Shitholes & Paradise
Written by Justin
Shitholes aren’t always shitty.
After a 2 hour drive along a severely corrugated dirt road in remote Baja, bumping and grinding along at 30km/hr, we arrived at a hostile windswept point. Unfortunately, the focus of our journey out to this shithole, the waves, were dwarfed by the ripples created by our skipping stones. Nature’s energy seemed to have been redirected into the howling wind, which sandblasted our crusty sunburnt skin. The perfect compliment to the lacklustre swell.
We drove through the decrepit remains of fishing shacks searching for a sheltered spot to post up, finally forced to settle for a vacant concrete pad. Feeling disheartened and dishevelled, the three of us split up to deal with the disappointment in our own personal ways. Simon went off to explore. Tim napped in the van. I read on the beach.
We each wallowed in the misery of our misfortune for many an hour. Eventually, after gathering the remains of our mental strength, Simon and I reconvened to cook dinner. Tim napped in the van. A little luck trickled our way and Simon and I found refuge from the wind in the bare bones of a roofless abandoned shack. We cracked a froth, Tim rose and we all marvelled at a bait ball harassed by dive-bombing pelicans (clumsy yet elegant). Spirits started to rise. It may have been the alcohol but by the time we finished dinner we were back joking and bearing toothy grins.
The next morning we awoke revitalised. Feeling sprightly, we trotted off along the beach for a light jog finished off with a cool refreshing dip. Post coffee and egg avocado tortillas our spirits were back brimming at full capacity. As we pulled the van out of our lonely concrete pad, we each felt a little sorrow. This windswept shithole had turned full circle into a charming little haven.
Paradise ain’t always rosy.
Escaping the windblown west coast of Baja for the more welcoming balmy east coast, we found a tranquil little beach. Donning snorkels and fins we cruised through the brilliant aquamarine, bathtub warm water. We chased small schools of fish and explored hidden nooks and crannies. It was paradise in this idyllic little cove.
Come sundown, we decided to top this slice of heaven off with the cherry of a restaurant dinner. Simon decided to further treat himself and try out the New York style steak (brilliant choice). He asked for medium rare. Unexpectedly, the steak didn’t quite live up to paradise standards, resembling more of a grisly well-done rubber thong. Nevertheless, we sought redemption in the tropical garden setting and cold $1 beers.
Back at our idyllic little cove we settled the car under a tree, brushed our pearls and laid our weary bodies down to rest. Rest didn’t come. The air was hot and thick, tangible like a medium in between that of water and air. Our three bodies rolled languidly in the humid prison of the van, searching for some form of unconsciousness. If we were lucky enough to slide into the greeting halls of sleep, it wasn’t long before it was interrupted by the rapid burst fire of a trucks air brakes, charging down the hill on the highway above.
The interruptions didn’t end there. As the frequency of trucks slowed in the early hours of the morning, we managed to steal a few fragments of rest. Snoozing in a semi-conscious delirious daze we were blessed with a young angsty teen running straight line mainys up and down the beach on an obnoxiously loud quad bike. Tempers rose, we yelled silent profanities and flipped unseen birds. The perfect white sand took on a dirty tinge. The crystal clear water all of a sudden appeared a little murky. Paradise turned a little bit shitty.