eric and Matty were itching to surf in desolate waters and paint some weird shit, so a quick end-of-summer camping trip to Mexico came together and us ladies tagged along for the adventure.
The dudes had a spot in mind that they had been to before in San Miguel, Baja- somewhere between Rosarito and Ensenada.
As they hoped, the beach was empty.
But the waves were tiny. Still, Natalie and I sat and nervously watched as the guys dodged rocks on their longboards.
We took some time to collect beach treasures and Natalie made out. One of my treasures was still alive and tickled my hand into a spastic fling, casting the whole lot back out to sea.
The beach was full of little crabs and their skeletons. Judging by this (still living) guy's cobwebs, he hadn't seen water in awhile.
Our campsite bordered an ex-patriot community where people let their dogs roam free. I can honestly say that I've never met so many sweet and happy unattended pups in one place. All of 'em just wanted to play and eat snacks. That's what I'm talking about.
Like, who goes camping with a purse stocked with zucchini?
After fueling up, the guys set out to do a little painting.
Next up, Natalie knew of a fishing village(of course)where we could score some freshies for campfire dinner, so off we went.
Two big corvina, cleaned and filleted for $8 (with tip). Deal!
We were jonesing for some margaritas and wound up at a nearby restaurant overlooking the ocean.
We placed our order for some tacos and margs, not rocks. So when a plate of them arrived, we were a bit perplexed.
Then the complimentary crab arrived and things made a little more sense. I'm allergic, so I took the group's word for it- it was just ok and a lot of work at that. The margaritas came blended, el bummer.
In the late afternoon, we headed to the next surf and paint spot on the itinerary, a place called El Socorro, about 4 hours south of Ensenada.
Since the guys had been here before, us ladies weren't too concerned about the lack of actual directions they had... until we drove around on dirt roads for an hour, spotting this guy along the way.
Thanks to translator Natalie and eric's trusty Audi-mobile, we finally found the campsite. Natalie did most of the cooking while the guys pitched tents, preparing the corvina simply with salt and lime in the man-pan.
The next morning, eric and Matty were stoked to find better conditions. The waves were still small, but if this goofballing is any indication, these kids had a blast.
I took these photos from the top of some big sand dunes. The beach and weather were beautiful. Here was the foot of our campsite:
After surfing, the guys were ready to paint again. eric knew the spot, so we followed.
On our walk there, we spotted snake holes all over the place. Natalie freaked out and in turn made me paranoid, so we hopscotched our way in the boys paths, who seemed to walk through the field of possible snakes with no hesitation whatsoever.
We knew we were close when we saw the last face eric painted. Here's a close-up he took after finishing it a few months back:
(I think he liked it)
After finding the new wall, eric and Matty got started on a mural that took some unexpected turns.
Matty decided he wasn't feeling it (an excuse to tan with us ladies, naturally), so eric took over and veered from painting faces to these long-beaked and legged birds instead.
One face stayed mostly intact, peeking its way through the bird body.
It was getting late in the day and we were starving, so we took a recommendation from an Italian ex-pat to eat at a place called the Old Mill. Our criteria was good food, excellent margaritas. We had to exercise our demons from the previous day's practically non-alcoholic lime slushy. We experienced the exact opposite here, with the added bonus of house made tequila. Woo!
The place wound up being a steakhouse saloon, where you could cut into your bloody steak, drink small batch tequila and smoke- some even do it simultaneously.
One of my (best) habits is to order something extremely basic, like a cheese enchilada. It might have been the best one I've ever eaten. The chile relleno was a-OK.
Flashback: when we were headed to campsite #1, we stopped at a taco stand where I ordered, among other things, a cheese quesedilla. That panned out just as well.
mmm, al pastor.
Adding to the charm of the harbor-side tavern, an upside down boat hangs over the bar.
Outside on the water, it was so clear and lovely as the sun started to sink... it was kinda sad having to head back to San Diego, high on tequila, good eats and the surrounding beauty. I kind of felt like I could just keep camping with these three. Maybe we'll grow up to be gypsies.