Last of La Paz – Que Lastima!

I am propped up on my pillows in the Pension Baja Paradise having a Facebook Messenger exchange with Margie, as she continues to reassure me that the Winnie is doing fine in her driveway without me.  But then, she mentions two words which I had not considered, “cloudy” and “rain.”  She tells me the rain forecast calls for clouds to move in, and rain to continue throughout the weekend.  This is a factor I have not considered, as my paradigm says “It never rains in Southern California.”   You know how the rest of the song goes, right?   “….it pours, man it pours.”IMG_8874

Having parked beneath partial shade, I hadn’t stuck around long enough to monitor my battery charge when I took off bound for Baja.   I have been a bit worried about my AGMs, but with clouds and rain in the forecast, now I am really feeling like the irresponsible RV owner.   Margie finds an extension cord that will reach, and I talk her through the 30 amp to 20 amp adapter, but I have to face the fact that my time on “fantasy island” has to end soon.  Besides, Margie is heading out on another extended business trip, and I want to spend some time with her before she goes.

I will miss these outdoor restaurants serving fresh seafood.

I will miss these outdoor restaurants serving fresh seafood.

Beautiful Playa Balandra

Beautiful Playa Balandra

"Mushroom Rock," an icon of Playa Balandra

“Mushroom Rock,” an icon of Playa Balandra

So I go online to the low cost carrier, Volaris, and reluctantly click the “Pagar” button, purchasing my $120 one way ticket back to Tijuana. It’s cheaper than the bus!  From there, I will cross back over the border via the new CBX Skybridge, take a $10 shuttle to San Ysidro, and ride the trolley back in to San Diego.  Easy enough physically….not so emotionally.
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This seventeen days in Baja has been such a “shot in the arm.”   It has reaffirmed for me what I always knew, that I am at my best with my belongings on my back, and a guidebook in my hand.   Nothing feeds my soul like stepping off a bus in a new city full of “firsts”…and sadly, eventually “lasts” to explore.  Bittersweet.   It’s been really good to connect with that part of me again.  In short, I am once again “One with the Pack.”  😉

Someone is draining the pool...

Someone is draining the pool…

This bay had water earlier, but since it was so shallow, it's now empty.  Good to have a portable chair!

This bay had water earlier, but since it was so shallow, it’s now empty. Good to have a portable chair!

I spend my last day in La Paz doing all my favorite things.  I start out by visiting my favorite coffee shop, Doce Cuarenta, a place I loved so much, I bought a souvenir mug to remind me of the days when “Mi día comienza después con café.”

How much for the mug?  ;-)

How much for the mug? ;-)

This is just the greatest little coffee shop.   Gringo haven, yes, but a delicious treat nonetheless!

This is just the greatest little coffee shop. Gringo haven, yes, but a delicious treat nonetheless!

In keeping with my theme of “favorite things,” I want to spend the day at the beach.  I will take the ecobajatours.com shuttle bus bound for Playa Balandra.  It’s a bittersweet day of beach combing, swimming, and sitting in my little backpacking chair, while staring out to the ocean, wondering how long it will be until I see a beach again.

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So what if it sinks??

Only in Mexico can they manage to keep their ice cream frozen for hours on a hot beach!

Only in Mexico can they manage to keep their ice cream frozen for hours on a hot beach!

Once back in La Paz after getting cleaned up, I walk the docks of the marina fantasizing about my dream to sail around the world one day, but also realizing I could settle for a winter in La Paz.IMG_8823

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After a pensive walk down the malecon at sunset, I end my day with a long standing family tradition.   I learned to love Mexico from my brother Don.  It started back in the early 80’s when he would come down to Cozumel to dive, convincing the entire family to join him, and continues to this day with his further exploration into Colonial Mexico.  But it was these early trips that peaked my interest in scuba diving, launching a hobby that would take me from the cenotes of Akumal to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.  Still, no matter where we are, when seafood is on the menu, Don is sure to order his favorite….”a beeeeeeg fish.”   This one’s for you, mi hermano.

My last sunset margarita  (sniff)

My last sunset margarita (sniff)

BEEEEEEEG FISH!

BEEEEEEEG FISH!

I took no prisoners.

I took no prisoners.

Coming up…one last post on Baja containing some logistics which may or may not be of interest to anyone else, but serve to supplement my fading memories.

Meanwhile, here’s one last look at tonight’s lodging:

The Lovely Chez Winnie, as many Pesos per night as you wish to give her...

The Lovely Chez Winnie, as many Pesos per night as you wish to give her…

From Margie's balcony, you can see why I worried.  There is a sunny "sweet spot" there on the back panel, but it's ify...

From Margie’s balcony, you can see why I worried. There is a sunny “sweet spot” there on the back panel, but it’s ify…

“’Let us go,’ we said, ‘into the Sea of Cortez, realizing that we become forever a part of it.” –John Steinbeck

20 thoughts on “Last of La Paz – Que Lastima!

  1. Lo siento, but the beeeg fish made my stomach turn!
    Have enjoyed the photos and writings of your trip. And Margie’s driveway? Why didn’t you introduce us to her when we were all in San Diego? 😉

  2. Back in the fifties, when I was in junior high school, they offered an elective course in Spanish, a language which I thought would be neat to know, since no one I knew spoke it. Why is this unusual? This was in Miami, Florida !!! Things are quite different today.

    Although I remember and can read SOME Spanish, most of it has vanished due to disuse, but your use of my favorite phrase “Que Lastima!” brought back many memories. I remember using it as an all-occasion phrase, as newly-teened girls tend to do!

    Thanks for the memory jog! ;->

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    • Hi, Judie — I have tried at three different phases of my life to learn Spanish, and it just won’t stick! But there are those phrases, and “Que Lastima” is one of them, because my brother Don says it ALL the time! So your comment made me chuckle. (For those who don’t know, it means “What a pity.”)

      Thanks for the comment, mi amiga!

  3. Loved the picture of the fish bones. Reminded me of Don, as he always posted a picture of his post-meal fish! So glad you had a good time. My old jealousy kicked in a few times…… as it is now that you are in San Diego. I haven’t been back since the moving van pulled out with all my stuff going back to Texas in 1992. There are still places I’d like to revisit. Is Croce’s still in the Gas Light district? Point Loma Seafood? Grab a take-out lunch to the tide pools at Point Loma….

  4. I ordered fish in Cabo, and when it arrived with the head intact… bug eyes staring at me., most of the scales still on it… I just couldn’t eat it. Guess I would be going to the taco stands.
    Box Canyon

  5. Great photos. You have captured the water beautifully. Enjoy seeing all your travel photos and descriptions. What a wonderful vacation! Thanks for sharing.
    Pamelab in Houston

  6. Your posts on Mexico put me in a relaxed, toes in the sand drink in hand mood. Long ago, I lived in Guatemala and our family vacations by car to the Mexican beaches remain as some of my favorite memories.

    I hope you return as refreshed and recharged as I feel from reading about it. Gracias!

    • Hi, Chrisshelley, I might consider taking the Winnie, but I actually enjoyed the mobility of the bus and the backpack. I think the stress of navigating solo, along with meeting those big trucks on those narrow twisting roads would take away a lot of the feeling of freedom and exploration that I enjoyed on this trip…

  7. Such gorgeous pictures and stories, thank you for giving me a few minutes of fantasy! I get to go to DFW tomorrow!! Yahoo! :)

  8. I can see how a vacation from your Winnie home would feel relaxing, more like a vacation, because after all when you live full time in an RV, it’s just life. This was a real vacation. I never managed a trip like this, just me and the pack, and it is wonderful reading about how it feels, how to do it. I had kids when I was still a kid myself and by the time they were grown up I was hard into a career. It is all about choices, I guess. Thanks for the fabulous stories and photos of an amazing way to live.

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