This is a replay of our month-long trip to Mexico earlier this year (which was the inspiration for our current plans to leave for the Pan American Highway as soon as we can).
This expanded entry was originally posted in a simpler form on 1-3-12 on my now-retired travel blog. I left you here, in which we had spent the night in Catalina, "Mad Max Land", and were once more – very gladly – on the road again.
We drove from Catalina to Mulege.A drive through a desert land to an Oasis, complete with palm trees.
We knew there were too many white people in Mulege though when we hit the grocery store to stock up on camping provisions and the grocery store workers were pretty flat out rude to us. That only – but only – happens to us when the people we're interacting with have hit "white man fatigue" and their eyes start to glass over with "typical" white-people-grocery-store demands. All white people merge in the minds of these folk, and they don't really even see us anymore; they just see SKIN.
Anyway. We spent a lot of money there and were pissed they wouldn't let us use their bathroom. I ended up having to rush Micah over to the gas station bathroom across and down the street – no toilet paper! bucket of water! poopy job! – and was grateful for it.
Stopped by a very cool dive shop – run by a white guy from someplace Northern, I think. They had low prices by American standards for good quality, highly useful things. We bought a couple of snorkeling sets, one for kids, one for adults. Headed out to find our perfect beach to camp at.
Like Goldilocks and her bed and porridge, we searched through beaches surrounding Mulege until we found our 'just right' spot. This wasn't particularly easy – the Mulege area is chock-full of beaches. Lovely bays, gorgeous glimpses of tantalizing beach-space would lure us down from the highway off and down roads, just to discover at the very end, it was more like a parking lot full of RV's and "snow birds" (- people escaping Canada and the Northern US States). Or there were no pit toilets and no bushes or space private enough to do some business.
Or it was really super windy ( we had a tent to stake down, remember). Or something.
It took a while. But we found it. And it turned out to be Playa el Coyote.
It was great.
Close to the water but not too close. Sheltered but not too sheltered. Wind but not too much. Neighbours but not too many.
Now, for what we have learned:
– Vendors will bring everything to the beach. Everything. Water, fruit, raw seafood; they'll take your produce/store order and deliver it the next day. Tamales, eggs? No problemo. It felt a little silly to be hauling most of Safeway with us.
– Kids will play with anything. The less you give them to work with, the more creative they become in the making and what a delight it is to see that unfold.
– There is absolutely no down-time for parents on the beach. On. The. Watch. 24-7. We were tired, far more ready than the kids to crash into sound slumber at 6pm.
– The moon by night through the tent screen… sigh.