Goodbye Todos Santos

In Baja, the nights we have spent alone have been few and far between. It felt odd to be driving off by ourselves, even though we knew they would catch up with us later. We left Cerritos and headed for Cabo to stock up again for a week off grid. I also wanted to take my new laptop back to Costco, the right hand speaker had developed a nasty crackle after only a month.

As ever, things took longer than we thought. Food shopping was relatively straightforward, taking my laptop back was not. Costco sent us to the Mac store in town to get a ‘ticket’ that showed the problem. First we went to the wrong Mac store, then having found the correct one I wandered through a maze of swimwear shops in a shopping centre with no map to find the correct one. Having finally got there, I was told I that I would not only have to pay 600 pesos for a ticket but that I would also have to come back the next day to give my laptop in and then wait another day for ‘the results’. This was a bit ridiculous, so we went back to Costco again. There’s no way I’m paying for anything when it’s still under warranty, even if it is only a three month warranty apparently. 

Back at Costco we argued. The manager was summoned and she took great pains to say we had broken it. She claimed I’d poured water in it. Then explained that it was ok when I got it and then broke after so it must be my fault. I felt like it might be better banging my head against a wall as I tried to explain the concept of ‘warranty’ while she jabbed at the case with a heavily manicured nail trying to find proof that it had been abused somehow. This was my first new laptop in 11 years, I was incredibly careful with it. We didn’t even use it outside in case it got sand or dust in it, so I resented the implication. Eventually, after over an hour of arguing, they agreed to swap it. 

By the time we left Costco, it was dark. I would have been happy to stay on El Tule beach for the night, but Lee wanted to get to Nine Palms so that we could surf in the morning. He offered to drive, so we set off. The last job was to get some garrafons of water. Normally a straightforward job, however, it turns out that the rubbish garrafons we swapped at Cabo Pulmo were a different size. Therefore we couldn’t exchange them back for the ones with handles. This is annoying as it meant we had to buy them again. What was even more annoying is that although the shop had the ones we wanted they wouldn’t let us buy them. Exchange only, but not with your garrafon. After driving to three different shops we finally managed to buy a new one and finally leave for the beach. 

It’s a good hour drive from here, especially negotiating cows and the dirt road at night. I was glad when we finally got there. Our previous parking spot was no longer available, two tents were pitched there. We knew from speaking to Mike that this was the owner of the property that backed onto the beach trying to discourage campers. In the end I think the battered tents looked worse than a camper, but still, we parked up near the entrance. We could spy Jaro, still here, down the other end of the beach. 

In the morning, he offered to tow us down through the deep sand to the spot next to him so we didn’t have to be by the entrance and the bins. In the end though, we managed to get there ourselves by airing down the tires and reversing at it enthusiastically. We were stuck the moment we stopped, but we were fine with our spot. 

It was a couple of days before Kikki and Hanno joined us, with a new fridge in tow. They had gone for a small(ish) household fridge, so we lent them our transformer (on the agreement that they made morning coffee) in order to power it until they could buy a proper inverter.

Unfortunately the following day, they weren’t happy. The fridge was using a lot of power and also getting very hot, maybe it wouldn’t work for their van after all. Then the toilet hinges broke. Clem and Emilie had turned up that day too, and we watched and angry Kikki and worried Hanno try to prise their toilet out of the cupboard while constantly checking on the battery level.

Not happy with their purchase, they went for a daytime trip to Cabo to return it, returning with a smaller model much like the one that had just broke. This too used a fair bit of battery in it’s initial cool down and we lent them some power for once. It seemed better though, although it still wasn’t the solution they wanted it was good for now.

Mike had mentioned that there was a boat scrapyard in Cabo which seemed like it might well have a marine fridge. We would be heading back that way in order to make it to Todos Santos for Saturday. We were all headed that way and we decided we would have some drinks and tacos in town as a kind of ‘leaving do’. 

It was now then, after spending another week of surfing that we left the beach again. We were up early, wanting to have plenty of time for fridge searching. We had to be towed out of our camp spot where we were buried up to the hubcaps in sand, Bruno to the rescue again. 

Another week of surfing had made it clear to me that I wanted a new surfboard too, I didn’t catch any waves on mine which was make me quite annoyed. We had met Katie, another camper who was selling some surfboards and as we drove out of the beach we saw her camped up on the roadside. We stopped off to have a look at the board, it was nice but out of our price range at $400 so we headed towards Cabo. I wanted to stop at Costa Azul, where Jaro had got his nice longboard from. He had lent it to me a few times while at the beach and it was the most fun I had all week, I was sold. 

Stopping at the shop, I explained I wanted to buy a longboard and that my friend had bought one here for $150. I also mentioned I wanted to trade in my board too. He glanced dismissively at our surfboards on the roof, hidden under our solar panel.

“I can’t sell them.” He said.

“But you haven’t even looked at them?” I queried 

“No, I can see from here. No one will buy them.” You really couldn’t see them from there. 

“OK, well do you have any boards for sale” I asked, pissed off at his tone.

“No not for $150.”

“Right, then.” I said as we promptly left.

Unhelpful salesman of the year award right there. I don’t want anything so badly as to give my money to a complete arsehole, so we left to start the fridge search. 

It didn’t take us too long to find the scrapyard, with a little help from Google satellite. The gates were locked, but there was someone inside so I hopped out. “My friends wants to buy a fridge” I said in my best Spanish. The lady shook here head, we don’t have any that work she told me. Then her husband came over, he seemed to think otherwise. He opened the gates and ushered us in. He then showed us the two fridges he did have, unfortunately they were no good for Bruno as they weren’t compressor fridges. Close but not close enough, they were quite disappointed. Deciding that we were probably more annoying than useful staying around, we headed off to Walmart to get a few bits of shopping. I also treated myself to a new pillow, bored of waking up with a sore neck every morning. 

We were walking past the fridge section when we bumped into them again. It seems the executive decision was to buy a bigger 110v fridge and stick with that. We hung around in the car park for a bit while they sorted it out, and now finally with a fridge they were happy with, we left for Todos Santos. 

We were planning to meet everyone for drinks on Saturday and had stopped off again at Punta Tunaja, forever known now as the birthday beach the night before. This got postponed till Sunday, so we stayed another night there as it’s quieter and less buggy than some of the beaches near Todos Santos. 

Sunday midday, we dropped off our laundry and headed to our favourite taco place, Santo Chilote. We were soon joined by Tobias and then by Alejandro and his girlfriend who we hadn’t met before. We enjoyed out tacos and some drinks. Planning to move the party on from here to La Morena, we had been disappointed to see it was shut.

The new plan was to head to Pescadero’s Oasis Cantina. This also had a suitable beer garden for the cats. Jaro had now joined us too, and we bagged ourselves a large outside table. Soon Clem, Emilie and Lu completed out little party. We had an enjoyable last evening in the area. 

After we are done with the bar, we managed to buy some beers next door, desire the alcohol curfew, and head down for another night on San Pedrito as it was the closest beach. After a small stop off where Toby had to remove a small snake from his engine bay, we arrived at the beach. Now even wetter than it had been before, our spot from march was a pond, while out spot from last week was blocked by a large puddle. We tucked ourselves away in the trees as best we could and sat outside around Jaro’s campfire, a rather melted candle. It wasn’t going to be an early night. 

We awoke in the morning, some feeling worse than others and most of us covered in bites. Something had enjoyed eating us alive that night, sandflies bites or similar covered all of my legs and were insanely itchy.

Nothing could distract me from the fact that today was the last day we would be in the area. Before we left, we had agreed to go back to the surf shop and see if they had any boards for me. Kikki wanted to come too, unsure if she wanted to trade her board in to. We stopped off for fuel at Pemex and to see if the cool mats we had ordered had arrived. They had not, which was annoying as we had been waiting a while. Still, the whole trip is not going to be delayed on the basis of a cool mat, we agreed to forget about them. 

The surf shop too didn’t go to plan. He wasn’t really interested in my board, whether that was a sales technique or not I’m don’t know. He did find me a nice longboard, but it was still out of our budget at $230. He even offered to  long term lend it to me for $175 for a few months which I could have done and then never come back, but I’m not that kind of person so we thanked him and declined. Clearly it wasn’t meant to be. Hanno and Kikki had already left as they had a lot of shopping to do in La Paz, we would catch them up that evening. We decided to pop down to say goodbye to Jaro before we left and headed to La Paz for the last time.

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