Day 318 – Baja 2012, Day Nine

Do the Shuffle, the words reverberate like they did when I was twelve, Van Morrison had it going on then.  My shuffle today needed to be the Stingray Shuffle.  We slept on the beach again last night, this time at Buenaventura on the Sea of Cortez instead of on the Pacific.  The temperature was perfect, we even had a dog that slept right outside our tent protecting us.

Just before dawn I thought swimming sounded like my idea of heaven, and it was too.  The water temp was just right, the sun hadn’t yet peaked over the ridge, just that lightened sky, a light breeze in the cove there.  I swam for a while and then started in to shore.  It’s very shallow along the cove, you can be 75 feet out and still touch bottom, very sandy and clear, there is a ridge of rocks that only run about 15 feet right near the shoreline.  I was just getting my feet under me when I felt like I had stepped on someone’s home, I flailed and tried to look at the bottom of my foot, all I could see was that it was bleeding and hurt like hell.  I stumbled on to the shore and Rich met me with my towel, he noticed the blood right away.  I hobbled back to our camp and the pain started to intensify.  Within half an hour I was writhing in pain.  It hurt so bad and I couldn’t figure out how to stop it, there was no comfortable position, nothing I could do.  It was like my toes had a permanent charlie horse, the intensity was that strong.  I managed to get dressed and packed up, but the thought of riding in the car was making me nauseous.  When my toes started to swell and red streaks run through them, we decided that maybe something really was wrong.  Rich went in to ask the locals, they knew right away, I had stepped on a stingray.  That little barbed tail and jabbed right in to the fleshy part of my foot.  Fortunately, they knew what to do.  Aside from the shuffle to avoid getting stung in the first place, we put my foot in 112 degree water and let it soak.  The relief was immediate, thank God.  Mark, the local, kept telling me I just needed to stick it out, it was going to be hot, but it was important it was that hot.  I figured out 112 is about what my bath water used to be.  The paid subsided, the swelling went down and I’m not even hobbling.  I am thankful they knew what to do.

Things I learned today, avoid getting stung, hurt worse than having babies; carry a pan to heat water in, you never know where it might happen; check this off my list of things to do, I think I can count it as one of my 50 firsts this year, never happened before, hope it never happens again!

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Day 319 – Baja 2012, Day Eight

Seven days in paradise, and then today.  I really enjoy Baja, I like the people, I lie the food, I love the beaches, and then you have a day like today, and you think – man, maybe I should just go home.  Of course, for us, home is relative, so that’s not really an option.  The morning dawned beautiful, an incredible sunrise over ScorpianBay, we had listened to the crashing waves all night  from our spot on the bluff.

Yesterday, when we had gotten to the Cantina at ScorpionBay, there had been No Trespassing signs posted, or at least, that’s how we interpreted them..  They were taped over the doors and windows, the only word I could read was “by legislation” so we figured they had done something wrong and got shut down.  We talked to a local American and she said it was closed a few days before and she pointed us to the camping area.  We checked out the bathrooms, those appeared to be maintained well, so we found our camping spot and slept well.  After a long walk on the beach, we loaded up our camping gear and made one last run by the bathroom before we hit the road.  This guy was sitting outside them and demanded 300 pesos because we had camped there.  I was like, no way, we aren’t paying; Big said, we’ll pay, but not until after the guy threatened to call the policia.  It was all very weird and felt like extortion, but at least we got out of there safely.

We drove the race course back through La Purisma to just south of Mulege on Highway 1.  What should have been a little over 3 hours, was more than five.  The damage from Hurricane Andy was very obvious, the washes were all full of rocks and cobble after having been swept down the mountains in the rain.

Our next stop was Buenaventura.  It’s a little place with a bar and restaurant, good wifi, and you can camp on the beach.  It costs you for showers, but not the beach.  That doesn’t bother me so much, they do have to truck in the water, what does bother me is the lady who runs the place.  She is very forgetful, so forgetful in fact that she never remembers that you’ve already paid.  We saw that happen two years ago when we were there and thought it was an isolated incident.  It wasn’t. In the course of the afternoon and evening, we saw it another three times today and she even jacked us up too.  So, word of caution, if you go there, don’t run a tab, pay for each drink as you get it.  Always use pesos, she screws up the conversion, and ask the cost of a meal before you get it.  There are no menus, so you get to pay market price which is whatever her drink adled mind is thinking at the moment.  Today is definitely one for the books, it just all felt wrong.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.