On day 29 – Oct. 29 – MinEssa along with Danielle and I, left Bahía Concepción and headed to the town of Loreto to resupply our food/water/etc. Upon arrival in Loreto, Danielle and I (briefly) separated from MinEssa and refilled our waters at an Agua Purificada. Because tap water in Mexico is questionable, most locals drink from bottles they refill at Purificadas. The stations are extremely affordable (to us at least) with the filling of about 25 litres costing ~MXN$25, which at the time equalled about CAD$1.65. After refilling our bottles, we grabbed drinks, muffins, and wifi at a coffee shop, where we stayed for a few hours.
As an aside, when we had been looking for parking near the coffee shop, Danielle mentioned she thought she saw a teacher from our highschool driving a black SUV with BC plates. I asked her if it was one of the art teachers that I had heard sold his house and moved to Mexico with his wife. She said yes, and we laughed at the possibility. Lo and behold, Mr. Aris and his wife, were sitting on the porch of the coffee shop. However, we didn't speak to them out of fear of disturbing the couple's new, student-free life in Mexico.
We then decided to leave the coffee shop and go check out a mission up in the mountains called Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó. According to our map of the Baja, this mission was one of the most well-preserved on the peninsula, and because we hadn't really delved into the history of the place yet, I figured we might as well start with a bang.
We drove up the mountains, as the road twisted and turned, covered in butterflies. Flowers abounded, and a river crossed the road many times. Water had been a very rare sight for a long time, so literally driving through it was somewhat of a surprise. Arriving at the mission in the mountains, the small town and church were stunning and almost otherworldly compared to what we'd become accustomed to seeing along the coast and through the interior of the peninsula. Wandering the town, among the flowers and butterflies, as well as through the over 300-year-old building, was probably my favourite moment in all of the Baja, if not Mexico. As we were leaving the Mission, a family had gathered outside the church to celebrate, what I assume, was their young daughter's birthday. Gathered with some soda, juice, cake, and decorations, the family and friends looked incredibly happy, surrounded by such a serene environment. It was a touching moment for me, and I admired the happiness the family, and especially the little girl, found in the simplicity.
We headed down the mountain, back to the coast, and shortly arrived at Juncalito beach, where we planned to look for a campsite. While we turned off the dirt road onto the beach, we almost collided with Mr. Aris' black SUV. No harm, no foul, and we both kept on our ways without exchanging any words; him and his wife leaving the beach, and us driving across the sand. While driving down the beach, we soon spotted MinEssa's van – as many times before it, this was a half-planned, but unexpected reunion.
We rejoiced over our reunion, and chatted about our time apart. They spoke of how they'd talked to Mr. Aris and his wife and about they both being from BC. We laughed over the fact that was a former teacher at Danielle and I's highschool – small world, I guess. We set up camp, and enjoyed the evening.
If Oct. 29 had been one of the best days in Mexico thus far, then the next day was easily, far-and-beyond, one of, if not the, worst. While the day started off with a fine awakening, it soon ruptured into a disaster of sorts – our good luck with nothing having yet gone awry came to an end. While I'll spare the details that don't much matter at the end of the day, I single-handedly ruined both our dual-battery system as well as our fridge by means of a very stupid mistake. While no one had been hurt, and Bilbo remained mechanically sound, I had ruined some very expensive equipment and was pretty frustrated and upset about it. I was especially mad because I expected things would go wrong on the trip – it would be foolish to think everything would go 100% according to plan – but I expected the things that would go wrong would be due to an external factor, and not 100% my fault.
In retrospect, life goes on. As I said, we were fine, we still had mobility. But, seeking a solution, we drove to Loreto in an attempt to use the wifi at the coffee shop. It was Sunday, so the shop was closed, but we were still able to use the wifi sitting on the curb out front. I sent a few emails (I'm not meaning to throw shade on the company, but I never got a response) hoping to find a solution to the problem, as MinEssa, who'd joined us in coming into town, searched the town looking for camp chairs and a hat for Min. We then grabbed street tacos for dirt cheap, which ended up being probably the best tacos I ate in Mexico.
After a few hours in town, we drove back to Juncalito beach, where we spent another night.