Day 89. Ciénega de Santa Clara

I am tired of the dirt and the dust. I feel almost like I have a fever and my whole body hurts for no apparent reason. I feel incapable of going on today, so I actually rent a car again to go see the Ciénega de Santa Clara, that I have heard so much about. It is a wetland area in the eastern part of the (former) Colorado River delta.

A little desert hippie settlement that doesn’t seem very inviting

Driving there I follow the google maps instructions and they take me deep into the desert. It is very quiet out here and it feels like I am endlessly driving down a straight dirt road. The road is so sandy I am worried my tires will get stuck, so I keep driving at an even speed and without stopping. I jump in my seat when suddenly the google voice tells me to turn left in the middle of nowhere, the mechanical voice e a weird ghost from that other world, where the people live. And then I find there is an actual intersection in the dirt road, so I smile to myself, unnecessarily flick the blinker on and turn left.

When I finally get to the gate of the Ciénega, it is as though I am entering another different world. Seemingly out of nowhere, there is water, and lots of it. A large blue and clear lake invites me for a swim. I meet Francisco, one of the workers there, and as it is sort of late to go out with my packraft, he offers to give me a tour in a little fishing boat. We glide across the water and I enjoy the cool breeze and Francisco’s friendly silence.

When we get back to the landing, the sun is about to set and the wide desert skies are shining in pinkish shades. Francisco warns me of the notorious mosquitos and takes off. I quickly set up my tent, but it is already to late. The plague is intense here. Before I can go to sleep I have to kill a swarm of mosquitoes who have gotten into the tent within the few seconds I opened the zip to crawl in.

I sleep deep and dreamless and wake up refreshed enough to do a long yoga session on the freshly painted landing. I set the intention to be calm today, no matter what happens. A good way to start my last day of this adventure.

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