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Monday, August 29th:
Sitting in our sexy little two-walled straw beach hut , Chalk and I enjoy our own private little stretch of subtropical beach, basking in the late afternoon balminess, drinking shitty Tecate beer, smoking butts, and plowing headlong through one bowl after another (to put the edge on).
At some point a little before dusk, a car pulls up onto the beach, and out pops a pair of twenty-something dudes from San Diego. One of them, Brad, is a Marine on leave time; and the other one, Dave, is a long-haired stoner who looks like a Pacific Islander of some kind. These are the first Americans we’ve seen since San Diego, not counting Bungalow Bill, at whose beachside bar we had learned yesterday of the fate of New Orleans . But these two are the first peers, if you will. Before long we’re a group of four, all animated and up in each other’s faces, raving about our respective road trips thus far, and the bizarre run-ins we’ve had.
And that’s how it goes all night long: smoking bowls, pounding beers, grilling up sausages and shrimp, and singing songs. Just a bunch of winos down by the tracks, huddled around a burning oil drum, slapping our knees like hobos and screaming “Jimmy Crack Corn“.
Mulegé, BCS > El Conejo, BCS
Tuesday, August 30th:
We awaken in the morning as scattered bodies, not as civilized men. Not a one of us has passed the the night in anything that you could come even close to legitimately calling a bed– even by the most generous of definitions. Dave is sprawled out on the trunk of his late-90s Saturn. Brad is asleep in the front seat with his legs sticking out of the passenger side window, which is rolled halfway up. Chalk somehow managed to fall into his tent at some point in the night; and there he lays still, with his legs sticking out onto the sand. I awoke half in my sleeping bag, which had somehow filled with sand- so much sand. I’m talking “I just boned a Tusken Raider sandy”- not just regular sandy.
La Camisa De Su Espalda
Our slow collective (and reluctant) trickle into proper consciousness is unwelcomely accelerated by the arrival of the T-shirt-and-trinkets-selling equivalent of a mariachi band.
Honestly, though, you really couldn’t ask for a more amicable posse to assail you on a Mexican beach on a random morning- you really couldn’t.
Nevertheless, amicability only gets you so far. I mean, even the nicest Jehovah’s Witness is still a major mellow-harsh when they’re standing there at your door, bosom-cradling their hungry babies and ineffectually trying to corral and contain their older children- and making a show of it.
These guys are fine, though, I guess. The entirety of their agenda is to offload, for a small profit, some valueless trinkets purportedly reflective of what gringo Americans consider to be “authentically Mexican”. If we’re dumb enough to bite, though, then more power to them.
And we are. Or at least I am, anyway. Before it’s over, I’ve traded $10 for a cream-colored shirt that I definitely don’t need, emblazoned with the name of the nearby town of Mulegé. The guy literally peels the shirt off his back and hands it to me.
But I’ll wear it proudly.
Into the Sandbox
We say goodbye to our San Diegan buddies sometime late in the morning, and hit the road, barreling southward on a 280-mile cannonball run towards the city of La Paz– capital of Baja California Sur, second largest city on the peninsula, and the first municipality of any real consequence that we will have seen since Ensenada.
Just past Loreto we swing back inland and away from the Sea of Cortez, once again crossing the peninsula, this time westward. We pound our way through the blistering heat of the day, gliding through Ciudad Insurgentes, Ciudad Constitución, and Guadaloupe, ripped off our asses on shitty-ass schwag that we couldn’t be happier about having.
By late-afternoon we are only 50 miles from La Paz; and since we’re making such good time, and since our balls are on fire, we decide to go jump in the Pacific Ocean, which we haven’t seen for a couple of days now . A little fishing village called El Conejo (“the rabbit”) sits about 10 miles west of the highway, via a dirt “road”. We put the sun in our eyes and make for the coastline.
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