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.

Day 320 – Baja, 2012, Day Seven

One of the greatest pleasures in my life is good food, one look at me and you would know that was true.  I read a book a number of years ago about why French women don’t get fat, the premise was that they only eat Good food, if it tastes bad, they don’t eat it.  That’s got to be a lie, because I only eat food that tastes good, and look at me!  Mexico has some of the best food anywhere, it is all fresh, it is all homemade, or at least it is where I’m shopping.

We pick our taco stands in Baja the same way we pick restaurants in the States.  If there’s a crowd, it must be good.  Sunday morning we made a trip to the Pemex (gas station)  as we were headed out of La Paz, and on our way we noticed a little building with a ton of cars.  Both of us knew exactly where we were going next.  We got gas and turned around to stop at the little building.  It was painted bright yellow, there were five girls in the kitchen ranging in age from 13 to 35.  The moms were doing the cooking on an old stove with mis-matched pots and pans.  We had to order by pointing, because we didn’t know what any of it was.  I had the Bistek c/papas (steak and potatoes) on a hand made gordita.  Rich had two other kinds of gorditas, he was pretty sure one was pork and the other, who knows?  But they were delicious.  The mama asked us how to say muy bueno in English, then repeated very good back to us, the young girls laughed and laughed.

Our destination leaving La Paz was La Juanico, or Scorpion Bay, best known for its surfing.  The bay is on the south side of a point that juts out in to the Pacific ocean.  The temperature was perfect and the dunes provide ample camping spaces.  The surf crashes over and over again.  The surfers have to be patient, but appear to be getting what they came for.  La Juanico has one restaurant in town and  half a dozen grocery stores, we stopped at the restaurant for dinner.  No English spoken here, I ordered camerones de limon, it was the best shrimp I’ve had in like, forever.  At least twenty shrimp on a plate with spinach leaves and tomatoes,   Limes were cut and placed in the crook of each shrimp.  That and a few tortillas and we were in business.  So fresh, so good, I could eat like this everyday, for $10 US.  Wow!  Viva la Baja!