Salt mines, broken windshield and fish tacosNovember 30, 2019
Guerro Negro is the first city on Federal Hwy 1 on Baja Sur and well known for whale watching. The city has a celebration each year to hail the annual arrival of the calves in the lagoons of Baja California Sur (BCS). As the season is in January and February, there were not many activities to take a tour. So we had to come up with another plan.
“Salt is born of the purest parents: the sun and the sea.”
The road to the salt mine
Vladimir showing us the salt crystals
Just outside Guerro Negro, there are massive Salt mines, which are some of the most significant salt mines in the world, with a production of seven million tons of salt per year, exported to the main centers of North America, Asia and Europe.
So of course, we had to take a drive and explore these salt fields out in the desert. After a long rough dirt road, we got to a gate with a security guard named Vladimir, who politely told us that we could not enter the salt mine. But he spends some time to give us a quick education about the area. He explained to us that the basins are flooded with seawater and dried by the sun and flooded again until they can harvest to the purest form of salt, which looks like crystals. He then gave us two beautiful salt crystals to keep, and he even let me take a photo with him. Sometimes you meet and see the most exciting things when you at least expected.
Muchos Gracias Vladimir!
Narrow highways and broken windshield lessons learned
“They’re funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you’re having them.”
As we are leaving Guerro Negro on Federal Hwy 1, the road started to get more narrow, and the edge of the highway dropped deeper. There is a reason why you do not drive in the dark not because of robberies but because of washed away roads and deep potholes and harsh edges, which we found out soon. As we are driving along, a semi-truck is coming on the opposite side at 100km an hour. There is a drain bridge for flash floods with no railing and a drop-off off 2m. The road has barely any room for the two of us on highway speed. The semi is on the yellow line and is not moving aside, which gave Cliff no choice but to barely miss the 2m drop-off and fly into a sandbank at highway speed. We should have rolled off the highway and died -but we didn’t!
After coming to an abrupt stop in the deep sand, we took a breather, looked at our shattered driver side windshield and count our blessings.
Now what? Cliff did a quick check to see what else broke and came back to report other than the glass; everything else is fine. But we had one dilema- we are stuck in the sandbank. How are we gone get back on the road with being 2m below the highway? The shovel is coming out, and the digging begins. Every highway in Mexico is followed by a dirt road. So after we dug out the LuvShk, we were able with a little back and forth motion to get on to the sandy dirt road and drove slowly until a somewhat harder edge came along to drive up the sandbank and on to the highway.
stuck in the sand bank
finding a new windshield and having fish tacos
Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.
Just relaxing and having some tacos
As soon as the LuvShk touched the asphalt, we decided to return to Guerro Negro 30 miles back to the RV park. On the level ground there, we can double-check the LuvShk to make sure there are no hidden damages from the accident. There will also be wifi available so we can order a new windshield and figure out how to ship it here.
So as we returned, we called a place in Oregon to see if they have a windshield in stock as this is specialty glass. And we were in luck. The only problem was they do not ship to Mexico. So we called many shipping companies, and they all quoted us US$2000.00 and up, keep in mind our glass is only US$800.00. What a dilemma, now what? Thank goodness Cliffs Cousins live parttime in Cabo, so we contacted them, and they knew of a shipping company in San Diego, which is specializing in Baja deliveries. Their quote came back a little less than $ 200.00. Now that is more like it. We can pick it up in Cabo San Lucas in 3 weeks.
Thank you, David and Sonia, for your recommendation!
With the windshield taped up with Ducktape and our nerves settling to a more peaceful place, we finally treated ourselves for an authentic Baja Fish Taco. Life is good!