Week in La Paz, part 2
Monday Nov 9 Up and out just after 10 with running shoes and socks on for a change to give the bare feet and sandals routine a break. Galleria de La Paz was the destination, had looked through the windows the other night and seen that it seemed to be the best gallery in La Paz by far. We have been to 4 or 5 galleries on the art maps that are no longer in business so far, quite sad and depressed for the art scene. This place has some folk art furniture, a real estate office as well as some good art so it is covering the bases. Wrote down some good names to look up for my figurative art site. Meandered back via buying some swimming trunks for Den in Sears. He tried on Large in some shirts and they would barely close across his not enormous belly. What the heck to the Mexican men do?? There are many that are (shorter but) wider than Dennis. What do they wear? Extra Large just was not available or maybe they were just all sold out already.
Stopped for an Espresso Americano and a carrot cake along the Malecon, all the time walking in the shady side of the street whenever possible, WAY too hot and sunny to needlessly be out there scorching the flesh. Had our usual siesta, me typing away and doing some writing, sorting some photos and Den practicing mouth breathing with some added side drooling after spending some time in Sweden (he’s reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). Read most of Dan’s trip to Peru blog, Exploding Haggis. He’s good writer, well done, not just a pretty face and a good graphic designer!
One place I think I forgot to mention is the muy peculiar hotel here, Hotel Yeneka, a very unique, junk collector”s paradise and artistic. Each room is painted with a different theme and the courtyard has about 2 million rusted old objects of desire for eccentric collectors.
We got packed and ready to go back to Costa Baja for an afternoon beside the pool but got waylaid at the foot of the stairs in the courtyard instead. Carol, our pleasant hostess here at Casa Tuscany B&B, got us chatting and then she and I drifted downstairs where I gave her a half hour tutorial with Picasa, the photo management and editing program. That went well then we just lost all the will to go any farther and settled into a bottle of red wine instead. Good company, good wine, comfortable chairs won out handily against an afternoon by the pool a long way down the Coast.
Her techie friend Albert popped in to solve some little problem then joined us too. It turns out the Bay Of Dreams project and property development they both were involved with is actually in Los Muertos, a gorgeous pristine quiet little bay and practically the last stop possible between Cabo and La Paz by boat. Sad that all these pristine little places are being developed and made into luxury lands. An article in a little Cabo newspaper here bemoaned this fact and the fact that many little beaches are becoming fenced off and inaccessible except by boat. Sad.
Just down from our B&B on the Malecon is this sculpture by Guillermo Gomez, one of the 435 international figurative artists featured on my figurativeartist.org site. So funny to get to pose with it!!??
Eventually hauled our carcasses around the corner for some charbroiled burgers and called it a day. Well, we’re here to relax, not kill ourselves doing 6 hours in museums like we do in Europe where we do NOT go to relax, we go to consume as many cultural sounds, sights, smells, tastes, sensations as we can fit in before completely collapsing each night. This slowed down “vacation” mode is very novel and makes such a change from the pace we run at back home. It’s nice for a change but I’m a restless creative person that like to shake things up and MAKE things out of nothing so too much of this relaxing would probably send me around the bend… but I’ll have a bit of a go. I am certainly enjoying having my own little computer along, have never done that before. I’ve always kept travel journals with lots of writing and drawings and pages glued in from local brochures but being able to write away and actually go through my photos as we go along is very sweet! We usually have to spend time in random internet cafes, punching away on random keyboards possibly with keys missing or a completely different keyboard layout which really adds to the frustration. Slow connections are a frequent fare but this time, I can just plonk away and then eventually hit send and receive and away it goes. Nifty! The wifi here at Casa Tuscany has been perfect even in our room and roof top balcony areas.
Trekked up to the nearest ATM to get enough cash to finish paying for our room then took in the cultural center with very thoughtful displays of history and ecology of the Baja region. There was a tall skinny ladder up to the access to the top of the tower. I’m pretty sure that was not on the official tour list so we resisted the great temptation to go up and have the roof top view of the city. Had a nice crawl through a public market filled with great fresh seafood smells and all kinds of fresh vegetables for sale. This how we used to buy our fresh food when we were sailing.
We popped into Bismark for fabulous fish tacos at last! We have been craving them but they have proved much less easy to stumble upon than in 1998 when busy little fish taco stands were everywhere. They just serve the freshly battered fish on a bare tortilla than you wander over and decorate it yourself from a big selection of toppings and sauces. Yummy.
We had a good view of about 6 sailboats just arriving in a little clump, probably this year’s cruising group in the Baja Ha-Ha race just arriving from Muertos after a very early start this morning. Every day when we’ve looked out over the bay we’ve seen the boat numbers growing as the season comes along. Boat insurance for those who prefer to sail with insurance only starts on November 1 for leaving USA and heading south because of hurricane season so there is a definite starting point. There is also a very large mega yacht out there, a massive navy blue one with pretty good lines to it. It could use our 34 foot boat as its tender- HA!
Back to Casa Tuscany to relax for 2 hours and have a quiet time in the courtyard as we were all packed up and ready to roll out of there at 4:30. Casa Tuscany has been a great place to stay, very homey and friendly with excellent host Carol Dyer who was full of helpful local tips. We had the Romeo & Juliet room with our own shady outside terrace areas, very cool, quiet and secluded and yet just around the corner from just about everything in La Paz.
Rolled off to the bus station at 4:30, maybe 8 blocks easy walk. We’re carrying way more luggage than usual but still easily handled and carry on scaled. The bus took us out to the Ferry station in Pichelinge, quite a long way out. I pulled out my camera to take a picture of some random numbers on a wall but was told no photos allowed for terrorism reasons. Ok, I get it. They are quite strict here and I have no desire to step over any lines they want to draw. There was quite a group of us walk-on passengers and eventually it was time for us to be taken from the entry point way out to the actual ship by minivan and pickup truck. All the others squeezed in and the luggage was piled high on the open bed truck with no ropes or anything to keep it from tumbling off. There was a small space for one more and I was definitely going to resist if they wanted to squeeze me in too but sensibly they just left us behind and eventually came back for us and a few other stragglers.
The ferry is very large with cavernous vehicle areas. It’s like a small cruise ship I suppose, kind of basic but certainly attempting to provide comfort, elegance and style on a budget. It cost 890 pesos each for the ticket and then another 740 for our own little cabin with 2 small beds and another 2 fold down bunks overhead and our own small toilet, sink and shower. There are big lounges with reclining chairs and also patio deck loungers if you want to sleep out under the stars. We watched the final trucks load at the stern then the ramps finally folded up and we were off, a bit behind schedule about 8:30 pm. With no guide boat or tug, the ferry had to do its own slow manoeuvre and practically had to pivot in place before it could get some speed on. Adios La Paz! A la proxima! It’s been great to be away while the painters attack the house, home soon to a new color scheme, mmm.