20-December-1992, 7:00PM

I had to ask Mario for the time, I was off by almost an hour. Normally my internal clock tells me what time it is. Is this a sign that we have left the civilized world?

We sìt before a raging duraflame log campfire. The logs were Mario’s idea to offset the chance that there would not be any driftwood, around. Clever guy. There is soft jazz music playing on the CD player and gentle lapping waves from the bay. We are at Bahia De Los Angles. It’s on the east side of baja, along the Sea of Cortez.

We found this spot with luck and indecision. Today we planned to be in Guerero Negro. Just after we passed the turn off to this peaceful habitat, we pulled over to discuss the options available to us. Since it was about 3:OO in the afternoon and GuereRo Negro was about another 1 1/2 to 2 hours away, we would only get there after dark. We’d then stíll have to find a camp. Too much hassle at night. We made it here with plenty of light by which a camp could be set.

Setup was fairly quick. I’ve setup my tent so many times that it’s almost become a thoughtless reaction. Mario and Bibi have the simple life. You see, Mario has built a camping storage container in the back of his pickup. With a shell on top, it makes a perfect bedroom. Throw down a pair of therma-rest pads and a pair of sleeping bags, it’s just like home. Well close enough.

Mario cooked dinner tonight. Wonderful stuff, Tortellini and Knorr Veggie soup. Mixed together, this stew like substance is warm and filling. He can cook for me anytime. We cleaned up right after dinner. This was weird because we usually hang about and bullshit for a while. Different place, different style.

The ride here was very strange. There were fields which were covered with cactus. Fields of boulders which made me drool for climbìng. With Bìbi along, Mario wouldn’t stop for an afternoon of bouldering, there will be other spots. Both of us have our gear along. One can always hope…

Then there were stretches of road where I became very bored. My eyes were heavy and I thought of sleeping. I don’t understand why.

In each town we drove through that had a gas station, we would stop and fill up. Mario kept saying we don’t know where the next one will be. I didn’t really believe him until we passed several which were closed down. The clincher was the one that ran out of gas while they, were pumping gas into my jeep! I wonder what kind of junk is at the bottom of the tank.

The most amazing part of this leg of the journey has to be the trek through the valley approaching Bahia De Los Angeles. As we climbed over a mountain pass, a valley floor rose up to meet us. It stretched for miles across, the sìght was breath taking. A smooth flat valley floor opening out to rolling hills on the far side. The hills open up to sheer cliff faces and mountains. The hills stretch to the left of the road for a far as the eye can see. A wonderful treat for the optic receptors. On the opposite side, there are small canyons among tall cliffs. I’m certain that the other side of the valley is similar in features.

Driving around the far side of some hills brings us to our first view of the bay. Nestled between the vee of two ridges, the water is deep blue opposing the brown ridges. Driving further shows us more of the bay ítself. Small peeks until the whole is exposed. Once in full, there are brown islands among a blue canvas. Truely inspiring.

The town by the bay is like so many others we’ve passed through, simple and poor. This one is alittle different, there is supposed to be a paved airstrip so somewhere. But the town has no phones. Go figure. We hope there is a gas station in town that is open for business, Tomorrow will tell.

Mario and Bibi just got baçk from a short walk. I guess it’s almost bedtime. Mario has put on Enya, an Irish vocalist. Lullaby music, peaceful and relaxing. Good music by to which to star gaze.

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