Just before Easter 2015, I will be winging (with help from a plane) my way north for a visit with my WA kids, so I have pulled out an Easter column from my winter at Santispak Playas, Baja California Sur Mexico. This was the spring of 1987.
“I was awakened by a deep-voiced, ‘Buenas tardes, señora.’ Two Mexican marines in full uniform, combat boots and accompanying rifles were standing within two feet of my hammock. Fortunately, they were only taking a census of the beach.
The troops were brought in to guarantee the safety and order of the temporary and permanent residents of Santispak during Easter week. A P31 Navy ship with the appropriate armory was moored just off shore. It was a little disturbing to realize they were having a full blown party on the ship, too. The Militar were walking the beach much more often and tended to party as well.Left Behind
It was mostly Mexican families ranging from the littlest baby to grandma and grandpa. Canvases were put up around the palapas or between tents and full scale cafeterias were maintained throughout the day. They fished and found other bounty from the sea to put in the collective stew pot. In direct proportion to the increased population was the growth of mobile taquerias, vegetable trucks, ice cream vendors, the usual ironwood and lace tablecloth hawkers, and people selling ‘cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!’ Hoventino’s Restaurant behind the parking lot was the scene of dancing and refreshment. The lively music was pleasant, not overly loud and only played until 1 a.m. or maybe I just fell asleep.
Tents were five and six deep. Some were close enough to touch the water at high tide. The parking lot was lined with those who didn’t come soon enough for a spot on the beach. Wherever there was an opening, someone moved in – sometimes when there wasn’t an opening. It was a carnival atmosphere with a First Aid Station.
Toys ranged from bicycles to canvas boats to ATVs whizzing up and down the parking lot. For those who didn’t have toys, the fun didn’t seem to be affected. Even with the heat, there were rousing games of baseball with a large cheering crowd. Kids dug in the sand, building castles and waterways and just plain holes. A water truck came through every day to give water to those in need. The drivers sprayed water on all the kids they met, lending further gayety to an already carnival atmosphere.Cactus Shrine
It was a little sad as the revelers left. Trash was the word for the day but the beach boys cleaned most of it up. The day was overcast in the beginning but soon the sun broke through silver-lined clouds and brought the promise of Easter with it. I stopped to reflect on the past year and missed being in the choir of the First Presbyterian Church back home, knowing that about that hour, I would normally be singing the Hallelujah Chorus. I thought about singing it anyway but decided I didn’t want to disturb the peace of the morning.
It is too late to wish you a Happy Easter so I will wish you a Happy Everafter Easter and that will cover a much longer time. Hasta Luego from Santispak Playas.” Happy Easter wherever you are. God Bless until next week.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”