Always more Baja Magic

December 2009

I haven't been documenting my time in the Baja since I arrived in November....much....so ...Hang On ....I will post pictures and narrate a bit about my activities......!

Our "traditional" Thanksgiving: at Janet's...this year with Canadian friend
Dell.....Janet, Patricia and the Gypsy.


Janet's friendly palapa gate....







some of Janet's new art work....check out more of her work at:

JanetGillespie.com
The view at dusk from her hilltop home in Pescadero.




 A day in La Paz with Althea  and Brian....lunch at a not-so-great- restaurant.....looks can be deceiving..

































Dinner at Brian & Althea's with Don & Joyce.....with my favorite (one of my favorites) Pineapple Upside Cake....thanks, Althea.


My overnight stay at Los Cerritos Beach...










....a Sunday afternoon of Jazz selections with Dalene Jones.........










































































Trekking a bit to the East Cape to the small (almost ghost) town of El Triunfo, you can get a sense of what Baja California was like during the 19th century silver-mining boom.  Watching out for and snapping pictures of the friendly cows, burrows, horses and some of the other 100 land mammals that live wherever they choose is as enjoyable as the destination itself.



















































































Close by is Bahia De La Ventana, a windsurfing, kiteboarding, scuba diving, sports enthusiasts, and beach-goers paradise. This area was once a quiet little fishing village until wind surfers, in the 1990's discovered it had perfect conditions (lots of ideal wind) for their adventurous activities. It remains relatively underdeveloped but ..... the boom is on the cusp. Kiteboarders say this area is the best place in the world to learn the sport. When we visited, it was pretty spectacular watching all the activities.










































































































Crazy friends having lunch in Todos Santos






Art & Beer is a fun place just south of Pescadero.  The owners had a thank you party for their patrons with free drinks and appetizers....naturally many people show up!  Below are old and new friends...and Alfredo, owner of Art & Beer.


 
Marina is 15 ...... when Mexican girls turn 15 they get a big party (Quinceañera).  It happened in December and what a party it was!





This is but a few "happenings" in my life from November-December 09 in the Baja. Time flies and I don't get a chance to keep up regularly.


Rain in the Desert

December 2009

                     Rain, when never experienced in the Baja, is doing interesting things to my soul.

As I watch it clean my dust-ridden RV....turn the brown to green....make what's already green get greener....normally active people become invisible...nowhere to be seen...

Thoughts of the sun warm me....people I know touch me....memories of the beach caress me....tastes of the holidays fill me....dreams of what may be thrill me......discovery of culture stirs me.......friends with talent for art swells me with pride...

The death of dogs too soon, angers me, the disappearance and perhaps death of mascot dog, Carolina has me as sad and as weepy as the rain. What could have happened to this beautiful and devoted and bouncy alpha dog...did the firecrackers of the season cause her to run.....we've looked everywhere. She may have been around for 10 years but she's a puppy to all of us.

It's quiet down here this year....tourist and snow birds stayed put....some out of fear of the faux news of the violence in the country.....some out of fear of the dollar/pesos. The shopkeepers close up or never open or move on with never changing attitudes of their remarkable blend of faith, family, friends, and tradition.

My view as I write...

Yes....it's raining in the Baja today.....gentle.....mesmerizing.....and most of all..... cleansing.....it is cleansing my soul.

Baja bound....made it.... again!

November 23, 2009

Arrived in San Diego on November 12th....met my new friend, Karen & Llenta (her dog), at a great doggie hotel villa. We got acquainted as we walked our dogs on the beach and left early on Friday the Thirteenth. Got through Tijuana without a hitch (took no longer than an hour) passing through Rosarito and stopping at Ensenada to get pesos for phones and withdrawing pesos with our ATM cards. Exchange rates at this time are about 13/1.














We had a pretty easy day on Friday, reaching San Quintin by nightfall and stopped at a familiar place for Karen. On Bahia, Santa Maria (on dirt roads) is a restaurant, bar, campground, with a few quaint little rooms (for people like Karen without a self-contained RV...like me). We had a very lovely dinner with a friendly staff and met a group of medical people....they do work in Mexico like the "Flying Doctors"...it was a fairly large group of medical doctors, dentists, hygienists, clerks, etc coming to run free clinics for the local people. They do it on a regular basis. Our dogs were able to come inside the restaurant and they received lots of attention and had a couple bites of left-overs. I must say they were very mannerly and charming.



We were quite tired and I returned to my RV and Karen went to her room. Almost simultaneously with our return, 4 young men from British Columbia were robbed at gun point within yards of us. No one was hurt but passports, drivers licenses and monies were taken. I didn't know about it until the next morning but the police were there.....needless to say, the young men left their tent vacant and took to a room. They were a bit shaken but were handling it ok. I told them I was glad it was them....not us. The robbers I guess were ...... banditos! Two of them! Below are some pictures of the room, Karen's car and trailer, my RV, the vacant tent, and one of the passport(challenged) young men....is he smiling? He had a copy of the police report and was going to the Consulate in Cabo to handle his losses.



Next day was a pretty easy but full day and we made it to San Ignacio. I love that small little town of 4,000. I was there last March when I was returning to the states. You may remember my blog and pictures and excitement of playing with the calving gray whales in the lagoon at San Ignacio. The town is a picture-perfect oasis (below are some of those pics). Right in the small downtown is a restored 18th century Spanish mission I also toured last March, lots of happy people mulling about, a variety of places to eat....we ate at Renee's, colonial buildings, beautiful scenery, lots of history and the best......is the bed & breakfast (guesthouse) where we stayed.



Last March when I was in San Ignacio, I met Juanita...a truly incredible woman. I've posted some pictures of her guesthouse called Casa Leree, Juanita, Karen, me (the gypsy), some of her rooms, and her gardens, and her parking area (where I slept in my RV). The single story building was constructed in 1880 as a family home and became San Ignacio's first guesthouse around 1900. Her home is filled with history, articles, photos, books, (the town kids come to her home on a regular basis and they do art, and she also has wi-fi. Karen and I were her only guests so she left us in charge of her home while she went to do some work at the mission. Who would/could do that in the states? That is the Baja and its people! Of course, there were also those.....banditos!










 





On Sunday, we got our first glimpse of the Sea of Cortez (always exciting & blissful). Some of the historical towns we passed through were pretty hard hit by the last Baja hurricane a few months ago and some of the roads were still in pretty bad shape. So the mining town of Santa Rosalia and Mulege went a bit slow and we stopped and did a mini hike with the dogs on the beach at Bahia Concepcion. It was very windy...and often is.



We settled in Loreto for the night. Another favorite town of mine. Being Sunday, we didn't find a place to stay really easy. But if you must drive around looking for a place to stay; this is the town to do it. We found a spot not far from the malecon called RV Park & Camping...at River Del Mar. A very friendly park. Karen and Llenta had to sleep in their car and TaZzi and I had an RV space.



Before we went to eat, we walked around the attractive town with my camera in hand. I was impressed with the Hotel Posada de las Flores (inside and out) and took some pictures...a very nice clerk? came outside to play with our dogs...and we chatted a bit. We had a great atmospheric dinner in Loreto at La Palapa...close to the malecon.....good margaritas, too. On Monday morning we had breakfast at the restaurant at the RV Park....a very charming place!



We're almost there...... a 6-7 hour drive to La Paz....then one hour from La Paz, we're home....Todos Santos/El Pescadero. TaZzi was so excited when we arrived; she almost jumped out of the car. My dear friends, Althea and Brian had dinner waiting for me. What a treat! Pork chops, au gratin potatoes, her authentic cesar salad and a chilled glass of white wine. I was tired... I was also very sick!

The Pepto-Bismol didn't work, the lots of purified water didn't work......the margarita didn't help, the heavy butter garlic el dorado didn't help...... aha! the antibiotic cherry drink that Mayra got for me through her husband ... the doctor ... helped. It is so great to live on the property of Mayra and Hector....they have a great grocery store, he's a good doctor, they have a wonderful family, and are such good friends....
more later.....