Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snorkeling at Punta Gorda

Susie was up early and caught the sunrise. Awe inspiring!

JD snorkeling with Isla del Ceralvo in the background - recently renamed Jacque Cousteau Island.

JD dreaming about the day he'll be doing jumps like this.

JD went snorkeling at a new beach recommended by the locals-Punta Gorda. He can see why this place is a local favourite. There were more coloured fish and more different kinds of fish than seen anywhere else to date including Cabo Pulmo. It was a cool morning as the breeze came up earlier than usual but this was okay as the water temp was unseasonably high.

As this snorkeling spot is just across from newly renamed Jacque Cousteau Island I give you the following highly scientific description of all the fish seen in a condescending but knowlegable and cute French accent as Homer Simpson or somebody said, "Those French have a different word for everything!"

I saw really small flourescent blue glowing fish, fish that look like those Tetras in the pet store, one banana fish about the size and shape of a coke bottle, green and yellow butterfly fish, purple, green & blue type butterfly fish, blackish butterfly type fish, approximately 1 million small sardinias, approximately 1 million bigger sardines, several baby groupers, prickly puffer fish, prickly sea urchins, 1 jelly fish that I swear was following me as fast as it could swim--evil thing, one golden retriever dog--unsure if it is indigineous to these waters or if it is an introduced critter and several other small taxinomically unidentified species that scurried into the rocks before I could get a scientific fix on them. Ya John, I know it's a run on sentence.

After drying off in the sun Susie & I returned to the expedition ship Calypso for an exquisite lunch of Vichy Soux and truffles, chased down with a bottle of Chateau La Fite 1942. Well actually we came back to the trailer and had yogurt and crackers, chased down with tea & coffee. But we did have the worlds biggest scallops last night chased down with a couple of fine cans of Pacifico. The French have nothing on the Spanish.

The rest of the day was spent at the good trailer Calypso with the to die for view of the Sea of Cortez as Susie worked on her mom's memoirs. Yes mom, she is finally working on them and enjoying every minute of it. JD thought about tying some flys but was soon overcome with fatigue from his underwater expedition.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things that go rattle and clank in the night!

 A typical Mexican back road meant for exploring by bike.

The view from our newest camp spot in El Sargento.

Guarding the red neck bar-b-que oven.

Skeena loves her pancakes!

The sunset view @ Los Barriles.

Dinner @ La Trinidad Restaurant with Dennis - a new friend.

Some more of the artwork @ La Trinidad RV Park.

No, the part of the Baja we are on did not slide into the ocean like the northern parts. There has been absolutely no rain where we have landed. We hope they have the northern roads fixed by April or we might have to stay longer. Just Kidding!

Afterspending 2 nights dry camping in Los Barriles we uprooted and came back to La Ventana/El Sargento. Los Barriles was beautiful of course but we quickly tired of the relentless wind that howled 24/7. While walking down the street one day we bumped into Carleen and Gary, went for lunch and took that as a sign that we should move back to La Ventana as they were only there for a few more days. It was such a bizarre feeling to drive down the road and feel like we were going home. By this point in time we are beginning to ask ourselves that question, "Where is home?" We've lived in our travel trailer for 9 months now and home is where our trailer is I guess.

It was great to reconnect with our LaVentana and El Sargento friends again but bitter sweet to bid farewell to Gary and Carleen who have to retrun to the real work a day world back in Revelstoke. We accepted the invitation to camp on Jodi, Mike, Carleen & Gary's property and are revelling in the solitude. No more drag racing, boom box cars or trucks to contend with here. However, Skeena has taken a particular offence to the numerous cow bells that rattle and clank throughout the night around here. She keeps JD awake with her constant growling and rumbling viewing them as the ultimate enemy at the gates. It is truly amazing what these animals subsist on eating anything that remotely resembles food to them and they wander willy nilly wherever they want. Everything is free range to them. Thankfully they are very docile.

Our next plan is to head off on another adventure to Los Cerritos and do some camping over on the Pacific side. That has to be our favourite beach yet for playing in the surf and Susie really appreciates the warmer temperature of the water. However, it probably means we'll have to pick up a boogy board or two to make the frolicking in the waves truly enjoyable.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

23 Jan 2010 - Weekly recap

'Takin my ass back home!' We came across this truck loaded with a donkey in the Sorianna supermarket parking lot. What can you do but take a picture and laugh.

This happens to be one of JD's all time favourite birds. We've managed to see quite a few of them down here.

This is a beautiful design under glass on a coffee table.

We believe this is a White eared hummingbird.

Another little hummer that stopped just long enough to have its picture taken.

No this isn't our entertainment for the evening but one of the fascinating sculptures around La Trinidad RV Park and Restaurant.

Let's quickly recap the last few days. On Tues morn JD went fishing and tried to sink the truck in the ocean when pulling his boat out. The old Mexican guy who gave me a hand thought it was pretty oh not so much. In the afternoon we went for a walk on the beach to exercise the dog. No we can never tire of those walks on the beach.

Wednesday called for a journey to San Jose to pick up our parts from Wahoo RV and Murray and Tracy who were going to spend a few days with us @ La Ribera. You recall the awning bracket meets highway post at high speed incident and the swerve to miss traffic pilon cone and oncoming traffic but still managed to clean off the black water dump valve gate on said pilon incident? So far we still have both mirrors on the truck but I digress. Murray and Tracy and all the parts arrived back in La Ribera safe and sound.

Thurs we piled into the truck and went to Los Barriles for the day to check out the town and have a great lunch. We even looked at some property and stuff. Loads of fun to dream! Most of the communities down here are presently finding themselves way overbuilt but prices have yet to start coming down. It amazes me what people have built as a second home in a foreign country. It seems that every second house is for sale but asking prices are still out to lunch. Los Barriles is a funky little town of expats on quads, boats, wind-surfers and kite boards.

Friday we went to a new beach and went for a flotsam and jetsam walk. Tracy was pleased with her spoils. A picnic lunch on the beach out of the wind followed. this was another great day as no-one worked, no-one got sunburned or hurt but everyone enjoyed themselves. We delivered Murray and Tracy to the side of the highway/bus stop in hopes that they could catch the bus back to San Jose. If nobody hears from them in the next month or two, I think they're in Los Cuevos.

We had planned to move to Los Barriles today, Saturday, but spent the day installing the new RV parts, catching up on laundry, catching up on our blog, emails, naps, etc. There's always Manana to move camp.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

16 & 17 Jan - Silence is Golden!

Hey Earl, how does this look for our buggy to enter in the Baja?

Los Barriles beach scene.

I love the beach!

I love the beach!

I love the beach!

I love my dad!

And the T-bones are definitely worth it!

After 2 nights sleep at La Trinidad RV Park the question begs to be asked, "Why oh why did we not come here sooner?" It was a busy, busy day yesterday after a trip to Los Barriles, beautiful stores and even more beautiful real estate to check out. It certainly is a buyer's market out there for real estate that is. Too bad we have no money to buy! In our travels JD finally tracked down the wiley illusive yearly fishing license at the local Farmacia after 6 weeks of diligent searching the length and breadth of the Baja. Who knew they sold fishing licenses at the drug store.

After a harrowing trip to El Cardonal we had one community we could cross off the desirable location list for future investment. The newly paved road has been destroyed with recent rains leaving a narrow car width path through some spots. With much more rain it won't be there much longer. This paved road was supposedly done as an improvement to the coastal road which is quite rough gravel. The only good thing you can say for the new road is that it is paved and whatever you do never, never attempt to drive that road after dark!

Los Barriles is quite nice with a very Mediterranean look and feel to the beaches. It is however largely populated with expats from Canada and the US. We topped off the day with a yummy T-bone steak at the RV  restaurant.

Today was spent strolling the beach and enjoying the peace and quiet that we've become quite enamoured with. Of course an afternoon siesta was in order. Thankfully the air conditioning worked as it was a calm wind day today. Maybe JD will try out his new fishing license tomorrow morn.

Friday, January 15, 2010

15 Jan 2010 - Happy Birthday Big Brother Howie!

This was quite possibly the best dinner I've prepared yet!

La Trinidad has a pool hiding behind this beautiful wall.

Walking down to the beach.

Looking back at the RV Park fromt the trail to the beach.

I don't know who enjoys the sound and smell of the surf more.

Well, we finally find ourselves at La Ribera. We've stopped for the night at La Trinidad RV Park, a little RV oasis in the dunes near the beach. The silence is deafening after the noise of the highway at the Villa Serena. We loved the set up and cleanliness at that RV park but being that close to the highway and that far from the beach was a bummer. With La Ribera being on the east cape between La Ventana and Cabo Pulmo we have the Sea of Cortez at our doorstep ready to explore. Real estate is very reasonable tweaking our imagination once again. it is a buyers market with bare land ranging up to million dollar homes available to invest in. It is our intent to get out and explore the local beaches and see what kind of fish are biting int his neck of the woods. But first we have to find an ATM that actually has some money in it. This may mean a trip to Los Barriles which is a 30 minute drive north from here.

13 & 14 Jan - Touring Cabo and Medano Beach

Some of the boats in the marina leave you wondering what there purpose truly is.

This was an amazing artist creating these paintings with ordinary spray paint and his fingers as brushes.

I don't know about you but I don't think I'd feel to comfortable with a tattoo artist that works at this place!

The design he's creating is individual coloured beads imbedded in bees wax on a wood form, simply beautiful!

Did we happend to mention how much our dog loves the beach?

Medano Beach sunset

We had a rather late start for the day and therefore didn't see all of the highlights of Cabo San Lucas. But it is always worthwhile to stroll the malecon and enjoy the sights and sounds of Cabo. Of course one day proves enough for us. Despite the 2 cruise ships in the harbour the town was very, very quiet. It blew us out of the water to see all of the extremely pricey boats in the marina. It was almost full. Wandering from shop to shop in the markets you couldn't help notice the absence of tourists and the few that were wandering around, like us, weren't spending any money. It is amazing how many lttle stands sell the same thing and are competing for the same dollars/pesos. A quick stop at Tanga Tangas completed the cultural tour. Wild life of the two legged kind was abundant and that seemed to be the only place anyone was spending money. We capped off the evening at Murray and Tracy's condo with pork loin medallions and tequila of course.

We were kinda lazy on the 14th, washed the truck and some clothes and took a sunset walk on Medano Beach. Don't know why we bothered washing the truck. 15 minutes later after a trip to the store the truck was dirtier than it was before. How we found mud in Cabo I'll never figure out. A trip to Medano is always if nothing else entertaining but beautiful especially at sunset.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snorkeling at Playa Chelano - 12 Jan 2010

As you can tell we are much enamored with the boats down here.

The day dawned sunny and warm...again. So we decided to hit the beach and do some snorkeling. Thanks to Cindy and Bob we knew how and where to find this lovely beach. The water was a little cooler than when we swam in Los Ceretos last week. However we weren't disappointed with the variety of fish we were able to view. It was like peering through a lively aquarium where you were an active participant. JD decided to liven it up a bit by feeding the fish crumbled granola bar and bread crumbs. They were quite voracious little nibblers and were actually nipping his fingers. Susie decided to liven JD up a bit when they were headed back to the beach. He had lost site of her and she snuck up behind him and tweeked his nipple. As he described it, "I thought one of the little beggers was exacting his revenge on me". We hadn't sighted any Moray eels during our snorkeling but JD wasn't taking any chances as he slapped Susie's hand away. That is the busiest we have ever seen Chelano with snorkeling cruises rolling in and out as fast as the waves. And there were even whiter bodies than JD's showing up on the beach.

We spent Jan 11 seeking out a mandatory, long overdue, oil change for the truck. When it only took half a day rather than the full day we had planned we were left wondering what to do for the rest day. Nap time won out. Did we mention how easily we've slipped into the Mexican traditions such as the coveted siesta? We did go check out some other RV spots but decided that we're better off to stay right where we are. It's clean and and we're comfortable here. We intend to head towards La Ribera and Los Bariles on Friday.

One of our offspring is headed off to Europe with his beautiful girlfriend. We wish for them many days of blue skies, wonderful adventures, congenial people to cross their paths, and love with a heavy dose of happiness thrown in. We don't have to ponder to long or hard as to where he got his wander lust from.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hot Springs Daze - Bonita!

Tracy and Murray with their adopted doggie daughter at the Tropic of Cancer.
A scene around Santiago.

One of the many stream crossings on our way up the canyon.
A little bit of bouldering was involved but with our trusty guide dog we didn't lose the way.
The only hearty soul of our party that dove into the pool at the top of the canyon.
What style...what grace...what a suntan!
A man with his daughter. They do everything together.
The reward at the end of the trail. Hotsprings in Mexico.
The day dawned clear and hot, 28 C by 9:30, so what else was there to do but head to the Hotsprings at Santiago. We picked up Murray and Tracy Smith at their condo in San Jose and set out through the mayhem towards Santiago.

The hotsprings bubble out of the rocks at the side of a stream that comes down a real cool canyon at the base of the Sierra La Laguna mountains. The best part of this trip though is not the hotsprings but the hike up the canyon to the falls and big pools which is a perfect spot for diving and swimming. The water this year was cooler than last time we were here. So only the hearty swam this time. The pictures just can't do real justice to the cool factor of this place. We discovered Skeena is part mountain goat as she gamely scaled the rocks and swam the pools to haul herself up and down the canyon. She's game for anything just as long as she's with her people. She enjoyed Susie's gentle rub down that evening and the next morning.

After we hiked back down the canyon we rewarded ourselves by a soak in the hot springs pools. The first pool proved the hottests but had to be abandoned as the small fish in it were constantly nibbling on you. A passing tourist said they were just nibbling the dead skin off of you but we're pretty sure they were pirana's! Thank God no one had a cut or we might all have died. The second pool was good though as it was a cooler temp and only had one of the little nibblers. None of that pack mentality common to dogs and bikers to gang up on us like his buddies in the first pool.

Susie was unable to wear her new leopard skin bikini today as she burnt her tummy on the first day she wore the 2 piecer. Seems 30 years without sun can make skin rather light sensitive. Another of the advantages of being in your 50's is you can go back to wearing the same types of clothes as you did in your teens. Who knew...

Anyways, our trip to Santiago was a great experience yet again. It is awesome to be able to share such a unique place with friends. Santiago is a beautiful old Mexican town as yet unspoiled by us Gringos. We only hope it can hang on to it's identity.

Note to Bob: The fishing license saga continues. I figured that I really should get a yearly fishing license. So, off to the malecon in Cabo we went. The table is there, the man is there, a book of licenses is there, what can go wrong? Well it turns out this is a junior license vendor and can only sell 1 day fishing licenses. The yearly license man is there manana. I swear to God before we leave Mexico I'm going to get a yearly fishing license. We laughed, thought of you and walked away.