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First Days in Baja

November 20, 2010

Wow, where to start. We met the home owner we’re caretaking for just north of the border in El Centro California and caravaned with him across the border. The crossing itself was uneventful and the border patrol agents were all nice and respectful. We exchanged smiles and good humour while fumbling through a language barrier with the agent inspecting inside Belle. The agent addressing me at the drivers seat spoke very good english but all they really wanted to know was if our dog bites. The highway to San Felipe was a new road after the last earthquake a few years back, though there are some stretches that sent articles askew and kept Cam busy and out of her seat. There are NO shoulders on most of the road so you have two hands on the wheel. One large oncoming Mexican bus had to swerve so hard to stay in his lane I thought our tops would scrape. At a military checkpoint just north of San Felipe, the kids never even looked up as a very nice soldier walked through their home toting an M16 rifle
While Bill, the home owner, and I took care of some business, Cam and the kids spent their first day swimming in the pool and playing on the beach, digging clams. The tide in San Felipe is one of the longest in the world, if not the longest, and can stretch up to a mile or more at low tide. It makes for unparalleled beach combing. Not a bad first day. The house is quite rustic and will keep us plenty busy and has loads of potential, with lots of privacy and room to “splat” as we say. The desert around us is mostly ocotillo, Organ pipe cactus and Palo Verde trees and the kids have already found a favorite that is perfect for climbing. It is very quiet, the days are hot, nights still warm, and we haven’t seen a cloud yet. There are no planes in the skies to see or hear, only stars.
On our third day we introduced ourselves to a neighbor walking his dog. After a bit of conversation I asked where he was from. “Montana” he said, “up by Glacier National Park”. Kila it turns out. Of course our jaws dropped. During our travels this past year and a half the world certainly seemed to get smaller, this morning it became even more so. Real nice guy, and it’s a bit comforting to have someone from our neck of the woods so close.
Although she would call it rough at best. Cam’s spanish is getting us around easily and the whole family looks at her wide eyed as she speaks foreign tongue. “Is that our momma”, we all think. Her time in Peru served her well. The rest of us will need to get away from her to force it upon us. Several times already I’ve hollered, “Cam, I need your help”. The locals are glad I did.
We have a car here to use that needs a few repairs and we’ve befriended a mechanic from San Felipe who has an eight year old boy. We went to his house, in the heart of the dirt street Mexian villages. The kids played so hard together with other neighbor kids that they were all red and sweating, no words needed, and I could here the kids call each other by name, the only common words they knew, for now.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2010 4:52 am

    Gosh darn it, for some reason I didn’t get any of your updates until now. Here we are in Taos (not too far from Santa Fe) and we have lots of land you could have parked your rv on. Ah well. We loved Albuquerque too for a big city, until of course we got to Taos….same charm without the big city stuff.

    Baja sounds heavenly. I’ve always said I would like to visit there someday. What an opportunity! I look forward to hearing all about it.

    • November 22, 2010 4:59 am

      Oh Amy, that would have been fun – sharing ideas, commiserating as our homeschoolers bicker, eating beans out of a can together…. !! (No, no, make that rosemary lentils.) Had I known you were there we would have considered Taos for the month instead of Abq. We could have both come out of the experience feeling validated with all our efforts and failings and successes …. Just looked through your blog again and it makes me realize how little of the shitty stuff I ever put on the blog. Kind of figure no one needs the worry on top of their own, but at the same time isn’t it incredibly reassuring to know the struggles are universal, even in those we compare ourselves to? Peace and abundance to you this winter!!

  2. Ann Hays permalink
    November 23, 2010 2:01 pm

    Oh wow!! I’m living vicariously through you! It’s great! Love, Ann

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