Due to the amount of fun I have been having here in La Paz, I have not been posting as diligently as Trevor. Today we are headed out of La Paz and are headed up the Sea of Cortez so the need to post my experiences in La Paz before we lose a decent internet connection comes this morning. This post may be a long post so I will try to summarize and highlight the best moments : )
It’s like Family – Before we left San Diego, Trevor’s cousin, Joel, told us to get in touch with “Pablo”. Pablo and Joel lived here in La Paz working on boats years ago. Trevor contacted Pablo and we were able to catch a few visits in even though he was working. Pablo tried to get us in contact with people to help us with our diesel engine starter which was having some issues. We really appreciated his time and we always had such a good conversation about old times and current. Pablo, thanks for everything!
Club Cruceros de La Paz and friends –
Club Cruceros has been a true life line for us and has made our stay here so memorable. It is an organization/community of cruisers in La Paz that helps other cruisers (some of the members have been in La Paz for 30 years). They can accept mail for you, has a list of reputable services, and anyone is willing to tell you where to go to find the thing you are looking for in town (for us it was a starter for our Perkins engine). The first morning Trevor and I ventured up to the Club “house” (that is what we call it) and to be honest, was a little shy. There were lots of people chatting and playing games and we weren’t sure how to break the ice so we just started to introduce our selves and brought homemade PB cookies, brownies, and lemon bars which helped (Diana, everyone loves your recipes!!!). On the second morning, I was invited to a “girls” day at a local hotel and hang out at the pool, drink a few beers, and have lunch with Sharon, Debbie and Gabriela. Note, I have never meet these people in my life…but we had a lot of fun.
We also meet Debbie and her husband Paul at the Club “House” and they have really taken us under their wing! Debbie has driven us to the Mega stores to do provisioning, invited us to Friday night beers at Bob Marlin’s, and introduced us to the BEST street tacos I have ever had (el Chino’s). They also took me out to a local “beach party” about 30-45 minutes away from La Paz at Tecolate bay. This was such a treat to see all the local families playing in the water combined with yachts playing rave music and riding their jet skies, with lots of sun umbrellas and shacks to eat and drink from….All in all, Debbie and Paul has treated us with such open arms and have included us in many of their trips and daily activities…we can’t thank them enough!!!!!
Trip to Isla Espiritu Santos (the spirit of Santo) – After a few days in La Paz and the starter problem looked and fixed, Trevor and I decided to head out to the nearby island of “Espiritu Santos” which is a marine sanctuary (passes required). The island was “sold” to the Mexican government in 2003 through the cooperative efforts of several non-profit organizations and I believe this island is one of the last hard coral reef left in the Sea of Cortez (I don’t quote me on that but I heard it somewhere).
In short, we anchored in a few bays and just relaxed and watched all the sea life: Manta Rays jumping (I tried to get a video/photo but it never turned out), dolphins, sea lions, sea birds diving, and of course the fish (I would sit for hours just starring into the ocean) and Trevor started to read a book! Trevor and I snorkeled and I scuba dived off the boat. Unfortunately, there are lots of “stingy” things in the water and I got stung twice. It doesn’t hurt…but it is enough for me to notice and ruin the dive…note to self, wear a full suit and have lots a vinegar on board to help the sting. Mind you, when we returned to La Paz, we both got full suits and Trevor even got a diving hood : )
Food – OMG!!!! tacos, tacos, tacos!!! One of the outings with Debbie and Paul was to a taco stand near by. They are only open from 7pm-2am Tuesdays – sundays (I think Monday’s around here are like Sunday’s on the US, things are mostly closed). We had many tacos but Debbie and Paul say this place is the PLACE..and it was! I was also introduced to “Jamaica” which is a hibiscus flower clod tea. I actually purchased some flowers to make it here on the boat…we’ll have to see how it comes out.
There is so much seafood here I wanted to try it all but there is not enough time. We did however try “chocolate clams” (spelling is probably wrong but they are called chocolate because of the color of the clam shell which is a light brown/tan) at Muerero’s where we heard sold the freshest seafood in town and cheap too. They are served raw in their shell and you squeeze fresh lime and a dash of hot sauce and eat them up! Trevor was not a fan but I was proud of him for trying them….
On the beer note, I swear…beer is cheaper than water. I was excited to maybe lose some weight but with all the beer I have been drinking, this may take a while : )
Shopping/ sightseeing – Usually, each day we come into town to either drink beer and eat or to do some shopping be it for food or projects on the boat or gear. Downtown there are lots of little shops, markets, and even a Sears department store. On the other side of town, there are lots of larger stores like Home Depot, Office Max, and a mall with a theater that have reclining chairs and serves beer and food (we didn’t check it out but next time…). There are homes and businesses right next to each other due to no zoning laws here, which makes for interesting walks through town. Talking with the other cruisers, it seems as if people don’t have to pay property tax on their homes until the house is “done”…which means there are a lot of houses that still have re-bar showing, etc. All in all, the town is clean, the water is good (most marinas have their own desalination plants on site, and the people are super friendly. We try to speak as much Spanish when we are out and of course get funny looks, but as long as we try…people are patient with us.
Weather – It’s been HOT…to say the least. We are in a dessert but to our tender Pacific NW skin, the sun just cooks us. IT has been about 100 degrees here on average, sometimes hotter, sometimes cooler with a few thunder showers. We run our A/C in the late afternoon to cool off and to charge our batteries. At night, if the wind is blowing, we get a slightly cool breeze which makes sleeping possible. Last night Trevor said he was getting cold (no way)….maybe he is acclimated?
The boat – Slow Flight is doing well (knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood)….Trevor has done the required oil changes on both the generator and engine. We even added more stainless steel to our solar panel brackets. We are still trying to figure out what we need and don’t need but I expect that to ebb and flow. We are headed for San Carlos and we heard parts and pieces cost more there so we made a last minute run to chandeliers to get supplies for our boat projects when the boat is out of the water for the month of September (hurricanes are most prevalent in September).
Most annoying thing thus far – Credit card fraud! We had our cards canceled due to fraud so now it is a cash game. We don’t want our new cards to get “lost” here in Mexico so we will have to wait until we get back to the States.