Every week led to the next one, and I just stayed where i was camping beside the Sea of Cortez. I slowly recovered from a bronchial infection, thanks to modern antibiotics and kind friends. I often felt lazy and unproductive but given a daily dose of sunshine and slow life, being busy or useful felt less important. Finally I set a date to leave for Arizona the last week of March and made flight arrangements to return to Alaska in mid-April. As the days counted down I decided to enroll in a Bead Week workshop for early April where I can learn new beading techniques at the Escapee camp north of Wickenburg. I already do my own version of beading embroidery but am sure I’ll be inspired by these incredibly creative people.
Every day I get emails from supportive friends in the States who are my “real” sisters, providing feedback and constant personal insights that take the place for me of having a human companion. My doggie companion has gotten more independent as we take our leisurely walks and she can visit with her Mexican friends. I love staying in one place long enough to make connections with local people, get hugs and kisses and share emotions and friendships more than fluent communication using language. One woman named Vicky (pronounced “Bicky”) and her family have a coconut and pina colada stand at the end of our road, we have established a barter system where she offers me free drinks and I bake her brownies and other treats. She started it, and now we both laugh heartily while we try to tell each other how much we enjoy sharing our lives.
I found a gorgeous map/satellite photo of the entire Sea of Cortez including Baja and the mainland which I have laminated and mounted on the bathroom door in my motor home. It is circled by a lovely poem in Spanish that I managed to translate, it is posted below. I personally sailed every mile of the outside Baja coast, then down the mainland and eventually back up the inside coast of the Sea of Cortez and over to San Carlos, have driven and camped along much of the land on both sides, and truly love this area. Sometimes I have been asked, and often wondered why I didn’t just move here long ago.
Here is the poem –
Mira al rededor y admira a este esena de casas de varios colores, .. creado y dotado con vida. Ellos hacen a nosotros quienes somos miserables para ver la luz entre las flores y canciones de los campos fertiles, ellos causan que nosotros veamos esas cosas, .. creado y dotado con vida. Ellos habitan en los lugares de la primavera, aqui entre los campos extensos, y solamente para nuestros ventajas el agua turqueza cae gotas rotos sobre la superficie del lago. Donde brilla hasta la ultima en cuatro rayes, donde las flores amarillas fragantes capullan, alli viven los Mexicanos, las juventudes.
Look around and admire the scene of houses of various colors, .. created and endowed with life. They make us, we who are miserable to see the light among the flowers and songs from the fertile fields, they cause us to see those things, .. created and endowed with life. They inhabit the places of spring, here among the open fields, and only for our benefit turquoise water drops falling on the broken surface of the lake. Where it shines to the last four rays, where the fragrant yellow flowers bud, there live the Mexican youths.
These are various photos from the past month. Exploring the coast was fun with my friend Sheila from Manitoba, and at times our quiet camping beach was crowded with weekend visitors. It’s been a very good life and I guess I am probably ready to return to the “real” world.
There was a big photo shoot the other day that happened down by the beach. There were photographers and several family members for the pictures, of a woman who is pregnant! She showed off her big belly, which is apparently become a very popular thing to do these days. Veronica from Vancouver Island says it’s really popular in Canada too. Here are a few snapshots…
Some camping friends, Martina and Norbert from Germany and their big overland travel rig, who are coming to Alaska this summer and we hope to see each other again up north!
And for friends of the Mexican seashore, here are some snapshots of hard-working peddlers and musicians on the beach next to my campsite.
View of my motor home during the crowded and busy week of Spring Break!
Leaving Quartzsite, I went to Gila Bend to attend my initiation to the Elks and spent a couple of days camping in their parking lot. This is a strange little city, at a crossroads between major highways and a road to the Mexican border. Then on to Casa Grande to attend the Gourd Show with Shar. I kicked myself for not taking my camera to the show, because some of the gourd creations were absolutely amazing. Beautiful and inspiring. The only thing I bought was a lovely small painted carving of dragonflies.
While at the SKP park, Marv Braun, who installed my solar panels last winter, put a 12-volt outlet in my dining area. This will make working at the table much more convenient. He assured me that since my solar panels charge the coach batteries to 100% most days, even when it’s cloudy, and I rarely (never) go below at least 80% charge, then apparently I have adequate panels and batteries “to suit my lifestyle”. That’s good to hear.
Next stop was Ajo, where I stayed again at an Elks lodge, in a very convenient location. This is a nice little town that’s quiet and very pleasant for walking. In the central plaza, which is all blazing white, a small gift shop even sells my friend Toni’s pressed flower prints. I had thought I might camp in the free BLM area of the desert behind the mines, but this is so much better, and is adjacent to a good path with bridge over the dry creek next to my campsite.
I decided to keep driving south to Organ Pipe National Monument and check out the border crossing. I still wasn’t sure if I would continue to Mexico, but the next day I decided to go for it. I was surprised when both the U.S. and Mexican border guards just waved me through. Perhaps it made a difference that I still have the 10-year permit for travel in Mexico on my motor home. I had heard that some of the Solos were camping at Concha del Mar RV Park on the beach at Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), so I decided to stop there. It’s only an hour and a half south of the border and I hadn’t been to this place for more than 25 years. I wasn’t very impressed then, but who knows? Unfortunately I wasn’t aware that the city streets were all under construction, and it was an adventure finding the RV site, with much turning around and misdirection, and even for the first time having to disconnect the car to get turned around on a narrow street that was being paved (no warning signs, of course). Finally I found some American campers to lead me through the maze of streets, but then I followed them as they drove through a red light and I got stopped by a local policeman for the first time ever in Mexico. My guide turned around and the policeman wanted us both to go to the police station to pay a fine, but he understood that I would have to disconnect the motor home and leave it first. So he followed us to the Playa Bonita park where they were camping and by the time I came out of the office the guy was paying the policeman $30 off the record, and he happily went on his way. It was a relief to find the right campground and settle at my own patch of sand near the beach to rest and recuperate.
I have spent three weeks next to the Sea of Cortez in a big open sandy lot. There were a couple dozen WIN members here over the first week, but I’m not part of their group. There are other non-joiners from the U.S. and Canada and it’s fun getting to know them. Shar finally decided to come down here too, for a while, although she was scared to death about traveling in Mexico. I finally emailed her that I would keep driving south if she wasn’t coming, and suddenly she showed up. This town is very Americanized, as I remembered from before, but it’s full of nice local people and the weather has been perfect. There’s lots of shopping, people-watching, and places to walk.
Shrimper boats are working right offshore in the bay every day, there are many opportunities to go fishing and the seafood is wonderful. Restaurants are everywhere, some are really good.
Many RVers were getting cleaning, painting, repairs, and other work done at low prices, so I asked about refinishing the scratches I got at the Live Oak gathering in California. Antonio did the job by himself for only $80, and it was a kick to see him mixing the paint in a coke bottle, adding tint a drop at a time, and testing it with his finger. He did a good job and I took many pictures of the day’s work.