Last full day in Mexico

LOCATION: La Paz, Baja California, Mexico

WEATHER: Off and on rain; cooler. Highs about 70

We picked up our other daughter Meredith who has been living in Baja for about 6 months. So good to see her. We spent the day getting ready for our flight tomorrow.

Our hotel has a great view of the waterfront in La Paz. Thank goodness we are far enough away from the loudness.

We had our last Mexican lunch in a cute outdoor cafe. Alexis has a huge bowl of shrimp ceviche that was divine…

Beautiful views from our hotel rooftop..

While in La Paz, we somehow ended up in super Italian restaurants for dinner each night. Last night, we shared a portobello carpaccio appetizer. Tonight was sumptuous lasagne and ravioli. Nice change of pace!

I will temporarily hold on posting on the blog, picking it up again in about a week when we start final preparations for our housesitting trip in Europe. I hope you continue reading!

On to La Paz

LOCATION: La Paz, Baja California, Mexico

WEATHER: Beautiful!

We said adios to our nice “casa” in Loreto and caught our bus at the Loreto bus station

Before we left town, the bus driver stopped at this food stand for a taco before we headed south.

We travelled 6 hours on this bus through lots of desert. A lot of “nothing” as far as scenery….

We arrived in La Paz and found our hotel. La Paz is much bigger and much more touristy than Loreto.

We will be here a few days before flying out of Cabo. We are here to pick up our other daughter who has been living near here.

“Udderly” delicious tacos

LOCATION: Loreto, Baja California, Mexico

WEATHER: Another picture-perfect day

Today is our last full day in Loreto. We decided to do a taco and a margarita tasting test. There are a lot of hole-in-the-wall taco joints with very interesting offerings…

This one offers…


Cabeza = head

Carne Asada = Roast beef

Tripitas = Little cute tripe bits (intestine lining)

This one specializes in beef head delicacies..

Ricos tacos de cabeza = Delicious head tacos

Lengua = tongue

Ojo = eye

Seso = brains

Cachete = cheek

Labio – lips

Consume – beef broth

One more to check out….

Tripa = tripe = intestine lining

Adobada – Marinated beef

Ubre = – udder (sounds chewy!)

Asada – roast beef

Finally, we settled on this little place with a blackboard sign hanging over a motorbike…

Tortas ahogadas = drowning sandwich

Tacos ahogadas = drowning tacos

We had one of each. They turned out to be BBQ pork “drowned’ with a meat broth. Very tasty!

Then, we went to two different restaurants, both claiming to have the best margaritas in town. Both tasty. Great way to end our stay in lovely Loreto!

Around Loreto…

LOCATION: Loreto, Baja California, Mexico

WEATHER: Another gorgeous day

Today was our day to relax. We started with brunch at a downtown cafe. George had a delicious bean soup. Then, we wandered around town. We noticed more activity than usual – greater police presence and more sideway shops open. Curious….

We are staying in a cluster of about 10 homes. Very quiet. They seem to be a mix of resident owners and rentals. Beautifully landscaped, showcased by equally beautiful daughter Alexis…

In the late afternoon, she and I took a walk toward the waterfront. We heard a strange noise in the supermarket parking lot. As we turned the corner, we saw a sight we’d never seen before – a bunch of “kids” in the back of a pickup…

Then, lots of honking in the street in front of our house. We realized it was a funeral, starting with a police escort, then a big semi-truck with beer-drinking people loaded in the back along with the coffin, followed by lots of cars, all blasting their horns. Quite a sight!

We talked with some locals who told us that there is a cruise ship in the bay. The restaurants pulled out all their stops, and quickly erased the blackboard menu prices in pesos and substituted them with US dollars. We saw the cruise ship in deeper waters with small boats bringing the tourists in to town..

Blue-footed boobies, flying manta-rays and sea wolves!

LOCATION: Loreto, Baja California, Mexico

WEATHER: Same perfection – sunny and highs in mid 70s

Today was our big excursion – an eco-tour 5-hour boat ride around the island in front of our bay. It is a UNESCO-protected area. We climbed aboard a tiny “panga” boat and were greeted by the captain and his son. After about 45 minutes, we approached the island and motored around it. Lots and lots of guano! The rock formations were beautiful, as the island used to have an active volcano.

We could smell them before we saw them — hundreds of sea lions basking in the sun. In Spanish, they are called “lobos marineros” which translates as sea wolves.

Then, we sited the blue-footed boobies, called “bobos” in Spanish.

They change color when they are trying to seduce a mate.

Then, we moored at a beautiful beach on the island. It was a bit too chilly to swim, so we hiked around some, and lay in the sun. We had the island to ourselves.

The captain provided lunch for us under a palapa. During the trip, we didn’t see any whales or the promised flying manta-rays, but did follow lots of dolphins frolicking around our boat as we returned to the mainland. George turned into a pirate during the boat ride…

We stopped at one of the seaside cafes for happy hour that included free grilled chocolate clams. Free!

Chocolate clams?

LOCATION: Loreto, Baja California, Mexico

WEATHER: Very nice. Highs in 70s

We spent time strolling around the little downtown of Loreto. First up was to arrange a boat tour around the island tomorrow. Then, we found ourselves back in the brewpub (only good beer in town) for chocolate clams. They are quite common here. First we thought, clams in a chocolate sauce? Yuck! No, chocolate clams are simply the type of clam that is common here. We shared an order of grilled ones, then a bowl of clam chowder.

Then, we went t-shirt shopping. Alexis bought one in a “psychedelic” shop.

We ended up our downtown excursion with a stop at the spa — manicures and pedicures for George and Alexis

Back at the “casa”, George made shrimp and grits (delicious) with the leftover grilled shrimp.

Checking out elegance

LOCATION; Loreto, Baja California, Mexico

WEATHER: Beautiful. Highs mid-70s

Yesterday, we had inadvertently agreed to go to a time-share condo presentation. We had succumbed to the kind Mexican salesman.

So today, he picked us up bright and early and took us in a taxi to a very high-end golf course complex about 45 minutes away from Loreto. From there, another salesman whisked us away and took us on a tour. First we saw the complex from the golf course’s 17th hole…

They served us a beautiful breakfast overlooking the bay…

Then the salesmen toured us through some of the rooms. All of the rooms have fabulous views..

We successfully said “no gracias” to the salesmen’s multiple offers, then were transported back to town. We strolled around and found a seaside cafe for lunch. A musician set up in front of the restaurant and gave us a serenade…

Back at the house, Alexis relaxed in her upstairs bedroom…

A quiet evening at home, with George grilling veg for dinner.

Shrimp day in Loreto!

LOCATION: Loreto, Baja California, Mexico

WEATHER: Perfect! Mid 70s

We awoke to a beautifull sight — bougainvillea flowers floating in the swimming pool in front of our house…..

Due to an unstocked refrigerator, we headed out to find breakfast. On the town square, we found a cute place and ordered “huevos divorciados” which we were curious about. Translated as “divorced eggs” on the menu, we were still puzzled. The plate arrived with 2 eggs, each “over easy” and placed separately on the dish, one with green sauce and one with red sauce. Now we know! The downtown square is quaint and pretty, with lovely trimmed trees forming pedestrian avenues around the square.

We strolled along the waterfront, occasionally greeted by fishermen asking us if they could take us out on a boat ride around the island. We may do that one day. Then, we happily got lost wandering around interesting neighborhoods.

We found a darling little restaurant for lunch on a side street. The owner was so glad to see us. Alexis ordered an “aqua chile” which is raw shrimp, butterflied and marinated like ceviche, served in a bath of cilantro/chile water. Really good and beautifully served. Margaritas accompanied this lunch – one regular and one with cucumber. Interesting and refreshing

George and I split an order of shrimp tacos, probably the best we have ever had.

We found a grocery store to stock up. Across the street, a lady was selling fresh shrimp, which we couldn’t resist. We bought a kilo for dinner tonight.

Our last stop was a tortilleria where we bought a dozen for about $.50.

A lovely day! We relaxed in the afternoon, then George grilled the shrimp on the barbecue. He made some homemade pico de gallo which we ate with the shrimp on our fresh tortillas. Yum! We have a lot of shrimp left for future meals.

From the cold to the tropical

LOCATION: Loreto, Baja California, Mexico

WEATHER: -20 in Calgary; 80 in Loreto

Last night, we had dinner with my cousin Jan in a beautifully restored house within a provincial park outside of Calgary.

After a 4-hour direct flight, over snowy Alberta, Idaho, Montana and majestic Arizona, we landed in sunny Loreto. What a contrast!

We found our “casa” that we have rented for a week.

We are only a few blocks from the downtown square and the malecon (seawall boardwalk). We stopped at a brewpub — this little town has all we need!

Then, on to the malecon.

We found a bar overlooking the malecon. What great luck! Today is Carnaval and a parade passed right in front of us….

Who goes to Mexico via Calgary? We do!

LOCATION: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

WEATHER: COLD! -20 C; -9 F

We have had a great stay in Minnesota. We presented “Reids on the Road – How Two Retirees Are Traveling the World on a Shoestring Budget” to the library, and then to four civic groups. Everyone seemed to enjoy the presentations, and we had fun doing them. We did our Mayo Clinic appointments, an annual dentist exam, and the all-important beauty shop appointment. We had some nice get-together with friends and former neighbors, and some delicious dinners at the home of our daughter Alexis’s partner’s parents.

We are now in Calgary, overnighting here to take a flight tomorrow to Loreto in Baja California, Mexico. We had visited Loreto a few years ago while camping in our Airstream. We really liked the town – not too big and touristy. We discovered that it is very popular among Canadians, so much so that in the winter there is a weekly direct flight from Calgary to Loreto. So, we are making this journey….

Calgary is experiencing an unusual amount of snowfall. On the 3-hour flight, we flew over never-ending miles of snowy fields between Minneapolis and Calgary, landing in this winter wonderland.

We will get together with my cousin Janice who lives here. Then, early tomorrow to warm Mexico !