This afternoon we made a trip into the town of Mulege 12 miles from our campground to do internet and pick up some groceries. Bob took advantage of the chance to take a few photos of the town. While looking at the pictures tonight it occurred to us we hadn’t really said much about the town despite being nearby for 5 days. Mulege has a population of about 3,100 people, and its economy is heavily influenced by tourists if not quite overwhelmed by them. Physically it looks like it probably hasn’t changed a lot in the last 50 to 100 years, other than a rather fancy entrance gate with crenulated towers, the official entry off of Mex 1, which looks like it must have been the local chamber of commerce’s idea of a good way to distinguish the town. The town is focused on the river much more than the Sea of Cortez. As with most of the world outside of the US, the majority of the retail establishments are very specialized. The grocery stores have very limited inventory and you tend to go to several, not for price comparison, but in search of what you want. The other day we were looking for propane bottles for our camp stove and went to the hardware store. There, you ask for what you want, and then the sales clerk goes into the back to get what you want – this obviously would have been harder without Cathryn’s skill in Spanish. Everything operates on the Latin system in which store hours are generally from 9 AM to 1 PM, and then from 3 or 4 PM until 7 or 8 PM. So during the mid-day things are pretty quite except for at the restaurants and Pemex station. There is one place in town with hose bibs available with free water for the public, and you can usually find some gringo there with a 50 or 100 liter barrel in the back of the truck, filling it with water. We’ve utilized it a couple of times ourselves. (We’ll tell you how we manage water in a future post). All in all, Mulege is a very pleasant town in which we’ve felt very comfortable, with friendly and helpful people, interesting things to see and the needed amenities. So far It’s tied with San Ignacio as our favorite town, although its proximity to the beach gives it an edge.