in San Felipe is like arriving in heaven; shade, palm trees, restaurants.
Long, lazy beaches. We found a hotel off the main road, and ordered margaritas
and fish tacos across the street. I noted the whalebone kitsch, the all-terrain
vehicles, the jet-skis, the dune buggies. Everybody was driving crazy,
drunk. Portly sun-baked Americans were speeding about in rusty Mad Max
was a shame, such a beautiful town, and for all the respect I had for
the expatriate, who were these people rebuilding Phoenix in Baja? Panhandling
was incessant in San Felipe. It was back to 'Hey Meester, wanna look at
some of my junk?'
is a sort of evolution that happens when you mix the third-world with
the turista's natural poor purchasing practices. Panhandlers sold walking
dog sticks, balloons in the shape of poodles, bags of beans, unworthy
curios, and t-shirts of Bart and a Bong.
there were also sailors in the harbor. After all, it was Fourth of July,
and sailors are good drinkers, friendly storyteller types, and usually,
they knew how to have a good time. At night, we walked into the sea, out
several hundred meters (the tides in San Felipe create a quarter-mile
tidal change), poking in the shallows with flashlights. From here we saw
the fireworks begin; launching from shore and from the moored boats; all
aimed above our heads. Weary from the road, we let the ashes fall to our
right and left; it was grand, really, the fireworks dropping and reflecting
on the water underneath us in red, white and blue. When a stray red flash
of fireworks shot across the water a dozen meters from us, and broke in
an Apocalypse Now glow over the water, we had a strange feeling of being
invincible, protected somehow, and certainly outsiders.