We woke up around 6.15 am and started our journey south to San Juanico, also known as Scorpion Bay in Baja, Mexico. Scorpion Bay is known in the surfing universe as a world-class right-point break and we decided to spend thanksgiving visiting Dusty’s “phony uncle” and catching some epic waves. According to our trusty map, the North Road appeared to be the shortest and most direct way to get to this remote village. We were told that it was a road for the seasoned travellers only and, in California slang, it was “gnarly” to say the least. But, we decided to take the road less travelled anyway. After a short visit in this oasis haven of San Ignacio we turned unto the infamous North Road without a moment’s hesitation.
Singing along happily
After hearing the sketchy stories of the North Road we were expecting far worse when we were greeted by shinny asphalt. For the first hour we sang along happily to The Beatles as we cruised along the newly made road. However, our naive optimism was short lived as we saw the end of the smooth terrain in the distance. We decreased our speed by more than half as we rolled onto a gravel road that had no end. I looked around at our vast desert wilderness and watched the black road shrink into nothing.
Hours passed as we blindly drove into the desert. We knew the ocean was to our right as we drove through miles of salt flats and pools of water coloured indigo and blood orange.
It wasn’t long before mirages filled our horizon and the washboard road turned into tire tracks in the sand. Eventually the tracks we were following split and went into two different directions. With only our instinct to follow we discussed it over for a few seconds before deciding which way to go. After the fifth fork in the road, our nerves were shot and we could only hope that we were going the right way. It was after midday when we finally came to our first sign that was covered in surf stickers. We took it as a clue that we were on the right track and rejoiced as we continued on our way. We knew we had to get to Scorpion Bay before dark, because it would be impossible and dangerous to try and find our way at night.
Uh-oh … pass the shovel
As we made our way through the salt flats we started to feel the ground under us become softer and realized that we were driving through sand. Dusty nervously accelerated in fear of getting stuck as we closely followed the tracks up a hill. As we reached the top our wheels gave out and our greatest fear came true. We jumped out of the car and tried to dig our tires free, but it was useless. After 20 minutes of pushing and digging we knew we weren’t going anywhere without some serious help. We were stuck in the middle of nowhere. I checked my phone in vain as we had lost reception hours ago and searching for any materials to help us get out was fruitless as there was nothing but sand and small dry bushes scattered around. I looked up at the beating sun in the clear blue sky and had never felt so close and far from the world at the same time.
We decided that the only thing to do was to try and head back to the last main fork in the road where the sign covered in surf stickers. We figured we’d have a better chance finding help there as we had no idea where we were. We grabbed all the water and snacks from the car, loaded our backpacks and started walking back. Was this really happening?
Weekender says: Stay tuned, folks, for part three of this epic adventure, only in your Super Soaraway Weekender.
Natasha Kozaily is a local singer-songwriter and painter. She released her debut album Between Shores and followed it up with the EP Tales of One Fish. She currently resides in San Diego where she continues to create and perform. Natasha completed her bachelor’s degree in music from Cardiff University, where she wrote her thesis on Caymanian folk musician Miss Julia Hydes. You can reach her at natashakozaily.com