San Pedrito Beach | El Pescadero, B.C.S.

by | North America 2018

Todos Santos’ Finest Beach Community

This is only my 2nd season in San Pedrito Beach in El Pescadero, close to Todos Santos. I came here first on New Year’s eve 2016/2017. Due to unforeseen events, I stayed at this place longer than expected. That was indeed a blessing. It didn’t take long to fall in love with this beach and the community.

We got here due to a slipped disc injury my travel mate “Jens” suffered. He hoped to find the right practitioner to help him overcome this issue in this area. If you had your own experiences with a slipped disc, you might know that an instant cure is seldom possible unless you find someone who can perform miracles.

Still, El Pescadero and Todos Santos were the right places to find many snake charmers and spine benders. Unfortunately, the only medicine that could cure Jens was to relax and chill out as much as possible.

I stayed at San Pedrito Beach for almost four more months until I had to return to Europe, but I was hooked. There was this deep desire to come back here and have my van to hang out. So I put this on my midterm agenda, and just six months later, I booked a ticket back to Mexico.

New Season in Baja California Sur

In early February 2018, I returned to San Pedrito Beach. It took me a while to shake off the city dust and get used to being pounded by waves again. Of course, one of my main objectives for this new season was to improve my surfing capabilities.

Unfortunately, the paddle muscles I acquired the previous year had melted into oblivion during my long hours in front of an office desktop in Germany. I became soft and pale, but that was my challenge.

Let’s talk about collective change. Like my body, San Pedrito Beach had also transformed into something bizarre. The Year before, the whole beach was a free camping zone, and only Rafa’s bar, “Pura Playa, had been a light beam of order. The rest of the beach was just wild west camping at its best.

Transformation Of San Pedrito Beach

Now in 2018, things have changed. Now we had three different habitats. There was still the territory of “Pura Playa,” of course, which, as the name indicates, consists of a particular pure state. It’s clean and nicely made. You will find proper restrooms and even a shower at Rafa’s place. Specific rules also tell you what to do and what is forbidden or restricted. If San Pedrito Beach were the Middle East, then “Pura Playa” definitely would be considered Israel.

That also makes sense from the perspective that the only constant inhabitant of “Pura Playa” territory was Rafa’s lovely bartender, “Liza,” an Israeli citizen. You can find many other parallels, like Rafa’s excellent connection to local law enforcement. That is compared to the average gringo, a massive advantage. In case of an emergency or any “shit hits the fan “scenario. He won’t talk much about it and might deny it, but that is what you expect from Israel. They also don’t like to admit that they have atomic bombs.

So, there was no doubt in my mind that “Pura Playa” represents Israel if we consider the middle east as an analogy for San Pedrito Beach. So, what is with the rest?

FREE CAMPING AT EL PESCADARO

Before this season, you could see the rest of the beach outside of “Pura Playa” as rogue nations threatening Israel’s perfect order with suicide-shitting dogs, trash-spilling extremists, and roaming beach bums. Some conspiracy went on to transform the local paradigm. So, a regime change was instigated by clandestine means. The real power or owner of the San Pedrito Beach residing in La Paz allowed an intervention of foreign forces to stabilize the region and establish some basic rules.

Looking back on human history, bringing “freedom and democracy” to savage territories is always tricky. Just behold how the United States always (with only the best intentions, of course) try to bring some of its distinctive cultures to foreign countries. Those countries become hell on earth, and the resources somehow vanish into western enterprises.

Regime Change and Color Revolution at San Pedrito

This tremendous endeavor to transform at least a part of San Pedrito Beach into a cultivated zone fell on the shoulders of my former travel mate Jens. I guess he didn’t have much choice but to accept this mission. He could be seen as a UN occupation force with a fragile mandate. We have seen scenarios like that many times before. It sucks. Skirmishes are predetermined when you promote a German engineer to become the new Sheriff in the context of a Mexican “zero f**ks are given” scenario. It’s like when the Americans tried to press their idea of law and order onto Iraqi citizens.

So, San Pedrito Beach ended up with a zone that I called Iraq occupied by German UN forces. The rules were vague, and the service was low, but still, you had to pay taxes. At least we got some proper outhouses now in San Pedrito. Still, the problem was the cultural clash, with a German technocrat ruling the domain—that created upheaval among the peasants of Iraq.

Wild West and Vanlife

When I returned to San Pedrito Beach in February 2018, the situation was already about to boil over. At this time, escalating civil unrest was about to unfold, which required the intervention of real power from La Paz. The owner had to make a decree when Jens and Pablo, the local longboard pro, had turmoil over some silly b/s. I didn’t understand it, but it wasn’t my task to facilitate a peace agreement. I was busy enough with my objectives and mourning about my missing paddle muscles.

The point is that Iraq was a delicate territory with too much politics. The bad thing was that I had to stay at the Sheriff’s place until I got my bandwagon. So I was entirely in the middle of some tensions. Thank god, I found an excellent van on Baja Craigslist. A Spanish couple was desperate to sell their 1980 Dodge van, and I was desperate to buy. Also, we could make the deal in Euro. Now I had all the freedom to move, and after a few days, I decided to relocate to the 3rd option of San Pedrito Beach called “Somalia.”

Desperado Vanlife At El Pescadero B.C.S.

The very north part of San Pedrito Beach remained the wild west. Iraq got separated from the northern region by a 4″ deep ditch called the “Trump Trench.” It was designed to keep economic refugees from entering the north side of San Pedrito, a.k.a. Somalia. The territory here was a failed state ruled by a more or less self-declared governor called “Timmy.” He seemed to be the dominant local warlord. The simple social rules in Somalia promote the best surfer to becoming this territory’s governor, putting me at the end of the pecking order.

That was ok since Timmy was not eager to abuse his power. He only got active if someone in his kingdom polluted his precious air. Otherwise, zero f**ks were given by the governor. Still, you could always ask him for good advice, making him a very accessible ruler.

End of the Season in Baja California

At one point, the mayor moved to the east cape, and many additional misfits from Somalia left the territory. Many other people came and went. In the end, only Timo and I remained in Somalia. Timo got expelled from Iraq for perpetual besmirching of the “Trump Trench” and other felonies. Timo also left his exile because he started his house-sitting season.

With June approaching, in San Pedrito, only four residents remain. Grayson from Australia is on his inner spiritual journey – well, you can count him out. There are only just Rafa, Larry, and I left. Larry became my new and probably my last neighbor this season. Since he can’t surf due to his injured knee, I am the best active surfer in Somalia, making me the governor of this part of San Pedrito Beach. I will celebrate my reign over the beach accordingly until the end of my season in Mexico, which will end in early July. Whatever this means.

See you next season in San Pedrito Beach. Peace out!

About the Author

Hi, my name is Christian Köhlert, and I am a photographer and digital content creator living most of the time in Montreux, Switzerland. In 2018, I traveled once more to North America to get some surfing in Baja California. Still, my first destination led me to New Orleans. The experience was terrific, and I documented my whole journey in pictures. I have many more in my Travel Photography Blog if you like my photos.

Christian Köhlert | Mayamagik LLC | Author of "The Phoenix Hypothesis"

1 Comment

  1. Tim Gustafson

    The “Mayor” is about to exit the country and his duties and power issues are ending abruptly pronto. This crazy nomad planet seer has no borders per se. But yes he knows how to have fun and does quite a bit of just that. We all love the parallels as far as beach politicos goes. So keep it up new governor, I hand you the badge of responsibility of my own free will and do hereby testify that this man named Christian is worthy of this high position. Do not attempt to abuse your power young man. You may have to face me in the future, So there, HA! cheer bro…

    Reply

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