As we pulled into the Baja Fiesta parking lot in Vincente Guerrero, all I could hear was the voice of Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, when Clark finds out his employer enrolled him in a Jelly of the Month club as a Christmas bonus:
“Well if this isn’t the biggest bag over the head, punch in the face!”
Previously I believed Palapa 206 was a dump. I now retroactively like Palapa 206. This place in Vincente Guerrero was an actual dump. Complete with junk yard dogs.
But I’ve jumped ahead in the story. “Let me explain,” as Indigo Montoya said in “The Princess Bride.” “No, there is too much; let me sum up.”
We left Bahia de Los Angeles a little early to get a jump on our 237-mile day. When you travel at 40 mph, you can do the math on how excruciatingly long that takes. I lucked out when Bob’s wife Linda, who came over the night before for Bob’s birthday celebration, asked if she could ride along with me for a few hours. She and Bob are in a Jeep pulling a 15-foot trailer, so she was ready for a little “luxury.” She was such good company, and we chatted for hours while listening to jazz.
Things began to go off the rails at a pitstop, when our Wagonmaster told Rig #1 that he was not keeping up. The problem is that Rig #1 is a professional driver. He drives luxury tour coaches longer in length than any of us have ever attempted to drive. He is driving his new-to-him Class A motorhome, and it’s in very good condition. I’m sure he would like to keep it that way. The driver, Don, is Canadian and never has a bad word to say about anyone or anything. Well this time, he really let it fly. Then, he moved to the back of the caravan.
Linda and I were happily chatting along and listening to Chet Baker. My radio to communicate with the group had died, again, sometime earlier that day, but I really didn’t mind. I was tired of listening to the inane chatter anyway. What I didn’t know was that after the pitstop, there was a raging debate on the airwaves about Don’s driving and the need for us to get to our next campsite “before dark.” That did not make much sense to me; even counting military checkpoints and pitstops and a lunch break, we would have plenty of daylight left before we arrived in Vincente Guerrero.
Needless to say, we were all a bit bent out of shape by the time we stopped for lunch at a scenic overlook with the last of the Boojum Trees. I say “scenic” because there was a view in the distance.
It was not scenic close-up, however, as trash littered the entire area. I shot around the basura and got a few nice photographs.
We had more close encounters with big rigs, although because it was Sunday there were a fewer to wrangle with. Debbie in Rig #4 captured a photo of a semi and Nellie, two ships passing in the daylight.
It probably goes without saying that by the time we reached our campsite, there was no good humor or goodwill left. I was positively apoplectic when I saw our accommodations for the night. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Yes, this is a photo of trays of putrid food that even the junkyard dogs would not eat:
“Why in the world would Baja Amigos choose this place for you to spend the night?” you might ask. Look at the sign on the restaurant – RVs stay for free when a meal is purchased.
Dinner was hosted by Baja Amigos. That is, comida only. It was made very clear to us that morning that we had to purchase our own drinks. How fucking chintzy. It reminded me of our first day, at our informational meeting, when we were told we could purchase a cheesy Baja Amigos T-shirt for $10. I thought the company was cheap then. I knew it now. I wouldn’t take $100,000 to wear that T-shirt and be a billboard for this company!
The meal was edible, but I couldn’t wait to get back to the rig and hide from the horrible scenery and the world. I knew poor little Olive needed to poop, but the junkyard dogs were everywhere and she was uncomfortable around them. We fell asleep to the sound of the semis coming and going all night next door at a warehouse, dreaming of some place green and clean and serene.