Our Baja schedule is usually one day spent at our house and on the beach alternated with a trip into town the following day. Today is a stay at home beach day and we greet the sunrise from our rooftop perch, savor our coffee from our terrace and take a morning beach walk. I write the morning away while Art putters below in his garage building wooden work platforms and creating a jig to convert the contractors saw to a chop saw.
At 1:00 P.M. I drive alone around the curve of Punte Gorda where I get cell phone reception and call Alisha to check on business. My “phone booth” is a gravel turn out overlooking the Sea of Cortez and one of the most beautiful coastlines on our planet. The waves break a translucent turquoise and the low tide has exposed a flat stretch of rocky tide pools. Art would like to have internet at the house but I rather enjoy this once a day drive and to not be tempted or obsessed to check on messages every few minutes. I have a Mexico phone plan and when I have either Telcel or Moviestar bars on my phone, I can download my e-mail and make limited phone calls. Alisha has a few questions but there are no fires to put out.
Returning to our casa, I call to Art to jump in and we drive north towards La Fortuna where we hope to have lunch. La Fortuna is a tiny Ranchero community, approximately 10 miles, (30- 40 minutes) along this unmaintained coastal road and Art is dubious about making the drive. I am behind the wheel and he curses loudly when I near the crumbling edge of the road or maneuver too roughly over ruts and rocks. We rock and roll slowly and cautiously up the coast, past the abandoned and dilapidated dreams of beach front estates and past gated, guarded and well tended estates. There are arroyos where the road dips down and where sand has drifted and blanketed the road. I pause at the tops of these rises to study my course of action and drive as fast as I dare downhill to gain enough momentum to make it back up to the other side and onto firm ground. Naturally, I do not want to get stuck but that would be an adventure and we would certainly be pulled out by a Good Samaritan passing by in a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Mostly, I do not want to get stuck and give Art the pleasure of saying “I told you so!” I venture down and up a few more sand filled arroyos fishtailing through one in a soft cushion of sand but gaining firm traction on the far side. We are almost to La Fortuna when I come to the top of a sand filled gully and I am fearful of. Although I can taste the shrimp tacos and long for the sweet pleasure of this authentic Baja experience, I turn the car around.
The photos below are from March of this year when we were able to drive the road.
It is close to 2:30 P.M. when I pull into Zac’s for lunch. (By the way, their shrimp tacos at Zacs are excellent.) Art shuffles through his pesos to pay the bill but needs 50 pesos more and turns to me. I pull out my wallet and hand him a 50. Art looks incredulously at me and growls that I have just handed him a 50 Euro bill ($70.) I quickly rummage forth a 50 peso bill ($4.25) but not before Art has darkly imagined me spending 50 Euro bills as 50 Peso bills during past several days. I smile sheepishly and tell him that this will make a good journal entry.
I have invited Marshall for dinner and at 5:00 P.M. he calls up from his palapa to ask “what time?” and if we have seen Charlie, his dog? I call back, telling him that I will start cooking soon and he goes off for an evening swim and to look for Charlie. I peel and mash avocados and mince fresh garlic, readying the guacamole for our sunset appetizers. Marshall does not return and the sun sets with another blazing fanfare. It grows dark and there is still no sign of Marshall. Two hours pass and Art drives over to Zac’s to inquire if anyone has seen him? Art and I eat all the guacamole and I am well into the bottle of white wine when Marshall and Charlie return. We are relieved to see them both alive and wait for a dramatic excuse but there is none; he simply bumped into a neighbor and presumably one beer led to another. He asks if dinner is still on and although somewhat annoyed, I rally up and soon serve up a steak and quinoa pasta dinner. We spend a pleasant evening visiting with our neighbor.