April 1st 2019
Time is running out. I leave early on Thursday, so I expect to see Miguel today and maybe get started on getting ready to have the work done.
I have come to appreciate this apartment now and, the smelly toilet notwithstanding, it feels more like home than when I arrived. I'm now contemplating returning to Swalwell and see that the predictions for plus eighteen when I arrive. That should be pleasant.
I've missed much of the ski season, so 'll have to get to the mountains before the snow is gone.
Miguel came by and I agreed to fix the boat. After, I walked down and paid Aris (Arturo) at the marina a deposit to get the job underway.
From there, I walked to Chedraui for supplies, including two bins for things I will be taking off the boat and caught Uber back to 53 Antonio Navarroa.
Back at the apartment, I had supper and read, then watched video for a while and went to bed around nine.
Quote of the Day
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
I now have two days to complete my mission and I am full of doubts. I don't really like any of my options. None are guaranteed, and none lead to a simple ending, but none lead to obvious disaster.
I hear on the net that Bayfest is coming up. I'll miss it as I leave Thursday.
I went over to the boat to empty the interior for the work that will need the space and found it suspended near the entrance ready to have the keel removed. I talked to Victor (Sr), moved everything from the main cabin to the vee berth and returned to the apartment to think.
I realised I am committed and called Ian and told him I'll take the payout. He was happy and I think I can get a few extra benefits for making things easy for them.
I decided to extend my stay in La Paz and called Westjet to add a week to my stay. In doing so, my airfare dropped by $68 even after the change fee!
Then I wrote to EcoBaja and hope they will move my shuttle reservation to next week. It is not their policy, but I asked nicely, and in Spanish. We'll see. And lastly, I extended my stay in this apartment another week.
I'm finally about settled in here in La Paz and am realising I'll be here now for Bayfest. I'm hoping to see some work happening on Baja Magic, too. I'd like to see the extent of the damage when the liner is removed.
I have been following the news in Canada and am disappointed, but not at all surprised at the antics of our "Liberal" federal government. It has been obvious from the start that Trudeau was a poser and not too smart, but it is being proven out once again.
I went to bed at ten.
Quote of the Day
James A. Garfield
I'm up and at it today. I meet Miguel at ten. I have a plumber coming here to seal the toilet at nine, so I hope he is finished by then.
Of course that fixed the immediate problem of smells and seepage on the floor, but will not stop the liquids from seeping under the tiles over time.
I walked down to the boat and met with Victor and Miguel. We discussed what work needs doing and then Miguel came back to the apartment and we went over the list.
I had a light lunch and a nap. The day is not as hot as some, yet, at least. I have some messages to write, but first, I'll go for a walk to the Club Cruceros clubhouse to see what is on the bulletin board.
I walked to La Costa, had a beer, and watched the old cruisers playing darts, then walked to the clubhouse. I was expecting to see a crew sign-up list for the race tomorrow, but none was seen. I walked to the water tap and filled my 5-gallon bottle, then wandered back to the apartment.
I don't know if I want to go on the "race" tomorrow. It is a drifter, or at least was last year and would involve an overnight most likely. I'm curious, though. On the net this morning, quite a few skippers were looking for crew and a list was promised. Follow-up here is not a certainty.
Quote of the Day
The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.
I woke up at five and once again, I awoke with a conviction that matters are not going to go the way we are planning. However, I am not seeing a good way to back out. So, I am going to run through this again with Miguel and Victor today.
Today, I was supposed to leave for home but I added one more week on my stay. At home the snow and ice seems to be gone.
I found I have had difficulty changing my shuttle. Having written on the web form two days ago, and not having received a reply, I phoned in earlier today and was brushed off. However, I persisted and we have exchanged emails. This exchange continues. I am taking the high road.
Bayfest is on now and today is the 'race" to Caleta Partida and the beach party. People are looking for crew, but I'm not going this time. I have other things to do.
Actually, I am wrong. This is the minor "race" from Roca Lobos to the town, not the overnighter, and I could have gone. Just the same, I am glad I was here because I moved my things out of the boat and I also met up with Miguel and covered several matters.
In the afternoon, I walked to Chedraui, stopping at a bank for cash, and rode back with Uber. My ride this time was with a chica covered with tattoos playing loud Mexican music on the stereo Cool ride. Beats the taxi anytime.
I cooked salmon and some rice, then went to the "wine tasting" at the clubhouse.
The Cruceros 'wine-tasting' evening started at five and I walked over. Contrary to my usual ways, I bought five fifty-fifty tickets, then had a few beers and two hot dogs -- the hot dogs were free -- and sat a while with a young family. They are off on a world tour with their two young boys on a fifty-foot steel sailboat and are one year out so far. They figure they have nine more years to go.
I feel a bit of an outsider here. For that matter, I feel like an outsider everywhere.
After a while, I wandered home, thinking that I have Men in Black II on a thumb drive and that is about my speed tonight.I took a shower and am setting up to watch the movie. Tonight it will be a familiar gently funny one. In English.
I watched the movie, and then a vintage Rockford Files and went to bed around ten.
Quote of the Day
There are two kinds of people in this world:
those who know where their high school yearbook is and those who do not.
Around one, I started to hear singing. It sounded like a party. Every so often, voices would sing a capella and I thought it somewhat charming and drifted back to sleep. I woke periodically as it grew louder and more constant and wondered where it was originating. This building is solid concrete and has been very quiet until now.
Finally, at sometime before three, I woke up and found I was stuffed up and wide enough awake to get up, so I did and went out on my balcony.
Three young men were standing beside a ute with the door open and the stereo on, drinking beer. Every so often they would sing along with some song that came on. They sang well. They were parked right where the sound went into the parking garage below me and echoed around my apartment, seemingly coming from everywhere.
I looked down and they saw me, smiled and gestured me down to join them. I smiled back and made the universal gesture for sleep. They laughed and smiled and waved. I went back in and didn't hear much after that.
Once I wake up, I'll go back to sleep.
I went back to sleep and slept until seven. Things look pleasant at home. Just a touch of snow last night.
A note from a reader:
I am hoping your efforts today to shore up your boat plan were fruitful.
The culture there is certainly different than the work ethic and values I believe we share.
They along with some other traits go hand in hand that made us beekeepers. Making things work trying until they do, making do with less to make things, otherwise non-sustainable, a go and not giving up to a fault.
You have a pretty fascinating life and with all your endeavors there is also the price of risk exposure. Many choose the mundane over risking something and living life. Many of the things I see you struggle with are relatable in one fashion or another.
...Do not take for granted things should always work out like you have enjoyed. It is all so increasingly complex and I wonder how long sustainable.
I can not help but to inquire about the safety of La Plaz compared to all that is heard about the cartels. You seem to get long well. Is it one of those islands of safety established for tourism.
Anyway, I have felt compelled to write for some
time and now seemed
I always like to hear from readers. I write for myself but am always pleased to find others find my journey interesting. I hope I am not sounding too depressed. My 'depression' is probably comparable to some folks' mania, so I'm not that down, and frankly, I have nothing to complain about.
As for Mexico, I have to say this country gets a bad rap. The English-speaking world tends to have a somewhat dismissive attitude toward Spanish culture and fixates on the corruption, pockets of poverty, backwaters, and the conflicts while ignoring the same or worse flaws in our English-speaking world. I am finding that the Spanish world has a rich cultural heritage and strong positive values derived from the same origin as our own, going back through Judeo-Christian history and reaching back to Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia, and beyond.
We are not very different and IMO we have much to learn from this culture. When I spend time in California (USA), I am always aware of the underlying Spanish history and influence and that is one of the things I like most about that state.
People here are less inhibited and seem happy, even those who work long hours for low pay. Take, for example those chicos under my balcony last night. They were not worried at all and had no chip on their shoulder. Yesterday in Chedraui, a group of young people were stocking the shelves. They had a pallet truck and one of them, a good-looking girl (dare I say that?) showed the guys how to drop the load. One of the chicos gave her a peck on the cheek. All in good camaraderie. No pretension, and no one was offended. I saw none of the nonsense and fakery that goes on up in my home country.
I decided to stay in today and deal with things online. First was trying to reserve a shuttle for the eleventh. That took time and went nowhere. Then Miguel came by and we chatted. Later, I walked to the bank again and returned. We're sending the keel off for repairs and everyone wants money -- US money. The peso is used on the street and in stores, but anything serious is US$, especially regarding boats.
I'm catching up on things tonight and I'll watch another video. Maybe I'll try to watch Roma one of these times. I heard all the raves, but when I sat down to watch I was not impressed and quit pretty early in.
Quote of the Day
Remember, remember always, that all of us,
and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
I woke up at three after a good five-hour sleep. I stayed up a while and lay down again, but am up again, having coffee. It is four AM.
After a while, I went to sleep again and awoke at seven. I had breakfast, mopped the floor, and washed clothes and dishes. Next, I have some online business to do. At home, |I see the belt has come off the auger again. The snow has gone but I hear it is cool and breezy.
First thing, I tried again to reserve a seat to the airport Thursday and the web site just does not work. I was about to call Uber to go to the Malecon terminal as a desperation move when Miguel called. He said he would be right over and he drove me to the Terminal Touristica. I walked in, met a very pleasant young lady who agreed that the web does not work, sold me a ticket and I was on my way.
From there, we went to the bank and I got more pesos, gave them to Miguel and he let me off on the Malecon. I walked along and found a seat at a sidewalk cafe and had a Pacifico, then asked about the Isla Espiritu Santo trips being offered. For $1,500 MXN (~$105 CAD) one boards a panga at 10 AM, then is whisked out Espirtu Santu to snorkel and have snacks, the be returned eight hours later to this downtown pier. Not a bad deal really. I can do it when my boat is running for less and longer, but this is the easy way and I can do it now.
I walked on down the Malecon and encountered other similar Espiritu Santu offers for as low as $950 MXN. As I passed the car rental offices, I stopped and asked at each. Enterprise was $900 MXN a day all-in , Budget was $800 MXN , and Hertz was $700 MXN. On Facebook another place off the strip was recommended. I'll have to ask there. Then I realised that I gave all my pesos to Miguel to pay for the keel hauling and cannot get more until tomorrow. It is US dollars or credit card today.
I returned to the apartment and had lunch and a nap.
In Chedraui, I could not find the 2-cup coffee pot I wanted to buy for Mom and myself and forgot to buy salsa. I looked at Uber and Uber wanted $40 MXN to go back, so I walked back home. Just to save one dollar.
I am thinking of going on a panga to the islands and also of renting a car. I may do both.
I called Bill and we had a chat. Apparently he was given two perfectly good desktop computers and it turns out that although they are running Windows Vista (2007-2010), they are pretty good machines, even by today's standards. However, the OS needs updating or replacing.
One has 6GB RAM and a terabyte drive. I'll have to look up the processors. These machines were sitting around and given away because the user, a gamer found they were not up to requirements. My guess is that the machines just needed some software upgrades and maintenance.
I mention this to point out that a lot of good machines are sitting around and can be had for nothing. If they won't run windows well, there are many free and good Linux versions that can be installed and will run like the wind. Linux is easy to use now and much like windows in operation.
I ran a benchmark on this laptop I'm writing on now and it came out very badly, but works just fine for what I do. Of course I ran the test with a lot of windows open, but, just the same... Try it yourself.
I set out to watch Roma and my Netflix app BSODed my laptop twice so I uninstalled it and watched on my tablet. I got into the flick another twenty minutes or so, but had to quit. Roma is too much like watching paint dry -slowly -- or real life, and in black and white. The movie is a work of art, and I will watch it to the end, but not in one sitting.
It is now 8:45 and there has been noise all afternoon and into the night. When I walked Malecon this morning, they were setting up a stage and later I heard bongos and then a woman's voice and now men. I cannot make out the words. Is it a political rally? Dunno, but I closed the windows. It is a mile away but still plenty loud.
I went to bed around nine.
Quote of the Day
Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.
I woke up at three. I guess it would have been two, but the clocks just changed to DST here at two. There is still noise downtown. I'm wide awake, so I'll have coffee and do a bit, then go back to bed.
I went back to sleep at five and slept until 0730 in the new time. The noises (music?) continue on the Malecon, almost a mile away. I assume this must be some sort of festival again.
I'm less ambitious about going anywhere or doing anything this morning. Maybe I'll get more into it in a while. I've been increasingly stuffed up the past few nights. I wonder if I have a cold or it is something I ate or drank.
I decided to go to a Bayfest presentation on the Baja bash, the upwind trip from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego against wind and wave. The meeting was in the Vista Room and about twenty were in attendance.
I was half-finished lunch when Miguel called. He was going to work on the boat. I said that, had I known, I would not have rented the car, but, having spent the money -- about $60 for the day with full insurance, I was committed to travel.
We met at the boat and discussed a few things, then I drove southwest to Walmart. I had not been there for a while and was looking for an Oster 2-cup coffee maker that is very handy, but only seems to be found in Mexico. There is one in this Air B&B and I have one on my boat. I'd ordered one for Mom on eBay, but it never arrived and I got a refund. Since then, I have been on the lookout.
Anyhow, they had one, but only the display model. I asked and one was found, but it said four-cup so I did not buy it.
I left Walmart and drove to La Ventana. I've wanted to go to to La Ventana for decades, but never have and this was my chance, so I took it. I had looked at the area on the maps but they really don't tell much about what the place will actually be like. Had I gone earlier, I might have met up with Doug and Pam, but they arrived back in Alberta yesterday according to Facebook.
Driving to La Ventana
I only stayed a half-hour or so in La Ventana. I had gone just to see the place and there was not much to do without a kite and camper so, satisfied, I drove back to La Paz, then to El Tecalote beach via the La Paz bypass.
I parked and sat beachside in a restaurant and had quesadillas and a beer, then drove back along the coast road.
Along the way, I explored some places that are not accessible by sea. I drove into Playa Ballandra and found the road in and the parking packed impossibly. I turned around and left. That is one place that is better to visit by boat. Being Sunday with Easter coming, the crowds were out.
I stopped at several other beaches on the way back -- Baya Falsa, Pichiligue, Playa El Tesoro, Playa Coromel -- and was impressed at how much I miss seeing from the water.
Playa Coromel was my last stop and I see the Malecon extends that far. I had always assumed the Malecon stopped at the City Express Hotel where I stayed when I first came here what now seems like long ago, but it resumes and continues north a bit.
All these beaches are worth another visit and this one is actually close. They all are served by buses, ranging from EcoBaja to the cheap yellow collectivo buses.
I could not have done one tenth of what I did today without a car.
Quote of the Day
Religion. It's given people hope in a world torn apart by
Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon.
Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h this afternoon. High 15. UV
index 4 or moderate.
Sirens woke me up at five and I was wide awake, so I got up for the day, having slept well. I'll move the car to the street soon. I have the car until noon, but don't really have anywhere to go, other than filling the tank.
I spent an hour applying online to renew my Nexus card. Online forms are are a real hassle, but I got it done. Then I signed up with transferwise and drove to the bank to try to get more cash.
No luck, so stopped at Intercam bank, a hole in the wall operation that people speak well of and filled in forms to open a local account. That went well, but they needed a power bill and pictures of the boat. I drove home and borrowed a power bill from Victor and also sent in pictures. Now I wait.
By then it was almost noon and time to return the car. I drove home, had two chicken tacos and drove to Alvero Obregon and returned the car.
I returned to the apartment and had a bit more lunch, then lay down and slept an hour. When I awoke I was still tired and soon was asleep again. Next I awoke, it was five.
I've been stuffy and had a tickle in my throat, so I hope I slept it off. I took and Allegra-D anyhow, just to be sure I sleep tonight.
Quote of the Day
We can ignore reality,
I slept well, but lightly from midnight on and got up at 0615. We're on DST now, so dawn was still a half-hour away and sunrise almost an hour.
After midnight, I found myself awake briefly every hour or so. I suppose that is to be expected after so many hours of sleep -- three or four in the afternoon and another four from eight on.
I don't think I experienced apnea and I was not stuffed up. I suppose I really did/do have a cold of some sort and the Allegra-D worked. A side-effect can be sleep disruption. We'll see what transpires when the drug wears off.
At home things are greening up. I still have to put the mower back together and I see I'll have to do that soon.
I really have nothing to do today or tomorrow except catch up on paperwork and I may go to the clubhouse for coffee and I have been toying with taking a panga trip out to Isla Espiritu Santo or maybe swim with the whale sharks. This is tourist stuff, I know and I seldom do that sort of thing, but sometimes it is educational to see life from the other side. I've found tours to be a good way to see what to go back and look at more closely later.
My driving trip the other day was very useful and fills in some blanks. I could not have done this musc discovery without a car.
On the net this morning I hear there is a gale warning with winds up to 30 knots and seas up to eight feet, so a trip to the islands in a panga is probably not wise right now.
I wandered down to the clubhouse and bought a T-shirt. It turned out to be one size too small, so I'll exchange it.
I got a call from the bank this afternoon and my Mexican peso account is approved. I walked over (whew! it's hot on Abosolo at midday) and signed papers, then walked back. I stopped at Santander again and still could not get money from my card. I called my bank manager and she could not figure out why.
Walking on, my phone rang and I was told I won the 50-50 the other night at the wine tasting -- 3,100 pesos. Bonus. Thank you. A minute later the phone rang again and it seems there was a mistake. I won second --1,600 pesos. Oh well. I lost 1,500 pesos in one minute. Or you could say I won when I never expected to. Glass half-full, glass half-empty? What the heck. When I bough the ticket I thought I was making a donation.
I went to the clubhouse and collected my loot, then met up with Bob a man who was standing in the yard at Don Jose and suggested going for coffee. We chatted. He is from Croatia and had just bought two boats for cheap and was getting set up to take them back through the Panama Canal to Europe. Interesting.
I returned home, had supper, and a nap, then called Lance. I knew Lance from previous visits. He is a livewire and knows everyone it seems. I had though that he would be gone back north, but he is still here. He is leaving shortly for Alberta and so am I.
Okay. Here we go. I knew this was coming. Should Electric Vehicle Drivers Pay a Mileage Tax?
I began to watch Netflix, but quit. I just don't have the stomach for it. I watched most f this though: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Global Warming.
And here is a counterpoint to the theme...
Quote of the Day
The pessimist complains about the wind;
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