18 May

Ali’s parents arrive tomorrow and we had reserved a car for the week, but today decided we were bored enough with this place that we needed to get the car a day early and go to town.

When we got up to the marina building there weren’t any taxis around so I walked over to a group of guys sitting out front of the diver’s office and asked if they knew anybody headed towards town this morning. They didn’t, but then one of them got up and said he’d take us anyway. As we walked to his truck I asked how much for the ride and he said, “Don’t worry about it,” as in, “No charge.”

Without thinking we had him drop us off at the airport. I gave our friend some money which he gladly accepted, but I couldn’t help thinking that he would have driven off without saying a thing if I hadn’t. A thirty-mile round-trip in his rattle-trap truck would have burnt two gallons of gas, which as we all know isn’t cheap these days, yet for no reason whatsoever he offered to take us. Pretty cool, and yet not at all unique in our experience—which again makes it all the more cool.

Anyway, he drops us off at the airport and we walk through the doors to find absolutely nothing. I don’t know what I was thinking. There is like one flight a day into Loreto. They don’t man their little car rental counters all day long. If they did I probably would have given them a heart attack as I would clearly have been the first person to ever drop in on them like that.

We found a guy who told us the car rental folks show up around ten, just half-an-hour away, so we sat down in the empty cavern.

About quarter-after I walked over to where four security guards were sitting on one small bench watching cartoons together. They told me the car rental people would be in around one. Crap. I tried the number I had for the rental office but it was still disconnected (I did try to call the day before to have them deliver the car to us). Eventually one of the security guards scrolled through his phone and came up with the right number. I called and the rental guy said he’d be right over.

Ninety minutes after arriving at the deserted Loreto airport we had a car. We drove the remaining five miles to town and found a pretty hilarious playground for the kids to run around at. The baby swing seemed designed to choke, the teeter-totters sat in a mud puddle, and there was a crazy contraption consisting of a couple of automobile axles welded together, a three part chain system, and a giant metal wheel of death that spun about fifteen feet in the air—presumably with a five-year-old hanging on for dear life.

From there it was off to the book store, followed by fish tacos, and finally a grocery store run. We pretty much covered all there is to do in Loreto in two hours.

Nah, there’s probably some more to do, I’m just not sure what it is yet.

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