The morning involved more lengthy discussions about the Coronavirus, with everyone checking morning reports as soon as they work up. More and more places were closing down outside of Mexico and it seemed that the Mexican authorities were starting to take notice. I read an article which said that bars and restaurants in La Paz will be implementing stricter measures in order for business to continue to operate. Countries were starting to close their borders, but at this time, the American/Mexico border remained open. There had still been no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Baja California Sur, which meant that America had no reason to implement a border closure. If anything, it would be Mexico who would implement stricter measures to prevent infected Americans spreading the virus south of the border. We had no desire to head back to America with the way things were, so we were fairly relaxed about the whole situation. Danny was even contemplating buying a piece of land for us all to wait it out at, if we decided to stay together as a group in a worst case scenario.
With our short term plans decided, our attention switched to our batteries, which even with the support of our recently purchased solar panel, were struggling to support even the simplest of tasks. Often having to turn the engine on, just to be able to fire up the Wallas to make a cup of tea.
Willow decided that enough was enough and that we should try running our battery chargers repair mode, only this time isolating each battery and running the repair separately. She wondered whether the batteries being linked was effecting the battery chargers effectiveness in reaching an optimum repair. John offered us his battery charger as well, so we could charge both at the same time, in order to have them ready to run a repair cycle. That meant retrieving their generator from their ‘garage’, which prompted them to spend the day reorganising their space, so that it was more practical.
It probably wasn’t the most fascinating of days, but it was a good way to prepare our vehicles in case we were required to bunker down somewhere a little more permanently.
As we never used the fire wood which Danny had so kindly acquired the previous evening, we decided to make use of our project and so we downloaded so movies for the group to watch.
With a small fire pit created, sheltered from the harsh coastal winds behind Danny’s camper, we errected a screen and set up the projector. The group left the movie decision up to is, and so we decided to screen the English movie ‘Four Lions’, which is a black comedy about some wannabe Muslim terrorists. Sat besides the warm glow of the fire, we relaxed as a group, whilst the non-English people tried to get to grasps with the strong northern accents. I think in the end, this became to challenging for some of the group, as first John and Ina retreated to their van about half way through, shortly followed by Danny. Ola and Rachel seemed to enjoy it though, so it wasn’t a complete disaster.
The following morning, our batteries were in a much better condition, even if they weren’t completely refurbished. The cycle kept restarting and so Willow, worried that our charger was knackered, sent a lengthy email to the manufacturers, asking for some advice.
The group had pretty much decided that they were going to stick it out, even if that meant staying in Baja in the event that the border closed. We decided to move on from San Pedrito and decided to move back to where we all spent our first night, in the beautiful beach of La Pastora.
Stopping off in the main town, we tried once again for tacos at the restaurant John and Ina had tried to take us to previously, happy to find that this time it was open. None of us really fancied waiting over an hour again at the spot across the road!
John and Ina had warned us that the portion sizes were generous and they weren’t lying. Each portion coming with two tortillas and enough fish to split each one in two. The food was so delicious though, I don’t think any minded eating six tacos instead of three!
Stuffed, we decided to wash our food down with some beers from our new favourite brewery. Todos Santos Brewing. I had become quite fond of the Big Blonde, which was the strongest drink on the menu at a staggering 13.5%. sat basking in the warm midday heat, Ola and Rachel befriended an American family who were renting a villa in the town, they kindly invited the group to join them for some food and to enjoy their on site pool facilities. Clearly an offer none of us were going to turn down.
They showed us where they were staying and then left us to finish our drinks. We couldn’t believe that with all of the panic happening elsewhere due to Covid 19, a family down here were relaxed enough to invite a group of strangers over to their house to enjoy some luxuries that we were not often accustomed to.
The group moved our campers round to some street parking next to their complex and then we entered through some expensive looking gates. We were greeted with home made hand sanitizer, made by the landlord, who requested that all guests washed their hands upon entering. Although a lot more relaxed, people were starting to be a bit more cautious against the risk of infection.
We were introduced properly to Shaye, her husband ‘Butter’ and their son Bodhi, who shared to same uncommon name as Danny’s dog and given a quick tour of their rented property. A modest sized holiday apartment located on the grounds of the owner/landlady.
Shaye quickly encouraged us to enjoy the pool and it wasn’t long before we had all changed into some swimwear and were enjoying the refreshing, if not chilling swimming pool water. I don’t think I will ever get used to the kindness we have received from complete strangers whilst living our life on the road.
Chilling around the pool, Shaye told the group how she used to travel in a VW similar to Ruby, and that she understood the hardships you face when living a stripped back lifestyle. Which is why she wanted to share with us her facilities, as a treat and a break from the normal routine. Now, I don’t particularly find waking up next to the sea a hardship, but I wasn’t going to grumble about some free time in the pool.
Shaye told the group that she had a large bag of shrimp that were in desperate need of eating and so asked some of the group if they could help her prepare some food for the evening. I was entertaining Bodhi, but Willow was asked if she could help, even though she is not particularly fond of sea food. Willow joined me later, looking slightly uncomfortable. Apparently, Shaye had made a remark to Willow about how much she should enjoy ripping the innards out of the shrimp being a vegetarian, followed by a comment along the lines of,
“It’s a shame you won’t be able to taste all of this delicious food I am preparing for you.”
It’s safe to say, the experience left a bitter taste with Willow, worse than she would have had from actually trying the food.
The food that was prepared was tasty, and we were all thankful for having a meal provided to us for free. Even if it did come with some unnecessary views about some of the group’s dietary choices.
Shaye informed the group, that we could park on a beach just south of the town, at Punta Labos. Apparently, this is where all of the local fishermen launched their boats for their daily fishing. In the afternoon, you could walk up to the boats and buy the day’s catch from them for a small price. Fancying something different, we all set off, turning off the main highway down a precarious dirt track which led down to the beach.
The track forked a couple of minutes from the beach, and we would later learn that the other route was a freshly laid tarmac road which led to a hotel right next to where we would park. The track we choose however, was not in the best of conditions, and to get to the final parking spot next to the beach, you had to drive up a small bumpy incline, which somehow us and Danny managed to do. Danny decided to drive at it all guns blazing, somehow managing to get up without destroying the underside of his van.
John and Ina headed back and took the other road, along with Ola and Rachel. Probably more sensible, if not a little less exciting.
Parked up, allowing room for the fishermen to access the beach in the morning, we said goodnight and went to sleep excited about what tomorrow would bring