The road was a semi-bitch:
loose sand made riding difficult, and it had those washboard wear marks
that make my arms numb and my nose itch. By washboard I mean
those lateral ridges a foot apart running the width of the dirt road,
like a giant washboard. It can be relentless and severe. The trick
is to seek out the smooth and well-packed parts of the road.
But eventually we made
it to La Gringa. We started at the wrong beach, but our neighbor
from the campground happened by on his Iron Burro and set us straight.
He said he'd picked a bunch of clams and was planning on sharing with
us, so he told us not to pick too many.......
But as we found out, the
hardest thing about clamming is stopping once you start catching a few.
One of the things that makes the clamming so good here is that it has
a rocky beach, so you just overturn a few rocks and sift out the clams.
A good handful of rocks yields 3 clams, and at worst you get a clam
every 3 tries. They were a little on the small side (the size
of half dollars), but plentiful. We filled a good bucket and called
The strangest thing about
this beach was the way the starfish grew wild.
And the rocks were a little
unruly too. While we were lazing around on the beach, a group
of Mexicans who'd just driven down from Tijuana pulled up in their van
and gave us each a beer. They were unbelievably nice of course,
as it seems all Mexicans are. It goes way beyond American southern
hospitality or anything like that: it's unconditional, and it's
straight from the heart seemingly without exception. These guys
started driving at one in the morning and were just rolling in at 10am.
Presumably vanloads of Mexicans from Tijuana on gonzo road trips with
coolers full of beer is part of the reason one doesn't drive at night