25 November 2010
Happy Thanksgiving everybody! We are attending the cruising club's (Club Cruceros) Thanksgiving Dinner this afternoon. Greg and I also volunteered to help. We get to serve turkey and gravy on the second shift. They have reservations for 200 people so we will be surrounded by friends if not family. I will call the family on the phone and maybe try skyping them again later today.
We are settling in quite nicely here in La Paz. We rented a car with our friend Shawn for a couple days and explored the city a little bit and then also spent an afternoon driving back out the channel the way we came in by boat. It was very interesting seeing some of the coves and bays from the shore side. Puerto Balandra where we anchored the last night before coming into La Paz even has another lagoon inside the bay that we didn't even see from the boat. There is a taco stand there and a couple people selling souvenirs in the parking lot. I bought a carved wooden pelican as a memento of this place. It will sit on our bookcase when we return home. We also drove further to Playa Tecolote which has a long white sand beach, several restaurants and a RV park full of Canadian RVs. The park is pretty rustic and has no services (power, water, etc.). This beach is on the San Lorenzo Channel so you can look out and see Isla Espiritu Santo across the channel. I'm looking forward to next week when we will go exploring this island. I will actually learn to snorkel again.
We drove even further along a narrow paved road and came to a housing development being built on the hills above the water. Beautiful homes in a gated community way out in the middle of nowhere. We didn't see any electrical lines, solar panels, wind generators, or water sources. How do they power these very large expensive homes? Generators? Do they truck their water in? It is something I would like to research. Unlike the homes we saw at Muertos Cove, the roads here are all paved. When we left here we turned up another road that was farther inland. It ended at what looked like a church (It had a cross on top of the building), but it was fenced in and the gate was locked. There was a small travel trailer just inside the fence and I saw the curtain move but no one came out. Hmmmm...what would a church be doing way out here with no one around? Driving back to the main road we passed a dozen or so burros which must range free here. I also made the guys stop and take my picture standing next to a cactus.
I almost forgot to mention that when we were exploring La Paz we ate lunch at a French restaurant, La Boheme (ironically, located right next door to another French restaurant) and had the best crepes. I definitely want to go back there. You enter the building through a small nondescript doorway, through a small area of inside seating, and into a large courtyard filled with large trees and plants and tables scattered all about. This is more like what I imagined "Old Mexico" to be like. Greg found a barber shop and got a very good haircut and beard trim for 50 pesos each (about $4.50 each U.S.).
We also went to the Club Cruceros coffee hour in the morning. The clubhouse is located right by the Marina de La Paz in the downtown area. Lots of cruisers were milling about. Lots of new people like us trying to get information. There was a woman sitting at a table selling tickets for a fundraiser and I sat with her for awhile asking her questions.
My big thing right now is cockroaches. I have seen two dead ones on the docks so I know they are here. Shawn said to spray Raid on our dock lines to keep them off our boat which I did immediately. This lady said to put chalk on your lines and buy boric acid to set out if any get on the boat. I looked all over the Soriana store (like Fred Meyers) but could not find chalk or get anyone to understand what I was asking for (so much for my Spanish/English dictionary). The one thing for sure everyone says and I have read in my books is to never bring any cardboard on board. The cockroaches like to lay their eggs in the glue on cardboard boxes of any sort. The women I was talking to (more had joined us by then) seemed to think they weren't that big of an issue if you were careful about what you brought aboard. Maybe they don't climb up the dock lines, but I'm not taking any chances.
I also met Mary and Ken (Misty Blue) from Friday Harbor, Wa. They lived in Mulino, Oregon for 17 years so they even know where Whiskey Hill is. How ironic to travel over 2000 miles and meet people from your home area. They are on the same dock as us so they said they would drop by for a visit which they did a couple days later. Mary told me she found a fabric store in town. I suggested we get some women together for an excursion to town to check out some of these places which she agreed sounded like fun. I forgot to mention that Club Cruceros has a quilting group!!!! They didn't have a meeting this week but next week on Tuesday I plan on attending. I don't have a sewing machine with me and probably can't contribute a whole lot but it would be nice to just soak up some of the atmosphere. They make lots of small projects to sell and raise money for their various charities. The club does lots of work for the children in town, providing school supplies, clothing, etc. I would like to get to know more about their activities and maybe organize help back home too.
We are back at the boat this evening after attending the Thanksgiving Dinner. What a feast it was. The club provided the turkey and gravy (20 turkeys) and everyone brought a side dish or desert. Because Greg & I were helping serve the turkey and gravy on the second shift we were able to eat right away. The food was delicious and it was fun serving the gravy. Some people had a little bit of food with their gravy and others didn't want any or just a drop or two. Some wanted the gravy poured all over their plate (even their salad) and others were very specific about just on the turkey or just on the potatoes. I don't know how they did it but we ended up with only about 2 cups of gravy left over, after serving 200 people. All in all, it was a good day today.