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Stories by Mike Humfreville

Guerrero Negro    ( Posted October 27, 2005 )

We live part time near Bahia de Los Angeles. The tiny village here is filled with sweet people and the basic necessities they require. Although we can find many quality foodstuffs, shrimp, scallops and fish, chicken and beef, there is no true "meat market" and the provisions, while growing, are still limited. Life here is as you would expect; limited needs, limited provisions. We are accustomed to that and wouldn't change a thing. And there is no bank.

While we have made other arrangements from time to time when we run out of money here they have the potential of inconveniencing others. So we avoid it.

Today, after a month plus in Bahia we drove the 3½ hours each direction to Guerrero Negro for some supplies not available in Bahia and for a cash withdrawal from our nearest bank. The maximum we can extract is $400, and most places in Guerrero Negro don't take debit or credit cards, so we were still limited by what we could buy for our remaining time in Bahia de Los Angeles. But that's all good because we were spending too much moola anyway.

We took the airport road into town and were soon overwhelmed by the bustle of the community, the main point of provision for the entire central Baja peninsula. After so much time in the rural environs outside Bahia de Los Angeles it was the equivalent of being deposited at Sixth and Spring streets in downtown L.A. People were everywhere, colors designed to attract attentions for the purpose of advertisement, salesmen waving, so many establishments in general were all overpowering and we had been away from all that for so long that we were more aware than we might on "the other side." El otro lado, meaning the United States. We spent two hours in town and I was very prepared to return to our sleepy fishing village and our house south.

It doesn't take long to slow down when we're at our Baja abode. There's nothing to cause you to focus except the sea, sky, the sand. And the birds; pelicans, heron, egrets, California gulls, terns, and the Magnificent Frigate birds. It's such a peaceful environment. It's a very tranquil place.

On our long and tedious drive to Guerrero today we carried another couple we've recently met. During the hours of driving south and then returning north we had plenty of time to talk; indeed a need to talk to fill what would otherwise be boring hours of nothing but blacktop. We discussed our varied histories, our worries about our futures, our current problems and issues and our related discoveries from our past. On a long drive like this there is a certain pleasure and idleness fulfilled by deep discussions. We have now become friends with our fellow travelers.

When times failed to fill our conversational needs, our friends' 15 month old baby offered up sweet sounds for our appreciation. She is just learning to talk and walk and you can respect the smiling and yet serious look on her face when she has to concentrate on these issues. It carried me back to our own children when they were babies in Southern Spain, North Africa and Baja and loving them with such intensity and then through to today when we are missing them badly because they at our northern home and we are here in our southern.

All this on a lonely road in the central peninsula.

Once back at our casa our friends packed up their new supplies and departed. We climbed the stairs, put our goods away and sat on the balcony facing east. The sun had set behind our tall western mountains and our house was in shadow. But the hills forming the southern tip of Bahia de Los Angeles, Punta Roja, were still illuminated in bright orange and red and tan tones. What an awesome sight and what a feeling of peace and tranquility, looking across the bay at the exhibits of our universe.

I guess it's all about accessibility of time.

Down here there's plenty of it.

Time to share life with each other. Time to ponder and appreciate simple matters.

Copyright 2003-2006 Mike Humfreville

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