North to Nogales

We stopped in San Blas a sleepy little place those jungle like environment was a contrast to the general desert character found on Mexico's west coast. We setup in a little municipal campground, we were the only ones there. We toured the mangrove swamps outside of town and had happy hour in a palapa on the beach. Just before sunset the heheynays descended on us. These tiny flying devils bite like horseflys, millions of them everywhere, we raced for the truck and then for the campsite. There was no escape. We went back to town and found a restaurant where we had dinner and drinks 'til they threw us out. By then it was raining, the bugs were still biting, what a night, we stayed in the van for protection, packed up a frst light and split. On the way out of town i noticed that every building, funky or fancy, had heavy duty screens in perfect condition, a lesson i've remembered to this day. Everytime i go somewhere now i check out their windows. If they all have excellant screens you can count on big time bugs too.

Our last beach stop was just south of Topolabampo. We'd heard about the dunes and hard packed beach that was drivable for many miles. We found it easily after getting directions from the locals. It was incredible except for the garbage. Everywhere you looked was covered with garbge, barely a square foot untouhed. After driving a ways down the beach thinking it had to get better we stopped and set to clearing an area for Barry's tent and a fire pit. We had dinner and watched the sun set over the baja to our west. The next morning over breakfast we decieded to stay one full day and see how big of an area we could clean up during the day. We worked like crazy all day. We dug holes in the sand with our campers shovel and buried everything in a circle around it, then covered it up and moved on. We stated just after sunrise and quit just before dark. Exhausted we sat by the fire cooking dinner and watching one more exquisite sunset over the baja's mountains. We'd managed to clean up a wedge shaped area just big enough so that if you looked in exactly the right direction it looked pristine.

The next morning we headed north for Nogales. On the way we laughed and remember some of the highlights of our almost 3 months in 'ol Mexico. We'd crossed the border at Tijauna and spent that first night just outside of Ensanada after the traditional stop at Hussongs for beer, tequila and blaring mariachi bands. Hussongs is historic, and though it's become more like Ft. Lauderdale every passing year as Southern California's college kids use it to overconsme booze and puke in the street, it was still very neat when we passed through all those years ago. We'd camped briefly along the road south until we got to Guerrero Negro where we sat transfixed for a few days out at the end of the old salt loading wharf watching the grey whales and their newborn calves bobbing just a few yards away in the shallow salty bay. If you ever get a chance to drive down the baja this is the one miracle not to miss. We stopped at oasis of San Ignacio for a day and toured the tiny church and zocolo, ate dates and met many wonderful locals. From there we were on our way to Mulege where this story began on Cocos Beach.

After crossing the border in Nogales we were again culture shocked. The signs, the lights, Mcdonald's-Denny's-Motel 6 greeted us, it was overpowering. We checked into the Motel 6 and showered about 6 times each. We tried eating at Denny's but the smell alone made me ill. So we went back to the motel and ate the last of our tortillas and frjoles. we turned on the tube for a few minutes but couldn't pay attention to it and turned it off quickly. i went for a walk in the neon lights and street lamps sill in shock at what i remembered and what i'd forgotten.

'Ol Mexico, at least in most parts, is just a memory now. What once was spiritual bounty has mostly devolved into choas and violence drive by desire for the money they'd long watch their gingo visitors lord over them. What a shame that so much of real value-real wealth has been lost. We left Nogales quiet and sad early the next morning. That was Easter Sunday 1980, 30years ago today.

Via con dios, 'ol Mexico