Saturday, January 23, 2016

Baja Road Trip - Opal Obsession

Tuesday - January 19th - Zacatitos into San Jose for Opals and Supplies

Art and I bundle up warmly and take a before sunrise walk on the beach. The sun peeks up slowly over the horizon, spreading a rosy golden glow over the beach and illuminating the froth of the waves that lap onto the pristine sand. Our morning coffee afterward, sipped on our deck tastes especially good. 

Zacatitos Sunrise
John and Will, sleeping in a tent on the flat roof awake and climb down the ladder and our morning routine begins. While Will is pulling ingredients from our ice chest to prepare breakfast, John approaches me with a grin and a closed fist. He has caught a baby gecko and holds it gently in his closed hand. I scramble to find a suitable container before John opens his hand to release his catch. I marvel at this minute lizard, take many photos, and release it.

Baby Gecko
I fly back to California in two days and have business to attend to before I depart.  I have opals on my mind and must also take care of paying the taxes on our beach side bungalow. I drive into San Jose on my own, choosing to take the newly paved highway into town rather than the rocky unpaved coastal road. In so many ways, I prefer the coastal road, rocky and slow but with a view of the Sea of Cortez. I regret that already, because I am given the choice, I am opting for efficiency rather than simply enjoying the journey. 

The drive into town via the newly paved road takes only 35 minutes. I park and walk to the court house adjoining the San Jose Zocalo. I am assigned a number and wait 30 minutes before it is my turn at one of the three official windows where I show my paperwork, pay a modest tax and leave in less than three minutes with a computer generated receipt in hand. Official business handled, I now hope that the jewelry shop where I have several opals on hold will be open today. I walk the few short blocks to the Art District and the shop is open. Ruben welcomes me and I spend another 30 minutes looking at the few opals of interest that he has set aside. We agree on a price and I commit to a 14 carat Mexican Fire Opal in the shape of a bird’s head with nice flashes of color. There is a maximum withdrawal from the ATM allowed each day and I have been accumulating pesos but I imagine that Ruben is anxious when I must leave to go to the nearby Santander, A.T.M. to withdraw more pesos. I am back with pesos in ten minutes; pay Ruben the agreed amount for the opal and with a handshake and thanks, I leave to go to the Mega store for supplies.

When I return from town, I make guacamole and the four of us watch the sunset and go to Zac’s for their Taco Tuesday special.

John and Will have spent the day skim boarding and enjoying the Zacatitos beach.

Zacatitps Sunset

Sundowners, Casa Magic Gecko

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