"There's been a mutual hornswoggling."
We were new to Mexico and unprepared for what the central strip of Baja promised to deliver. We had spent a few days camping on the deserts and beaches of Baja Norte but knew if we drove any further south, 400-500 miles of vast, rugged, barren terrain awaited us. Having just cracked open our last can of tuna and sipped the last of our water; we were in dire need of restocking our supplies before such a journey. So abandoning our normal routine, we backtracked, swinging up north to stock up on water, gas, and the group’s preferred canned fish before venturing into the deserts Baja is so famous for.
When we reached San Quintin the first sign to catch our eye emphasized wi-fi as a principal commodity. There wasn’t a second to pause and read what the sign was for or what else this place promised, all we knew was we had better check in with our friends and families before the impending two week-long social media blackout. There was potential we were headed to a twelve star platinum-plated beachfront resort that scoffed at us desert-worn van travelers, or a windowless one- room drug den promising to hold the four of us ransom in return for tens of thousands of U.S. dollars (I don’t know why a drug den would have a billboard or what our ransom would be, so I’m assuming we’re worth top dollar). Kidnappers and ransoms aside, wi-fi took precedence to anything else.
Rolling into Don Eddie’s fishing resort we had minimal expectations. There was no marble walkway with stone-faced bellhops shooing us away, or gun-wielding drug runners, so we followed the quaint hand painted signs to the restaurant to inquired about the wi-fi. We were greeted with a smile, chips and guac, and a wi-fi password. Things were looking good, and we could tell our families where we were.
Within ten minutes, and two baskets of chips, a woman walked in to join us near the bar. Assuming she was a guest of the resort we made small talk but continued working. After two or three “This thing is driving me crazy!” proclamations aloud while looking at her computer, Joel offered a hand and sparked a discussion.
As it turns out the woman was Bev, fisherwoman, Baja enthusiast, and one of a few partners who owned Don Eddie’s. There was some brief computer tinkering and conversation about who we were and what we were doing before we all began talking about an exchange. Photos and a video highlighting the resort in return for showers and a few free nights in one of their campsites? Sold.
As the next few days panned out we began to realize just how incredible this woman was. Bev seemed to be quite a shark in her old loan and real estate days (one time over dinner she proudly stated “I beat the IRS”), but embraced life’s finer points now that she has achieved her goal of living in Baja with her husband Joe, who she met in an amazing account of lighting and fish tacos.
Ever the entertainer, our group of twenty-somethings often had a hard time keeping up with Bev. But as our stay progressed, she made sure we took every opportunity and explored everything there was to explore at Don Eddie’s. She’s a good-humored, merman-loving hornswoggler pinned against a world of swashbucklers, and loves every second of it.
After four nights we had prepped and pampered and were ready for the desert that lay ahead. After some heartfelt hugs and well wishes along with one last Instagram post and grocery store stop for canned tuna, that’s exactly where we went.