Sand dunes and the Pacific Ocean,
Suddenly, I was right on top of an unlighted roadblock, and a flagman with a dim flashlight was frantically waving me off the highway. Another army checkpoint, I thought, just what I needed, a bunch of muddy soldiers going through my stuff while I stood outside in the drizzle. But, this guy was alone and didn't look like a soldier, and I saw no guns. I could see no place to go, so I just stopped where I was on the highway, as he continued to wave and point. Where he pointed was a very steep, rutted, muddy hillside, between two buildings on my right.
north of El Rosario.
I would not have believed he wanted me to go up that muddy hill, except that there was nowhere else to go but back, and I was in Mexico. So, I turned off the pavement, and gunned the motor up the hill, for the first time glad that I had not replaced the old snow tires left on the bus by its previous owner.
Supermarket in El Rosario,
I fishtailed up the hill, then hit the brakes as I went over the top and the mud street became a large pond. I slid down the hill and skidded to the water's edge.
and one more Tecate beer sign.
It was too late to turn around, and there was no place to go but through the water or into the buildings on either side. On the far side of the water, about a block away, I could make out a reflectorized arrow. I guessed this was in fact the intended detour.
I saw no other cars. But, I figured the people ahead of me on the highway must have made it across somehow, and I really had no choice, so what the hell. I plunged in, and with my snow tires spinning I managed to slosh and skid my way across the lake, and followed the glowing arrow into the dark.
My headlight beams barely penetrated the black night. The detour went on for an eternal twenty minutes of unmarked ruts, mudholes and boulders, apparently into the bed of the "dry" river that had washed out the highway bridge in the rainstorm the night before.
There was little to indicate I was on the right track, and I couldn't shake the feeling that I was headed away from the highway and toward the ocean. I had premonitions of ending up stuck on the beach in the dark, with the tide coming in.