So, we’ve been on the road for two months now. How are we doing? Oddly enough, I think it has taken us this long to get into a groove so we are now feeling more and more at home in Baja. Maybe we’ve just been jobless and roaming around for long enough now that it feels normal.
We spent another week at Conejo, which we really enjoyed, but we needed to move on, mostly because we were out of ice (see last post for details). After sitting through the second rain storm in two weeks (mind you, it literally hasn’t rained here in the last two years), we decided to head south and explore some dirt roads to find more surf. We ended up at another point south of Conejo, only to the be one of two campers there, with almost the entire beach to ourselves. We stocked up on basic food supplies at the Mini-Super in the tiny little town nearby, and luckily found some ice. Mexico is so awesome for this stuff. Mini-Supers are like little convenience stores, usually attached to someone’s house and if you dig around in a dark corner or ask for something, you can often find what you need. When we asked if they had ice, the woman went into her house and brought back two plastic bags filled with ice, like they had filled the bags with water and set them in the freezer for a few days. Perfecta! We set up for three nights to see if the surf would shape up for us, only to have three days of blistering offshore winds and close-out sets.
How’s Baja? Well, Baja is incredible, and it’s right up our alley. It’s wild, rugged, desolate, rough, delicate, and beautiful all at the same time. We’ve seen a fair amount of wildlife, mostly coyotes who tend to come into camp to torture Dozer. I was reading in bed a few nights ago to hear a coyote lapping away at Dozer’s water bowl. After sticking my head out the door with the flashlight, the coyote took off for the bushes, only to come back later that night to yip and howl near our camp. Last night, we awoke to a cacophony of coyotes yipping, barking and howling right in front of the truck. Dozer barely lifted a head and lazily gave a “woof” from his cozy bed in the camper. The two very large rainstorms have produced a shock of green in the desert, and with any luck, we should see a nice early bloom in a few days. If the desert seems alive at times, then the ocean is writhing with life. Every wave that passes is full of fish swimming through it. Every day, whales create plumes of spray by breaching and slapping their tales. The intertidal zone crawls with creatures like urchins, crabs, anemones and other strange invertebrates. We are constantly surrounded by osprey, blue herons, cormorants, gulls (of course) and so many other birds.
Have I mentioned the wind? Good God, Baja is windy. The wind is a constant topic of conversation. When will it start? How hard will it blow? What direction will it come from? How should we park the truck to minimize the wind in camp? Most areas on the Pacific have a prevailing wind – typically from the northwest. But every so often, it throws a curve ball, so we are always on our toes. The easterly offshores bring hot, dry wind from the east and along with it, some good surf potential, dragonflies, bees and flies. The westerly onshores bring chop and slop to the surf, but are cooler and more damp. The southerly winds – no bueno – they are good for nothing. Let’s just say, we try to embrace the wind, ’cause it’s not going away anytime soon.
How’s our Spanish? Ha! We have a Spanish book with us. Something like one of those “Be Fluent in Spanish in 30 Days” deal. At the beginning of the trip, we said we would go through a chapter a day. Of course, we have totally shirked this plan, so our Spanish, let’s just say it gets us through. Because we spend so much time off the grid, we don’t really speak much Spanish other than to some fisherman, or someone who collects money for camping or firewood. So, when we come to “town”, it takes a while to ramp it up again. However, every so often, when the cosmos are aligned and the skies part for the heavens, I do have those moments of clarity when it all comes together and I actually put together real sentences with correct verb conjugations. It does happen.
How’s the surfing? We caught some good surf at Conejo, both at the point and at the beach break. The beach break was good and challenging, providing steeper drops and faster waves, and we were able to use our short boards more here. But, this surfing stuff is hard! It is true that it takes years upon years to learn, refine, advance in surfing, and while we know we are progressing, sometimes it doesn’t feel so. We also thought we would be surfing more, but good surf depends on good conditions. These conditions can change dramatically and again, each spot has so many variables – tide, wind, swell size, swell direction and so on. It’s the surfers curse. Like I’ve said before, it’s like heroin. We need it.
How’s the camping? Two months in the camper, and all is peaceful. It is a constant struggle to keep things clean and sand-free, but we’ve got a system down.
How’s Mexico? Fabulous as ever.