Bridgie's Babble - April 22, 2007
April 22, 2007

Continued from Previous Page..La Paz

I  am  reminded from time to time how fortunate we are to be here. As we stood at an ATM machine
to withdraw some cash for Immigration, a  Mexican man who appeared to be about 60 years old  was
attempting to use the  machine next to us. He inserted his card and hesitated for some moments.When
the ATM  "bells" started chiming, he became flustered and asked what was wrong. I read the prompts
on the machine, to which he responded by putting in his pin number. The next words were asking if he
wished to get a balance inquiry or wanted  to make a withdrawal. Again, I read it to him and he
proceeded by my pointing to which buttons to push based on his response to the options. At that point
I understood his problem.  Yes, the ATM instructions were in Spanish but he could not read them. I
helped him complete his transaction. At the end, he asked me to read how much money he had left in
his account to which I responded $730.00 (pesos), the U.S. equivalent is about $73.00. You should
have seen the smile on his face as he exclaimed how much money he had and how proud his was! It
really must be easy to leave cheaply in Mexico. I could have used some tips from him!

Do you love that photo of Juanito? Well, here's the story. Since it's (supposed to be ) so hot here, we
wanted to be sure that the faces were protected from the sun. A wide brimmed straw hat was just the
ticket so when John found one at the local "tourista" shop, he found the perfect fit. I'm sure it's
effective but every time he puts it on, it makes me chuckle. He just looks so......mexican! There is a
downside to this hat...if it's not on his head, it takes up half the space of our kidding! It's a
tough thing to stow and may end up doing double duty as a fruit bowl when not in use on his head.

Rancho Viejo Sidewalk Cafe (so to speak) is the best place in town for a good, cheap meal..Well, it's
actually on the outskirts of town but only about a 2 mile walk They have a large, 4 sided stainless fire
pit on the sidewalk where they cook potatoes and various beef. The arrachera cubed beef is superb!
This is the place to go with a group of at least 5 people. You get a kilo of meat (2.2 lbs) on a platter,
bowls of various salsas, cucumbers, roasted peppers, pickled onions, tortillas, etc. You can either eat at
the raised tables along the sidewalk or go inside the open air restaurant. We choose to eat out...By the
way, this is a favorite hang out for stray cats, too......can't say I blame them!

I know this is the desert and I shouldn't be surprised but there are just so many cacti and they are quite
large. I couldn't help myself. When we went on a hike I think I took a hundred photos. They are

Pete and Tracy, friends from Ventura, Ca, of the s/v Foxen, flew into  La Paz. They were heading to
Santo Tomas to visit with friends and help build a house. While they were here we met them at the
hotel and walked over to Rancho Viejo..for dinner. Seems we aren't the first to discover this great
place to eat.  Unfortunately, I had left my camera in their hotel room so we have no pics to share. But
be assured that we had a wonderful visit. Pete and Tracy were very helpful in giving us tips during our
final days in Ventura. They both have extensive cruising experience and gave practical ideas. They also
acted as our  support team while we were coasting down the outside of the Baja. They would send
weather  reports and suggestions via the SSB radio as well as chat with us when we checked in to the
morning and evening nets. We appreciated their help and enjoy their friendship.

We were advised by the  folks at BayFest to invest in an all Lycra suit to swim in during our summer
in the Sea. There are 2 reasons for this. First, it's generally hot (well over 100 degrees) and a good
amount of time is spent swimming during the day. This suit will prevent the skin from burning and is
more comfortable than living in "sun screened skin". The second reason is that we would be less likely
to be stung by jellyfish and strings of pearls if we're covered up. Each of us already had these suits but
John's was getting old so a replacement was in order. We went to Katty's to have one custom made. It
took 3 days. The complete neck to ankle "skin" and
2 hoods cost U.S. $45.00..a real bargain!(considering I paid $75.00 for mine in the states a couple of
years ago without the hood!). As you can tell from the photo below, she can whip up anything in Lycra
and offers a variety of colors and patterns. I couldn't get John to model his for the website but the
summer is still young : )

There is just so much to say about our stay here. It would have been easy to call this chapter "Lazy
and Lovin' It". We have heard all sorts of slogans including "we paused in La Paz...and here we still
are". Some people have been here for more than 3 years! But, for us, we have to get's
costing us much more than our allotted budget. If we want to keep cruising, we have to move on.
Did I tell you they have ice cream???? And it is good ice cream...I don't need ice cream but I can't help I's time to move on...
June 11, 2007