While we were breaking
camp Rina's friend came by to say goodbye. He asked as an aside,
"Do all of you have your passports?" We didn't.
"Well, I don't want to rain on your parade or anything, but you're
fucked." According to him, there was absolutely no way to
cross from northern to southern Baja without a passport or birth certificate.
We begged and pleaded for some chance that we'd be allowed through,
but he was steadfast. Over and over like a mantra in his 73-year-old
voice full of cigarettes and soul: "You're fucked".
Turns out the border from northern to southern Baja, 100 miles away,
is a full-on border crossing, with inspection and passports and the
whole deal. And they're cracking down on gringos travelling without
passports. Shit. We contemplated mountain biking through
some forsaken desert valley patrolled by army jeeps. We paced and chewed nails.
Ryk and I (the passport-less ones) decided if worse came to worse we'd
leave the trip so they could continue on. Ugh.
When we stopped for gas
the gas guy said "I like America, but you have too many regulations.
Here, there's nothing $100 won't fix." He suggested we offer
the border guy $10 if it came to that, but warned to do it very carefully
since it's a felony to offer bribes. He suggested leaving the
bill visible in a pocket or something. So we set out to the uncomfortable
task of being tactful in a language none of us really speak.