Almost 12 hours of driving today. But it does not seem that long. In part because of numerous fuel and food and picture taking breaks. Not to mention the many stops to ask for directions or just to talk.
I usually start with “una pregunta, por favor?” Or “puede ayudarme?” One question, please? Can you help me?
The response is always very positive. People want to help. Mexicanos are no exception.
What made today’s drive particularly interesting is that I took a different route from what I had planned and from the route I took coming south last week.
Instead of following route 1 going north from Guerrero Negro to Ensenada and the Pacific coast, I turned east to return to the Sea of Cortez ending up in San Felipe on the east coast of the Baja peninsula. Guerrero Negro is about mid point on the peninsula. It is the town that is located on the border between the states of Baja California and Baja California South. It is also the town where the time zone changes from pacific to mountain time.
To go east from there is a challenging experience. There are no paved roads. Only dirt and sand and rock. There is only one road. It is 45 miles long before it hits the Sea of Cortez. There is nothing on the road. No towns, no houses, no ranches, no farming, no businesses, no parks, no attractions, no historical markers, no gas stations, no automotive repair shops, no taco stands, no bars, no restaurants, no schools, no churches, no hospitals, no police, no fire services, no water, no sewer, no electricity, no internet, and no cell service. You get the idea. There is nothing on this road but you and your vehicle! (Pictures to follow in #3)
The one exception is Coco’s Corner. Located half way, this “oasis” is the brainchild of Coco. Grizzled, missing one leg, can speak some English, and with a wonderful outlook on life. Has been here 25 years. I asked him how many other people he had met today and his answer was one. Not a lot of daily traffic.
Yet he has been determined to have some fun with his life. His fences are loaded with beer cans. The ceiling of his open air outdoor rest stop is littered with underpants and panties of all sizes from all over the world.
I will tell you that it felt awfully good to see another human being and to be able to talk and laugh and enjoy each other if only for a brief period of time. I will never forget Coco.