Thursday, October 12, 2006

Car trouble and a day salvaged

Woke up this morning at 7 to test the car. There was enough juice to light the interior lights, but not enough to start it. So begins our next big adventure.

We waited until the office opened and talked to our friend who tried the GMC dealer in Guaymas. Not open. We decided to come back after 9 and try again. Rumor was that they will send people out with parts to fix your car in situ.

At 9 the dealer was open but they had no mechanics for loan and the soonest they could come was “maybe maƱana” so we decided to drive in and get one ourselves. Problem was, no Americans in sight for a jump. So we asked if they could use the condo van to get us started. ” Well, it doesn’t have a battery.” “Well, we don’t do that.” After persisting, she finally relented and called the head maintenance guy who offered his battery charger. Off course that would’ve meant sitting around for hours so I insisted and he got the keys to the VW minibus and backed up to our car (previously parked nose out for just such a circumstance.) Interestingly, the negative terminal on the bus had a red cable and the positive, black. Hooked it up, fired up our car and then let it idle while we changed for the drive to the dealer.

We decided to take the scenic route into town, currently known as the San Carlos a Guaymas Carreterra Escenica just for grins. Went past the new Dolphin Encounter place they’ve been constructing for the last 3 years. Although the signs say “promesa complida”, there aren’t many dolphins encounters going on in that big dry pool.

Tular Lagoon showed the effects of a really high tide – no birds, although the Renault parked by a fisherman’s shack on a small island raised some questions.

Leaving the area, I chose the wrong exit and ended up on MX15 heading away from the dealer. No big deal, easily solved by a u-turn. As I was scoping for an opportunity, My Lovely Wife spotted an Autozone. Who’d a thunk? A quick discussion led to the conclusion that it was worth a try so in we went. A nice young man showed great respect for my butchered Spanish and helped us out. He asked for our phone number for the computer which we found very amusing. But I gave it and lo and behold the name and address of My Lovely Wife popped up. “Que milagro” I exclaimed. We got the goods and headed back thinking how a great combination of choices, wrong turns and keen eyesight turned a mundane errand into a grand success. That point was driven fully home when we drove past the dealer and saw the long line of cars waiting for repairs.

Being down to one more day we decided to take our last kayak trip and headed down the coast to the entry of the estuary. It’s a completely different place at high tide (read yesterday’s blog about hiking the shoals) and the paddling was easy. The birds, being unable to stand in the deeper water were perched in mangroves on all sides as we went in. I got nice shots of an Osprey before a mythical creature hove into view – a Roseate Spoonbill. I have to say, there isn’t much in the avian world I’d rather look at than a 4 foot tall salmon pink wader with a serving spoon for a bill. It let me squeeze off a couple of shots before it took wing. While that little experience would’ve lasted me months, the appearance of a second one 2 minutes later cemented the moment as a blog-worthy memory. More pictures before he too departed.

We paddled along, taking leisurely breaks and just soaking up the views and the silence. No Mexican rap music today. After photographing and chasing off a half-dozen more birds, we headed out. As we rounded a corner and emerged from behind a small mangrove copse, serendipity presented itself again – both Spoonbills were perched high above the waterway in a dead snag. We gave a couple of paddles and allowed the boat to drift with the current. They didn’t leave and I just started snapping away. We spooked a Snowy Egret out of a tangle near the boat and he flew up joining his pink friends. Now we had the added benefit of contrast, showing their wonderful salmon plumage. Fifty or sixty pictures later, we continued to drift by, the birds sitting there and regarding us with passivity mixed with curiosity. Yet another life moment for us and them.

Taking control of the boat we headed out the inlet and fought the wind and the rollers back to the condo. Boat ashore, a cooling-off dip in the sea and now it’s time for………..Carne Machaca!

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