Bahia de Hualtuco (Hualtuco Bay)
On Tuesday morning we awoke to a beautiful vista of the Pacific Ocean and a rugged and steep coastline dotted with small and steep beaches. We did a little work on the car in the morning and because they have done such a job getting El Jefe ready this year, the majority of the work needed was on the truck, AKA the Big Mama. Rene said the brake fluid was dark and smelled like French fries from the rugged mountain passes yesterday. It is extremely hot and humid but we then remember that we are on the beach and we smile.
In the afternoon we all met at the beach and went swimming, body surfing and jet skiing. The ocean is like bathwater - ahhhhhh - and my normally clogged sinuses are in absolutely heaven. We were almost fooled into thinking we were on a true beach vacation and had nothing to do but play, eat and drink! But we are here because we are drawn to the excitement and thrill of racing. A week at a beach resort is at the other end of the spectrum and obviously isn’t our first choice. But I will say that a little down time on the beach is much appreciated!
Rene and Hugo took turns on the jet ski and I went down to the water to take a picture of them coming in and Rene waved at me to come out. He had a few minutes left on the timer so I hopped on and rode behind him. I've never been on a jetski but have always wanted to try it. Of course, Rene was a wildman so I hung on tight, lacing my hands in his life preserver so I wouldn't fall off the back. But then it was my turn and after a quick tutorial we were off. What a rush - I floored it and secretly hoped I gave Rene a little scare. The craft seemed really stable and did well on the rough waves and tight turns. I love the smiles this kind of fun brings - totally in the moment, going fast and full of pure joy.
We saw a few fellow racers from San Miguel de Allende on the beach including my Swedish friend Anders, and asked about the Coyote Convoy but they weren’t here yet. We were relieved to hear that people were coming down a different route than the Devil's Spine. Whoever said that was the way to go was wrong! I was hoping Todd would get here early and we could all go to a nice dinner but the afternoon waned and they did not arrive. I enjoyed my time on the beach until the early evening when Geezer grabbed me to go get some dinner. I wanted to wait for Todd so I kept Geezer company while he ate a salad and spaghetti at a sweet little Austrian rooftop restaurant. About halfway through dinner I looked up and Todd was walking towards us! We had traveled 1500 miles south throw Mexico along separate paths and communication had been difficult due to our remote route so I was very happy to see him.
Back at the hotel we met up with other old friends and more and more race cars and crew arrived. It’s pretty special to have a group of friends you see but once or twice a year and it’s my perception that the majority of people who come to race the LCP are here for the pure and rugged adventure which means it’s a wonderful group of people. Sure, there is always competition and none of us would likely be here if we didn’t have a competitive, adrenaline-seeking bone in our body but in the end, for me, this race is about giving your best shot at finishing, testing how good you are at on-the-fly problem solving along the way, and having a good time doing all of it.
Gorgeous country down here in south Oaxaca.
Hugo gives the boogie board a try.