The first week of our Mexico trip consisted mostly of driving 50 mph for a thousand miles through the deserted Baja Peninsula, stopping at taquerías or slightly racist Chinese restaurants, and camping in some secluded bay along the Sea of Cortés every night. After seven days we finally made it to La Paz.
La Paz is hot as fuck, but if you think about it as a sauna that you don’t need to buy a membership for but also has good skate spots and cheap beer and tacos, it’s not so bad. They have some bump to bars and in the hills there are a bunch of porch gaps and driveway banks between the houses kind of like San Francisco. The only downside is that it’s nearly impossible to push through the streets because of the crusty Mexican roadwork and the gay damn ass rocks.
When traveling in the Unimog, the easiest way to stay awhile in one place is by parking at an R.V. park like the Aquamarina in La Paz. Throughout Baja there’s no shortage of R.V. parks considering the growing number of retired gringos that want to stretch out the rest of their life savings in Mexico while they wait to die.
Aquamarina is cool because even if you don’t have an R.V. you can rent a nice three or four bed apartment for 40 dollars a night, and you’re on a decent/slightly toxic beach/marina and only a 10-minute push from downtown. It’s not a bad place for a group of skateboarders as well as for your average soul-searching white girl traveler that loves to see the world on a budget.
Also, there’s this guy Ernesto that works at the Aquamarina who took us out for a night on the town and brought us to the realest taco stand–Taquería el Chino. The last time Pat and Randall were here, Ernesto gave them a bucket of American change that he had picked up around the park for years, which we brought to a coinstar in San Diego that totaled $500 US. When we asked him what he was going to do with it, he said he was going to give some to his kid in mainland Mexico, but also because la vida es “tomar, a coger, a mamar, porque el mundo va a acabar.” Use a dictionary.
The owner of the Aquamarina R.V. Park is an adorable little 82-year-old Mexican lady named Mary Lou, who learned English by crossing the border into El Paso as a child to watch American films without subtitles, in particular Frank Sinatra movies because “he pronounced everything the best.” Makes me wonder to myself, What the fuck makes you so interesting?
After skating around the city one day, Pat and I stopped to dry our sweat-soaked pants in an air-conditioned bar. When we finished our frosted mugs of Pacifico, one of the employees, mostly likely a bus boy, walked up to us and casually leaned on the bar, and started talking to us in broken English.
“Chicago,” We’d always say when strangers asked.
Then he asked the most logical next question for a couple skateboarders, “Smoke weed?”
He paused for a moment. “I get you weed. 100 pesos” (which is less than ten dollars). Meanwhile everybody else is working and fully aware of what’s going on, and there’s maybe one other customer in the dining area.
“Okay, gracias.” We’re pretty sure he went straight to his dealer around the corner while on the clock, because twenty minutes later he came back with a bag of the dirtiest looking weed. He had us follow him into the bathroom where he ripped the bag in half, keeping some for himself. Either way it was more than what you’d get for the equivalent in the US.
So I guess if you’re ever in Mexico and you need a plug, just walk into a bar with a skateboard.