Jose Napoleon drives by on a 4-wheel ATV. He’s wearing ear-buds and a sweatshirt that says “Security”. Alex waves him down and asks directions to some landmark where in 18 hours, and with considerable luck, I am to meet a taxi to the Airport. Jose drives off.
We are at Los Frailes (The Friars), an anchorage at the far south eastern tip of Baja. We are walking back to what we now know to be the main road when Jose makes a return appearance and asks what the Taxi is going to cost me. He likes the answer and volunteers that he has a green Ford Explorer and is off work at 6:30. We have a deal.
We take the dingy ashore early so we can cross the surf-line in daylight and then head towards the local’s fishing camp where we are to meet Jose. Seems they fish at night and we watch them push and tow their open boats off of the sand with pickup trucks and see their lights move offshore in the gathering dusk. Another guy on an ATV flags us down. He knows Jose and says he’ll be by in a “minute”, one of those 45 minute minutes. Jose shows with his explorer and I manage to fit my bags in the back around this giant subwoofer while he and Alex discuss what sort of Hotel I should end up in. We are off.
Jose points at the stereo and says “Ingles ?”. I try to assure him that “Espanol” is fine but we end up with Bob Marley and head down the main road. The road is dirt. I expect to hit some pavement but it never happens. Jose has some internal cruise control that maintains his speed at “harrowing”. If 25 mph would feel safe he does 28. If 40 is doable we’re at 45. Washboard and shoulder to shoulder.
The stereo sounds great. Jose tires of Reggae and I hear.. is that Marvin Gaye ? .. wait, no, it’s Creedence! Grapevine! Perfect!
The dome light comes on from time to time because our shared vocabulary is about 100% body language and hand signals. How many boats he asks. This many fingers I answer. Now we are dodging cattle. At one point we slow to a crawl and creep through about 20 head on the road. There’s essentially no one else around. For the entire trip I see only two oncoming trucks and we enthusiastically pass another two heading in our direction. From time to time there are spectacular views of a full moon over the ocean.
After about an hour of this we emerge on Mexico highway one right by Los Cabos International airport. Jose picks a hotel located behind a convenience store right on this highway and hangs around to get me checked in. The room is impeccably clean and I find a bag of Fritos and a six of Tecate in the convenience store. (This fine meal will only be outdone by my next morning breakfast of coffee and chocolate covered Oreos.) As I head back to the room I wonder how my bags got so incredibly dusty. Then I look in the mirror.