I am happy to announce that we are one happy family again! For our second night in Mulege, Charlie, Sarah, and I stayed in a cheap hotel after deciding that another night with Tim at the tiki bar would not be in our best interests. On top of our brutal hangovers, I forgot to mention that Charlie’s helmet was stolen the night we all got ‘full of piss’ (as Charlie would say). His bucket had been sitting on the Yamaha all night while we yucked it up but in the morning it was nowhere to be found.
We’re fairly certain that two teenagers who stopped in around 1:00am boosted the $800 Shoei Hornet as they left the bar. The pair came in looking for cigarettes, hit on Sarah for a while, saw that the gringos were all stumbling drunk, and then took off about 45 minutes later. Right at the exit of the bar: a brand new dual-sport helmet adorned with Australian flag stickers and a Scala Q2 comm system. We reckon they sold it for a bag of weed somewhere down the road. Best trade ever. Now Charlie is wearing a skate helmet from the thrift store until he can find a worthy replacement.
The morning we left Mulege we first had to obtain a police report so Charlie could claim the loss under his insurance policy. As it turns out, the Mexican police don’t work on Saturday; at least they don’t occupy the station or have any inkling to help gringos. Therefore, Charlie had to convince one of the guys at tourist information to write a ‘police report’ on some college ruled paper and hit it with a random stamp that looked official enough to pass for the insurance company. It took a $20 bribe and some convincing, but around 1:00pm we finally had a viable report and we hit Hwy 1 South.
Just fifteen miles south of Mulege we discovered that the Bahia de Concepcion (Bay of Conception) is peppered with tiny, pristine, paradise beaches around every corner. Imagine a beach of white sand about 600 yards long with little bungalows set up every thirty feet or so. The grade of the ocean floor was so gradual that the water stayed an enchanting light blue at least a hundred feet out from the water’s edge. With the cool ocean breeze blowing in you could lay there in the sun for hours and never overheat… or you could get lit on your windsurfer.
After stopping and dipping our big toes for ten minutes, Charlie and I decided to keep riding towards Loreto (over an hour south) at a good clip. Sarah said she wanted to ride slower and take in the sights so we agreed to meet her in Loreto and said adios.
Over an hour later Charlie and I pulled into Loreto and stopped at the first taco stand we saw on the side of the main drag. We ordered six tacos and two Cokes and thoroughly enjoyed our meals while a Mexican pimp tried to sell us his prostitutes. We kindly declined. About twenty minutes after finishing my last taco I received the call of dooty. I grabbed the team toilet paper roll and promptly desecrated the toilet out back.
Once relieved, I came back to the front to find Charlie and Alex sitting together smiling. Somehow Alex had caught up to us over the last two days and here he was with a big grin on his face and a fully functioning motorcycle. Overjoyed, we all started telling stories as Al got some tacos and another Coke. At this point, we had been at the taco stand for about an hour and there had been no sign of Sarah. We decided to wait until Al finished eating and then figure it out.
Al had stormed into town and hadn’t seen Sarah during his ride. Charlie and I had been watching the main drag the entire time and never saw her drive by. Therefore, we figured she may have broken down and pulled off the road or maybe even stopped off at one of the beaches for a soak. Either way, we were confident that she had not arrived in Loreto so we mounted up and sped back north to find her.
After about twenty minutes we came to a military checkpoint. We asked all of the soldiers if they had seen the gringa on a motorcycle wearing a yellow jacket and none of them recognized the description. That meant she must be further north. We drove another twenty minutes and asked a construction worker if he had seen her: nope. North another twenty minutes and we stopped by a roadside bar; the bartender had seen her ride by but that was at least three hours ago.
Where the hell was Sarah? We deliberated for about ten minutes outside the bar and eventually decided to go back to the original planned destination: Loreto. There we would check our facebooks and see if Sarah had contacted us. Although no one said anything, it was obvious that there was concern among us. Each of us was more irritable and riding faster than we usually do. As an optimist I tried to convince myself of the best outcomes during the ride back; even so, there are some terrifying lingering doubts when you’ve lost a pretty white girl alone in the middle of the Mexican desert and no one has seen her for hours.
The first thing we did when we got back to Loreto was pull up on the tourism strip and find some Wi-Fi. To much relief we discovered that Sarah was safe and waiting for us in a hotel just off the main drag. We rode over and found her just as concerned as we had been. We still don’t know how we lost each other but Sarah bought us some beer as a token of gratitude for our chivalry. We drank the beers while talking with another Australian, ate a couple burritos, got tired, and went to bed. The team was reunited.
I can usually sleep like a rock on a rock but that was not the case last night. Across the street from our hotel was a Mexican wedding reception with a PA system that put even the hottest high school car stereo to shame. Earplugs in, I eventually fell asleep in the trance of the Mexican bass line. 4:00am I awoke with severe cramping and hopped on the toilet. I sat there at least twenty minutes wincing while Montezuma had his revenge. The entire time I sat there all I could think of was Jack Black singing Tenacious D’s ‘Explosivo’ song. Imagine all the fury of that entire song crammed into one set of large intestines. Ouch. Eventually I was done and went back to bed trembling.
At 7:00am we were all awoken by a worthless Nissan Frontier with megaphones lashed on top blaring advertisements outside our hotel. It turns out that every Sunday morning there is a farmer’s market across the street from the hotel and their main source marketing is rigging up the most ghetto truck possible with the loudest speakers possible to drive circles around our hotel room. Basically, sleep turned into an afterthought.
After half an hour of a Mexican salesman blaring onion and rice prices into my head through paper thin hotel walls, I started cramping again. For this toilet experience I was singing Dr. Dre to myself: “Explosive! West Coast shit!” Since then I have drank a lot of purified water, taken one Mexican Imodium, eaten a Clif Bar, and written this dribble while my storm blows over.
In better news, I have a good feel for the windsurfing scene down here in southern Baja and the kiteboarding motorcyclists from Mulege offered us a place to stay in La Ventana (where I can rent a rig). I have heard that there is also a camping field right on the beach in La Ventana that is absolutely full of windsurfers and kiteboarders all winter long. Sounds like a Dave Matthews weekend with a lot more wind.
I have also been thinking about pushing ahead of everyone else a couple hundred miles and get to the surf beaches early. The other three are much more into taking it easy and enjoying the beaches whereas I need my adrenaline fix NOW. Basically, they are holding up my windsurfing now and my windsurfing will be holding them up when we get to La Ventana. I could solve the problem entirely by meeting them there after a couple days of beach bumming with my wind-worshiping brethren. Something to sleep on.
Also, I have fixed the link to Alex’s journal on the right side of this website; now it will actually direct you to his ADVrider posts. We have been causing some heated discussion regarding his crash lately so it is worth checking out. I added Charlie’s photobucket account as a link as well. Check out the trip through his lens if you have the time.
I think I’m ready to get out of bed now. It’s getting harder to write in English since my thoughts keep intermittently translating to Spanish on their own. I guess Luis’ tireless pestering during college is finally paying off (Thanks Luis!). Wish me luck as I waddle around town searching for gringas and fiber.