Saturday, November 4, 2006

Minor celebrity status

We are parked on the beach at the Hotel San Buenaventura, on Bahia Concepcion (map), and I have become something of a (very minor) hero.  It's beautiful here, as was the drive in, and we have a primo spot between two palapas, facing the bay.

As to the minor celebrity status, let me share the story.  You may recall that, yesterday, on our way through La Paz from Playa El Tecolote, we ran right smack into the middle of a Tracks to Adventure caravan.  After working our way through their ranks, and getting ahead of them, we continued to hear them on the radio for a long time.  After we passed Ciudad Constitución, the radio fell silent until we caught up to our own convoy in Ciudad Insurgentes.

All of which piqued my curiosity, and, last night, I surfed over to the Tracks web site to see if I could figure out what their itinerary was.  Now the Tracks site does not list any caravans which have already departed -- its focus, naturally, is on upcoming tours that are still available.  That being said, it was pretty easy to deduce which of the several Mexico itineraries they must be on, since we knew when their train arrived in Los Mochis (we heard them on the radio as we were en route to the ferry), and we knew when they left La Paz.  That put them on a 27-day piggyback and Baja itinerary.

It turns out that the full itinerary, including days and dates, is generated by software on their site, given the tour route and the starting date.  I back-calculated the date they must have left, made up a valid URL for that tour, and plugged it in.  That told me that Tracks stopped for the night at Ciudad Constitución, which jibed with our radio monitoring.

What it also told me was that they, too, would be here in Bahia Concepcion today.  Camping here at the hotel is on a first-come, first-served basis, so when I told the wagonmasters last night that Tracks would be meeting us here, they made the wise decision to move our scheduled 10am departure up to 8am (with an option, for anyone who wished, to stay behind for a 10am departure).  Out of our 20 rigs, 16 left first thing this morning, with the result that we arrived to an empty beach, and got our pick of the best sites.  Even the four rigs that left at 10 as originally scheduled were here and parked before the first Tracks units arrived.  The Trackers are now on the less-desirable beach just south of us, and many of their rigs do not have a waterfront spot.  I'm not certain, but I think their wagonmaster is a little peeved.  While I have achieved hero status with our own group, I'm probably persona no grata with him, so I'm hoping he doesn't read this until after we've parted ways.

The hotel staff, who are still recovering from Hurricane John and just got their internet connection back on-line a couple days ago, seemed completely surprised by both caravans, and were wholly unprepared.  We asked if we could get lunch, and they opened up the kitchen for us, got out some shrimp, and made us a delicious camarones al mojo de ajo.  Tonight, we're having some kind of dinner on the beach.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go for a swim in the bay.

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