Friday, February 1, 2013

La Paz

We are now on the mainland and very behind on blogging! Some of the small towns we've been visiting do not have internet or have an extremely slow signal, so it's been challenging to write and post over the last few weeks!

We spent several weeks in La Paz, and got stuck there for longer than we'd like due to storms and northerly winds. Everyone keeps telling us how rare the horrible weather has been, and boy, has it been horrible - windy as all get out and cold!!  

La Paz ("Peace") is known as one of the best cruising destinations in the world, as it is the gateway to the Sea of Cortez. Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez "The Aquarium of the World", while write John Steinbeck wrote a book about his travels with his biologist friend called "The Log from The Sea of Cortez". La Paz is a good stopping point to get provisions and do boat projects before heading north to explore the sea. La Paz is touted as one of the safest and friendliest cities in Mexico, along with one of the best places to retire. There are plenty of gringos there to make it feel a bit like the USA, but enough Mexican culture and natives to make it feel like Mexico. There is great snorkeling in the area, along with swimming with whale sharks and sea lions, hiking, mountain biking, diving and more. If you have a VHF, there is a great gringo community that you can tune into daily on channel 22, for activities, events, swat meets, etc. Club Cruceros is a great way to meet people (locals, ex-pats, etc)! 

Here's an brief overview of what we did in La Paz:

-Had a lovely and tasty Christmas Eve dinner at Steinbeck's restaurant at the Costa Baja Resort (we are almost finished listening to the audiobook of Steinbeck's The Sea of Cortez, he surprisingly travels to all the places we are currently visiting and now we can say that we've read/heard another of his books besides Of Mice and Men!)
-We were invited to a super fun Christmas day potluck. Definitely not your typical xmas, but fun nonetheless!
-Spent time at the Costa Baja Resort and enjoyed their amenities along with hanging out with our new friends that we met (s/v Damiana, s/v Adesso, s/v Living Free, s/v Destiny, s/v Wanuskewin, s/v Valkyrie to name a few)
-Did boat projects - installed a windlass remote (a windlass is used to drop and bring up the anchor for you non-boating people) and a new faucet in the galley, fancy!
-Had a fun New Year's Eve downtown La Paz!  Here's to a fabulous 2013!
-Got a lycra suit! Since there are many jelly fish in the waters here, you need to wear a wet/dry suit or have a lycra suit made. A woman named Katty, in town, makes custom Lycra suits for $50 USD,  so I got suited up, in lycra, for safe snorkeling
-Waited and waited for the northerly winds to chill out so we could leave and head to Mazatlan!

Here are some pics!

The malecon (boardwalk) in La Paz

Awesome sculptures line the malecon

This popular sculpture is known for being a meeting spot,
 'Meet me at the mermaid'

Main square in town. If you've never been to Mexico, pretty much
every town has a 'main square'

The church in the main square, packed at xmas time!
Inside the church, decorated for xmas, it was pretty!
Complete with the guy in front of us with his guitar,
strumming and singing God knows what at the top of his lungs!

Rhythm, decorated for the holidays

We were missing snow, so we needed a reminder of what we
would be playing in had we not been in the sand in Mexico this year!
New Year's on the malecon in downtown La Paz

New Year's Party!

3-2-1, Happy New Year!
The fireworks ashes and embers fell all over us.
This would be a lawsuit in the US, but here in Mexico, everyone was
super happy to be celebrating! It's was pretty cool!

The malecon lit up for the festivities

My handsome T, with our New Year's libations

Us on New Year's!
I'm not sure why I'm making a half fist, because it makes my
fingers look like nubs - LOL.

Our favorite taco stand "Gonzalez Brothers". These are called
"fish pillows" - fresh fish, steamed in foil with spices - yum!

"The Shack" burger. The Shack is a popular gringo hangout, if you are
missing the states and American food, go here.
Costa Baja Resort, where we stayed for several weeks, stranded,
waiting for the northerly winds to subside so that we could make
the jump to Mazatlan. Not too shabby eh? 
Infinity pool 

Our view every evening from their gym

One of the holes at their golf course, amazing!

A view of the resort, marina and bay from the golf course, hole #14

A view of Playa Ballandra, one of the most beautiful beaches here.
We hiked the ridge from another anchorage and this was the view
from the other side.

Me, eating a sandwich outside of the Mega, a giant
grocery store/everything store that we
frequently shopped at.
You can barely see me it's so big!

Leaving La Paz/ Costa Baja to head to Mazatlan.
The mega yacht on the left is one of Paul Allen's fleet, "Meduse",
apparently he has many of these yachts all over the world,
complete with helicopter on the back.

So, we finally have arrived to the mainland, with our new and improved fleet. It's been a blast since we got here - warm weather, warm water, tons of sun, great people! More to come on where we've been including Mazatlan, Isla Isabel, San Blas, Chacala, and Punta Mita, where we are now on our way to Puerto Vallarta. We can't believe we are almost in our 6th month of cruising! Since La Paz, we finally feel like we have hit our stride and have truly been enjoying our trip; this hasn't been without its challenges along the way. Our good friend Todd wrote tonight in an email "You can't cross the ocean unless you are willing to lose sight of the shore"; it really puts transitions, challenges and changes into perspective along with taking the plunge to live your dream and willingness to 'lose sight of the shore' to try something different or make a change and trust that everything will indeed be ok, no matter what the outcome.....I dare you to 'lose sight of the shore', you'll find that it's actually great here in the open 'ocean', even if it's uncomfortable from time to time....and if nothing else, a good learning and growing experience....a life lesson outside of your comfort zone. We did it, you can too!


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