We´re still in La Paz but left our Burning Man-esque Yeneka Inn (which was complete with a rusting model T in the courtyard which we could gaze at in the morning whilst drinking our nescafe…more on nescafe later). At M580 a night, it was just more than we wanted to spend. Even for a really cool place. The California Inn is a lot more in our range at it´s modest M270/night. That´s about 25 greenbacks, with an exchange rate at about 12 pesos to the dollar.
We think we are going to leave La Paz pretty soon. It´s windy, cold, and expensive! We were really torn between going to the mainland Mexico and staying here in Baja…on one hand, we know we´d love all the culture on the mainland but with buses being the primary transport between cities, and with those bus rides being about 10 hours long…and with Micah´s propensity for carsickness, it just feels mean to get on a bus more than we absolutely have to. So that means trying to find something in Baja that is closer to the beach and still affordable and is warmer. I think we´ll try the other coast today.
Anyway. We´ve been exploring every nook and cranny of this town. There is a hot dog stand on every corner, just about, and they serve up hot dogs (covered with a mild salsa), hamburgers (with ham! and cheese and jalepenos and salsa) and burritos (with fried tortillas, veggies and shredded beef, sans beans and rice). We have eaten our share of the stuff. We discovered a fantastic restaurant that serves up a RIPPING ceviche and other fish fare but every time we have walked the 3 miles to get there since, they have been closed. We think they just open when they feel like it. That or we caught the one day a month they are open, the first time we were there. Sigh.
I got to say, for a town that is supposed to be loaded with fish, we don´t see much of it.
What I have learned so far:
– if you don´t want to do the resort thing or shell out a lot of money, you should bring a tent. Really. This place sucks for cheap travelling but rocks for camping. You can camp pretty much anywhere – right on gorgeous beaches – but if you stay at an Inn, you either have to walk 20 miles or take a bus that leaves every 2 or 3 hours (with the same return rate from the beach, stopping altogether at 5pm)
– if you are from California, you should drive. And if you drive, it´s best to drive a car that is a brand they make in Mexico – like a VW or a Dodge. Easy fixin´.
– you should also bring the laptop. Everything here is wireless.
– in a big town, they send the tourists to the quaint, covered market. The locals shop in the supermarket. With shopping carts.
– Our BOB Revolution is the greatest stroller ever. Our single is now toting both kids daily (Moxie in back and Micah perching on the front) and carries the one bag we brought up and down hills when we have to walk a lot.
I have also learned that Mexican ice cream is amazing (strawberry and cheese! whoddah thunk?), that you can ride the Merry-Go-Round or drive the bumper cars anytime that they are open. That Mexicans are lovely, warm, hospitable people. That there are lots and lots of Canadians in Mexico. That Mexicans like to exercise at night. That Mexicans seem to be the best parents ever and we are constantly guessing at what they do to raise such lovely, well-mannered, charming children. WHAT IS IT??????????? That sidewalks are NUTS! Clearly designed by an able-bodied man. Who was drunk. That Mexicans think we are terrible parents for not swaddling Moxie up in one of those huge polar fleece fluffy blankets that they wrap over their kids (is that how their kids turn out so great? is it all in the blanket??). I try to tell them that she hates being hot but they don´t buy it. They just look at her, oh you poor, poor baby… with a mother like that…freezing you to death…poor thing…. Chuckle. Nod. Yep. I´m pretty bad.
I have also learned that we need to ask the Inn staff to turn the hot water on 15 minutes before we want to take a shower, regardless of whether or not they said the hot water would be on between 7 and 10. I learned that one through Mikey, who was standing naked in the shower with a naked Micah, freezing, waiting in for the frigid water to turn warm. I´m sure the whole Inn also learned, as Micah started wailing – BELLOWING – his displeasure at the situation.
On that note, I must go. My half hour on the public computer is up!