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Baja Junkie

Living and loving life in the Baja

The Airport – Day 5

2014-09-18 07.26.55

 

We drive to the airport with no army, no stops, straight through! We were amazed and if we would of listened to the radio station and the people talking we would of never known.

What we saw at the airport was thousands of people trying to get out of Cabo. Mostly tourists with there vacation being a bust but there were a few locals. We still had a long way to go. The line up was at least a mile long or more. People had been there for days!! God’s hand was on us this whole journey. From the time we got to the airport to the time we were on a plane to Guadalajara it took us about 3.5 hours! Once we made the decision to fly local instead of back to the USA it went rather quickly. The Canadian consulate was there yelling ……any Canadians here?? Josh and I raised our hands. Oh maybe we are going to get special treatment we thought ……hahaha we got nothing! But to be fair there were no USA consulate people there. I am not even sure why they wanted to know if we were Canadian or not.

 

People were weary but in generally a good frame of mind, speaking highly of the resorts they came from and how the Mexican works STAYED with the guests instead of going back to their own families. Making sure the guests were taken care of. I wish I had been in a hotel…….

We had brought food and water with us as we did not know how long we were going to be at the airport. We handed all the food and water to a support worker at the airport and they were more than happy to take it off our hands.

We rounded the chain linked fence with anticipation as we knew it was only a matter of time before we were sitting on a plane.  We rounded the corner and saw this

 

2014-09-18 08.12.51

We thought we were flying out in a Federal Police plane – we were so stoked!! It wouldn’t of mattered if it was a small engine plane we would of been happy. Our journey was of only 5 days but it felt like a life time at that point. To all the warriors that stayed in Cabo and helped Cabo rebuild and rebuild there homes with no water or electricity for 1 month – you guys ROCK!  As one of my friends put it “the struggle is real”. Some of our friends homes were destroyed partially or completely, my home was not and it was right by the water. The damage that my home sustained was mild compared to all the other people that lost their homes to this storm.

Next up …..Guadalajara and home

The Last Night in Cabo After Odile

My friend first…… Then me…….my sister picked up! I have never been so happy to hear her voice! My voice started to tremble …oh dear I didn’t want to cry…..I haven’t cried yet.

I needed to stay strong, there was work to do. Her voice broke down and that was it, I lost it! I felt so stressed, tired and weary. I promised I would contact her again as soon as I could…

We each took a turn on the phone, while the others just gave us privacy.

After their phone calls with family they Both wanted to flee Cabo and I really felt I should stay……my truck, my everything is here, how can I walk away? They continued to talk to me, I agreed but I still really felt uneasy. I called my sister back and told her we would try and get out. We stopped to check on friends and they said they had a full tank of gas and would drive us to the airport. Wow we just scored big time, they told us to come anytime……

We returned to my place and we started to secure everything we could in the one room that seemed the safest and I put my computer in the truck, we would move our most valuable over to the condo, it seemed really secure. We returned home to pack a bag. We decided that we needed to pack light so the airlines would just board us. We heard the airport was not allowing any traffic in and the army was only letting out tourists that were in hotels on a list …….we didn’t care. I am Canadian and I’m going home!! As I was packing my bag, my friend came running up yelling “we have to go now”, come to my house it’s more secure. She just heard from a lady that the bandits are coming into gringo neighborhoods, looting and then setting the houses on fire! The stakes just went up! With my heart racing, I packed a backpack and took one last look at my home and thought am I ever going to see you again? Our stress level was so intense, but we tried to find humor!

We also found out who the leader is and who the followers are in a disaster. I am defiantly not a leader and I think I would surely die if there was a zombie apocalypse. After watching many episodes of The Walking Dead, I thought I had learned a few things but apparently not – maybe if I had stayed here I might have gotten tougher but I don’t need to prove I am tough today like I always felt I had to years ago – I am a big ole softy and not tough at all however that is a whole different article!

That night I was in turmoil as to whether I should leave to Canada or stay where I had made my home. I did not sleep again even though I felt safe that night staying in a condo where the door shut and locked. In the quiet moments of talking to God that night I heard his voice that said “Trust Me”

On Our Way

2014-09-17 19.38.01

 

 

On our way

I promised my roommate that I would not leave her sister and kids behind.  She was out of town at the time of the hurricane. We went to search for Jenna and the kids.  We found them with out incident and I told her and her husband that if I did not get her out of dodge, that her sister would tan me alive! Jenna’s husband Dilan offered me a warm Mexican beer and it was good. We then we went back home.

We didn’t sleep very much, if at all, that last night in Cabo. We kept going to the balcony and watched the residents armed with flashlights walk around the complex to try and keep us protected from the “ banditos” that were apparently coming to the gringo neighborhoods to loot, pillage and burn.

That night we had a hot meal. Our pastor and his wife decided to cook their meat that was going to go bad so we had hot chicken and tortillas. I don’t remember eating much for the 5 days or even drinking much water. I know that I really wanted a cold drink and there were no cold drinks to be had. I guess many people had a generator (smart move) and they ran their fridge so things stayed fresh and cold. But I didn’t know any one that had a generator – things felt pretty bleak!

We were ready to leave at 4 am as we had no idea what to expect at the airport. We had heard through word of mouth that we were not going to get through, that the army was there and they were only allowing tourists to leave. We half expected we would have to walk through the desert in the hot, hot, sun to get to the airport.

We went to the friend’s house that had a full tank of gas,  they are going to drive us to the airport. There were 4 of us in total. I gave my keys for the truck and the one locked door in my house that housed the precious gallons of water to the pastor of our church, advising him to use what he needed to use and take what he needed to take.

I am tired, really tired.

Day 3 After Odile

2014-09-14 18.25.34

Sept 17

Didn’t sleep again the place is so unsecure, it’s hard to rest. Woke up and began cleaning again. I think what’s the point another storm is coming and my home will be flooded again.

No communication is the worst, we don’t know if anyone is okay, the only way is through word of mouth and it’s all really bleak with not much hope given. No food, water is limited and if help does come we need to get to the drop places for food and water but with no gasoline how do I get there?

I am sick of trying to clean, with no water. Haven’t showered in a few days, but we are trying to remain hopeful that we will see the military soon. Why hasn’t help come yet?

My old roommate came over; she lives over in the next community. We talked about going to her friend’s house and siphoning gas from her bike that we could use.

I packed a bug out bag with a few pictures, money, and papers and decided I would carry it everywhere. We locked our water in the only locking door and we ventured out. I had over 1/4 tank of gas in my 4 wheel….not much…I had to conserve.

We left the safety of the community and it shocked me every time we left…. the decimation of my beautiful Cabo in ruins. Cabo; in the last 3 years have become my home and I have such a connection to the people that live here. Gringo and Mexican alike.

We drive 10 minutes away from town towards San Jose and the downed cell towers, palms and power lines are everywhere too. We are carrying weapons. I have a screw driver, knives……..wow is all I have to say…..

Now I have tell you we had some  good laughs along the way….siphoning gas is a real treat and I remember from my farm days how gross it is………we were all gagging and laughing and finally my friend got it to drain……..great we have 2 gallons, not much but not nothing either. We couldn’t get gas from the other 3 cars we hit someone already got to them and they were parked in my drive way. This place had a relatively clean pool, I got in and washed my hair….still gross but better than before.

We just happened to try the phone and we got a dial tone! yippee I wonder if we can call international?

Day 1 & 2 After the Hurricane

2014-09-15 07.55.18

 

My friend who lives in the complex over came to see me. She didn’t have it as bad as me. We walked over for a moment and used her landline phone. Little did I know that it would be the last message left for my family for a long time. I got there answering machine. I so wished I could of talked to them.

We decided after a bit of clean up to go for a drive. Unbelievable destruction! Power lines, palm trees, signs all over the place. The destruction was so bad that we came home immediately.

We went to bed early with a plan for the next day to try and clean up some more and then go into town. Oh I forgot to mention there were buildings down everywhere and people were starting to loot the corner store!

Sept 16 day 2 after the storm

We woke up and decided to go to town to see if there was anything left. I am so grateful I have a 4 wheel drive because a regular car would not get through. Mudslides from flash floods were 2 ft. deep full of mud across the hwy, power lines down, buildings just gone!

I stopped to see if my coworker was ok, as she lived alone with her fur babies. She was not home or at least she didn’t answer, her dogs were outside. I will check again tomorrow I think.

We stopped at my work and a window and water was blown all over. No one was there. Met my friend Tony and started to talk to people about the power. They tell us that it could be up to a month to get power back! Plus we have no cell service. Without power we can’t turn on the tap and get washing water, cooking water…..it doesn’t run without power! Things just got a lot grimmer. We talked about the food we have on hand and we realize we don’t have a lot of canned goods……I never expected this!

People are gathering a small army and I see they are going to start to loot Walmart, SAMs club and maybe Costco and this is only day 2 . I’m so scared. The army is there. Later I hear they just opened up the doors and let people take any food items etc. that they needed……

I have 1/2 a tank of gasoline…..why oh why didn’t I get a full tank? I feel so stupid! I was so unprepared! Oh but we have 12 gallons of clean drinking water….that should last a little while if we are careful.

I have a Costco size baby wipes. Thank you Kyrstin for getting me hooked on them. This is how I will wash for the next several weeks because of no power. We do have a cistern with water that we decided we can use to boil and cook with….thank goodness we have a gas stove!

All the freezer stuff is starting to melt, the fridge is warm…..everything is going to go bad. We will have eggs and bacon tomorrow and lots of it!

 

We heard there is only one working cell tower in La Paz 2 hours away. We won’t be getting power back on for at least 2 weeks and all the stores are getting looted! We are worried we might have to bug out, oh ya we just heard the airport is destroyed and won’t be having any flight in or out for a week or more. What are we going to do? And to top it all off with all the rain, our doors won’t shut as they are swollen, bugs and mosquitoes with the threat of dengue. Plus we heard through the grapevine there is another storm headed our way!

My place looks like a bomb hit it, it’s super-hot and humid out and we don’t have a safe place to ride out this next storm. We are afraid that people will start looting houses and we have nothing to protect us…. I can’t go to work and that means no money for me……I really feel …….tired….

Tomorrow is another day to fight the battle.

The Night Of Hurricane Odile

2014-09-04 21.46.10Sept 14/15

 

I thought I was prepared for the storm, I thought I was smart, I thought I was ready for what was coming. I was so wrong about everything. Hurricane Odile was not suppose to hit us

There is something about it being in the dark going through a storm that I think makes it even scarier. The wind was picking up and sheets of rain were coming in hard like buckets dropped at 60 miles per hour…..the power flickered a few times around 6 pm, rumors were going around on social media that the power company was going to shut of power as a preventative measure. All I had was my phone to reach out and I continued to do so until my battery died.

 

Even before the storm hit us the house was shaking but nothing like we were about to experience. We moved away from the windows just in case the windows blew in. Josh and I both decided to ride out the storm together and I am so grateful for him. He kept me sane in the most terrifying moments of my life! I have never before felt that scared. We could hear all the stuff being blown around outside……haha we thought we secured everything, but you can’t secure anything from 145km or more winds!

 

Creaking and groaning and thing smashing outside with us trying to guess what it was that was being destroyed. I wanted to check on my house we lived side by side in a duplex. It was dark, and all we had were the lights from our cell phones. What we saw was unbelievable….my whole sliding glass door was coming out with the frame! We started to move a few things around to try and secure it with a couch as the wind was wiping around us and rain. In a flash we decided to move all my electronics…..there were a lot of things so many that I missed a few. We put them on this bed with wheels and covered them all up and moved the bed behind the wall. We went back to safety on the other side of the house which seemed safer and less wet

I hugged a pillow and we couldn’t take our eyes off the windows praying that the windows wouldn’t blow in…..sitting in the dark but for a few candles. I couldn’t relax and neither could Josh. We started making an exit plan…..what if the windows blow in? what if the house starts to blow apart? Where do we go? We decided on the bodega downstairs, it has no windows so we could be safe or the bathroom.

We sat not saying a word except for “the windows will hold right”? We will be all right. As the storm hit us direct the house started to shake and the sound was like a train right beside us….I really thought the house was going to go. Then it started to calm down and we thought we made it through the worst, but we were wrong we were in the eye of the storm. Another wave of this, surely the house won’t survive this go around. Water was pouring in through the windows, the house was shaking and groaning and creaking and the wind was howling but it was like a sound I have never heard before……of course I have never heard it before as I have never before been in a hurricane! At one point we heard a crack and then a car alarm…..later we found out a palm tree was pushed over by the gale force winds

 

It finally passed and we were so tired but scared to sleep. We both took turns sleeping for 20 min here and there but every time there was a noise I awoke to attention. Dawn arrives and we look outside and all I see is complete decimation of my yard. We try to get out the door but the wood has swollen from the rain and we are stuck! We look outside and see a man, I talk to him in English and in broken Spanish if he would come and push on our door

We are free! Free to see the damage caused by odile. My house has no sliding glass doors and I have 4 inches of water on my floor. I mopped and wrung 3 or 5 full buckets of water out. The pool is green and black with the pool pump destroyed, everything we thought we secured were in the yard or gone! The brick wall around the pool knocked over, the lawn chairs and BBQ in the bushes. My beautiful yard…..devastated! No more pretty trees or bushes ……gone.

If only I knew then that going through a hurricane was nothing like getting through the after-math of a hurricane.

More to come tomorrow

 

 

 

bullshark

 

I love to SCUBA dive and ever since I can remember I have loved sharks. And the more I dive and see what is happening to our oceans, the more I love the sharks!

The picture was taken by CJ my friend at Cabo Pulmo BCS Mexico, a National Park that Jacque Cousteau once called “The Aquarium of the World”!
I have wanted to dive sharks for a long time but I have to tell you that when I saw them circling the boat before entering the water my heart rate jumped.
Now I am not a novice diver, I have been diving for years and years with a few certifications under my belt. My point I guess is: that as I was descending to 40Ft I forgot all the instructions that the boat captain gave us ……like get to the bottom quickly – don’t float around swimming above them. As I realized that everyone else was at the bottom and I was still “floating” around on my descent I quickly raced to the bottom!

Once I was settled at the bottom I looked to my left and a large bull shark was coming right for me! In the last second it turned away to a different direction.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat – I love these creatures and I think they are often misunderstood and mainstream media does them no justice and creates fear. They make them into monsters with headlines like ” Shark seen in the FL keys” well duh that is where they live, in the ocean.

Be kind to our oceans folks!
Blessings
Scubagirl65

Diving with the Bull sharks in Cabo Pulmo, Mx

Importation Tax! Drives me nuts!

I have been living in Mx for almost 3 years and the one thing that I really miss is getting the items I want to buy without paying importation tax! It drives me nuts!

Not everything I need/want to buy is local, and example of this would be Q-Tips. A simple thing but I can not find the brand name here anywhere. I have looked and on occasion I have found them once. The thing that I have learned over time is that if you find something you like, buy it up, buy lots of it cuz you will never know when you will find it again!
I love to shopping  on Amazon! I can find great deals but the problem is that when I receive the items here. Another 30% if not more depending on the item.

So usually my cart at any online shopping store stays full and I continue to look and debate is that 30% extra worth it – how bad to I need or want this item.

Happy Shopping
Scubagirl65

So much garbage!

My dive shop went out on a dive in our local area of Cabo San Lucas, Mx specifically to pickup garbage. So much garbage in the sea!
Now on most of my dives I come up with a pocket full of garbage from tons of fishing line and lures to bottles and cans.
Considering that this local dive spot is a no fish zone we came up with so much fishing line. I have seen the damage first hand on how hazardous this can be for marine life. Moray eels get tangled and then strangle themselves with it or get a hook in their mouth and they will surely die because they can not eat!
The strangest thing I have found in the ocean is a dirty diaper! WTH!! Or women products?? I just don’t understand humans – I would rather hang out with the fish!

Blessings
scubagirl65

decision

 

The decision to move to Mexico was full of apprehension and excitement. All my life I felt like I didn’t belong in Canada, I always felt that I needed to be on an Island surrounded by water. Thinking that this was just a dream I had or maybe it was because my life was so full of craziness. Living in active addiction for 28 years, running around causing hurricanes in my own life and others maybe I just wanted to escape.

However after being clean for some years that feeling never left me. I got into the routine of being a productive member of society. Getting and maintaining a job for a good company but still felt under-valued and under paid. Trying to maintain a lifestyle I could not afford. Now I am not talking about living the high-life. I am talking about renting a basement suite with cable, Internet and a used car; that always broke down. Living check to check, racking up credit card debt on what the media told me I needed and wanted to fit in.

Propaganda! The TV telling me that I needed this new car to be happy or the latest fashion designs to be a part of mainstream society. I always felt like I never measured up! I was taught to get an education, a good job, a reliable car, mortgage, marriage, kids etc. The dream?  It was always about how much I made and what I could afford. I was sick of it! Success was measured by what I had in the bank or with the toys I owned.  He who dies with the most toys, Wins!  Well the fact is your still dead and then what?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlFRMM87IU8&list=TLfIm4pRyr6eQ

I needed something more!

That something more is God.  That emptiness that I had, trying to fill up that hole, with things, that I couldn’t afford or really want in the hopes that I would feel complete.  Today that empty hole is gone because I allowed Jesus to be present in my life.  Today my God has a name and His name is Jesus. HE made some promises to me that I believe.  Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Today I am restful, peaceful and full of gratitude that I listened to His voice inside me. I no longer need to buy stuff!  I gave all the stuff up and I am much happier for it. I do not watch TV here with all the “I must buy” crap. I don’t need the expensive toys that I once needed. Well, to be honest I still have a love of dive gear that enables me to pursue my passion of God’s underwater playground. Here, my backyard is mostly, free, I have access to the ocean on either side of me.

I am forever grateful that I took a chance of the unknown and made the one of the best decisions in my life and moved to Mx.

Blessings

scubagirl

 

 

 

The Decision To Move To Another Country