We’re back on the road. And it feels good.
To begin the week, we got on the container ferry from La Paz, Baja to Mazatlan on the mainland. The boat was pretty empty (although this week was a national holiday in Mexico, so no doubt that had an impact. And also impacted on some of the places we visited – a mass of people getting away/going home during the holidays), and even though it wasn’t entirely clear where we should be, or when, we managed to get on board. It was an overnight ferry, and we arrived without any issues at all.
Mazatlan was quite a nice town/city. I was expecting just some industrial port town. When we arrived, we parked up on the street, and stayed there for a couple of nights whilst we explored. A massive cruise ship had arrived, and it was strange to see some local ex-pats on the street giving out directions and advice to the arriving hoardes. It didn’t really occur to me that American expats would settle anywhere in Mexico aside from Baja, Puerta Vallarta, Cancun, etc. But, I suppose expats pretty much get everywhere, so why not here? Mazatlan is famous for 2 things: 1) people jumping off some rocks into the sea below - not quite as dramatic as ‘billed’ and 2) the world’s 2nd tallest lighthouse – well, a tiny lighthouse up a high rock, so not quite what we were expecting either (but, definitely ticked off that day’s 10,000 step requirement)
After Mazatlan we followed the coast south towards Puerta Vallarta (PV) and decided to stop off in San Francisco (confusingly known as San Pancho). After being stuck in a traffic jam for about 3 hours, we finally made it, to a tiny little beach, with some lovely little shops & coffee places. Plus, about half of Guadalajara on holiday. We stayed a couple of nights, and whilst not particularly chilled & relaxing (due to the mass of people) we could see this would be a quaint little place during any other normal week. As such, we decided to skip Sayulita & PV which were just down the coast, as we thought they would be much the same - simply bigger, and full of more tourists (we had no interest in seeing another Cabo).
So, it was off inland towards Tequila. YES, that Tequila. Whilst not really a place that was raved about, we really like it. Tiny little cobbled streets, with the typical central American shop fronts dotted along them (selling fake jeans, and lots of stationary). Again, as it was the holiday week it was pretty busy, but that meant lots going on. We had a few drinks in the famous La Capilla bar (voted in top 50 bars of the world in 2014. So the barman was keen to tell us). Not sure why it is famous (imagine a small, old stone barn interior with plastic garden furniture) but there was some local musicians playing, and after a couple of tequilas we were getting into the spirit of the place.
The next day we hiked down towards a little waterfall. Even though, I got a bit spoilt with the one in Baja, it was still a pretty nice way to spend a couple of hours and to wrap up the week.
Wow, in comparison to the last few weeks, we really feel like we are back on the road, and seeing & doing a lot more.
Better karma all round.
This week was much the same as the last few weeks, unfortunately. We pulled into Los Barriles on Monday, which was a cute little town with a massive snowbird population (I imagine the gringos are pretty much half the population). After dragging our feet for so many weeks we were happy to just sit somewhere with wifi, where we can have long hot showers, where I have enough room to shave my legs, to do some yoga on the beach, and where the bars have cold beer on tap – so, if we’re going to waste time, it’s not the worst place to do it!
The problem was that is how we were starting to see it, wasting time. And that’s not want you want. Whilst we still realize we are incredibly lucky to be able to live such a lifestyle, we had incredible itchy feet which is why, on Wednesday night, we decided enough was enough and we were going to go for the mainland on Friday.
And that was that. We packed everything up first thing Thursday morning, and headed for the ferry port in La Paz.
We got into the port high on enthusiasm and excitement only to be shot down. For whatever reason there would be no ferry on this particular Friday, so we would be stuck for the weekend. It was unclear whether we were confirmed for the ferry on Monday, or what time we should return… but, we sorted out all the taxes we needed to pay to import Milton, and analysed the ferry choices. To be honest there wasn’t really much of a choice as TCM (the container ferry rather than the more passenger ferry) was half the price – it also let’s us stay in Milton, and Gogi doesn’t have go into the dog prison. However, all that excitement would have to wait, two more days sitting around La Paz waiting. We stocked up at Walmart and Autozone, and tried to take care of everything we thought we might need. We then looked longingly to the sea, and hoped we’d be able to cross on Monday and start the next leg of our journey.
Come on world.
At the moment, we are kind of having to lounge around as we await news from the UK (not very exciting, or dramatic, but will impact one way or the other on our next plans). This means that there is a lot of ‘killing time’ which is something neither of us like to do, or are very good at. We both enjoy being on the road, and even if we don’t get much done of a day, at least it’s contributing towards the general journey and some kind of end destination. At present, the opposite seems to be happening. We need to be somewhere with mobile signal (and wifi) as well as not being too far from a DHL/FedEx office should any documents need signing. And in Baja, these places are few and far between. As such, we are having to stay within a bit of a radius of Cabo – limiting where we can go, and to be honest, adding a bit of frustration to the mix.
We started on a beautiful little beach just a few miles from Cabo (Playa Santa Maria) and spent a couple of nights enjoying the sun, sand & sea (well, Meg enjoyed the water, I find it pretty boring to be honest. I like being near the water, but not so much the ‘thrill’ of swimming!). Having had a taste of hotel life last week, we spoilt ourselves to 3 nights in a little B&B up on the mountain. It was pretty empty, but had a nice pool and lovely views over the ocean. I just enjoyed having a hot shower every day & watching Ramsey’s Kitchen nightmares (who would have thought there would be a cooking based show, that I would actually like watching? Aside from the Great British Bake Off, naturally)
We then headed back the way we came towards Pescadero/Cerritos. After a couple of failed attempts at reaching one beach (I am now overly cautious about going anywhere near anything sandy) we settled at Playa Cerritos. We don’t seem to be the only ones settling in here - there are 4 or 5 pretty permanent foreigners in RVs living here. It’s a famous surf beach, and has a nice mix of a couple of restaurants, is remote enough to not be crowded, yet has a good vibe with surfers enjoying the waves.
After that we headed back to Cabo for a couple of nights (including one very disturbed night. It seems Friday night in Cabo for the locals involves driving your car to under a bridge off the main road, and just playing the worst 90’s Mexican pop music until the early hours – at 2 am it was too much to handle so drove & parked at the local supermarket). Finally, we thought we’d head towards Los Barriles and stopped off near Santiago at an ‘eco lodge’ (i.e. too remote to have cell signal or toilets!), but which had a beautiful waterfall a short walk away. That is what travelling is about – spending time at these remote little places and swimming around in our own private waterfall and surrounding water. Very nice too.
So, whilst it is a little frustrating to be hanging about, we have to remind ourselves (as we do every time we feel grumpiness coming on), that we are so hugely fortunate, that it is a crime to be anything but grateful for what we have and where we are.
I have every faith that things will sort themselves out soon, and we will be on our merry way again. All will be well. It always is.