(Click on the photos to make them bigger. They’re prettier that way.)
Why do people go to Mexico’s Baja? It’s remote, and for the most part semi-desert terrain. Cacti everywhere with spines that pierce leather runners; terrible, narrow winding roads full of potholes and drop offs, no guard rails; miles and miles of nothing but desert without so much as a phone booth or a gas station; rattlers, tarantulas, ticks and scorpions, dust and poverty, and more dust. And, bandidos patrol the roads at night. Why would anyone want to go there? Year after year?
If you drive carefully, you’ll survive the roads. If you’re prepared you won’t miss having a store handy every few miles. If you go between November and March, the rattlers will most likely be denned up. The tarantulas are up in the sandy hillsides, the scorpions are hiding from you deep under places you don’t need to look, and the ticks are only after your dog, so leave your dog at home or in your trailer. The bandidos? They’re rare, but if you follow the advice of seasoned Baja travelers and don’t drive at night you’ll be fine.
So why go to Baja? It’s warm in the winter but not overdeveloped. You can enjoy quiet beach camping without all the razzmatazz of city nightlife. Birds and sealife are there to be observed and admired. Hiking is possible in many places. Oh, did I mention the beaches, swimming, snorkeling, and diving?
And the people of Baja? Very friendly and welcoming.
Talking to other campers, I realized that everyone has a story, a reason for choosing to come to Baja. I thought, why not write one of those stories?
One woman inspired the novel I have just published. I don’t know her name or much about her. I only know that the licence plates on her van were from San Diego. She was a chain smoker, tight with her money – not wanting to pay the $5.00 a night camping fee—and she sat in the driver’s seat listening to audio tapes. I never saw her get out to enjoy the beach or put her feet in the water. It struck me as strange and I wondered why she had come all the way from San Diego to park on a Baja beach and never get out of her vehicle.
I made up a story about her, but I changed her from old to young, and from a chain smoker to a healthy, active woman. Now I had a beautiful California girl and a van. Why would Sylvia come to Baja by herself? I had to make up a reason. Maybe she received a letter that changed her life.
Fine. Now I needed to create someone for her to love. A handsome young man from Alberta might also be camping. Why? Maybe Kevin had had some sudden news and wanted a change from his unhappy life.
When Kevin and Sylvia meet, the sparks fly. They spend many a loving evening gazing at the constellations above them under those starry Baja skies. Orion watches over them nightly. It’s a match made in heaven, except for two things that could ruin everything. Kevin and Sylvia each have a secret. To tell all might jeopardize their newfound love. Making matters worse, their vindictive spouses are coming after them.
Read about Kevin and Sylvia’s Baja love affair in Orion’s Gift. Find out what happens when their hopes for happiness come crashing down. Click on the book cover image at the right for the Kindle link to Orion’s Gift. Go to Smashwords http://ow.ly/d9P9K to download Orion’s Gift for all types of e-readers.
Photos courtesy of Amanda Naismith.