Thursday, February 17, 2005

Of Bikes and Shrimp

I’m sure someone out there can tell us what it means when a church bell tolls 59 times in rapid succession and then a few seconds later, once.  I’m still scratching my head.  FIFTY NINE times???  Ah well, the mysteries of Mexico.

We began the day with a trip to the bottom of the Bahia de Concepcion (Bay of Concepcion) to collect shells and explore.  We drove 10 miles south and ended up in what we thought was the middle of absolute nowhere.  We had driven 5 miles on a dirt road; were 38 miles south of the nearest town (3000 pop) and had seen no signs of homes or fish camps or anything.  It certainly LOOKED deserted.  We’ve been lulled into a false sense of security and haven’t even been locking the van at night (on the beach).  It is locked tonight.  When we came back from culling the beach for shells and leaving millions of clams on the beach (you could take two hands, plunge them into the sand and come up with 30 clams, easy), I found the van in more disarray than normal.  I immediately started getting mad at the boys - I found clothes strewn all over the front, spilling from the backpack. 

As I started to collect the clothes, I found my wallet.  On the front seat.  Open.  Empty.  Someone had come from "nowhere" and rifled through the car.  We eventually found most of my wallet contents (minus credit cards) but to Jamie’s horror, his Baja bike was gone.  (I admit to being a bit miffed that MY bike, apparently, wasn’t GOOD enough; it lay untouched in the back of the van)  Jamie, in a frenzy of macho testosterone, kicked everyone out of the van and took off in search of his beloved (bike).  The kids and I started walking down the dirt road, trying to follow the tire tracks of the bike.  Apparently, the thief had ridden off in it.  Quickly coming to his senses, Jamie returned ("what was I THINKING leaving you all alone out here???") and we looked about but came up empty. 

Luckily, the renters (covering our storage unit) insurance covers this loss (instead of the Mexican auto insurance, which, I’m sure, would be much more difficult to pursue a claim with) and they’re already on the case.  Credit cards have been cancelled.  Getting a police report is done with the "registro civil" which was strangely (or not?) closed all afternoon.  Police station assured me they were open.  :)  Just think!  You could register your marriage and report a robbery at the same time!  :)

Now we have to figure out a way to get Jamie a new bike.  Because you might as well lay him in the grave without a bike to ride.  And not just ANY bike - this has to be a SPECIAL BAJA MEXICO bike, which is why none of the other 47 bikes he has in the storage unit will work down here.  :)  We’re thinking we might send him up to San Diego on a bus (15 hours to Mexicali from here) and have him cross the border (TJ, yuck!) and stay at a hotel or something in San Diego; pick up a new bike and head back down.  Should only take a few days.  Sissy, of course, is inconsolable at the thought of being without Daddy for a few days.

The lovely pictures are from the bottom of the Bahia de Concepcion, where we spent the good part of the day.  Later, the kids had homemade ice cream in town while we tried to make a police report.
This morning when I woke I realized something else that went missing yesterday.  Shrimp.  I’d taken them in a small container (cooked) along with a lime for flavor to eat for lunch.  Guess the thief couldn’t resist.  :)

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