Tuesday, January 17, 2012

La Paz at Last! (Again!)

I am sorry (again) for letting our blog sit idle through the holidays.  I think, however, I may have an acceptable excuse for doing so.  As we all hoped, a series of PT for a small tear in my left shoulder rotator cuff seems to have worked.  I was tempted to fly off to La Paz and join Keith for the re-start of our cruising adventure, but since my Mom loves celebrating Christmas as much as anyone in our families, and realizing we probably wouldn't be back in the States for a long while, we decided that Keith should fly to Florida instead for the holidays.  A happy bonus of this choice was the most direct route would include a short layover in LA over New Year's to visit our son, his wife and our only grandchild so far.  So there you have the reason for our blog "going dark" recently - family time on land for the holidays with no adventure news to report.

Now that we have resumed the big adventure, please grab a cup of coffee or any other favor libation and read on, faithful adventure-followers!

After a fast flight from LAX to La Paz down the Baja's west coast, I snapped a photo just as we banked for the landing - most likely an illicit one as we were not yet allowed to "turn on" our e-devices.  Oh, well!  At least you have a bird's-eye view of the Bay here, and if you look out the window with us, directly below the left edge of plane's engine, that area way in the distance is the beach side of downtown La Paz, and the location of Marina Palmira where we spent our first week here together.  We were docked next to S/V Miramar, a 40' Beneteau from Vancouver, Canada.  The couple aboard, Doug and Lynn Mcfarlane, watched over Chamisa for us while Keith was in Florida with me.  (More about them, their warm welcome and some recent excitement in our next post.)
Banking to Land in La Paz
We deplaned the old-fashioned way down an outside stairway, retrieved our "too-big" carry-on's and walked across the tarmac along a beautiful bougainvillea hedge and into the terminal.  The riotous colors of the hedge and the oncoming sunset reminded us we were truly in a new and different place.  A final moment of panic for me as we deplaned:  just before landing, all passengers had to complete the requisite Immigration forms, declaring among other things that we were not bringing in any contraband, especially fresh fruit.  As we walked up the aisle, I realized that I had a forbidden apple in my shoulder bag!  What to do?

With visions of being returned alone to LA dancing through my vivid imagination, I begged the flight attendant at the exit door to discard it for me.  Not only did she refuse, but, in fact, she warned me not to toss it out in the sight of any uniformed official as that could cause trouble for me and the airline!  I don't remember anything between her warning except the hedge and the happy appearance of a trash can just inside the terminal.  I discarded that evil apple ever so discreetly into said can and then glanced the other way, discovering too late that we were only ten feet away from four uniformed officers!  My heart went into "fast rapid" until I realized they were all focused strictly on the activities around the plane - not on me!  Whether they were on the look-out for terrorists, drugs, or other worries - who knows?  All I could think was "Thank you, God, for getting me into Mexico safely!"

You will be relieved, we hope, to know that nothing untoward has happened in the two weeks since.  Our time has been over-filled with new friends, new foods with very cold beers (no Tequila shots yet - working up to that!), new places to find and explore, and new places to walk, of course.

In Mexican beach towns, there is always a Malecon [mal' uh cone], or paved boardwalk, along the waterfront from one end of town to the other.  In La Paz, the Malecon is over five miles long with a huge marina at each end and every imaginable tourist need in between - restaurants, bars, ice cream and yogurt shops, trinket shops, clothing shops - you get the idea.  So, while the walk is good exercise, the temptations to expand both the local economy and your waistline run rampant if you aren't careful.  Many sea-themed sculptures, small white iron benches, public docks, a bandstand - all line the beach-side of the Malecon.  Oh, an important tourist caution - do NOT think that pedestrians have the "right-of-way" here as you will likely be squashed like a bug attempting to cross from the shops side to the beach side of the street running along the Malecon (or anywhere else here, for that matter)!  Cars give way to each other at every intersection but not to people - muy differente and muy importante!!  I quickly learned that Keith especially admires the Mermaid as she swims with the dolphin.  He now informs me that he wanted Chamisa in the background he has his priorities!
La Paz Mermaid Swimming with a Dolphin
Every day is full sun now with magnificent sunsets reminiscent of those we have enjoyed in Florida, New Mexico and California.  Keith tells me there are brilliant sunrises, too, and has even presented photographic evidence of the same.  Alas, I just can't seem to drag myself out from under our down comforter and my favorite feather pillow in time to see one first-hand.
A Magnificent La Paz Sunrise
Next time, we'll share our favorites here - already have our picks for a coffee spot, a breakfast/lunch spot and we are busy hunting our "best spot for dinner" with many candidates to interview before awarding that title. Until then, we hope you are happy to see that we are once again underway with stories to share.  Please let us hear from you and share what you are doing, too!  We see there are at least nine people reading this and hope more of you will take the plunge and sign up as "followers".  I need motivation from all of you to post more often! 
PS...if you "click" on the photos, they will show up as REALLY BIG, so please enjoy.