Saving a Mexican named Pablo
About a week into Baja the VW van guys and I were looking for "The Wall." A surf and accompanying beach camp spot they had found in a book. We made our way down the narrow, pot holed, and uneven Baja Highway 1 for about 5 hours that day when we turned off to find "The Wall." After driving down an auxiliary highway and through a small town the VW van guys lead me onto a wide sand beach. It was wind swept with the small pebbles that inhabited the beach, visible after the wind blew across its surface for hours on end.
The vans guys promptly got Stuck.
Their 30 year heavy vehicle with road tires was SOL just a few meters onto the first beach.
Getting stuck of course lead me to to rescuing them from the sand, but thats not really the store you expected to read is it? So we will just leave it at I pulled them out of the sand and we left the van in a good place.
While pulling the Van guys out of the sand we spotted a man on the far end of the beach waving a white T-Shirt and then more desperately flashing a mirror in the sun. In the moment I didn't pay much thought to the signals because I was trying to get a 5,000 pound van out of the sand. After getting them out and regrouping we realized that this fella might need some help. So the van guys hopped in and we took off across the beach to find this man in distress.
Once we made it across the beach (really not that far, maybe a 5 min walk or 2 min drive) we found a rather fat Mexican man with the torn white t-shirt he had been waiving sitting on the hood of his Dodge truck. His While I positioned the Landcruiser to pull him out of the sand trap he was in, the Van guys chatted him up and learned his name was Pablo. He told us about how he had been stuck for 8 hours and no one had been by to help him.
It's no surprise that no one had driven by to help him because he was on a seldom traveled road to an uninhabited place. What was a surprise though is that Pablo had decided to hang out in the sun with the truck and without water for 8 hours instead of making the 30 min walk back into town to ask for help.
Pablo was really a nice guy. But his truck was a little less than nice, let alone capable of making it through the soft sand that makes the up local beaches. I determined it would be best to winch him out of the hole he had dug himself. This required securing the winch line to the front of Pablo's truck. Once I dug out enough sand to see the underside of his truck I realized there were no tow hooks or official anchor points. Instead what I had was a front axel drenched in a the aftermath of a severe oil leak. I do t think the engine had an ounce of oil left in it, but hey I wasn't there to be his mechanic, he just wanted to be on his way.
At his prompting I snaked the winch cable through the front axel of Pablos truck and got him out of the sand and onto more stable ground. Extremely grateful he offered us his pork rinds but asked of a few bottle of water in return.
The Mexican named Pablo quickly went on his way and didn't bother much more than a "Muchos gracias" and the token gift of pork rinds. He didn't even seem to know where "The Wall" was.
The rest of the evening turned out to be full of its own adventure and new friends but that's a different story.
Tonight's dinner (11/14/2016):
Max and I made our way out of the 3 Monkeys Hostel in Antigua and headed for the back room of a convenience store across from the yellow church (that's literally all the direction we were given, luckily the town is only about 12x12 blocks). We found the yellow church and then the store. We were recommended a local dish called Pepian so we got that. Pepian ended up being a reddish broth with a chunk of chicken and some rice in it. Add some tortillas on the side and a bottle of Guatemalas Gallo beer and you've got a damn good meal.