A different kind of beach isolation

We woke to the sound of Aimee desperately scratching at the door to get out. She clearly wasn’t feeling any ill effect of yesterday’s minor surgery. I opened the door and watched her disappear into a nearby bush. Shane was already awake, as he didn’t really have any protection from the sunrise. I really wanted to take the board out, but without a leash, I didn’t really fancy swimming after the board after I repeatedly fell off it, so I walked down to the surf board rental stall which was set up on the beach. Sadly, they didn’t have any leashes for sale, but the owner promised to pick me one up in the afternoon and bring it over to me. With no alternative, I happily agreed.

Didn’t take long

With a lot of blogging to catch up on, we spent the day typing away furiously, Aimee appearing every so often, sometimes with a recently caught mouse which she had caught. She didn’t seem interested in killing them, she just played with them and then chased them back into whatever bush she had emerged from.

The surf stall owner returned with a leash he had picked up from the local surf shop. Not sure how much a leash is worth, I asked him how much he wanted for it.

“Just give me what you think is fair.” Was his reply. Which was his way of hoping that I would pay far more than what it was worth!

As I had popped to a near by shop for supplies, I now only had $50mxp left and so offered him that in the hope that leashes were cheap. The look of horror confirmed on his face confirmed that it was worth a fair bit more than £1.50. I asked him if he would accept American dollars, and ended up buying the leash for $14. Willow later checked on Amazon, where you could buy leashes for $12. So $2 more for same day delivery was a pretty fair price. As it was late and I had missed the surf, I would have to wait for the next day to break our board in.

We received a messaged from an American couple named Rob and Jen, who we had meet on the first night of the original VanLife App meeting. They had been camping there with their two daughters Sam and Sloane. They had seen a picture we had posted on Instagram and saw that we were still in town. Rob and Jen were renting an apartment in Todos Santos and wanted to know if we fancied joing there family for dinner one evening. Never one’s to turn down a free meal, we gratefully agreed and looked forward to catch up with them the next evening.

We spent the rest of the night enjoying our isolation with our new neighbour Shane, cooking on an open fire, inspired by our recent cooking experiences with our old group. Life seemed pretty good right now. If there was a global pandemic going on around us, the only effect it had on us was the closing of the brewery and the closure of touristy places in Todos Santos. The brewery would be a sad loss, but the rest we could live with out. Enjoying life, we toasted to our isolation.

Morning brought with it perfect surf conditions, and I woke to find lots of people already out catching waves. Wasting no time, I grabbed my board and made my way down to the water. Standing with sand and sea between my toes, I froze in horror when I saw how strong the waves were. Unsure whether I would make it past the break of the waves, I headed further down the beach, where I met another newbie facing the same conundrum. She had been trying to wait out the waves, hoping for an opportunity to paddle out. With no signs of the waves easing, we agreed to give it ago and to see what happens.

Repeatedly, I was bashed over and over again by strong waves, which threw me back to the shore like a rag doll. After getting hit by one particularly strong wave, I emerged from the water to sea that I had once again been pushed back to shore, but the girl had somehow managed to make it past the first point where the waves were breaking. Exhausted already, and quickly losing enthusiasm, I spent the next five minutes being thrown around like I was in a washing machine cycle from hell. Eventually I decided to throw in the hyperbole towel. I just wasn’t strong enough at paddling to make my way out to calmer waters, so disappointed, I headed back to the van, to be greeted by a not so comforting Willow. Who laughed when hearing about my failed first attempts. At least I would have lots of time to practice I thought to myself.

After spending more time in the sun, trying to catch up on our blogs, but mainly procrastinating. We had our arranged dinner date with Rob and Jen, so set off into town to buy a bottle of wine to bring along with us. Good guest etiquette taken care of, we actually had no idea where Rob and Jen actually lived. They had sent us a location link, but it only took us to the area, not the property. Sat awkwardly in Ruby outside the supermarket waiting for an update, we were approached by Rob, who had seen us parked up whilst he popped to the shop for supplies. He had wondered if we were lost and fortunately for us, Ruby tends to stand out.

We followed him a couple of minutes down a side road to their house and he invited us inside, where we met a slightly panicked looking Jen who has trying to finish off the evenings meal. She explained that she gets a bit stressed cooking for others and so we did our best trying to reassuring her that we weren’t fussy. We live in a small space, so we’re used to a mess when trying to cook. Our new friends were perfect hosts and we soon caught up on events since the Vanlife meeting over a glass of wine. We were reintroduced to Sam, their oldest daughter, and Sloane, their adopted daughter from China.

We learnt that sadly their dog Winston had recently died, so they offered for us to bring Aimee inside so she didn’t have to sit in the van by herself.

Jen was preparing Spaghetti with an avocado sauce, something neither of us had tried before, so we were eagerly awaiting trying a new take on an original. Rob had been going to collect a fresh loaf of bread when he had spotted us sat looking lost outside the local mini market. Decent bread is hard to come by in America and Mexico, most of the bread is loaded with additional sugar, and so it tastes more like a pudding, rather than a delicious savoury treat. This bread looked the real deal and I was looking forward to ripping a piece of and mopping up lashings of avocado sauce.

The spaghetti was served, and we worked our way through multiple plates worth of spaghetti, Willow and I are notorious for eating more than our fair share of pasta. Jen clearly did a good job cooking the spag, as there was nothing left at the end. Before heading back to our beach spot, they offered to cook us a pancake breakfast, so we agreed to return in a couple of days when we worked our way up to La Paz to collect our apocalypse postal order.

We thanked our hosts for the amazing meal and tracked down Aimee, who was having a great time exploring their home and made our way back to San Pedrito. We approached our little spot, trying to coast into our spot as quietly as possible, so not to disturb Shane, who was sleeping outside in the back of his pick up.

It’s now Thursday, we would hopefully be heading to La Paz the next day to collect our post, and then moving on to Santiago, a region on the east side of the peninsula in the mountains. There were some hot springs that we wanted to visit and we had learnt that Rob and Jen had recently visited with the kids and the pictures looked amazing. This meant that we had one last day at San Pedrito. It would sad to leave our base for the last couple of days. Aimee had a safe place to explore, and we didn’t have to worry about her wandering off or being attacked by a predator. We’d also enjoyed spending time with Shane and we were looking forward to making a final meal to cook over an open fire together.

We spent another day procrastinating, whilst trying to catch up with our blogs. The Coronavirus is still causing mayhem to daily life around the world, but we were in our safe haven on the beach, enjoying the sun outside, which was something people back home were desperate to do, as England was having an unprecedented hot spell.

In the evening, Shane made some home made tortilla wraps and we cooked some food to make our own tacos. He had gone out and bought a hand fishing rod, but had so far been unable to catch a fish. Our tacos were delicious anyway, even without the freshly caught fish. It was a nice way to end our final night at San Pedrito, and if all went to plan, after Santiago, we would attempt to make our way up to Bahía Concepción to ride out the Coronavirus.

We woke to find Shane once again up before us, as nice as it sounds to wake naturally at the crack of dawn, the reality is probably horrible and we both enjoyed lying in past 8am. We packed the van away and said goodbye to Shane, wishing him the best of luck during the rest of his stay in San Pedrito. We did the short drive back to Todos Santos, to join our friends the Thompson’s for a pancake breakfast.

Walking through the door, Rob and Jen had already started breakfast preparations, cooking us up a mixture of American pancakes and Dutch pancakes. The Dutch pancakes looked similar to Yorkshire pudding, only I assumed they would be a lot sweeter. Just like the spaghetti, we annihilated the pancakes, using them to mop up lashing of maple syrup.

We started getting ready to pack the van away to make our way to La Paz, just as I went to close the door to reverse the van off of their drive, the door runner fell out, tearing the aluminium bracket holding the door on. This was the worst possible thing to happen, as it wasn’t something we could easily repair. A quick post on the local newsfeed promoted some useful… And so not useful replies. It turned out our best bet was to go to LA Paz, which fortunately was out next destination. We just had to get the door closed and hope that it would stay shut for our hour journey to the main town of La Paz. Not something either of us were optimistic about.

Not good

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