Monday, December 12, 2005

Baja, Top to Bottom:

At lunchtime, I pull off the highway onto a washboarded dirt road. Three bumpy miles lead me to a stretch of empty coast, where I find a restaurant built from the remains of an old wooden cannery building. I'm the only customer here. The maitre d', who is also the waiter (and the only visible employee), seats me by a window overlooking the water. There is nothing outside but whipping wind, a bobbing boat, and a fisherman casting off the dock. I order the tacos de pollo.

Halfway through my lunch, a weathered old sport-fishing guide moseys in and takes a seat at the bar. The maitre d' mixes him a drink and they start to chat in a mishmash of Spanish and English. I eavesdrop, expecting to hear sad, wistful tales about that brutal mistress the sea. It turns out they're discussing an episode of Judge Judy.

1:19 PM