Stuck in the desert | Day 361 of my 2023 Journal

stuck in the desert

Stuck in the desert in Baja California Sur on a desert road!

The roads are long and straight, and there is literally nothing but desert, highs flying birds, sunshine, dust, and random plastic trash (sadly). We listened to a podcast about how the vultures in first India and Tibet and later Pakistan started dying off because of a painkiller given to cows.

Such a random story!

Learning how vultures are the endpoint of bacteria and viruses on the planet, everything dies in their acidic stomachs, saving the rest of us from the spreading of dangerous bacteria, how they might be one of the most important animals on the planet for that reason alone.

Learning about sky-burials, leaving the remains of loved ones as close to the sky as possible to let the birds absorb them, and they, therefore, become part of the circle of life and part of the sky itself. Beautiful.

Looking out at the vultures after the podcast, we discussed survival stories we have heard and realized how short we ourselves would survive out there.

And then it happened. We did actually get stuck. In a safe way, that can become a good story, but never was dangerous in any way. We needed to buy gasoline halfway through our trip and arrived at a gas station that was out of electricity. Therefore, they could not pump the gasoline and, hence, not sell it to us. And they had no idea (of course) when the problem would be fixed.

There we are. Vulnerable. Plans with no plan b of this sort. Seven people in a rented car, with enough fuel for another 50 km when 100 km from the nearest gas station. And 130 from the closest in the right direction.

Until we asked the guy if he could think of any options for us, and he shared he had 18 liters at home we could buy - precisely the amount needed to get to where we were going.

So, we were stuck in the desert for about 15 minutes. And felt it. Without much panic. Just the feel. The desert is a wild thing, and there is no way I will understand what I saw when I saw people walking alongside the road on that day—100 km between small villages, burning sun, literally nothing in between.

Where were they going? And why?

With love


Cecilie Conrad

Thank you for reading
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