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Chrysalis Adventures
The road to La Paz

After a nice 9 day stay in La Bufadora we boarded our bus not looking forward to the 22 hour ride. The last bus, T.J. to Ensenada, as I had mentioned prior had very nice seats. However as soon as we sat down we knew this was going to be a long ride. Within an hour our backs hurt and we only had twenty one to go. After a long restless night (with some sleep, but not much) we were awakened by the bus driver at 5am. He was standing over us trying to tell us something like "GET OFF THE BUS" no is poss see bly. What the heck? It became apparent that we were in a major tropical storm and the road ahead of us was washed out. When Leiann got out of her seat I noticed her shorts had something all over her butt. They had sprayed the toilet down with apparently near full strength bleach and her navy shorts on the butt were now rust colored. Good news was? They clean the toilets! Amid much confusion we were herded on another bus after an hour and it seemed like we were going to be able to ride it to La Paz. No one was able to speak English so we were not sure what was going on. I tried talking to the new bus driver about our bags that were still on the other bus, but he just waved me off (I think his life was mass confusion about then) We started backing up in the new bus but our bags were still on the old one. We got off the bus and got our bags, finally. After more confusion regarding if we could get a taxi to a hotel (first no then yes) we made it to a little hotel for $22 bucks that had a hot water shower (a luxury), t.v. and WIFI. We were able then to go online and see what the hell was going on. The storm 16E would not pass for another day. It rained like hell all night. The next day the sun came up and we ventured out to see rocks all over the road that had washed down the hill and the national guard in heavy equipment cleaning it up. So we figured we would stay another day so they could get the roads fixed before we headed out again. We ended up happy that we got stuck here in Santa Rosalia as it was a cool little town that we otherwise would have missed. The town dates back to the early 1800's and was a big copper producer run by the French. It turns out the copper was shipped by four masted wooden ships up the coast to WA State with copper and came back with wood from the Pacific Northwest (who woulda thunk). The next day we loaded up on a much better bus and eight hours later we were in La Paz. We took a taxi to the little hotel we had booked, $24 , again hot water shower (woo hoo), t.v. and WIFI, what a deal. We looked up some old cruiser friends here Tom and Jeanne of S/V Eagle had dinner at a fantastic fish place and shared old stories and new ones since we had last seen them four years ago. They drove us around town and gave us lots of good low down on things to do and see. They also told us about a very nice hostel and took us by for a look. It was a big upgrade from our little hotel (as nice as it was for the money). We moved the next day and have now been here two nights. It's just like we like it, communal cooking area, plants everywhere, nice a/c, t.v. WiFi, refrigerator in the room (really big luxury), king size bed, very clean, a little restaurant attached what else do ya need and it's only $160 for the week (7 days). So we have been out exploring and checking out the area. We have met a local who is bilingual and we enjoyed meeting him and are trying to hook him up with a job (he is a waiter now and "ours"). He had to drop out of med school because he could not afford to continue now. He is still going to school though and we tried to encourage him and told him about a possible job he could do online for a US company which would allow him to go to school and work online instead of working as a waiter for $9 a DAY. So we are hanging here maybe for awhile before heading across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan (another 16 to 18 hr ride on a ferry this time). More later STAY TUNED! Oh just a couple more items: Leiann talked me into a getting a pedicure while she got one and so I did. I did not however get polish on my toenails despite the girls trying to talk me into it. Did enjoy the massage chair and my feet do look pretty spectacular! Yesterday we went grocery shopping and another first for us was taking the cart down the escalator, yep you heard right, and it is a typical thing to do. Did I mention Leiann does not like snakes! Be sure to check out our pictures in the galllery

Ensenada again
Very nice Low 80's
09/17/2015, Ensenada, Mexico

Leaving the 8th of September we flew out of Seattle resuming the Chrysalis Adventure!
We landed in Denver and missed our connecting flight by minutes. We ended up having to spend the night at a hotel and pay for another flight, $300+ gone from the budget. Since this was our anniversary we had a nice dinner at.....Denny's. Well we weren't exactly downtown Denver so one has to take what is available. It could have been worse, we could have slept at the airport and paid through the nose for food. Landing in San Diego Leiann's friend Kim (who was actually there the day before) picked us up at the airport and we had a fun day with her, her ex and his wife (long story) having drinks on the deck overlooking the bay. We spent a night with her at a hotel right on the border so as to cross in the morning. She was paranoid of crossing the border or even getting close to it for fear of the "Cartels". I (Dave) asked if there would be any problem with her dropping us off at the border then her turning around. The Spanish speaking woman at the hotel desk said No Problem. When we came to the border on I-5 there was nowhere for her to turn around and before we knew it we were in Mexico! She was freaking! We drove for some time trying to find our way back to the border to get her out of Mexico. I said we could just get out here which she thought to be very dangerous. Leiann said we can't leave her here so we got her across the border and found the "correct" drop gate for foot traffic. We bid her farewell and thanked her for her hospitality, put on back packs and crossed into the dangerous border town of Tijuana! The first thing we did was walk the streets where we were again one of the few white faces, and found ice cream on the street, it was good to be back in Mexico! Our other old cruising friends Pat and Lynn of S/V Cricket came and picked us up in Ensenada after a bus ride on a nice modern air conditioned bus, with seats much better then those on the plane. We were spoiled with dinners overlooking the bay. The view of the bay from their home is awesome and worth a million bucks. Two days later we were left the run of the place as they had to go up to the states for doctor appointments. We took some hikes and hung with some locals at the non-tourist bar which had rattlesnake tequila (with a dead snake in it)). Leiann actually drank some as I took a picture with the snake (Leiann hates snakes). It's the 17th and we will head out for La Paz in a couple days. We don't know if we will ever see our friends Pat and Lynn again but that is the way it goes with the cruising (or backpack traveling). It makes it even more sweet when you do get to catch back up with each other. We hope to meet up with more old friends on our way south to Panama. Our next blog will be in La Paz where we plan to hang for awhile in a hostel, maybe do some diving, take a side trip to Cobo or what ever comes up? Stay tuned for more of Chrysalis adventures!

09/17/2015 | Kim
Hey..... I wasn't afraid of the "cartel"!!!! I was worried about the POLICE!!!! I didn't want to be thrown in jail (again), for an innocent misunderstanding!!!!
09/17/2015 | Leiann
Oh that's right....a little misunderstanding. (wink wink) I'll tell Dave, he wrote it.
Another summer in WA
Hot (can you believe it)
06/27/2015, Washington State

Well it's the end of June and we are once again looking forward to returning south. We have spent much time with family and will certainly miss our grandsons when we leave. We are planning to do some retracing of our route south via back pack and see some of our friends that we made cruising down the coast. We plan to fly from Seattle down to San Diego. Then take a bus to Esenada where we have friends "Pat and Lynn" of S/V Cricket. They have bought a house just south of Esenada and have invited us to stay awhile with them. We will then plan to take a bus down to La Paz where we have friends that have their boats there. We will be taking the ferry over to the mainland (Mazatlan), and from there will take a bus down to a favorite place we stayed at San Blas. We plan to stay there for a little while (week or two) then fly down to Boquete Panama where we again try and do some volunteer work for a couple months. From there we will pick up where we left off in January and go visit the Kuna Indians on the San Blas Islands. From there we will take a ferry to Columbia and continue our trek to Muchu Pichu. Stay tuned for more adventures to come!

08/22/2015 | Karin and Gerard ten Broek
Dear leianne and Dave,
It is years ago but suddenly I thougt of you! What a brave poeple you are wauw all those adventures ! We are the couple from the Netherlands who met you in Nicaragua and saved the anchor of the Chrysalis. If you don't remember iT doesn't matter we just liked to read about your adventures. We hope you are allright and wish you a save journey.
Love Karin and Gerard
09/02/2015 | Dave and Leiann
Yes we do remember you! Maybe you could send us an email so we can correspond we you. We are getting ready to take off on another adventure. Hope all is well with you guys.
Cheers Dave and Leiann
Family emergency
Cold and rainy
03/14/2015, USA

We have been back in the USA for a couple months now so thought I should update the blog. Not sure if anyone is still reading it but just in case. We had to return home due to a family emergency after being in Panama for almost a month. It seems like a long ago now. We are longing to be back in the warmth as it has been in the 50's and 60's here; cold for us but warm for Wa, state in February. Our family emergency is now under control but it is to late in the season to return now. We will most likely head back down in late summer or early fall. We plan to head back to Boquete Panama as we really liked it there and we liked volunteering at the children's handicapped center. After a few months in Boquete we will again head for the San Blas Islands on Caribbean side of Panama (home to the kuna Indians); then off again crossing the Caribean over to Columbia onto Ecuador and Muchu Pichu. So we will enjoy the summer with the grandkids and family. We are staying with our daughter at the moment but will return to our home in our little 20ft trailer on the Skagit river. I will update the blog through our stay although it will most likely not be to exciting to our readers. So stay tuned more Chrysalis Adventures await in South America.

Portabello hostel Wundabar
01/12/2015, Panama

We arrived back in Panama City on the 29th of January. We made it from the airport to our hotel without incident. Our room was adequate but basic, what do you want for $35 a day. We arranged to go meet an old cruiser friend who sailed his boat down to the canal from Boca Chica where we sold Chrysalis. After a nice visit and meeting other old cruiser friends we headed back to our hotel. We try not to be out after dark and our hotel in not in the prettiest (safest) part of town. But alas we were out a little late with our visits so it was dark on the way back. On recommendation from our friend we took a local bus into town to save a little money but were dropped off in a really bad (dangerous) part of town, so we got in the next taxi and did not quibble about the price. We spent two nights at our hotel so that we could go get yellow fever vaccinations (required for our trip to Columbia). We took a rather nice bus from Panama City to Colon for only $3 each. When we got to Colon (known to be dangerous) we immediately got on the bus going to Portabello and out of the City. We felt a definite difference here from all other Latin Cities we had been to. No hellos or smiles here. We got on the bus but despite the fact that there were plenty of seats we were denied a set and made to stand. It was very hot and felt very hostile. Looking at the likely hood of having to stand for the next 2 hours we decided to get off and look for a taxi knowing if would be expensive. We tried to walk away from the bus terminal as taxis are notorious for charging higher rates at airports and bus stations. Before we got one foot from the terminal a police officer and a solider stopped us and asked were we going. We told them and were told not to leave the terminal as it was very dangerous! The solider then proceeded in trying to get us a cab for the price he said was reasonable $40. The first cab said good price for you $80! After several cabs we finally settled for $60 as we needed to get out of there. After a short while our taxi said problemo, his wife who was pregnant needed to go to the hospital so he would have to get us another cab, don't worry. He did get us another taxi but worry we did when our taxi veered off the main road and down into what looked like a ghetto. I asked if this was the way to Puerto Lindo and they indicated yes. There was another man besides the driver, which is unusual and who just happened to be drinking beer. The driver and his side kick would not talk to us and were busy on the phone non-stop. We were starting to plan our escape. I told Leiann I thought I could take them and then we would have to steal the taxi. As we drove along in the ghetto groups of men nearly blocked our way asking for money. At each one of these "blockades" was a stuffed dummy (white bed sheets). We were getting very nervous. Finally we came out onto the main road on the coast and we could now see the Caribbean, we felt much better! We got to our hostel unharmed. We told our hosts of our experience and they told us the taxi took a short cut, the blockades were people trying to collect money for the fireworks on the New Year and the dummy was a tradition to burn as part of the celebration. We have now been at our hostel for 12 days and have enjoyed the laid back lifestyle. We are 15 miles from town so have to take a bus into town for internet so only go a few times a week, Say it isn't so. We have enjoyed many walks in the jungle, seeing monkeys and a baby sloth and toured several Spanish Fort ruins. Columbus landed here on his fourth and final voyage still thinking he was in India. Lots of looted Inca and Aztec gold was shipped here after being trekked over from the pacific side. Stories of pirate invasions and cannon warfare abound in the local history. We have another couple weeks here before we make the crossing over to Columbia. So we have lots more to explore before we move on so we will post again before we leave Panama.
Stayed tuned for more Chrysalis Adventures

Getting ready to leave the US
Cold and wet
12/17/2014, Bellingham, Wa

We are getting excited to be heading out soon. 11 days left in the US. We have made our reservation at the hostel we will be staying at in Panama, Hostel Wundabar. The hostel is on the Caribbean side near the little town of Portabello. We will explore the jungle and little islands while we wait for our ship (sail boat) to come in. We will be sailing aboard a 47 foot mono hull with eight other passengers so it's going to me intimate. We will stop in the San Blas Islands for two days to explore the white sand, snorkel and meet the famous San Blas natives. We are busy storing what little we own and getting ready to leave our little 20 foot trailer that has been a cozy home for our stay here. We will store it so when we come back for another (shorter) visit we will have a place to stay. Hopefully back on the river as it was a nice place to hang last summer. Our next blog entry will be from the jungle in Panama, so stay tuned.

12/24/2014 | Mike Montchalin
So long as there is a boat in your plans, I won't have to worry. Have fun in the Caribbean!
01/03/2015 | Rabih
Looking forward to see some pics from san blas.
Enjoy it :))
01/16/2015 | bill wethington
We are still in the US this year. Wish we were going with you.

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