spent a few glorious days on the gulf side, relaxing next to the blue, blue waters of the Sea of Cortez.  It was a good reprieve, but as those who know us, we were itching to get back to the surfing on the Pacific.  So, we decided – We’re going to Disneyland!  Well, okay, not the Magic Kingdom, but Scorpion Bay.  Scorpion Bay, San Juanico, is literally one of the top 20 surfing spots in the world and it can get nutty there because it is such a big surfing destination.  It is a series of right point breaks (of course) that are perfect, just perfect peeling waves.  I know, sounds stupid, crazy, dumb, but they are – perfect.  But – the caveat – but, it only holds a very small swell window, and that window very rarely fires after September.  But – we did manage to catch it on a small south swell.  It was silly fun.  Goofy fun.  Almost juvenile, laughing, like in junior high type of fun.  Even at waist high, its a ridiculous wave that sends you giggling across the ocean, wondering if it’s okay, legal, should I be doing this as an adult?  Can this really be this silly fun?  It was.

From Scorp (local lingo there), we headed to Conejos which is a killer place.  We drove through the most insane rainstorm – literally a place that appears to be one of driest places in the western hemisphere – to Conejos.  Conejos is a fairly open beach, with a small fish camp on the hill, and a very rare (in Baja) left point.  Most point breaks are “rights” in Baja.  Conejos is cool with great camping, and Nardo, a very friendly, cross-dressing Mexican that collects the fees for camping.  The water is some of the clearest water we have ever been in, and the fishing is incredible.  While we surf, we dodge schools of Jack Crevalle, Corvina and large Mullet.

Well, as all good things may come to an end, our refrigerator in our camper decided that it liked Baja so much that it would be a good final resting place.  Ahhh… here we go again.  Off to La Paz to figure out a solution.  Here’s how it goes:

  1. We enter La Paz with extreme hunger, and we know we will not be productive if we are hungry.  We pull off at a fish taco joint and have the most delicious fried tacos de pescado y tacos de camarones and ice cold Cokes.
  2. Go to the first marina we come across, clearly the gringo marina with the really fancy, giant yachts.  Walk up the first guy we see and explain in Espanol what we need.  His English is way better than our Spanish, and he tells us to go to the other marina and look for Hector, the refrigeration master in La Paz.
  3. Go to the other marina and ask the front office ladies about Hector.  They give us a phone number.  This is all in very fast Spanish, by the way.
  4. We don’t have a phone.  So we somehow corral some European looking guy and he calls Hector’s number.  He is very sweet and generous.  And in perfect Spanish, he doesn’t talk to Hector, but he talks to Hector’s brother-in-law.  Hector will be at his shop at 2pm.
  5. Where is Hector’s shop?  We return to marina #1 and a guy gives us directions to Hector’s shop.
  6. We drive for about an hour trying to find this joint.  It’s virtually impossible.
  7. After some really fun navigation exploits in La Paz (which is kind of like a smaller version of L.A., but no street signs), we find the shop and knock on the door.  A really scary, ferocious chihuahua named Nico greets us and tries to bite us.  Dozer is terrified and hides behind me.  We talk to a guy, not sure who he is, but he asks us some questions in Spanish and we try our best.  Finally, he puts us on the phone with his brother Fernando, who speaks English.
  8. Where is Hector?  Nowhere to be found.
  9. We find some chairs and sit in the shade in this guy’s driveway.  The guy at the shop is Joel, and although he appears to be partially blind, he is so helpful and friendly and really wants to help us.  We still don’t know his relation to Hector.  I spend the next 15 minutes trying to cajole Nico into some doggie treats but he doesn’t fall for it and continues to snarl at me.  Dozer remains scared.
  10. Eventually, Hector calls.  Chris talks to him on the phone, and he is very, very knowledgeable about these refrigerators and asks a ton of questions.  As we suspected, he says “Esta muerto” – “It’s dead”.  But, he can sell us a portable fridge for $1200 (that’s US, NOT pesos) if we are interested.  There is also, maybe, a guy in Los Cabos that can help us, but it’s likely the thing is dead.
  11. We leave and go to Wal-Mart to get a run-of-the-mill Coleman cooler and a couple of six packs of cerveza.  ‘Nuff said.  It’s our new reality and we are embracing it.
  12. We go to the only RV Park in town (which is very nice), take hot, hot showers and proceed to drink a few beers and waste away our evening on the Internet. We feel better now.

Aside from the brief diversion, we are trying to just roll with things as they come.  Dozer has a new appreciation for chihuahuas and we have a new appreciation for Wal-Mart.

We are heading back to Conejos to enjoy more surf, fishing, lounging and beach time.

Take note that we have posted more photos on our Picasa PhotoPage.  Some are decent, some are not so good, but they are all there for now.

Estamos listos para mas adventuras!

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Discussion

One thought on “Esta Muerto

  1. Kelly and I spent a couple months at Conejo 10 years ago. Say ‘hi’ to Nardo for us. catch some waves and eat some fish tacos in our honer too!

    -Marc

    Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011, 5:52 pm

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