Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

Still in La Paz: Will we ever leave???

   We are still here and did attend the "Carnaval" here.  It was much like a parade with a mid-way much like our larger fairs in the states. There were princesses' for everything and their gowns were fabulous.  The streets were crowded but there was not the out of control crowds like I have seen on TV when they show clips of  Rio de Janiero and Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  There were vendors and typical fair foods.  

   One man was making the largest cotton candy ball I have ever seen.  My grandson Jack loves cotton candy and he will be amazed at the size and will wish I had been able to bring one back for him. ha-ha!  We were amazed when we found out that the parade is done on 3 separate nights.  We asked why? and were told that each of the three main beer companies in La Paz wanted to sponsor a parade.  So one night it is sponsored by Pacifico, then Modelo and last Tectate.  Image if Seattle had 3 torch light parades for Seafair...whew!

   Each night there would be entertainment at a main stage. The night we went there was an artistic presentation by an Hawaiian dance school..It was very well done and very surprising to us that it was not Mexican dancing.  Although later in the evening there was a group doing traditional dances of Mexico. We also saw a famous Ranchera-singer who did many of the crowds favorite songs because they would all sing along with her and she had an excellent Marache band with her. Also a Cabo San Lucas,  pop group sang and danced the Salsa on stage and they were very good too.  Other nights there were shows but we did not stay.

We walked the main street of carnaval on 2 other evenings, and were not even tempted to ride on any of the carnaval rides.  But we did have some excellent kettle corn oneevening and another time tried a 24" long spiraled deep fried potato, which when done right is like potato chips..ours was less than good and we tossed it in a can.  We were shocked to see hot dog vendors is very popular down here.  Don did buy a candied apple and I took a bite but they are not my if it was a caramel apple that would be different.

  It was fun to see and I would like to see more of the shows but the mid-way music is very loud and we could still hear the base beats way out on our boat until 2-3 am.  Other stages through out the vendors were playing loud...and louder music much like we can hear from car steroes in Yakima.

   Other things of interest: I have attended (when I have time) a quilting group here in La Paz.  It is made of women from the Cruiser's Club here.  This last  week one lady showed us how to make small landscape quilts.  She provided all the fabrics and tools needed and I made a little quilt that is a picture of what we saw when we went up into the Sea of Cortez.  I love how it turned out and I will use it for a travel album for the photos of our trip that I decided to have printed.  Before I publish this I will include a picture of it in process for all to see.

   Today Don along with Joy and Dave, went shopping for things we needed before leaving, (haven't we done this before ?? ). We went by taxi because we had many short stops.  I have found a favorite taxi driver here in La Paz.  His name is Castro and he is 72 years old.  The reason I like Castro is he drives slower than the younger men, his taxi is cleaner, he actually stops at the STOP signs and his front seat seat belt works.  He patiently teaches gringos Spanish and helps you find things plus he will wait for you at the stores.  All this and he is sweet.  Don says I have a crush on him and maybe so...he makes shopping fun and safe. I will miss him and have told so many cruisers to use him that he told me thank you for saying he is the best taxi in La Paz. He usually can be found just outside of the Marina de la  paz and all you do is ask for him.

  While shopping we went to a book store, stopped at a street tacoeria for dos camerone (shrimp) tacos, I made a dentist appoint to have  my teeth cleaned, Don had his glasses repaired, Joy got new frames and had lenses made for them and she picked them up the same day..we got a few groceries too. For less than 50 pesos we each had 2 tacos and shared a Coke. Can't beat that.  The taxi was $15.00 per couple.

   Later we returned to the marina where we had  parked out dingy, picked up our laundry (all done) loaded it in the dingy and went up to the restaurant for a cervesa before going back out to the boat (velero) is sailboat. I will put things away and make tortillas.. It is 81 degrees.  I guess it will get hotter later in the spring but for now this is perfect.  A light breeze to keep us cool, and cool nights so we sleep well. 

   Tomorrow the plan is to stay on the boat and do some work. Don will supervise the diver who is going to clean the bottom of the boat...(lots of barnacles growing) and I will do some sewing projects and clean the windows. Oh and  perhaps take a siesta. 


Buenes Tardes mi amigas and amigos,   Jacquie


Monday, February 8, 2010

Our trip North into the Sea of Cortez

    We just spent 3 weeks in the various bays traveling North into the Sea of Cortez.  Sometime we anchored on the Baja coast and other times out in bays on the many islands out in the sea.
    If the water weren't so blue and warm we could almost imagine we were just still sailing in Puget Sound.  Instead of seeing green evergreens we were looking at large and varied rock formations, cactus, dolphins, whale pods, beaches with shells, and turquoise waves.   To the right is a picture of the colors of the sea and in the distance is our boat,
SV Little Christian. We were on the beach exploring and shelling.
    We traveled with two other boats;" Lovely Lady with Rose and Jani from Seattle area, and "Happy Nest" with Joy and Dave Robbins from Colorada but more recently living in Gig Harbor while they learned the art of sailing. Joy is pictured above with me shelling at Bahia Amortajada on Isla San Jose. 
    Here are a few other pictures from our trip.
Hopefully you can see the variety of sea and land scapes from these pictures.  It was fun, we went all the way to Puerto Escondito, which is 14 miles from Loreto and then took a taxi into the city.
    Some of my pictures in Loreto were erased during a whale frenzy..We saw several pods of whales traveling north to give birth in the Sea and then on our way back we saw one large whale just frolicking, flapping his tail and lifting up one large fin.  It was determined from pictures of types of whales that it was a Humpback Whale.  We have quite a video of him or her.  It was the closest we have gotten to a whale.  We have seen hundreds of porpoise right by or very close to the boat but this was our very first whale, up close and personal.
    We even had some strong wind and one rain squall where we had to way anchor and go around to an anchorage on the other side of the island to get protection from the directions of the winds.  The interesting thing was we decided to do this and 4 other boats followed us to the other side and in the morning when we got up there were at least 3 more boats who arrived in the dark. That was on Isla San Francisco.
     Now we are back in La Paz, Getting provisions and planning on staying here for the "Carnaval" which last the week before Lent begins and is a smaller version of the ones in Rio de Janiero and New Orleans.  It will be fun to see what this is all about. 
    Today I attended a quilting class with Joy and we learned how to do a small landscape quilt..there is lots to do down here even quilting and beading.  Things that I never even thought of doing while in Mexico. Sunday we attended the little English Church we have found that many cruisers attend.  And we watched the Super Bowl with all the comments in great Bud commercials but we did see the game. The guys were thrilled to see it on a big screen complete with Negro Modelo, a beer down here. So life goes on and God remains constant in our life even if we are "on vacation" so to speak.
    I will catch up next during the Carnaval...I guess we will have to take naps to be able to party after dark during all the festivities and parades..I need to make a masks for me and probably for Don.

Happy Sails to you.  Jacquie