We wake up silent, pee, dig holes for poop, and I break the ice as I ask Alma to help me strain the two buckets of yucky, smelly veggie oil – the two buckets I didn’t have the heart to tell the people ‘no thank you’ after they dragged two huge pots of oil up several stairs, across the width of a big deck, and onto the parking lot for me.
But it taught me another veggie oil gathering lesson, to ask to see the oil before agreeing to pick it up.
I don’t wait for her to help me as a grumpy Alma moves at a very, very slow pace. I find it easy to filter because of the strainer I bought yesterday in Rosario – a large, metal strainer about the size of half a slightly flattened basketball that has been stretched a little. It fits just right over the bucket.
I strain each bucket of smelly, rancid oil thru twice, stopping a few times to dump the gook that gathers in the strainer. The remaining salvaged and still smelly oil looks like it is most likely hydrogenated but I won’t be able to tell for sure until it sits for awhile.
Off we go, strained veggie oil buckets back inside, coffee in hand, down the dirt and stone road that is paralleling the ocean. Alma asks why didn’t I back up and go out onto the paved road, which is running parallel to this road but about ¼ mile away.
I tell her because if I had taken the paved road, she would have asked why didn’t I stay on the dirt road so we could see the ocean and find a nice place to park. I point out to her whatever decision I make is the wrong one and she points out I never follow her ‘opinion’. We laugh.
The ocean beach is covered with low, ground cover vegetation full of stickers and bushes that have thorns the size and shape of darts. We look for a nice, sandy beach but the road is never able to get that close. Lots of cows and bulls, some horses mill about, scrounging the hostile terrain for something edible. Palm trees stretch across the land with green and brown coconuts scattered beneath.
We pass a few fish farms – at least I believe that is what they are. Concrete rectangles, some black plastic circular ones, that appear to be open to the sky and filled with water.
We come to another little pueblo and follow the dirt road thru the town, past the tecate and corona beer cement patios under questionable roofs, red and white plastic arm chairs and square tables, and grills smoking and smelling delicious. We see mostly men hanging out and about as we pass, and hear loud music coming from cars with their passenger side front doors open wide.
Maybe two dozen houses rise here and there in this town, several chickens, horses and a donkey or two. Some of the houses are perched on cement columns and stilts as if the ocean might swell; mostly others sit on the ground. One has a weird green grass lawn thick as astroturf, chain link fence, santa claus, and a gringo name plate like Jones or MacDougals or similar.
We continue down the road through thicker terrain now, many bushes and brush and medium – and cows clumped in twos and threes, a bull here and there. The road gets narrower and filled with more rocks, a little farther away from the ocean, although we never completely loose site of the ocean.
Finally we see the end of the road, just past where another structure sits with many rectangular concrete block structures protruding along side. The road curves around and dead ends into white sand where the ocean merges into a mar. We decide to park here, over looking the calm, bird-filled bay.
Alma opens a can of something she has brought with her and I make calabasa lentil soup that we both eat.
I study my Spanish while Alma goes off to see if she can figure out how to fish here.
She meets a young kid fishing with his mom and dad. Without even being prompted to, he shares his fishing line, several fish hooks and some small fish that look like fat anchovies so she can fish too.
She doesn’t catch anything and thinks the bait is no good but the people are so gracious.
The two guys who live in the structure near where we park invite us for fish and offer more bait to Alma.
The sun sets her golden oranges and bright reds and the moon rises, almost full. We talk of the Solstice and maybe an eclipse before calling it a great day, and go to bed.