New East Capers

Maybe this is why they keep coming

BY GEORGE JOBB

I've come to know Batdan and Ariel over the last few months, because they are renting a condo in San Jose while they were overseeing the preparation of their lot on the East Cape. Batdan and Ariel came down the Baja a few years ago and fell in love with the Baja. Their intention was to have a concrete  slab poured, along with a septic field and water tanks, and a deck for the trailer they would bring down. They weren't interested in a real house thinking they would be using the outdoor space more than indoor and a trailer would be perfect.

 Batdan had worked in a variety of jobs over his life as a cook, truck driver, then in financial services and he was ready for a change. The married couple were both from Chicago. Ariel has her degree in acting and at one time had made a name for herself as a fresh young face in Hollywood. She still had royalty checks coming in and rental income from investment properties, so they were pretty sure they could afford to retire and we're looking forward to the adventure.

 On one of their visits before purchasing the East Cape property they had stayed at the  ultra modern Viceroy Hotel in San Jose. That’s the former Mar Adentro. They found it both comforting and unique and had decided to design their custom-built trailer like those rooms, which isn't too hard if you've ever seen the rooms: They are long and white on white, with white windows at one end. They kind of remind me of a bird cages for humans. But who am I to judge an award-winning design?

After two months of overseeing construction on either a daily or at least a weekly basis, The slab was ready for the trailer, so it was off to Chicago to pick it up, all 35 feet of it. They tugged it with a 10 year old three quarter ton pickup truck. The good folks around the complex took bets on whether they would make it.  But Batdan had worked as a truck driver as a young man, so he figured, how hard could it be?

 After several tries to cross the border at Tijuana he was let in and five days later they had the beast of a trailer parked above their rented condo waiting for a quiet day to take it out to the East Cape. The trailer was moved out with nothing more than a few bumps and scrapes.

The contractor is only a few days, well maybe a week or so, behind schedule. Or more. The septic isn't ready, there's no cistern for water and neither the propane, generator, or solar power is working. It's real camping, despite the spiffy trailer.

 Now we can take bets on when the local goats will show up and start fussing around every night. I still remember sleeping in a trailer as a kid on Salt Spring Island waking  at 6 a.m. to find a herd of 50 goats had surrounded the camper.

I wrangled an inspection invitation and I saw the road is dirt and a little washed out from the fall rains, but still drivable. I wouldn’t want to drive a 35 foot trailer over those road wash out, but somehow Batdan managed it.

 I was shown around the property and we all toasted with a glass of champagne. Batdan wanted to show me the roof deck but the stairs weren't in yet. We scooted up a ten foot ladder, swinging a leg over the edge the remaining two feet. I had forgotten what the natural beauty of the East Cape looked like from an elevated position. It’s many kilometers of uninterrupted ocean view, dotted with a few houses along the waterfront. See how  this could entice a person, get a hold on them, and never let them go.