Saturday, February 27, 2010


Mission of Nuestra Senora de Loreto Concho.

Quaint cobble stone street scene looking back at the mission.

Can it get any more picture postcard than this?

Hotel Posada del las Flores has a roof top pool that you stand under in the courtyard.

A working loom for weaving blankets and small rugs.

It's for rent - any takers?

One of the most irritating thorns in our sides throughout the whole Baja - noise polution at its worst!

What would the area be without its beaches and palm trees?

Waiting for the tsunami.

We find ourselves spending a second night in Loreto. We fell in love with the Baja all over again by cruising around the historic streets of Loreto. JD spent a few hours patching our mountain bike tire tubes again - don't you just hate all those thorny things that puncture tires in this part of the world?! We've tried to head off disaster by injecting 'slime' into Susies' tire tubes. We'll see how effective it works down here. It is so much more relaxing to cruise around town on a mountain bike than in a 3/4 ton long box truck. Bumping over the topes and cobble stones is so much easier to bear on a bike than a big truck.

This community has an old world feel to it and was at one time the center of the religious world for all of the Californias which included the present day state of California. The main mission church is still in use at the centre of town - built circa 1700s. There of course is a huge population of ex-patriots living here, both US and Canadian citizens and a very welcoming group of people they are. The only disapointment is that the beaches are made up of silty dark sand and pebbles which you can't help but bring half of it home with you. The fishing boats are coming in with a number of yellow tail and the military is even showing its presence by checking anglers as they come off the boats. Our Conservation Officers will have to step up in the armament department if they want to keep up with these guys.

We've managed to meet some wonderful people in our travels. Some people we will probably never see again but have made our lives brighter by crossing our paths. Some we hope to meet with again as we meander northward. One couple we have met suggested we stick around for the farmers' market which happens, on Sunday mornings in the big arroyo that dissects the town. Of course with our love of fresh produce we won't miss that. After the market, a scouting trip to Nopolo may result or a meander northward to Bahia Concepcion.

We do not mean to make light of the tsunami warning issued for the Pacific Rim after the major earthquake in Chile but we have to reassure our family and friends that we are in little if any danger here on the Sea of Cortez from that threat.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Heading North - EIYEE!

Bahia Balandra located north of La Paz

Tecolate also north of La Paz

The view from Villa Pairaso where we had our last supper in La Ventana

This is for you mom. Hibiscus grow like a weed down here.
Not sure of the name of this one - help me out mom!

Check out the blooms on the tubby tree.

More pretty flowers for my mom.

It was with sadness that we bid farewell to our new found friends in La Ventana/El Sargento yesterday and started our journey northward. We spent many an hour contemplating life under the palms in those beautiful communities trying to figure out how to make this a regular thing in our lives. The perfect balance would be to spend 8 months down here and 4 months in Canada. Don't panic mom! This isn't a reality...yet. Of course the biggest obstacle would be in financing such an adventure. JD keeps telling me, "Don't throw obstacles up for us! Just think of ways we can make it happen." My hubby the great philosopher. But you know, there is some merit to what he says. How many people do you know out there that stagnate in their daily lives because they are afraid to take a chance, step out of the main stream or the boat, get off the repetitive treadmill and just DO IT?

We went out to Peurto Adolfo Lopez Mateos on Bahia Magdalena today looking at going to go on a whale hunt - pictures and things. What were you thinking? Apparently there aren't many whales out there right now because the water temperature is too cool in the Pacific. This strikes us as strange because the Sea of Cortez has been unseasonably warm for this time of year. If we're going to spend $75 US on a whale trip we'd expect to actually see whales. Hopefully by the time we get up to Bahia San Ignacio we will have better luck on a whale hunt (watching of course-what were you thinking). We were saddened to view how incredibly poor the community appears to be (Mateos). It was hammered with the last couple of hurricanes and is obviously still trying to recover. They are prepared to service hoards of tourists but the tourists just aren't here this year. Where is everybody? We're here!

After a couple of nights at the Missiones RV park in Constitucion we are headed north and back over to the Sea of Cortez side. Peurto Escondito or Loreto will be a stopping off point for tomorrow night. Adios until then.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

El Triunfo and the Best Tasting Bread in Baja!

The Cathedral in El Triunfo dates back to 1700's and is still in use today.

Life sized horse made out of palm fronds and bark. You too could own this.

Lovely little restaurant where we had Mexican style pizza.

The dog that came for lunch - the owners Coursevor?

Wood fired pizza oven at the restaurant.

Lovely cobble stone streets. Notice the throngs of people jossling Susie as she walks along.

The other entrance to the restaurant  El Triunfo.

Chili peppers drying in the sun. Coming to a mercado near you.

A short half hour drive down the road took us to a beautiful metropolis, population 327, of El Triunfo. This was a historic gold mining town with the well preserved mission—still in use to this day—dating back to the 1700’s. On recommendation from friends we sought out the Cafe El Triunfo for a decidedly different tasting but yummy pizza cooked in a wood fired oven that looks like it has survived since the 1700’s. This cafe also produces the best tasting bread we have encountered in all of the Baja. It is a sour dough artisan loaf that has a compact and heavy weight to it but the flavour is fantastic. It is also the only purple bread we’ve ever eaten—something to do with the nuts used in it. The town of El Triunfo is an awesome example of old Mexico with cobble stone streets and locally made brick buildings and walls. Unfortunately we chose lunch over visiting the Musica Museo and it was closed for siesta when we tried to visit it after we had eaten. It just means we will have to go back to this charming town. A wander through the tumbled down mining ruins left us wishing the bricks and remaining walls could speak to us and in English. We’re sure the tales they would tell of the towns gold mining hey day would be fascinating.

So, we finally had our first shake down by the Mexican military. This is the first time we didn’t have our faithful dog with us and we are truly convinced that is the only reason why they stopped us. Normally we are quickly waved through when they spot our vicious guard/cattle dog sitting proudly between us on the back seat. In perfect English the commander politely identified himself and told us they needed to look in our car. As they were in possession of all the AK-47’s we gladly stepped aside and let them take a look. We’re sure they were utterly disappointed when the only things of interest they could find were our clean laundry and the new boogey board and polka dot sun umbrella in the dry box. As neither of these are deemed contraband they waved us on and wished us beunos dias. Despite the foreign concept of being pulled over by a bunch of guys with big guns it is not in the least disturbing as we recognize these are the guys keeping things on the up and up. They are not out to harass the tourists but are there for our protection. They are after people involved in the drug trade and the smuggling industry.

Feeding Strays and Muertos Bay

It looked like they were waiting in formation - for what I don't know.

Lunch with the trillionaires at Muertos Bay.

Part of the old Spanish warf @ Muertos Bay.

Mexican Stand off!

Mom what are you doing feeding the enemy?

And I'm telling you - don't ever come back!

When we first arrived at Jodi and Mike`s property we gamely took over feeding the stray dogs that showed up at least once a day looking for anything we wanted to throw their way. Unfortunately the stray dogs quit coming around. So we took on feeding the other most common four legged critter that is constantly roaming in search of food—anything you can throw their way, the vacas (cows). Skeena did not like the idea of mom throwing good food to the cows even if it was vegetables. As it is she hates the cows because of their bells that jangle all night long keeping her and her masters awake. We watched one of these purebred, Mexican Brahma/Jersey/Hereford/Gernsey/Charlais/Chihuahua cows carefully insert its head through the small gap in the fence where the dog food dish was and snuffle around the empty dish. Obviously it has done that before because it knew just how far it could reach without hanging its horns up in the fence. I wish we could have caught that on film.

In search of a new adventure we headed out to the other side of Lighthouse point to try and pin down an excellent snorkelling beach discovered by some of our friends in the campground. The sea was too rough for snorkelling that day but we think we found the spot and will return on a calm wind day. What we did find is an excellent restaurant where you least expect it at Muertos Bay. As all of you Spanish aficionados will know Muertos means dead. How can you develop a multi-trillion dollar resort/golf course when your name is Muertos. So typical of Mexico, it was renamed ‘Bay of Dreams’. There used to be an old Spanish wharf in this protected bay as it was the only one of its type between Los Frailles and La Paz. Some of intricate stone/brick work was amazing in its detail. We partook in an awesome lunch at the beach house restaurant and hobb knobbed with some of the local colour that either had a house in the area or were moored in the calm bay out-waiting the 3 day blow on the Sea of Cortez. All in all it was a very pleasant way to spend the day. We will return again to take in some snorkelling and have another meal at the restaurant.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

10 Feb 2010 - The Word of the Day is Ruminating!

Typical Baja beautiful scenery!

Some of our treasures collected on the beaches.

The best tatsting bread we've found yet and it comes in an artsy bag too!

La Paz delivery truck.

Ventana Bay resort.

I hate it when they treat me like a dog. I'm their daughter and belong in the front of the truck!

For anyone that is bothering to count we’ve been on this adventure for 94 days. There’s been a little time lapse in our updates to the blog. This is a result of the extremely poor internet access we have been experiencing yet again. It appears that when rain hits this part of the world things go wrong with the internet. We can only surmise that it might be due to electrical or electronics being exposed to the elements. Rain is not expected and therefore not planned for.

What have we been doing with our time you ask? Well, we seem to have fallen into a sort of routine of Yoga, fishing, walking on the beach, snorkelling, laying on the beach, visiting with friends, reading books, watching for whales, bird watching, and biking. However, our Magellan hats are gathering dust on the hook and we must don them and head off on more exploratory romps.

A love hate relationship with La Paz still exists in our world. However, we’ve been there enough times now that we can actually find the stores and restaurants we want to find and do all the errands we go there to do. We are able to pick up the basics we need for day to day living in El Sargeanto & La Ventana but some things you just can’t get here necessitating our trips to La Paz.

So why the word ruminating? Sitting here in El Sargento/La Ventana Mexico leaves us wondering how we came to be here at this point in our lives and where we are headed from here. If you know us well you know that we are people of action. Talking about ideas is one thing but when you actually put action into motion—now you’re talking! Both of us have been profoundly affected by losses we have suffered in the deaths of family and close friends which brings home the fact that life is not a dress rehearsal with a replay button you can push time and again to get it right. Having only one stab at it makes us want to maximize the experiences we crave. The people we’ve met and developed friendships with along this adventurous road have continued to reinforce our beliefs. So you ask—where do you go from here? Stay tuned and we’ll see.