Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 18: Days End At Land’s End…

baja2Woke up around two this morning, killer headache, dehydrated. Unseasonably hot, close to 100 degrees. First time out in the water I “dry-docked” my board. We’re in tropical waters now, urchins everywhere. I didn’t want to get off my board so when the waves receded I stayed on. Guys were good about it and they have resin and stuff for patching. After that I cooked up two “gnarly” batches of fried potatoes and everyone was pretty stoked. Cooked some “killer” fish on the grill last night as well, bloody radical.

Second paddle out was good and I won’t tell where we are, you’ll just have to find it for yourself. Trent and I were on the inside cove. Five foot lefts, nice water color. Then we packed up and headed for La Paz. Picked up another tire on the way. Homemade tires can be a bit iffy. La Paz is a strange mix of the new and old. Sometimes it seems that Mexican architects took a bullet train through California and got a blurry view of the place. Shopped there and hung out in a bar. Signage around town was a bit dodgy so we had a hard time getting back on the main highway, Mexican One, a grey pearl snaking its way like a sidewinder.

“with a little luck… we can make this whole damn thing work out.” – Wings

Sitting now just outside of Todos Santos. It’s about 10 p.m. The bus has broken down again, tie rod or something. Sitting on a dirt road without the means to get it off the ground. Trent’s pulled out the cooler for refreshments.

Three days later:

Past three days’ve been quite involved. Slept in the dirt road the night of the great tie rod. After a couple of beers I figured out how to fix it. How’s that then? The next morning we split for the tip and hit Cabo around 9 a.m. Surf was flat so we shopped in a touristy section of town. All the trinkets and bobbles, kind of stuff grandma would send you if she were here. Sent postcards home then decided to head for San Jose del Cabo. No potential for surf there either, at least not that day. Found a cheap motel room ($5) and took our first hot shower in nine or ten days. Ate tacos and drank beer like it was the last supper or maybe the first.

San Jose del Cabo is a beautiful town and it makes me wonder why it doesn’t get the same press as Cabo San Lucas. They’re complete opposites. Cabo is run down and funky, nostalgic for some maybe but San Jose has all the romance of the Age of Exploration and “Western” films combined. The architecture in the square was designed with great care and attention to detail. One feels a part of something next to spiritual. We ate a pizza there.

There are some low-lifes in the next room to us. They come from Santa Cruz and are apparently running from the law. Tried to sell us drugs and told us of how their baby ate a peyote button off the dashboard. They laughed as they told it and Tristan was the only one who managed to express our collective repulsion.

“That’s really messed up man.”

“Whaddya mean?”

Trent couldn’t believe it wasn’t obvious to them how egregious their cluelessness was.

“That baby hasn’t even had the chance to decide what’s right for him and your feeding him that fucking poison.”

“We didn’t give it to him.”

“You left it where he could get it.”


The pair showed up the next morning to look at a board of ours but we decided against selling it to them, bad karma.

There’s a dirt road alongside town that leads to surf spots and a place called Shipwrecks. Here we’ve come across the Australians again, Timbo, Twiggy and Taj. Stopped for a big party in the middle of the desert. Still close to ninety-five degrees. When we couldn’t drink anymore we headed back to town for supplies and ordered twenty-one tacos and at least as many beers. Exchanged cash at the El Presidente Hotel and got back to “Shipwrecks,” (there really isn’t one), around 6 p.m. and lucked into some small but fun surf. Another sort of rock reef/point break, this place has great potential, probably much better in the summer. 4 cases of beer and 2 bottles of Tequila later, Twiggy was dancing around with a box of “Zucaritas” (Fruit Loops) on his head and was dubbed King Zucarita. He then fell down the cliffside and rolled down to the beach.

It’s amazing how quickly you come to know people on the road. The Aussies are three of the coolest people any of us have ever met. Even Rob has warmed to them. They have an uncanny ability to stay in the moment. All of them left their jobs before coming here and haven’t a worry about what lies ahead. They’re here for two months and reside within each minute of the day as if it were made for them. Next to them we, Americans and Britons, seem like worrisome old ladies.

This morning a tram showed up with pampered surf enthusiasts from the El Presidente Hotel. Mind you I haven’t called them surfers as I’ve come to understand that you can surf but there’s more than that to being a surfer.

Trent told me,”Surfers know tides and wind direction, swell direction and seasons, they feel these things instinctively and are much like captains of the old sailing ships. They have saltwater in their veins and grow uncomfortable with the smell of the land. Brine and a seawind are their morning coffee. These folks from the El Presidente are and have, well, none of this. At the risk of sounding elitist, it would be nice if neophytes, or better, wannabes knew their place in the hierarchy. Deckhands don’t expect the comforts the First Mate enjoys. While it’s not, perhaps, entirely democratic, there’s an understanding within the greater surf tribe that newcomers are expected to show respect for the elders and allow themselves time to advance to a point to where they’re not a hazard to others around them. Most surfing areas have unspoken boundaries within which it is understood that you do not move on to the advanced section of a surf break until you can do it with grace, style and a proper command of your surfboard.”


Days End At Land’s End

Went down on the beach after the tram left and hung with Twiggy for a bit. He gave me a “Coronita.” Coronitas are miniature bottles of Corona and Twiggy said to hang on to it, souvenir from a good time. Jay came up and told us it was time to do the wine thing. We decided the night before to bury a bottle of wine in the sand and promise we’d all come back some time and dig it up. So with very little ceremony we walked about fifty feet off the trail, dug a hole, and buried it. Someday we’ll go back.

We headed back toward San Jose and on a particular rise in the road we could see Lands End.


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