Dipping My Toe in the Baja, Mexico

 

Saved this post with nothing in it 19 days ago and my trip was months ago. I’m not going to get a speeding ticket any time soon  in the blogging world. pffstt

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I rented a casita from Dhorea through Home Away, an Airbnb knock-off. Located in Comitan, located across the bay from La Paz, it was just the cutest little thing! I had a fridge to keep my white wine and fruit chilled. I had a stove and a sink and a bathroom.

One of the great things about being in one place for two weeks is it gives me a chance to develop rituals that help settle me into the place, making it familiar and comfortable.

After dinner I would curl up in one of those big wicker basket chairs, drink wine and watch old movies on an old player that I found in a drawer. The patio door open to catch the breezes off the water helped make it a special memory.

The another ritual was going up to the roof top deck and working out in the late afternoon and then (for balance, you understand) bringing up a glass of wine to watch the lights come on as the sky darkened over La Paz.Then I would scoot my chair around and watch the sunset blaze behind the silhouetted palm trees and the giant cacti. As it faded the stars would pop out and the sky would get all glittery. And I would be in the moment and at peace.

Sunset from the roof deck

Sunset from the roof deck

A draw back to this little community were the dogs. They are a necessity for security but man oh man was it a pain to walk Cody, one of Dhorea’s dogs. You could track up going up and down the roads by the baying of those property guardians. They took their jobs seriously. But it was pointed out that none of the houses with dogs ever got broken into. The only properly trained guard dog was a Rottie who sat quietly at the gate and watched us as we went by. I had little doubt that if we made a move towards the gate, all bets would be off!

La Paz was just ok but then Puerto Vallarta sets the bar high for me with other small Mexican cities. It was a bit strange that Walmart was the go-to grocery store but, ok. The produce was fresh but expensive and the wine list limited.

To be fair I didn’t spend that much time in town so I can hardly be a judge on the artistic side. There were some excellent murals so I suspect the culture is there to be discovered with some effort. My last day I went to the Organic Market and it was cool. Ex-pats and Mexicans had stands offering a range of items from organic products to jellies of exotic combos, bags made from recycled material and more. In terms of highlights of La Paz, this was one of them.

On the other hand I found Totos Santos to be an utter tourist hole with little redeeming value. Ok, that was harsh, eh? I only spent a day there but I didn’t see anything that would lure me back to explore further. I did discover a great little used book store where I finally bought One Hundred Years of Solitude by Garbiel García Márquez. It had been on my book list for awhile. Sorry, no idea the name of the shop… if it even had one.

Dhorea took me to troll the secundas, a mishmash of ramshackle open buildings on either side of the highway selling used clothing and other mostly crappy stuff. There were some even offering hand made furniture as well. Oh lordy was it hot! We were melted puddles of grime by the time we were done. A cold ice-cream cone made it all better.  My big purchase was about 4 barbie-type dolls that I want to turn into sculptures or something like that. Miles and mountains of stuff, the detritus of a poor community.

psycho dolls... just realized some don't have hands. Ok, I can work with that.

psycho dolls… just realized some don’t have hands. Ok, I can work with that.

I took the quad out to the red dunes of Mogote with Dhorea and her friend, Karen. First time driving one and the only hiccup was a tango with a large bush, but neither the bush nor the quad were injured during the encounter. So much fun to sit in a lawn chair with a cold beer and watch the dogs frolicking in the waves. Jesse was hilarious, bounding around like a dolphin hunting for fish. Dhorea told me he even caught one once! I wonder who was more surprised, the fish or the dog. I found the dunes exhilarating and wild and made me want to explore the the wild side of Baja. To boon-dock on  a beach with no one around for miles would be bliss. Hard to believe there are such places left on this planet.

The two weeks went by fast and I was sad to leave. I felt like I had settled in quite nicely and it didn’t feel alien anymore. I had friends and rituals and dogs.. what more could a girl ask for? Ok, maybe a car?

Cody taking me for a walk.

Cody taking me for a walk.

 

 

 

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