With our friends gone, we sat in shock, trying to process the morning’s events. A couple of days ago, we were all making plans to see out the Corona pandemic together in Baja, and in a couple of hours those plans had completely fallen apart.
Neither Willow or I knew how to process the information. We had obviously spent a lot of time travelling by ourselves and we quite enjoy our own company. Plus, it may make it easier to stay undetected, if we needed to isolate on a beach whilst we waited for the pandemic to pass. There was something reassuring about being in a large group though, and all of a sudden I felt very vulnerable being by ourselves.
“I sure hope this doesn’t escalate to much here,” I sighed to Willow. “I don’t think it would take much for locals to start targeting travellers.”
Truthfully, neither of us knew what would happen. So far, everything seemed quite relaxed around us. La Paz had started ramping up preventative measures, but near Todos Santos, it was business as usual.
We started discussing extreme situations and we were started to get excited by the prospect of having to survive off grid somewhere, in isolation. Willow decided to order a kayak and a fishing rod, so that in a worst case scenario, we would be able to try and source our own food. She was also starting to reconsider building a solar still, so we would also be able to produce our own drinking water. We had committed to Baja now and we would do everything possible to see this thing out.
All of a sudden, we seemed to have gained lots more free time, and with our blogs in desperate need of attention, we probably should have made a start catching up. But motivation seemed to be escaping us. Instead, we chilled out in the sun. Allowing ourselves one day to adjust to our new arrangements.
By the time morning had came, we had almost adjusted to being back by ourselves, although it was weird not to find John outside, enjoying his morning brew. The appeal of La Pastora beach, was that as a group, it offered us plenty of space to park in a circle. However, with everyone gone, we were now feeling rather exposed. We decided to head back to San Pedrito, which was to the south of Todos Santos. We had enjoyed our productive day there, and felt like we hadn’t appreciated the beach as much as we could have.
We made our way there, stopping again at Todos Santos Brewing for a beer in the sun. By this point, the bartender knew us so well, he didn’t even have to ask us what drinks we wanted. Considering half of the world was now in isolation, it felt good to be sat in a pub enjoying some quality craft beer. It felt like we had made the right decision to stay put, and we really couldn’t see Todos Santos enforcing similar restrictions in the town. They were surely too reliant on tourist income, I reasoned to myself. Little did we know at the time, that the pandemic was soon going to hit our way of life dramatically!
Whilst in town, we made an appointment at the local vet, for Aimee to be spayed. We had a feeling she was about to start heat again soon and so we hoped we could squeeze her in before we all have to endure a repeat of La Ventana. Aimee once the only one in need of medical care. Willow suffers with a B12 deficiency, and she had been struggling of late, yting to get by on B12 supplements, which weren’t having the same affect as her injections. Popping into a chemist, we were stunned at how easily it was to buy some injections. In America, when we enquired, we were told that we would have to pay over $100 dollars just to see a doctor for an appointment. With needles in hand, it would justbe down to me to stab her in the leg once we got settled. An experience I was very much looking forward to!
As Aimee’s appointment wasn’t until Monday, we decided to head back to San Pedrito Beach. It was only ten minutes away, so we would be able to pop back to the vets fairly easily. We parked up in a bay next to the beach, nestled nicely between some bushes. We practically had the beach to ourselves, except for a few campers towards the end of the beach and an American guy camped in the spot next to us, who was living in his Mazda pickup. Shane arrived around the same time that we were previously at the beach. He explained that he was originally waiting on some documents, so that he could go teach English over in China. He couldn’t have chosen a worse possible time, with the current situation and so he would have to wait it out, until it would become possible to fulfil his plans.
Meeting Shane made me feel a whole lot better about our circumstances. We may not have had the luxury of space that some of our other friends had in their campers, but Shane was living a far more simplistic lifestyle in the back of a pick up truck. Sleeping underneath the stars and cooking on an open fire. He truly was living a life without luxuries and I admired him for that.
After a bit of online research, it was time for me to stab Willow with her B12 shot. Picking a spot on her leg, I just went for it, Willow sat shocked that there was a needle stuck in her leg, put there by me. I’ve got to admit, it did feel a bit weird, and not as satisfying as I thought it would be. Still, if it helped her energy levels, and boosted her immune system, then it would havebeen worth it. I will need to repeat the experience in three months time.
In the evening, recieved news that all of our friends had made it across the American border, and they were heading to Arizona to isolate there until restirctions were lifted. Emotioanlly drained by the strange week, we hit the sack, hoping that we had made the right decision to stick around in Baja. Once Aimee’s operation was out of the way, we would collect the post which we ordered to La Paz and head off ourselves, to hide away somewhere until things started to pick up.
Sunday morning came, and so had some good weather. With the sun out, we started to make ourselves comfortable. Willow managed to hang our hammock between Ruby and some loose branches, and wasted no time jumping in to read a book she had recently downloaded. I managed to buy a leash for our beaten up surf board. If we were going to carry it around, I thought I might as well use the spare time to practise a bit of surfing.
We spent the majority of the day doing little bits and pieces, mainly trying to fix our still leaking solar shower and preparing some coconut husk for our composting toilet from some shells that were lying around the beach.
That night, we had to deprive Aimee of food and water, as she would have her minor surgury in the morning. The combination of this and potentially starting her next heat cycle, resulted in her spending the majority of the night whinning. It was not a pleasant night’s sleep and we were both desperate to get her surgery out of the way.
Tired, we woke feeling worse for wear. After packing the van down, we headed to the vets, Shane kindly reserved our space with his bike. We dropped Aimee of at the vet practise, which was currently in the process of being refurbished and as a result, it did look the most hygenic of places. Saying goodbye, we headed off to kill time until we could collect her. Although it was a minor procedure, I couldn’t help worry. Was the operation going to go well. Ruby felt empty without Aimee, and we were both concious of her absence.
We tried to occupy ourselves, to take our minds off all of the horror scenarios running through our vets. Arriving at old faithful (The Brewery), we were sickened to see the doors closed, accompanied by a notice which informed us that the brewery was closed until further notice due to Covid19. The coronavirus had finally hit us in Todos Santos, and it had it us in where it hurt the most. Our craft beer. Mexico was finally starting to take the corona virus seriously, which wasn’t surprising after the border to America closed. We were still able to access the breweries WiFi, and so we sat depressed in the van, downloading some tv shows to watch, whilst we updated our blogs.
Shortly after, a car pulled up and the owners of the brewery got out. The owner Liz guessed that we were parked up using the internet, which she was absolutely fine with. Chatting to Liz through a barred window, she offered us a free drink whilst she explained their decision to close pre-emptively. As it turned out, Liz had previous healthcare experience and so she understood the dangers of selfishly keeping the brewery open in the midst of a pandemic. The brewery had staff who lived with old relatives, and they didn’t want to be responsible for the possibility of them catching the virus. She explained how she recently witnessed an American tourist walk out of the bathroom and neglect to wash their hands. Although inside, the voice in my head was screaming at her the keep the brewery open, I could understand their reasoning. The only consolation was that the brewery would be open a couple of days a week, selling growler refills. Definitely something we would have to consider if our post was delayed any longer. One of the locals actually turned up whilst we were enjoying our free drink, clearly this was going to be a profitable solution!
I could have stayed (and enjoyed free beer) all night, but before we knew it, it was time to collect our little girl from the vet. The vet led us into the back, where we found Aimee drugged up to her eye balls. She was still under sedation, her mouth gapping open, tongue hanging out. If you didn’t see her breathing, you would have presumed she was dead. Thankfully, she was breathing, and the vet passed her into our care, informing us that she had pissed all over the matt that she was on… Lovely!
The bill was $800mxp, less than £30!! But you get what you pay for in Mexico. In England, the bill would have been much higher, however they wouldn’t return your pet until it is full conscious, has eaten, drank some water and done their business. So it was a little bit frightening to be given our baby girl back, looking as if she had just died on the operating table.
With Aimee passed out, we decided to head back to our beach spot, so we could complete the harsh dirt road before she was conscious. It was quite stressful watching Aimee, as she came round from the anaesthetic. Slowly, her body started to occasionally twitch, as her subconscious started to wake. Her eyes pupils we extremely dialated and she still had no control of her tongue, which at this point was an uncontrollably mass, drooping out from her gapping mouth. Soon, she was conscious enough to attempt to stand up. But for all of her efforts, what resulted was an uncoordinated mess, her limbs failing her, as she repeatedly collapsed drunkenly on the floor. Although she was suffering, we couldn’t help laugh at her expense and there was one particularly funny moment, when attempting to drink some water, her limbs gave way again and she face planted the water. At least she was moving though.
By later afternoon, Aimee had eaten and was feeling well enough to go outside. Although we were slightly concerned about her stiches, we didn’t see any real danger letting her loose on the beach, so around she ran, business as usual for her, as if nothing had ever happened. Now we could relax and make the most of our enforced isolation situation. In the morning, I would try to take our board out and try to master the art of surfing.