Wednesday, April 21, 2010

El Viento y Los Vientos

Well, the wind (el viento) that sent us all scattering back to our camps last night did not let up even when the sun rose. It was a weird warm wind that seemed to be whipping over the mountains from the Pacific and rattled and shook the roof tent all night. At one point, I got up and reparked the truck with the hard shell of the tent facing the onslaught but we were still shaken like dice in a cup.

Okay, AutoHome, it’s time for another rant. Your tents suck in the wind. Correction, your tents BLOW in the wind. Like seriously, in addition to functioning like a sail on an already high profile vehicle, the side fabric is so loose that it flaps violently with every gust. Sorry, lack of sleep talking. I guess it's just a fact of life being up off the ground like that and I'm sure the other tents took a punishing as well. In fact, one of those vertical-walled roof tents from another manufacturer would probably have taken flight and crushed the wicked witch of Baja. 

Granted this was quite a strong wind, but nothing we did, including opening the side doors all the way to allow the breeze to pass through, helped in the least. Between the rocking of the truck with each gust and the possessed billowing and collapsing of the material, we couldn’t sleep a wink.

In fact, when we woke up, everyone other than Royce and Sue in the RV was packing up to head for a hotel. But we’d decided the day before that we’d been on the move too much in the first part of the trip and we planned on staying put. Some quick tarp work and we’d completely ensconced the palapa in plastic. Pulling the truck in front of the only open section may not have done much for the view or our social lives, but inside our nylon yurt, all was still.

IMG_8868 IMG_8869 IMG_8871

After a few hours in the blue glow, the wind still hadn’t died down and we decided to head up the road to a hotel the drunks had told us about. According to them, it was a brand new place, appropriately named “Los Vientos,” that was almost completely empty with an entertaining bartender and $2 beers and margarita’s. It didn’t take much for us to be convinced to go exploring.

When we got there, it was as the drunks promised and we settled in at the bar (inside thank God) overlooking the abandoned beach and whitecapped Sea of Cortez as we watched Mexican soaps and made small talk with the bartender. At one point, we realized we’d completely switched languages, us asking questions in Spanish and him answering them in English.  Good practice for everyone.

We also came to realize that the fact that we were the only people walking around in a really nice hotel in an extremely remote location where we’d heard the heads of the Baja government would be staying over the weekend, may very well mean the whole thing was a drug cartel money laundering operation. Of course, that didn’t mean we couldn’t order some fajitas and get on the wireless to send a couple emails.