Mulege Mexico: Adios NOLS


Alright already, the two of you left reading this thing don’t need to e-mail me off line to ask “what’s up with your whack, non-updating, supposed to be traveling, travel blog” it is so nice to be missed. But don’t make me come after you. And i will.

I decided to go with the majority vote and accept the contract. I bid “Hasta Luego” {see you later} to the NOLS crew. I’m going to miss the slow pace they have going on down there. The beautiful weather, the outdoor showers and the family style lunches. This pic is of Oscar and Karina. Both are from Mexico and are NOLS staff. Oscar is an instructor and Karina is an administrator with the finance group if I remember correctly. I got along well with everyone but I think the local staff gave me some cool points for really trying to get to know them and use my Spanish when I could. I would sit near Karina at lunch and speak to her in Spanish and she would respond in English. Her English is fine, so I was getting the better end of this deal. Oscar was in a sling because he had dislocated his shoulder doing some crazy A#$ adventure sport or another. I don’t remember if he was kayaking 23,232 miles, diving for oysters or what but this is typical of these guys (and gals: Hi Claire! Hi Sue!). They amaze me with their spirit of adventure. They think of and do stuff like trying to see how far they can free dive before coming up for air, fishing before sunrise and living on boats in the bay. I tend to think of things like: if I take a nap before lunch and a nap after lunch, will I still be able to sleep tonight?

I also scored when the seamstress (Conchita) saw my little naked Nikon coolpix II and asked if I had a case for it. I told her I didn’t because the one I had was too big. She asked to see the camera and said she’d make me a case. I’m thinking I’d get it in a few days, not even knowing how she was going to pull this off. But, Superseamstress™ woke me from my nap not 2 hours later with a custom-made, waterproof, padded, perfectly fitting, Velcro-closing case for my baby. I tried to offer her a gift or payment and she just laughed and patted my arm and said “no problem, you’re a nice lady I wanted to do this for you.” Wow. You can see I wasn’t really trying to leave this place of foosball on the back porch, indescribable sunrises and guilt-free naps. I will not however miss the birds or the dog.

The good thing about the backpacker lifestyle is that all your stuff is generally in one place and I was ready to roll in no time. Claire offered to drop me at the bus station and we laughed as she told me about her own adventures. She spends September-May in Mexico and May-August in Canada and the U.S. teaching kayaking courses. I can’t think of a better send-off from a special place than her stories and I really meant it when I said I hoped to be back soon. I only hope they were equally sincere when they said I was welcome any time.

The bus ride from Mulege to Tijuana/San Diego is about 15 hours and was a little steep at $80 US, but I soon found out why. These people know how to make long haul bus riding a luxury experience. The buses are extremely clean, most are Mercedes Benz made so they look sharp too. Now if you have been on a US Greyhound, throw that image out the window. It ain’t even close. The Mexican buses have about 1/3 less seats so you can stretch your legs all the way out in front of you (what a novel idea!), the seats are about 25% larger so you can actually sit next to someone and not have them reaching in your pocket to get your chapstick for you (what a novel idea!). This means that the aisles are very narrow and a little difficult to navigate but as the driver said to me “who spends any time in the aisle?” good point driver dude, good point. The windows have curtains on them so you can actually sleep without the light of day roasting one side of your face and they have movies! They were in Spanish but obviously first rate quality U.S. movies. This all combined to make for a wonderful ride for me (I was stretched out and knocked out 12 of the 15 hours) and I hope the little girl that fell asleep on me had a good nap too. She was gone when I woke up so I couldn’t ask her.

*A special “shout out” to Graham and Ledger. Graham posted an ad on craigslist and asked if anyone wanted to bike from California to Costa Rica to help a friend of his set up a farm he had inherited or turn it into a protected animal reserve or some such craziness-I mean why can’t I inherit some random property in central America? Yes, I’m drinking Hater-ade! Ledger answered the ad and I ran into them one morning on the beach when they were eating fruit, greeting the day and woo-ing (or rather un-woo-ing) two young local ladies. I was so dazzled by the stories of their bike trip so far that I forgot to take a picture. So if anyone sees two random white dudes with long hair and nice tans riding bikes down the baja, honk, wave and tell them said Hello!

I made it to Tijuana and my first stop was….McDonalds. I know, for shame, for shame. But what’s a to do?

6 thoughts on “Mulege Mexico: Adios NOLS”

  1. Hey Funchilde!

    Too bizarre. Nice place to set up “shop” that Guanajuato, if that’s what you’re doing. That’s where my trip started last summer. Beautiful city. I think I read in a Boots post you’re at Falcon. Nice neighborhood. Check out that park up the hill by la presa on Sunday. Bet it’s fun and food-filled!

    Get up to La Pipla around sunset for a great view! And Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel La Barerra (or some such) just outside of town for a beautiful, muy tranquilo spot at some point when you need to escape the hubbub and….and…


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