The taste of Tecate is still fresh in my mouth as I decide to stand up. The wind is strong, really strong, so much so that when I open my mouth my cheeks begin flapping around as if I were skydiving. I take a look around, there are 9 of us (more if you count dogs) crammed in the bed of a pickup. We’re doing 88 down an abandoned runway, surrounded by barren mountains of brown dusty earth. Presumably we’re in search of a surf spot, but only the driver Juan (El Loko) actually knows where we’re going.
The runway came to an end and Juan slowed the truck down to a crawl as we left the pavement and began the off-road portion of our journey. Just over a small hill the dirt path opened up into a large plateau which must have served as the village’s landfill years ago. Now all that remains are acres of uniformly distributed plastic bottles. Another small hill and we pop out on perhaps the most pristine beach I’ve ever seen. We fly up the beach to the northern end and we all pile out. The sun was beginning to set and the light bathed everything in a red glow. In the distance we could see a few of the remaining boats in the fleet as they rolled in late to Turtle Bay. Juan points out the surfing spot and we all hang out and soak in the view, chase the dog around and pile back in his truck.
How exactly we found ourselves in the bed of his truck is still a bit unclear, but like most things in Mexico it started (and ended) with a craving for tacos. Tacos, which lead to beers, which lead to a search for sombreros, then a failed attempt at asking directions, which lead to an offer to pile in his truck to search for the sombrero shop. After the sombrero shop was a bust (they didn’t carry a single hat) we assumed our time in the back of Juan’s truck had come to an end. It was only ten minutes later, barreling down the runway, when it became clear the adventure with Juan had only just begun.
Stay tuned for our continued adventures with Juan.