Home: Clementine’s BNB
We had booked two nights at Clementine’s, and upon arrival wished they had longer availability, since Mulege seemed like a nice place to spend some time. Well, we at least had one day to explore. We walked along the south bank of the river, and were able to reach the low bridge into town (the Highway 1 bridge soars over it and bypasses town) with only a 100-yard walk along the Highway 1 edge. But we kept following along the south side of the river, passing the decaying beauty of a boarded-up restaurant/resort, and reaching the Mission church and the nearby viewpoint atop a rock that towers over the river.
Then instead of backtracking to the low bridge, we crossed the Mulege River and entered town by walking across an old stone dam. I had been wondering how much of the “river” was really just an inlet that filled with water from the nearby ocean, but there was a spillway at each end of the dam disgorging some water downstream, so there is at least some upstream source of water (though surely the upstream river wouldn’t be nearly as wide, and maybe not even visible at all, without the dam).
In preparation for some extensive beach-camping, we stocked up on groceries at Mini-Super Ayleth in town, and then headed over to the brewery. Wait, what? The brewery? Yeah, Mulege is a fairly small town that doesn’t even have a chain grocery store, but it’s gringoized enough to have a brewery. Unfortunately even their blonde ale was too bitter for Rett, but their coconut IPA was excellent. We had a really nice conversation with Dan and Ellen, a semi-retired couple (as in, he’s retired, she isn’t) living a van-nomad life. I was thankful that they were willing to share some of the struggles they’ve had adapting to their new life, which is a bit deeper than many similar conversations often go.
We were so distracted by our conversation that we never got around to ordering any food besides the big nacho plate, and then it was time for us to go back to our room and its WiFi so that Rett could have a Happy-Hour Zoom with her friends.
It was at that point that my stomach started letting me know something strange was going on, and I flopped down onto our extra bed, and laid there incapacitated for hours. After more than a month in Mexico, had one of us finally been hit with “Montezuma’s Revenge”? We’ve been somewhat careful with eating/drinking, but not extremely so (brushing teeth with tap water, sometimes using it for cooking if we boil it first), and after that length of time with no real issues, had a bit come to believe that the fears of getting sick in Mexico were as overblown as most fears about Mexico that we’ve heard from north of the border. Luckily Rett seemed unaffected, which leaves the source as a bit of a mystery, since we generally eat and drink all the same things.
Home: AirBNB by the Mission
Sleep was difficult with my rumbling stomach, but I felt marginally better in the morning. Still, we decided that heading out to a semi-wild camp on the beach with limited toilet facilities was not a smart idea, and while we couldn’t extend our stay at Clementine’s, we were able to do a last-minute booking on an AirBNB house near the Mission that had been on our original list of choices. So, we were being granted our wish to stay longer in Mulege after all. Yay? It was a bit of a chore forcing down the scrambled-egg breakfast we made in the communal kitchen, but then a post-checkout walk with our bikes downstream toward the Sea of Cortez (we couldn’t quite make it that far) felt alright.
Luckily the AirBNB host was able to accommodate our early check-in request, so we didn’t have to kill much time at all between our (surprisingly-early for Baja) 10am check-out at Clementine’s and the moment that we got the message saying we could head over to pick up the keys. And it turns out that generosity was pretty necessary too, because as soon as we got our bikes up the steep gravel hill and moved into the house, I pretty much crashed down to bed again for hours. I might have slept a wink or two, but it was mostly just lying there with no energy to do anything, not even phone/computer stuff. That’s an unfamiliar state of existence for me, and an indicator of just how much this thing was knocking me off my game. The “good” news was that delaying our forward motion for another couple days (at a relatively-expensive US$75/night cost) had turned out to definitely the right call, and I was almost glad to continue to be sick rather than regretting a gamble that had stuck us in place for no good reason.
Home: AirBNB by the Mission
By the third day of my intestinal issues, things seemed to be firming up, and my energy was a bit higher, and heading out on the bikes the next day without further extension in Mulege seemed reasonable. Still, very few foods sounded appetizing to me, and we spent most of the day lazing about the house, Rett watching her Walking Dead on the house’s SmartTV, and me able to again do the planning and writing on the computer. Also took advantage of our last good Internet for a while to have a nice video call with my parents and catch up for the first time since we’ve been in Mexico.
In the afternoon I was even able to go out on the bike back to the grocery store to restock on all our beach-food that we had depleted over the previous two days. Let’s hope that in the morning my stomach still agrees with my brain about wanting to move on!