Observations at our beach.
– The beach under the shadow of Giganta –
Baja cactus country.
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It was a mistake this year to not pick up our visa at the border. It always was illegal but common practice for over 20 years now to get it down here. This time we had to pay a hefty fine and spend hours and hours in the sweltering office in town. – Last year the entire immigration office got busted for corruption – This is Mexico– our second home.
Only a few other friends have arrived so far. The old ‘wild bunch‘, the entrepreneurs and adventurers of the early years are getting old. Some stay home to get a hip replacement, some prefer to tend to their roles as grand parents, some have already signed off for the ultimate trip. The next young generation seems to stay home trying desperately to make a living there. Baja isn’t the challenging frontier it once was, however the true magic has never changed.
It is still very warm the first week or so. Time to sit in the shade and cultivate the old doing-nothing skills learned so carefully throughout all those wonderful years in the Baja. When there is hardly any breeze in the midday heat and the sea, lazily sloshing on the beach, is still just as warm as the air, there is nowhere to hide, this is as it is. When it’s like this the nights are not exactly comfortable at first, but when you surrender and do nothing, let things go by themselves, the magic appears and the heat becomes actually quite beautiful.
The starry moonless nights in early November are absolutely breathtaking. We lie on our loungers – a tee-shirt is enough even late at night – sip from the vino rojo and lose ourselves in the sky. The beach is empty. There is hardly any sound, some fish jumping and drawing sets of perfect circles on the mirror of the sea, some birds speaking in their sleep. The sound of our own breath flows into the breathless stillness without echo, drifting away into space.
By then, Orion is just climbing up over the silhouette of the islands in the east. Orion aims his arrow directly at Pleiades (which is Parvin in Farsi!) The Zodiac Light is still gleaming in the west – this mysterious afterglow of the sun, only visible in very remote areas without light pollution – it is radiating into the Milky Way and then slowly falling like a curtain for the show of the stars.
Later in the day Giganta in the background will cast her shadow over us and cool things off a bit. By the time I write this down it has actually cooled down a lot; I put on a sweatshirt for the first time this morning.
Each time we come back we feel this mysterious timelessness lingering over the Baja peninsula. Each time we inevitably come with a huge load of memories, ideas, and expectations and this land invites you again and again to drop them, to drop everything in order to see, in order to resume really seeing. Baja teaches to let go.
Tea time is often an important reference point in our daily routines, be it at home, on the road, on the beach, or even somewhere outdoors hiking or paddling, the moment when you break the flow of things for a brief time and readjust your attention, your awareness before you commit to the flow again.
Not a bad catch on the first day of fishing. The Torros are not good when fried but excellent as Sashimi. A Sierra is superb eating. Needlefish are tricky to filet but delicious. And the good old Triggers are choice.
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Klaus Baja – first or second week of November 2010