2001 Baja California, Mexico
“What the hell am I doing here?”
by Bill Swails
These are the words repeating over and over in my mind as I struggled to snag a comprehensible word or two from the endless stream of Spanish the Mexican man was spewing at me. I was having no luck understanding anything he was trying to tell me.
The searing 104-degree heat was blistering my brain and I was probably in a state of shock over the condition of my truck. All attempts at communication were failing miserably. Just when I was about to give up hope of understanding anything he was trying to tell me, he reached into his back pocket, pulled out a well worn leather wallet, and retrieved a single bullet. My heart began to race, and panic set in as he held the bullet up in front of my face.
What is he trying to tell me? More importantly, why is he holding up a bullet? What the hell am I doing traveling alone more than 100 km from the nearest paved road in the remote deserts of Baja California Sur, Mexico?
Oops, I’ve gotten a little ahead of myself – let me start at the beginning…