Thursday, May 13, 2010
last from mexico
okay, so there we are in mexico. Los Barriles to be exact. just an hour north of the cabo airport, on the sea of cortez side. this is a beautiful part of mexico. the waters are calm, for the most part, but it is known for good and steady winds for much of the winter, that brings many people down to windsurf. (something we hope to learn this summer) it is also home to many US transplants, tired of the working world. they have found a relatively cheap place to live, with great weather 10+ months of the year (there is the hurricane season, from late july into sept). this sector of people, is for better or worse, at least half the population of the area.
on a slight digression, on our way to the airport, we had some time and money to kill, so went for an early lunch into a town called miraflores. this is not right on the coast. it is a small town, but surprisingly clean and well kept. this to me was very refreshing and unusual. i am not sure what the economy is, but it was NOT a tourist town. it was sooo clean. more so than even most tourist towns. very refreshing.
anyway, many of the people who have chosen to live in the los barriles area, as i am sure with much of mexico coastal towns, are a bit different than the tourist or traveler looking for water adventure. they are mostly an older segment, 50+. MA calls them the Extreme Senior Partiers. what do they do for fun? Four Wheeling, baby!!! and since we happened to be there on Cinco de Mayo, there was a big rally of the local gringo population going on.
by the way, cinco de mayo is not a traditional mexican holiday. down there it is considered a "Pacifico" holiday. much like our various "hallmark" holidays. and it is not celebrated by the mexicans at all. only by the gringos in mexico. their actual independence day is sept 16, this year being number 200 i believe. so if you want to go for a big "Mexican" celebration, look into this fall, when they are planning many huge festivities.
but we were in gringoville, and since our landlords were the typical retired americans, they were aware of this upcoming "poker run". with four stops to pick up playing cards, and then the final one at the end, each person or team (MA and i rode together, but we each entered the run, so we each got our own hand) gets five cards, and the best poker hand wins. half the entry fee to the overall winner, about 2500 pesos (presently about $210 US). our landlords not only told us of this event,but offered us their four wheeler to ride. if we had rented one, it would have been $100 US. not that we would have rented one at that cost, but to show you that not everything there is cheap. like so much else, they have figured out how to get the most out of the gringos. so off we went, into the desert, mostly following the dust and tracks of those in front. and although we had been given pretty descent directions, and we were never way in front or behind, somehow, we got lost. or misplaced. fortunately another couple came along right behind us, also confused. ends up we had to ride about a mile on a secondary highway, about the size of highway 40, but with no traffic, and get back onto a dirt road there. about 10 of us got confused at this point, so we did not feel too bad, and felt fortunate to find others, or we might still be out there, out of gas and water, walking like Chevy Chase in the original Vacation movie. once back on track, we made the rest of the trip without incident.
so the long and short of all this. i am looking at selling my house, skis, boats, bikes, etc, renting a uhaul or something like that, calling it a career and moving to mexico and taking up four wheeling, going to the sea only to wash off. yes, it was that fun!!
okay, maybe not yet, but it was way more fun than would have expected. a great group of people, looking for something to do. not that environmentally friendly, but fun all the same. (an example of the Extreme Senior Partyers, an early quotefrom an approximately 70 year old Gal about 10 minutes before the start, when asked what the purpose of the day was, "to get drunk on beer, fall off your four wheeler, and pick up your best friends husband!"
i mean, who doesn't want to be 20 again?