March 5

March 5

Search Me; Mirror, Mirror; Life’s A Beach

After awakening early to a lovely sunrise lighting up the mountains behind our campsite

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we embarked at around 9:00 on the short, picturesque, but not quite uneventful drive north to Playa Buenaventura on the Bahia de Concepcion, still on the Sea of Cortes side of the Baja:

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We had to make a stop at a military checkpoint. We have been through several of these and have lucked out most of the time; generally speaking, they tend to wave the caravan through, although at one checkpoint on the way south, they had a shift change just as we went through, and the new shift stopped and searched the last 5 vehicles. This time our luck ran out, as they decided to search every last rig inside and out, including the use of sniffer dogs. We were warned about the checkpoint at the morning drivers’ briefing, and I had suggested that they were probably searching for illegal Americans. Of course, the reality is that they are 80% searching for drugs, and 20% just satisfying their own curiosity about what is inside the rigs. Three guys were involved in searching ours; one went inside, one asked for ID and wrote a lot of stuff on a clipboard, and one seemed to be making conversation. The guy who did the inside search was quite thorough, and seemed to like our collection of pins. They were all friendly and polite, but we were happy to wave goodbye and continue on.

Added to the casualty list was Jeff and Tina’s driver-side mirror on their Class C, which was surgically removed by a passing garbage truck. They stopped and jury-rigged a new mirror by taping two hand mirrors with handles to what was left of the mirror mount; of course, once we were settled into our destination, I couldn’t resist the urge to warn Jeff that I was going to have to write him up for having an illegal vehicle mirror. Fortunately, he has a good sense of humour.

The last rig had been settled for barely 10 minutes when the first vendor, who was probably camouflaged under the sand, showed up with a minivan full of t-shirts, wood carvings and the like. As always, we got sucked in like a vacuum cleaner and negotiated a deal for two poncho-like pullovers:

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We had a nice spaghetti dinner put on by the owner of the beach restaurant. Afterward, a few of us stayed to play a dice game we had heard about, but never played, called “Farkel”. It is fun, fast, and simple enough that even I could understand the rules.

A nice spot to camp:

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View through our windshield

View through our windshield

 

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