01 April 2016

Adventures in Baja

Jason picked me up after sunrise and in less than fifteen minutes we were in Mexico, heading to a house Roger is renting with his friend Mario. By 8 a.m. we passed through the guarded gate into a community near K-55. When we couldn't rouse anyone in the house, we drove a little farther south to check the surf at La Mision. Everywhere it was jumbled, a mix of swells that unfortunately included short-period.
Mario, his rescued puppy, Reyna, and his friend were awake when we returned, and the four of us humans suited up. I followed Jason down the long flight of stairs from the clifftop to the sand and a short distance into the ocean. Then a sideshore current caught me and pushed me far south while I paddled and duck-dived my way to the outside through overhead waves. Almost 15 minutes later, I made it past the whitewater and stopped to rest. My shoulders were burning, but I don't accept denial easily. It took a little more than 5 minutes to paddle north to rejoin the guys, past the only two other surfers out along the sandy and stony beach.

I failed to catch several waves I paddled for and within ten minutes got caught inside by a set. Pointing my board shoreward, I caught whitewater and popped up to ride for a second or two, so yeah, I can say I surfed there. I tried for another five minutes to get back out, cussing the ocean, then acknowledged this wasn't fun and let the ocean spit me out onto the beach.

On the ride back, I listened with a bit of envy as Jason told his wife on speakerphone about his fun rides. But the adventure wasn't over yet. The low tire-pressure light was illuminated on his car's dashboard, and we found there was a screw in one of his tires. Fortunately Jason is fluent in Spanish, an a Mexican operating the air pump at a Pemex directed him to a mechanic.

Although it's illegal to plug a tire in the U.S. due either to the influence of tire manufacturers or safety issues, that's not a problem south of the border. In less than 15 minutes and for only $2.50, we were back on the road. The SENTI line had only a handful of cars ahead of us, and we Trusted Travelers crossed back into the States after waiting just a few minutes.

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