Nico and I separated as I wanted to make up more ground on the road to Loreto, in order to leave a shorter day after. South of Mulege there are a number of ‘postcard’ beaches in the Bahia de Concepcion. All offer some degree or another of camping and some have beachside restaurants too. It’s a particularly attractive option to get a cabana, a little protective wooden shelter. And all very cheap. I passed a number of very nice ones, but pushed on to the end of the bay.
It all looked so idyllic and when I got to Playa Perla I thought this is just fantastic! Although it wasn’t the nicest one and had no facilities (it would be a stretch to call the toilet a toilet), it was empty (save for a couple of locals who looked they were living there…) and I was right by the water. Quiet, peaceful, a day’s riding behind me – almost perfect. I took a swim and later sat outside the hut for a typical tourer evening food (i.e. lots of peanut butter). Doesn’t get much better than this, thought I. A bright moon was rising, so as the sky deepened over the horizon I looked forward to getting an early night under the stars, just sleeping on my camping mat and sleeping bag. But as I keep learning, things are never quite as straightforward…
Around 9pm I got some fellow visitors. A couple of guys arrived and they wandered about the beach with a few beers in hand. After my US hiker-biker experiences I feared the worst. Luckily they weren’t too noisy but soon got the inclination to build themselves a fire. I have no idea what they threw in there, but it stank, and I was directly downwind…nice touch, fellas. Somehow though I got a bit of sleep together, at least to start with. It wasn’t long before I woke up scratching myself here and there. It soon turned into more than here and there and I wondered what was going on. Soon I got into the sleeping bag – better to sweat than suffer the bites, or least it was for a while. I considered pitching the tent but really just hoped I’d get away with things as they were. Ant bites everywhere was no fun and by 2.30am I was not a happy camper – I’d had enough. Time to get up and hit the road early! I’d guessed it was the ants and got another shock when I discovered hundreds of them all over my food bag. Another mistake not learned – I’d forgotten to hang up my food in the cabana. They were particularly keen on my oat biscuits. Little gits.