Readers’ corner 7/23/07 |

Readers’ corner 7/23/07

The story of Mario and Michelle

Remember when I came back from Mexico I said I had a neat story? Well, this is it.

People who are in love with surfing always find a way to do it. The mainstream types will surf on the weekends, early mornings and take surfing vacations. The hard-core surfers represent a different lifestyle. They surf, often around the world, perhaps working for a bit to earn money, but then immediately, they’re back in the water.

The house we stayed in with Jack and Marty Dinwiddie is on Baja’s East Cape, right on a world-class surfing break, Punta Perfecta – or “perfect point.” There are a handful of hard-core surfers who camp during the spring on a ridge in the most primitive way – no refrigeration, bathrooms, showers, etc.

Michelle is a hard-core surfer who has followed the waves, returning home to California to earn money and take off again. She met Mario, an Australian who does the same thing, at another great surfing break in Mexico.

After Michelle returned home, she couldn’t stop thinking about Mario. But how do you find a tall, curly-headed Australian surfer who travels from beach to beach with no e-mail, no cell phone and no address?

She bemoaned this fact to her father, who is a private pilot. Her father offered to fly her over Baja’s beaches to look for Mario, but how could they pick him out?

Michelle remembered that Mario had a white malamute dog that would sit on the beach waiting while Mario was in the water. Maybe they could spot the dog on the beach? It was a long shot, but Michelle felt it could be years – if ever – until she ran into Mario again.

As they flew over Baja that fateful day they had almost reached the tip – Cabo San Lucas – and Michelle was getting discouraged. When they flew over Punta Perfecta, Michelle spotted Mario’s dog, sitting at the shoreline.

Her father landed on the beach and Michelle jumped out with a backpack and a surfboard, running for the water.

That was 13 years ago. Today she and Mario live in a rustic farmhouse they remodeled on a 50-acre desert parcel they purchased a few miles inland from Punta Perfecta.

Mario started a silk-screen T-shirt business with images of Baja on the back of the shirts. Michelle began making soap from the flowers and herbs she harvested on their property. They sell their wares locally, on the Internet and at the airport at San Jose del Cabo.

Both businesses are doing well, but when the days are long and the surf is good, you’ll find them in the clear blue water of Punta Perfecta, living their dream.


To contact Readership Editor Dixie Redfearn, e-mail or call 477-4238.

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