I admit I let myself get a little testy halfway through today – I blame the heat and banking frustrations. Skip this entry if overtones of petulant Melissa are going to annoy you.
I slept in.. well sort of. I couldn’t actually sleep past 6h30 but I refused to get vertical until atleast 8h30. I had a cursory breakfast of black coffee, (Aidan, remind me to bring those delicious little packages of caffeine-heaven you always have next time), an avocado and the last of yesterday’s hastily purchased pan dulce. Switched accommodations, (fancy yurt to dorm, I mean), and headed out to “fix” my monetary woes.. and then go lounge on the beach! (I was still in chipper spirits at this point. Looking forward to a lazy day followed by shared wine and trying to make pizza in the evening.)
What are my banking woes, you ask? Well, in short, none of my cards work at the two banks in Todos Santos. I’ve called my bank and they aren’t even showing records of my attempts to withdraw cash. The lady assumed, based on this evidence, that the ATMs I was using weren’t part of the “Plus” network. I thought, “Okay, I’ll go to the bank while it’s open, and see if they can use my Visa to get some cash. If not, I’ve got a bunch of CAD they can exchange.”
Two things: the one ATM HAS a Plus sign on it. (I am now seriously concerned I won’t be able to take out cash for the rest of my trip… which is problematic). The other thing? You need your passport to exchange money *sputter* Okay – maybe I vaguely remember that from Cuba but for Jesus H. … no of course I didn’t have my passport with me and no, I didn’t really have enough pesos to get beach food and no, I didn’t want to … BAH.
Anyway, I pout-ily walked around the Old District of Todos Santos and wandered through the various art galleries. Saw a few paintings I would happily ship home and a pearl necklace and bracelet I am seriously considering going back and acquiring. I also saw some excellent replacements for my beaten metal thumb ring (which turns my skin green) in silver (which won’t) but none of them had prices and I was not (rarely am) in the mood to haggle.
When I finally admitted I was hungry and needed to get myself sorted, I headed back to the hostel to get my passport. My plan was to get my cash exchanged, eat out, (on my Visa to save on cold hard pesos – which actually wastes money in the long run since the places that take Visa are inevitably Resto-turistica but whatever, I’m in a bottleneck now), lay on the beach for a few hours and then grocery shop on my home.
While contemplating this plan and congratulating myself on making the best of an inconvenient situation, I noticed a pit bull, piebald with blue eyes, in the middle of the intersection in front of me. I took note of the bitch because she seemed to be lame on her right front and left hind and I found myself trying to come up with scenarios where a dog becomes lame in opposite limbs on the front and back. I turned the corner mulling this over and it occurred to me that one possible explanation is that the dog is human-aggressive. (I’d just been commenting to myself the other night that it’s a pretty safe assumption that any dog wandering the streets is not aggressive, as they would have been beaten to death early on in their career.) I’m just finishing that thought when don’t I hear a half growl and feel lips and teeth start to close over my hand! Mother f&@$er! I jump away and it seems like she’s going to hold her ground in front of a casa, (presumably hers?), so I start walking again, facing her, but not staring/making eye contact, and heading away/around this casa. Bitch starts losing her marbles growling and coming after me. It did not occur to me to run, although in this PARTICULAR case it may have been a successful solution given her serious injuries… but of course, usually that is not a good idea. So I turn on her full, eye contact, and start yelling at her, am about to decide between my feet (likely previous victims’ solution) and my bag (it would be inconvenient to have to deal with a bitewound in bloody Mexico) when two female Mexican voices start screaming in concert from the casas on each side of the street. The pit bull pulls up short and hobbles off to her yard. You are goddamn kidding me. Someone owns this danger to public safety?
Get back to the hostel, miraculously in one piece, pick up my passport, walk BACK BLOODY DOWNTOWN, and head in to the bank. The greeter guy slash bouncer, (legit), wants to take my passport and photocopy it, just to let me in to the bank? At this point I’ve degenerated into Third Grade-style scowling and eye rolling.. hand over my passport and stomp over to the waiting area. Really, I shouldn’t be upset. Fuck it. If someone wants my identity – fill yer boots. I’m moving to rural Mexico and going off grid anyway. Also this nice bank gave me the best exchange rate yet: 14.4p/CAD.
Oddly this has not fixed my mood. I think I’m off to buy myself some pearls and hit the beach. Hopefully retail therapy will fix my attitude problem, and if not, solar/hydrotherapy.
Many hours and kilometres later:
I am in love with the pearls. They briefly fixed my mood. Until I found myself walking down some (otherwise beautiful and quaint) godforsaken dirt track thinking to myself, “Where the hell are you going?”
And responding, “Not really sure, keep walking.”
And so my “Stubborn Ass Burn” was born.
“Keep goddamn walking, this beach isn’t going to find itself.”
And so my current state of inebriation was born since drinking cold beer became a red alert emergency when I finally found myself at home.
“A smart person might ask dir.. never mind, I’ll shut my own self up, thank you.”
I have a hard time imagining this nice, dilapidated donkey jumping these obstacles.
I did find a beach.
I admit there was a sign, but you’ll see by this video that no sane person would trot merrily into that water; even without said sign.
This was a tame one. A bit later, as I was stubbornly walking to the mountain to verify that Dan was wrong about whether or not one could walk from Todos Santos to Punta Lobos via the beach, (he was), and well away from the waterline… twenty metres? More maybe. Quite far from where one would expect to even wet an occasional toe and F if I don’t suddenly feel water rushing past my ankles. When it reached my waist it occurred to me to wonder if I was going to be able to resist the back-tow.
I did. Barely.
Back to signs:
Local Mexicans must have more hair on their chest than I do.. 1-9yrs in a Mexican prison inspires even me to follow the rules, yet there were more vehicle tracks than seagulls on that beach.
Oh, also, Todos Santos was founded on fishing and sugar production.. apparently. This oddly angry-seeming shop keep told me that this chimney is all that’s left of the sugar factory that stopped running fifty years ago. I have done zero research to confirm any of this.
Anyhow, post beach-“success”, I made my way home, grocery-shopped, cold beer shopped, (mui importante), and took off my bloody hiking boots.
From there my night degenerated into cervezas in the shower and tunes blasted from my phone. Thank you Ed and Beyoncé for giving my shower an “at home” feel.
Another 25 000+ step day. MFer Yesterday ended at 30 000+. Where IS my personal masseuse?
Or hot tub..
Or tub even..