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We weren’t sad as Myrtle gulped the northern-facing miles down.

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We were happy to visit the Best Damn Taco Shop Ever, Tacos Los Poblanos in San Quintin.

DSC_0956MacQuinn loved the radishes.

DSC_0946The asadero (the guy who handled the meat) kept slipping him choice slices of meat, gratis, and Mac-Q thanked him with big gooey smiles and eyes shooting blue bolts of love.

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Goodbye tacos. Goodbye beautiful salsa

DSC_0949 DSC_0952Goodbye to aching little legs that were thrilled with parking lot run-arounds…

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Aching little legs that were attached to squeeling little bodies, so happy to have Daddy running after them as they’d scramble up stairs…

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Goodbye to the toilet roll which seemed to come undone at each and every motel room. Between Moxie and MacQuinn, it was never safe on the spinner.

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Goodbye to sinks that Moxie adored climbing into

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Goodbye to carnitas tacos. Oh yum.

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Goodbye to ceviche

IMG_7363And all the mariscos, point blank.

We were so, SO proud of our kids loving ceviche and all the fishly goodness that drips forth from the mariscos stands. I doubt I would have been as adventurous at their age.

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Goodbye to breakfasts on the go,

IMG_7485Goodbye to chasing Pugsley, “HEEEEEEEEEEL!” and dealing with everyone going nuts over seeing a pug, “your kids are cute too”, people would say, giving their heads a friendly pat, after crooning and mooning over Pugsley and getting their pictures taken with him.

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Goodbye to wide, dusty streets that harken to the Wild West and where dreams are big and fierce and all things are possible with a little work

IMG_7508Goodbye to the military and military checkpoints. It’s funny how they really freaked us out on our first driving trip to Baja, but how we kind of like them now. They guys are always young and usually chatty. 9 times out of 10 they adore kids. A whole truckful went nuts once when Moxie waved to them – every*single*guy (bar none) shot his hand up and waved back at her with bright smiles.

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But they can look scary. I get it. I just think they are all right now.

**

We said goodbye to Baja, this place that we love so well

From the very tip to the top

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Goodbye. We will see you in a while, maybe? One day?

DSC_0965PS

Baja Map Photo Flow:

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We were going to write a post about this a looooooonnnnng time ago but never got around to it. Maybe it’s because just thinking about paperwork makes me yawn and this is all about paperwork.

Okay, we’ll do it though. For the sake of trying to be a helpful blog, I’ll suck it up and type it out for y’all. 🙂

When you bring your vehicle into mainland Mexico (- not Baja), you need this cute little red sticker called the Temporary Vehicle Import Permit. You get it at the border evidently? We are not sure. It’s not necessary in Baja, so Overlanders traveling through Baja usually just get it in Pichilingue, when they are boarding the ferry to the mainland.

he told me to put away the camera

Here are some cute pictures of the kids when Mikey was busy dealing with all that paperwork:

our hoodlums waiting for the paperwork paperwork! at pichilingue

It costs $200 which is your refundable deposit based on your promise that you won’t try and sell your vehicle in Mexico. When you leave with your same vehicle, you get it back.

sort of like the customs check at pichilingue

Since we were originally planning on crossing to mainland Mexico in February, we went ahead and got the sticker in January. Well, our plans sure did change! So, completely unexpectedly, we had to return the sticker, get our deposit back and have our names free and clear from suspected vehicle-selling.

First we went back to Pichilingue and asked to return the sticker. The lady there said no can do – but she said that we could do it either at Ensenada or at the border. We went on over to Ensensada – it seemed more manageable than Tijuana, but once we finally found the building there, we were told that we couldn’t do it. It had to be done in Tijuana at the Otay Mesa Border Crossing.

Okay. So.

We went on over to Tijuana. Nervously. It’s not our favorite place, and we get so spun around driving there! But we finally – after over 2 hours of wandering around, finally! – found the place that was marked at being the place for Temporary Vehicle Import Permits. But the thing was, we could only find the SIGN, we couldn’t find the actual BUILDING. Mikey asked a guard and he said that the place to deal with the permits had changed, you couldn’t do it there anymore. He told us it was on the other side of town. Of course.

We checked in with another person and she said the same thing and advised us to hire a taxi and follow it.

After wandering around some more, we did just that…

the border

and the taxi driver dumped us off at the border, where we realized we were on the ONE WAY, no-stopping lane bound directly for San Diego.

in line... again... the line to the border crossing

NOOOOOOOO. Talk about total deja vu! I mean, really, right?! Me and Mikey were groaning all over the place. Two border crossings in one day…again….

the man with many hats! border

We went out to San Diego, turned around, re-entered Mexico. We were thoroughly checked, then let loose to figure out where to go and FINALLY after another hour or so of wandering around and checking at Pemex Gas Station after Pemex Gas Station, we found it – on this small side street, snuggled between a bunch of big buildings.

bancierto office

Like pretty much every other experience we’ve had like this, it took us 4 hours to find the place and 15 minutes to get it done.

We really wanted to have a nice bulleted list of super helpful advice for you Overlanders reading, but all we could come up with was this:

  •  have a good song playlist available to help keep you calm
  • choice refreshments too
  • if you hire a taxi to follow (- which is a really good idea), make sure the taxi driver doesn’t dump you at the border (we think ours may not have heard us right; to avoid that, we’ll definitely ask our driver in the future to repeat where he heard us say we want to go)
  • allow for a full day to get it done
  • plan something fun for the finish? I ended with a question mark there because we have 3 kids and for us, “something fun” depends (at minimum) on noone crying, noone being too tired, no diaper blowouts, no bloody noses or hurt feelings – and sometimes that’s simply too much to ask so we just go to sleep.

 Good luck and may the Border Gods be with you!

 

We were camping on Tecolote, a beach that was literally a few miles long.

DSC_0619The beach was lovely no matter where you were on it – no part was really that much better than another. For the sake of some privacy – and also with a considerate nod to others who were camping (due to the amount of noise our offspring produce) – we camped on the far side of the beach, well away from anyone.

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After dark, as we were starting to get ready for bed, a car came over the dunes and parked on the little ridge right next to us. I’m talking, RIGHT next to us, about 10 feet away. The lights were on, high-beaming directly into our little camper. The music thumped, the laughter was loud and it was obvious that some locals were in for a night of some intoxicating beach revelry.

All fine, right? I mean, it’s their beach, after all. What are we going to do, go on out, “oh, hi! We are boondocking on this here public beach of yours – love it, by the way! – and since we have three little kids, can you keep the noise down? Or better yet, how about you scoot over to some other part of this massive beach?”

 Hmm. Yeah.

We swallowed. I mean, what right did we have? We’re guests in this country. Besides, I didn’t want Mikey going on out after anyone has started drinking. Better not to mess with drunk folk, you know. So, we swallowed, pulled the shades down to dim the glare of their car lights coming in, kept the kids calm, read some Dr. Seuss and breathed deeply.

The next morning, we found beer bottles and cans in the sand along with plastic bags and other garbage. And I just kept wondering about it, you know, we try to not be asshole tourists, we try and leave spots better than we found them in. We try and do the right thing, always conscious of the fact that this isn’t our territory, we are guests in this country.

But it sucks when locals act like assholes.DSC_1022

Still – and this is the reason why I am posting this piece – it’s okay to remember that people really are people, you know?

It’s like the ‘Ebony and Ivory’ song, says ‘there are good and bad’.

Traveling is experiencing the new in the foreign. So much of how the experience unfolds depends on our attitude, I think, depends on what we ourselves are putting out there. If we are friendly and believe in the best, that is usually exactly what we’ll get.

Sometimes dumb or scary stuff just happens though. But it shouldn’t mean to take that out of context and turn it around and blanket it over a whole country or people, right? I mean, we wouldn’t do that for our own country, would we? So we shouldn’t do it to another.

Sometimes locals act like assholes.

Everywhere.

Because sometimes people can be assholes.

Anywhere.

**//the end

 

We were really getting into the simple life at Los Frailes. 6 weeks living on the beach… seriously. We loved it and felt like crap taking the kids diapers down to the trash every day. Even though we rarely used cloth diapers in the Bay Area, we had some on us and decided we were whack enough to try for cloth on the beach.

So!

Mikey would walk through the deep sand and draw water from the well, we’d soak the dipes and employ the “Baja Maytag”: we bought a $200 plunger* and plunged the diapers in the bucket of water. Rinse. Repeat.

the baja maytag... with the $200 plunger earning it's keep
the baja maytag… with the $200 plunger earning it’s keep

Worked like a charm!

We dug it for several weeks until suddenly we didn’t anymore and we went back to disposables. But we still have the diapers and the recipe for laundry soap (below) and we just might give it another shot someday. Maybe even someday soon, since it seems as if we are turning into hippie farmers?

Anyway – 

 Recipe for laundry soap:

  • borax
  • bar soap (Ivory, Dr. Bronner’s or along those lines)
  • washing soda (sodium carbonate or soda ash; try the Arm & Hammer brand)

 Powdered laundry soap:

  1. Grate the bar soap until finely ground
  2. Mix 2 parts washing soda, 2 parts Borax and 1 part grated soap (top off with a few teaspoons of baking soda to freshen the clothes if it tickles you)
  3. Store in a big ole’ jar and use 1/8 to ¼ cup per load of laundry

a little moxie

____________________________________

*The $200 Plunger Story

We were in town loading up on groceries, then swung by the local hardware store to buy the plunger to wash clothes.

Mikey ran into the store but did not set the emergency brake on Myrtle. Myrtle started rolling down the incline, headed smack-dab for a car. I dove down and tried to grab the emergency pedal with my hand but I was too late – we hit the ca

We went with the driver to a local mechanic who assessed the damage, we paid for it right there – $200

That is why we call it our “$200 Plunger”

– the end-

storing the diapers
storing the diapers

This post is for those in the Overlanding Community or those traveling who might want to visit Los Frailes. Information in a nutshell, not so much a story-post.

But before we dive in on the advice (yes, “we”! – Mikey’s co-writing this post), we just want to remind you that Los Frailes is part of the Mexican National Parks. It’s a protected area. It’s one of the few remaining places where you can camp FOR FREE* and in which there are flying rays, breaching whales, fish, sea lions and butterflies. It’s clean. It’s safe. It’s a spot made of magic and kept our hearts there for 6 weeks altogether.

los frailes billboard

Location:

Los Frailes is about 6 miles on a washboard dirt road past Cabo Pulmo. We do not recommend driving any route to Los Frailes except the route that passes through Cabo Pulmo.

Cabo Pulmo is a small (very small) town and has a bare bones dry goods shop. It’s not a good place to stock up on food or water, but it’s a great place to buy or rent fine diving equipment (at US prices).

 Amenities:

Toilets

Los Frailes has 2 pit toilets by the beaches. That’s it in the way of toilets. It is maintained by Ray who camps there for 6 months out of the year. So be gentle with them, and don’t drop your toilet paper in the pit.

Showers

No showers.

Water

There is a well, in which you can draw slightly brackish water. Your call on if you want to drink it – we didn’t, but we were delighted to have it to wash clothes, dishes, and so forth.

We advise you to come prepared, bringing at least 1 very strong, stiff plastic construction grade bucket with pulling rope. A tight lid is very useful. We had 2 buckets like this and would have been glad for more.

A lot of people seem to use an electric pump with a filter attached. Nice system, it allowed them to pull tons of water at a time (some people apparently can’t go without their 30 minute showers). Of course they also had a vehicle to carry all that water back home. And doing that can take it’s toll on the water supply. We limited ourselves to 10 gallons a day.

Food

There are no shops in Los Frailes; but when the fishermen are there, you can get yourself some really good, super fresh fish, for not so much money.

** check with other campers for all times/days listed below **

On Sundays Fernando, a cherry tomato farmer, comes and sells fruits, vegetables, dairy products, tamales he purchases in San Jose. He also takes orders for water, propane, etc – but you need to have empty tanks to give him for filling, and he will bring it back the following Sunday. You can buy pretty much anything from him, but you might need to wait a week for a full order (- he comes with everyone’s orders and then a little extra for newcomers – he might sell out). His prices are reasonable.

On Friday mornings, Don Pablo and his government supply (DICONSA) truck comes around. You can buy a wide range of staples – cooking oil, toilet paper, juice, coca cola, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, etc. It can be really time consuming because they only service one customer at a time. Try to be first in line!

Another guy comes to sell organic produce on most Friday afternoons, I think – you’ll need to check on all of this with the other campers after you arrive.

A propane truck used to come by to fill tanks. It didn’t when we were there, but that might change, especially since this year has been the busiest ever, according to the old timers.

 Stocking Up

Los Barriles

The Chapitos Grocery Store on Los Barriles’ main street has everything. Ev-er-y-thing. Like, rye bread, contact lens solution, lots of other foreigners, everything. And they are annoying to me because they don’t list prices on any-thing, which means you have to scan it all in the price checker or just roll with it. 🙁

For better prices (but smaller selection) there are a couple of Tienda Populares, one outside of Los Barriles, and the other within the town limits.

Shopping at Los Barriles was an hour away from Los Frailes, hard to beat. Even though we weren’t crazy about, we went a few times

San Jose del Cabo

We also went to San Jose del Cabo, visiting one of the Soriana’s there – the prices at Soriana were lower than Chapitos, but it took a couple of hours to get there. We coupled up the Soriana trips with stops at the propane place and water distributor, and in one case, the auto parts store for new front shocks for Myrtle (- all three in the outskirts of San Jose).

If you are able to hold a lot of non-perishable items, you can stay at Los Frailes for a long time. Stock up on rice, beans, canned food, etc and then just order the fresh stuff from Fernando’s/government truck who come weekly.

Books

There is a great lending library under the Big Tree. A table or two are always set up with books. Take one, leave one.

 Camping

There are 3 communities at Los Frailes: the arroyo (- dry river bed), the trees and the beach.

They all have their benefits:

  •  Arroyo: great because it’s flat and easy to get your rig level. And there is a lot of space. The arroyo is on both sides of the road into Los Frailes. Don’t forget to stop by Steven’s fort and tell him we say hi.
  • Trees: the shade is nice, but no dogs allowed,and there seems to be a “clickish” feel to the place.
  • Beach: what’s better than waking up, stepping outside and being 20 steps from the perfect, clean, crystal-clear water? That’s right. Nothing.

No campers or big rigs are allowed on the beach because of turtle eggs (!!!!). You can tent camp on the sand though, or park your rig just by the beach (which is what we did).

 Internet:

THERE IS INTERNET AT LOS FRAILES!!! yes, unbelievable. They built a tower close to Cabo Pulmo, so the access at Los Frailes is pretty good – just bring your pre-paid Tel Cel modem USB stick (- for more information on this stuff, read Life Remotely’s posts). 7 times out of 10, you’ll have access – and if you climb a hill nearby, you’ll always have access.

 Los Frailes Packing List

 

  •  Extra propane tank
  • Strong buckets for water
  • Rope
  • Plunger (to wash your clothes with – more on that later)
  • Everything you need to make your life go
  • Non-perishable food
  • LOTS OF WATER – we went through around 25 gallons a week
  • Something to handle flies/wasps
  • ** there are also non-aggressive bees **
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Beach stuff
  • Kayaks, etc
  • Hiking gear if you like hiking: there are great trails there through the desert and hills
  • Photography equipment: of course

 

Garbage

They have little garbage cans by the beach, but the best place to dispose of your garbage is by the big dumpster. It’s on the main road, by the main entrance:

los frailes garbage

You can also leave the items that you would like to give away by the dumpster – people come by and take what they’d like to keep.

*Cost to Camp

It’s still free to camp at Los Frailes, but the grapevine says that might be changing. We don’t know, so don’t blame us if you wait a long time to go then find out the policy has changed and it suddenly costs money to camp! Go now!

los frailes

 

 

We slipped so easily into life at Los Frailes that we blinked and realized 3 weeks had gone by. You read that right, three weeks.

mac

The thing about it is, it’s a community. There are people there that do the gross stuff to keep things flowing – things like build and clean the pit toilets. Like remind newcomers to not put toilet paper in the pit toilets. Like take out the trash. They do these things because they love Los Frailes and they love camping there, and they go the extra mile themselves so that all of us can benefit.

 They humbled us and made us want to be better people.

There were 3 separate communities in Los Frailes: the trees, the arroyo (- river) and the beach. People would be like, “do you live in the trees?” or, “yeah, that’s Steven, he’s in the arroyo.” It was all very distinct.

los frailesEach community had its own rules, too – and Mikey inadvertently broke one right off the bat with the tree people: he brought our dog Pugsley into the tree community and he came back home to the beach with his ears red from the rebukes.

 No dogs allowed in the trees!!

We were in the beach community, of course. We were neighbours with a wonderful Polish/Canadian family for a month, we really loved them. Mac-Q developed a very special relationship with the Grandpa in the family which kind of broke my heart and Mikey’s, since our kids are not likely to grow up with strong relationships (if any) with their grandfathers.

mac and moxie and jacob

Mikey’s Dad lives in the Phillipines and is out of contact most of the time. My Dad.. well, let’s keep this post on the happy side of things, shall we?

Mac-Q probably knew Jacob in a former life or something. It was beautiful, how drawn to him he was, how he’d stop screaming and thrashing and wailing when Jacob was around. Jacob would kindly come up and take him from me when Mac was in the middle of some teething tantrum, go for a walk and soothe him.

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I’m tearing up at these pictures right now because I had a pretty hard night with Mac just last night and I miss Jacob. What a wonderful guy. What a wonderful family.

We were also neighbours with an old salty German named Bernie. A lot of people came and went, a lot of couples went when they saw us, a lot of others stayed. It was an amazing mosaic of people, all of them interesting.

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It was the people that stayed at Los Frailes the longest that we found the most interesting. Like John (pictured above), the guy who camped out for some 10 months a year, fished like a pro (was he a pro?) and was absolutely one of the most generous people we’ve ever met. He’d pass by, ask if we’d like a fish and right there, hand us a fresh mackeral that he caught. “Fresh”, as in, “still alive”.

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Mikey had to figure out how to kill it, and got to teach the kids how to thank the fish for giving us his life.

thanking the fishfish

fish

Yay for homeschooling!

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I have so much more to tell you about this place, but I’m typing now over a nursing MacQ’s head, Micah is wanting to paint his rocket ship, Moxie has been tethered to Dora the Explorer for an hour now and Mikey has “had it” to here with me being on the computer, so let’s sign off with some photos. Just photos.

mac

 

the whole of los frailes
the whole of los frailes

 

mikey and pugsley
mikey and pugsley

 

moxie
moxie

 

moxie and daddy
moxie and daddy
he's 5...this is fun
he’s 5…this is fun

 

heehee
heehee

 

smile and the world smiles with you
smile and the world smiles with you

 

on the beach
on the beach
los frailes
los frailes

Thanks for not leaving me alone at the cafeteria table with my last post. Thanks for scooping up your trays and coming on over and stopping for a bit, if even just to say hi.

I am still feeling chicken shit over this post – like, I was scared to check Facebook because I was worried I’d be looking at a bare naked comment-less post perched on a status all by it’s lonesome.

I need to get over that.

I want to keep talking about moxie, keep talking about this act of courage-growing. I want to share stories and try to do things that help each other. I’ll try and keep that balanced with the telling of our story right now and also with talking about disability. I’ll try for one or two posts a week, probably on the weekend – does that sound about right?

Back to the road, where I started thinking about all this to begin with.

kids

We were traveling on the coast of Baja – I don’t know if this makes any sense, so here is a map:

Southern Baja

See, we had driven south from La Paz to San Jose del Cabo. The lady at the Pemex gas station in San Jose del Cabo had told Mikey that you don’t drive to Cabo Pulmo via the coastal route, but he thought he knew better, so we went and found out the scary way that you don’t drive to Cabo Pulmo via the coastal route.

the coastal route to cabo pulmo

Oh sure, if you have a jeep or a sliver of a something (along with a death wish?), go for it! But I wouldn’t recommend this road to anyone. But I do have to say the donkeys hanging out by the side of the road were pretty cool

raodside donkeys

The cows were too

cows in baja
beach cows! being herded!

Our last trip down to Cabo Pulmo was in a post on my now defunct travel blog, but I kind of think this picture sums it all up:

moxie at cabo pulmo in 2012

But maybe that’s not fair, because in the way that crappy things can shape a positive future, that night in Cabo Pulmo sure did shape ours, so we are glad we experienced it.

Up till that point you see, we had been happy with our tent/truck arrangement – we had an F150 with an extra cab. Mikey had split the back bed for storage and sleeping, and we had a truck tent that fit around the back of the truck. It was a really easy, great set up – the kids in the truck and Mikey and I in the adjoining tent.

our old rig

But with the WIND – the ferocious, unrelenting, tiring, unforgiving WIND in Cabo Pulmo, we took one look out of our shaking, bowling sack of staked-down flim-flam and saw those guys next door in their comfie camper eating a nice warm meal while we were making peanut butter and jam tortillas because we were too scared to use propane in that wind, and we were like, WE ARE GETTING ONE OF THOSE!!!

And that, my dear, is how we ended up with an Alaskan Pop Up Camper 🙂

Back to the story.

So we were driving towards Cabo Pulmo but we were going to check out Los Frailes, a beach that had been recommended to us by our friend Chloe. She said it had great snorkeling and those are pretty much winning words for us, “great snorkeling”.

We finally reached the Los Frailes area…. and it was weird driving in because it was like – ‘huh? There’s a camping community way out here in the middle of nowhere?!’ followed by ‘HOLY COW, beach vultures?!’, swiftly tailed by ‘a Mexican FISHING VILLAGE?‘ then the mother of all exclaimations,

 LOOK AT THAT BEACH!!!

los frailes

We probably looked a lot like people must look as they enter the heavenly gates of pearly white, kind of dazed and slightly confused, “good grief, is this HEAVEN?!

And… yeah. Maybe it was. Maybe it really was.

 Los Frailes, a little slice of heaven, right here on earth.

moxie in heaven

The kids know heaven when they see it of course, and got busy immediately. That’s one of the things that I think is infinitely awesome about children. How they can just be plunked down anywhere (just about) and they’re all, “HEY MOMMY! Look at the OPTICAL REFRACTER BEAM I JUST BUILT!”

micah

Or was that his optical refracter beam? I get it all mixed up. Might have been his warp core drive, powered by optical laser beams.

Whatever.

He was happy building his things, she was happy playing with them and for once it seemed, everyone was cool sharing

moxie and micah moxie and micah moxie and micah

Mikey played with these weird things that were actually plants – we thought they were HILARIOUS, solid fun – we’d come to hate them but we didn’t know that then

mikey

And we settled in.

on los frailes

Unpacked. Both our camper and the tensions that had built up inside.

Just let it all out in a big whooooooooosh, along with the sunset

los frailessunset at los frailes

PS

Fantastical hipstagram photos that I took that day!

a little moxie on los frailes a little moxie on los frailesAnd a few of the older photos from Cabo Pulmo in 2012:

me and moxie in 2012
me and moxie in 2012
micah listening to his beloved mariachi music
micah listening to his beloved mariachi music
cabo pulmo
cabo pulmo
my favorite: micah in cabo pulmo
my favorite: micah in cabo pulmo
sweet delight
sweet delight
another sweet delight
another sweet delight
mexican cows are just cool
mexican cows are just cool

PS
PS

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The lady at the Pemex gas station told Mikey that “you don’t go that way”, meaning meander along the coastal route from San Jose to Cabo Pulmo. Mikey was kind of confused – the Pemex map showed the route to be paved, and easily twice as fast as going back around the other route. He shrugged. Maybe she was confused or didn’t know what she was talking about? Maybe she was talking about the road that had been blocked off for repair?

But…Oh, she knew what she was talking about, all right! Ha! That road was like the bastard child of the road to San Borja. Only instead of big-ass rocks that were re-arranging your innards, it was enormous chunks of the road just… missing. Coupled with with sand bumps, humps and cliff drops that put me to sleep.*

nothing like LOTS of shrines along the way for inspiring confidence...

We couldn’t take any more of the road after a while and since it was getting late, we pulled over at a gorgeous beach to check it out for camping that night. It was so lovely. The sand so white, so deep. Oh so deep. So deep, we got stuck in it. That kind of freaked us out… but after a whole lot of digging, we got ourselves out and then didn’t want anything but rest and a cold drink. We stayed the night.

set up

palapas at the beach with no nameWe let the kids loose,

mac-q

micah and mac-q

Mikey set up, and we just couldn’t get over how beautiful it all was, and WHY WAS NOONE THERE?

mac-qFree beach! Clean! Glass free! WHY WAS NOONE THERE???

mikey

We kept on trying for answers. When an ATV drove by, we were like,”oh maybe that’s why! Maybe the ATV’s get nutty?” – but no. Only a couple of ATV’s went by the whole time we were there. “Maybe people party here?” – but no. Only a fishermen were there earlier and a few kids came later to laconically sit under a palapa and just talk.

view from camper

WHAT WAS IT? It drove us nuts. Why were people flocking to the free spots like Tecolote which are deservedly praised and really awesome spots to camp in, but this place would toe Tecolote in a run for the beauty money.

dawn

The only answer we could pin on it was the water.

the waterIt looked REALLY deep, REALLY close to shore. The waves were a little freaky in how they’d sort of boil under water then surge forward – with very little breathing and working room between where the wave crashed and where the shore sent the water back on account of the steepness of the sand. Do you know what I’m saying? It’s kind of hard to describe.

the water at no name beach

Moxie tried to run in the shallows and a wave came and knocked her down. Mean ole’ wave.

IMG_5600 So, yeah. We weren’t crazy about the water but if you surf or fish, you might be.

beach house

There was this abandoned house right by where we camped –

mac-q and moxie

mac-q

mac-q

mac-q

micah at the no name beach

We left the next day, headed on towards where the waves were not as mean. And where there would be others camping.

the beach with no name

PS

A couple of hipstagram pics that I took here:

palapas

palapa

PS2

I figured out the absolute reason why noone was there: the road. It only got worse.

***********************************************************

 

I’m in the flow of a story here, bending with the dips and twists of the road we have been traveling. While everything I write on this blog is part of the story of what is happening to us, it’s rarely up-to-date. I’m usually posting things that have happened a while ago, and I do that mainly for the safety of the kids.

But I wanted to post something that actually is current – in real time – we went through La Paz from Santa Rosalia, directly to Tecolote Beach. After being there for some time,we went through La Paz again to Ticklefish Hot Springs, then on south to San Jose del Cabo before swinging back up with a long stay in Los Frailes. The Los Frailes posts are coming next.

Right now though, in real time, we are in La Paz. We have rented an apartment and we know we’ll be here for about a month. Why’d we do this?! Well:

  1.  We knew we’d want to stop along the way to get to know an area better, and we love La Paz. It’s definitely on our short list for the future.
  2. Work. We need to fill up the coffers. Hey, if you want to hire me, or you’d like to chip in by way of supporting the arts, or subscribing, that would be awesome! If not, no worries, I still love ya.
  3. Our visas. We have been so slow that at this point, either we draw Baja out a bit more, drive north, exit and re-enter and give ourselves 5 more months of Mexico, or we RUSH LIKE HELL through Mexico after taking our sweet time here. Huh. Not much of a choice, right?

So, we’ve rented an apartment here for a month.

We found a sweet little place in a great area for about $300/month – furnished, with wifi, etc. Micah was so excited he started puking and that means a lot – doing this is the right thing for the kids. That is to say, taking our tiiiiiiiiiiiiime, even if it means we are going to try for the Slowest Overlanders in the World title.

We’re going to be here for a while, we’ve unpacked a little, we’re really enjoying the full-size fridge, hot showers (squeeeeee!!!!) and extra space. Seriously, nothing like being in a camper for a few months to appreciate being able to stretch out ALL of your limbs at the SAME TIME without knocking someone or something over.

Coming up, I have posts that I wrote on the way to Los Frailes and while we were camping at Los Frailes. I’ll share those because Los Frailes was magical – and magical spots are worth talking about, right?

 

los frailes: pure magic
los frailes: pure magic

I’d like to think so.

PS

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You can also receive a photo from the blog (small or large, depending on the amount you are donating) and a small gift. Or a link of your choice on this site (see below)*

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*I don’t need to mention that this is all for bona-fide stuff, right? I mean, obviously I’m not going to accept donations for links to a site that is promoting guns or porn or whatever. Just wholesome goodness here! thanks

 

This is the 4th part of our little mini-series of La Paz.

Before, we covered:

P1250386Finding La Paz
Food!
Some Tales of Great Adventures & Tiny Happenings

and now here is the final post with the older photos and the older stories.

The Beaches of La Paz

La Paz is situated right by a beach, and there are beaches stretching out all along the coast above and below the city. There are beautiful islands to kayak to close by, including the famous Espiritu Santos, where you could also camp.

We took a boat tour to Espiritu Santos and the bay. It was one of those tour companies that is located right on the Malecon – I forget which – I forgot how much it cost too. But it was a lot of fun.

me and micah
me and micah

I definitely recommend it, if you are in the area. Just walk around, talk to the boat operators, see what they are offering, etc. Ours was to the island, a stop for snorkeling/swimming with the sea lions

DSCF5926checking out all those fish

DSCF5927and thrilling our 2-year old to smithereens

P1250579we stopped at an island beach for lunch

P1250671lunch!

– just kidding 🙂

P1250653no, really, I think it was sandwiches of some sort. Not thrilling, just filling.

Then we went around famous things like this weird rock

P1250657and these majestic arches.

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It was truly lovely and worth paying for.DSCF5916

If you have access to a kayak though, I’d think that would be best – you could go at your own pace and really linger at the spots you would like to.

The Beaches of La Paz

We walked to a beach that was a couple of miles away – on the road to Pichilingue – pretty much every day.

DSCF5583It was a great beach for what it is: close to a city. January being in the dead of Mexican winter, the only people there were us, a few other tourists and Mexicans all bundled up in their woolens and fur boots, sitting there shivering.

DSCF5354

We got a fair amount of flak for having our kids so semi-clothed,

FRIO!!!!! MUY FRIO!!!!

those abuelas would exclaim, trying desperately to cover our kids, cluck-clucking at us for our horrible parenting. We thought they were really sweet to care so much. We also thought it would be hilarious if we went back to the Bay Area and pounced on some Mexican family carrying their little one in one of those furry thick blankets and we’d be all,

IT’S TOO HOT!!! HOT!!!!!

While throwing the blanket off of their baby, fanning them desperately and such. That’d be soooo funny, wouldn’t it?! 

DSCF5577

Anyway. Back to the beaches.

So we were hanging out on the beach every day, enjoying our walks to and from the beach along the Malecon. It was such relaxing living, really easy, fun. We also lost around 10 lbs each.

the family, la paz, 2010All that lard totally works out with all the walking.

There was a big huge playground along the way that we would stop to play at from time to time

IMG_1105The set up was like this:

a playground next to a BAR.

So the parents would be hanging out in the bar right there while watching their kids.

IMG_1108 IMG_1097-1a playground next to a BAR. I mean, can you even IMAGINE that in the US?!

It’d be the most popular thing, ever, wouldn’t it?! There, go ahead and run with that idea now. You are welcome 🙂

Anyway, we liked it because it was chock full of super cool slides and kids. We also liked it because it was on the way to the beach and close to Moyeyo’s, that place of delicious sea-goodness.

IMG_1686-1We never drove in La Paz. We walked everywhere. We walked to all of the beaches in walking distance, we walked the whole of the Malecon, back and forth. We walked to get food, walked for our ice-cream, walked to have our laundry done, walked absolutely everywhere.

P1250247

The Pension California (- Hotel California) made a great base for all that

IMG_1770It had a great location – close to the Malecon but also close to shops and shopping

hotel california courtyard, la pazIt was cheap – under $20/day – and we cooked at least two meals there a day right there, as you can see Mikey doing in the picture. Open air kitchens rock.

The stairs there led to the roof and the kids loved that

IMG_1644-1 IMG_1643-1 IMG_1641-2It kept us pretty busy.

IMG_0071Another thing that was great about the Hotel was that they always gave us LOTS of beds. The place was originally a convent, you see, so some of the older rooms have like, 4 or 5 beds. Those were what we were given, for the price of a double.

moxie, hotel california, la paz moxie, la pazWe liked having a bed each.

IMG_0913-1We liked having the TV too. I absolutely love watching soap operas in other countries.

***

This wraps up the older La Paz mini series. I won’t be writing a mini-series with the new stuff – but I will give you updates on everything: the beach, Moyeyo’s, Hotel California, La Fuente – everything that we really loved about La Paz will be covered in the newer posts coming up next week.

If you have any questions/comments, will you holla in the comments so that everyone can benefit? Thanks.

****

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I don’t know if you were waiting for the last little installment of my major photo-dump that’s kind of majestically called a ‘La Paz Series’ – but if you were, I’m sorry! Things got busy around here.

So, let’s see. Where were we? Right. We had the post that was about finding La Paz for the first time (in a nutshell, it’s courtesy of the Great Puke Fest of 2011), then there was the post on Food, so I think now we are on Great Adventures and Tiny Happenings. All of this is really building to the post that I’ll have up and out shortly on La Paz 2014, which will compare a lot of these older posts to what’s going on now in that grand little city.

Here’s some tales of Great Adventures and Tiny Happenings

On our first trip to La Paz we were walking around the town square and we happened upon a girl who was also visiting La Paz who was the same age as Micah.

DSCF5762

They became the jelly to peanut butter, mac to cheese, butter to toast: in other words, inseparable.

P1250727

P1250424

Their adorability blew us away of course.

P1250413

Just like their conversations.

P1250433

Sometimes we all got a sense that if these two were to meet in 30, 40 years, not a lot might change – they’d sit there and quietly look out on life together with a comment or three between them.

P1250420

That first time in La Paz, we spent a lot of time with that little girl, her mom and her auntie.

We also spent a lot of time walking up and down the Malecon. Not just that trip; all trips.

The Malecon (- Boardwalk)  in La Paz

P1250068

The Malecon felt like the heart of La Paz. So, so many things going on.

P1240746

So many people to watch, rides to ride

P1250169 P1250131

P1250469Faces to smile upon, yards to be ran.

P1250034

Boats to watch, pelicans to talk to

IMG_9969

DSCF5540Pelicans really crack us up.

All of these Mexican families would come out and rent bicycles and ride ecstatically around. Locals would do their exercise on the Malecon after dark, when it was cooler, and tourists of the North American stripe seemed to linger longer than anyone in the establishments for food/drink. Especially drink.

la paz malecon

One of the things we really liked was that La Paz is a holiday town for Mexicans. We met many people from mainland Mexico who were on vacation – same as we were – and we liked that it wasn’t about just a vacation spot for foreigners like “Cabo Wabo” seems to be.

Aside from the Malecon, we had a lot of fun walking around La Paz.

P1250503

For those early trips when we only had two kids (hahaha), it was pretty easy: Moxie in the Ergo and Micah in the BOB stroller for the most part, but sometimes we’d have both kids in the stroller – Moxie in the back and Micah sitting up front.

IMG_1507

The ramps and stairs there are a cruel joke: a ramp up leading to a steep flight of stairs down. We made out okay because of the BOB stroller but I sure would hate to be a wheelchair user in that town – or most of Mexico as I have seen it, because they don’t have the equivalent of the Section 503 at all.

It’s like someone is standing there, licks their finger and puts it in the wind and that’s going to determine the ramp/access situation in any given block.

IMG_1754

Yeah.

Graffiti/Murals in La Paz

I *hella heart* gorgeous graffiti and murals. They make my heart kind of explode with excitement and happiness inside.

La Paz had some good murals and interesting graf from place to place –

IMG_1745 IMG_1742 DSCF5507Their pictures of Jesus tended to be really vivid

IMG_0079-1People here don’t like to forget that he SUFFERED.

I also enjoyed the details in things: the wall art

IMG_9987-1

Succulents all over the place

IMG_9985-1

My own head

IMG_1647-1

Micah in his hat

IMG_1621-1Clearly, I’m going off on tangent now!

More Art

We went to the Museum by the town square more than once, it was a nice place to spend time and it was free. Very small. But worth going to for the history of La Paz and the region. We also went to the main church in the square and that was lovely, very majestic and powerful in the way that big old churches tend to be.

We loved walking around and looking at people’s houses and gardens. Getting a sense of the day to day flavour of spaces

P1240826 IMG_9983-1I didn’t take a ton of photos because that seemed rude. IMG_1559-1Just a few. Here and there.

Coming up: Beaches of La Paz and other incidentals.

*****

More Info:

 

We’ll be back soon with the rest of the La Paz Mini Series, harking back to our first trip there and continuing through to 2014. But while I edit the older photos, here’s this, a photo essay. Probably my favorite little string of photos I’ve ever taken. Circa 2012, in the Hotel California in La Paz.

I hope you like them too.

****

with a little moxie stairway to heaven with a little moxie stairway to heaven with a little moxie stairway to heaven with a little moxie stairway to heaven with a little moxie stairway to heaven with a little moxie stairway to heaven with a little moxie stairway to heaven****

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I was telling you the story of how we fell in love with La Paz, wasn’t I? I gotten you past our Great Bus PukeFest of 2011, which was the decisive factor in nixing the lets-bus-around-Mexico idea. I left you at the Pension California (- which we call “Hotel California”) and we were tucking in, getting comfortable.

Okay, so this post has to be about FOOD, cuz we are awfully predictable like that. No way could we love a place without there being some GOOD FOOD going on, right?

me and mikey, la pazAnd this is the thing: Mikey and I both cook. When we pay attention to food, we are paying attention to what we can buy, ready-made and what’s available for us to make something with. No one wants to eat out all the time and no one wants to cook all the time either, right? A place to love has to have the fixin’s for both.

La Paz has that.

Their markets were amazing – and I think I’ll cover buying food in another post since it’s such a gigantically fun subject. So this is just going to be about eating out.

Mikey and I both cook (but I admit he’s way better than I am now, thanks to that jump start I gave him by being pregnant for  3 years). We both love good food, we are really picky eaters in the sense that we rarely eat anything that isn’t well prepared.

And we are not rich, nor have we ever been yet. We just know how to cook and we know how to find good, cheap food.

 Good, cheap food in La Paz

La Paz has a ton of fine restaurants and obviously really delicious morsels for sale in plush environments. Andrew Zimmern even featured a place there! But we just don’t have the budget for those places. We saw them, sized them up but didn’t try them out because we didn’t feel like using a month’s food budget for one meal.

What we did do was walk around, explore many, many streets, ask local people for spots for good-eats and we tried out what was advised.

That’s how we came by Moyeyo’s – this super cool little restaurant with a sand floor, bones from aquatic creatures hanging from the ceiling and a fat, sweet menu that we could afford to get to know.

moyeyo's

Oh my God, we loved that place.

IMG_9935 IMG_9950

Divine fish tacos, baked clams, sea goodness of every variety.

IMG_1676-1And no bill we ran up there ever went much past $20 – even when we went nuts and ordered table-covering feasts (and drinks).

IMG_1671-1one happy mansupreme.

swear to god, that's not what it looks like

We loved Moyeyo’s – we even got to know the staff, we tuned into the drama that went on and felt like part of the family. It was kind of awesome.

P1250811 P1250805 IMG_9939

Moyeyo’s was not typical though – I am pretty sure it was the only restaurant around the Malecon that we could be comfortable ordering with abandon, due to our slim wallets. But it’s not just the money piece – it’s also the quality – it was really good food.

IMG_1674-1

So other than Moyeyo’s, we ate a lot of street food – “chocolate clams”

DSCF5512 DSCF5515

Baked clams too

IMG_1496-1 IMG_1485-1 IMG_1475-2

Big huge street hamburgers. And hot dogs

IMG_0794

Mexican baked potato!

IMG_1545-1
everything but the bathwater…

We ate a lot of street food.

This is a great thing because you can see how clean the stand is – you are looking right at the kitchen after all – you pay a fraction of the restaurant price, the food is usually outstanding, and you get to hang out with interesting people you’d likely never meet elsewhere.

IMG_1177-1IMG_1176-1

Win-win.

***

La Fuente Ice Cream

la fuente ice cream

If you ever go to La Paz (and you happen to like ice cream), this is an absolute must. It’s handmade ice-cream of the Mexican variety with absurdly delightful non-American flavours. I’m talking… blackberry cheese with REAL CHEESE in it. Stuff that’s like, ‘whoah! Are you KIDDING?’ only they aren’t and you are terribly glad it’s for real because this is some insane deliciousness.

blackberry con queso

Sorry for all my crappy, blurred photos. Next time we go there, I’ll be bringing the dslr and TRIPOD, baby!

IMG_1705-1

I think it was La Fuente that made an ice cream addict out of Moxie. Or else the girl just knows a good thing when she tastes it.

IMG_1706-1***

I know a lot of parents are extra-cautious about food in foreign countries with their little ones, and I get it. Sort of. I mean, I know we have to keep our eyes open and our heads on our shoulders. But it’s good to remember that kids adapt faster than adults – your little one is actually less likely to get some nasty worm thing than YOU are.

Food is also one of the most integral parts of a culture – I know Mikey and I want our kids tasting and exploring their ways around places unknown, respecting and appreciating differences. We want them to grow up curious and open minded towards the cuisine of others. Getting out there and asking people what’s good to eat in their town is one way we do it – street food is another. Still another – and one of the best ways to the soul of a culture is eating at the home and table of a family.

We are not there yet, but boy, do we ever hope to be!

PS

This post is a mix of photos over a few years – hence the short haired-Micah in one photo and long in the other 🙂

 

Our love affair with La Paz began as a great many love affairs seem to:  unexpectedly.

We had arrived in the Los Cabos airport on December 30, 2010, happily planning on checking out the Cabos – Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

squeeeeeeee!! baby Moxie liked flying
squeeeeeeee!! baby Moxie liked flying

We thought we’d spend time in both towns before heading north to cross over to the mainland of Mexico by Ferry from La Paz, bus around the Mexican mainland before heading back and catching our return flight back to San Francisco at the end of January.

Plans are sure fun, aren’t they?! And it sort of feels like making them is simply begging the gods to mess with ’em, doesn’t it?!

So, Cabo San Lucas! As Mikey said (and I have to put this in bold), “if it happened to slip into the Sea of Cortez, we woudn’t miss it” – cuz it held all of the appeal of a bland, rich, all-white, gated golf community for us, one that swapped out with a frat house at night.

San Jose del Cabo was better – we met some really nice people there.

in san jose

We loved this little place we are so predictable : eating in san jose where we ate, we enjoyed walking around and the interaction we had with the local folk.

Oh, and the election posters all over the place cracked us up

election 2010 bajaThe tourist stuff there was toned down but it was still very much present and  annoying to us, so we cut our planned stay there short and walked on over to the bus centre, booked us a few tickets and boarded the bus to get out of there.

The buses in Mexico are like the buses in Peru – that is, they are decked and tricked out. They are bastions of comfort that only increases in luxury with the amount you pay. But even at our economy level, it’s a pretty sweet ride. Like I said, we were planning on taking the bus through our entire trip– up to La Paz, crossing from there by Ferry to the Mexican mainland and then once on the Mexican mainland, we were planning to bus our way as far as possible along the coast.

So there we were, settling in on the bus, the kids on our laps, enjoying the ride.

pre-puke

The beauty of the desert, the mesas, cacti, the winding roads.

Those winding roads.

moxie in the ergo on the bus
moxie in the ergo on the bus

 Those winding roads.

 Those winding roads….started messing with Micah after a while and his food started… unwinding and before we knew it, he was puking his head off.

And that set off this chain reaction of puking in the bus – the guy across from us started puking and the people behind us were puking and it was just like some really bad B movie, only it was real and we were living (and smelling) it and our poor little boy was the star.

We couldn’t arrive in La Paz fast enough and when we did, we practically got out and kissed the ground.

micah, so tired

Our grand plans for traveling around the mainland of Mexico were tossed because there was no way we could travel with the bus being our main source of transportation. Not after that PukeFest.

micah
poor kid

So we were in La Paz, in the bus station in the main part of the “downtown” area. It feels weird writing that, because I got the sense that the heart of the “downtown” is the boardwalk area that hugs the beaches, the Malecon. From the Malecon, it’s like restaurants, shops, bars, hotels cascade out until they’ve reached the outer areas, far from the ocean. The majority of the locals live away from the Malecon, but the Malecon isn’t some Waikiki-esque tourististic trap – there are far more Mexicans hanging out here than foreigners.

So there we were – in the bus station right across from the Malecon in La Paz.

Mikey had wanted to stay in this place he saw in Lonely Planet called the Yeneka Inn, so he stopped in and asked at a coffee shop where the Yeneka Inn was. The girl didn’t know. He dug up the address. She didn’t know. He pointed out that it was the SAME STREET we were on. She still didn’t know. So he gave up, we all walked outside and down the way a bit and whaddya know. There it was.

We stayed there for a couple of nights. We loved it, it was like some laid back love child of Burning Man and Sedona. Crazy, funky “found art” all over the place, weird, wild shit and then deeply groovy Native American and Mexican art. The kind of place where boots hanging on trees is just normal.

boots hanging from tree at yneca inn

There was even a Ford Model T in the courtyard! Free Tequila shots at night too.

the courtyard in the yneca

The owner was chillllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, like supremely relaxed – this big alpha guy who liked hanging out and talking to people, sharing space and art and a good time. You know the type. You have probably met him before too, and you also probably liked him.

fun stuff all over the place

But while there, we happened upon the California Pension just down the street.

hotel california, la paz

The California Pension, or “Hotel California” as we liked calling it, was easily half the price of the Yneca Inn, and you could cook your own meals there in their large courtyard kitchen. Score and bonus score. We had to switch.

by the kitchen in hotel california, la paz

We thought it would make an awesome jump-off spot for walking around La Paz and exploring the area.

So we settled in, unbuckled our belts and started to make ourselves comfortable.

hotel california la paz

More Info:

Aguila Bus Line: this is the line we took from Los Cabos to La Paz. It’s a very popular company, they have buses going everywhere for a reasonable price.

Yucca Inn: We stayed there in San Jose del Cabo. It’s clean, comfortable, good wifi and hot showers. Right in the older area, you can walk most anywhere. Access: it’s been a while but I remember it as being inaccessible on account of the few stairs down to some rooms and stairs up to others.

Yeneka Inn: crazy fun hotel in La Paz. Access: Rooms on the first floor are accessible, rooms on the second are not. You might want to check about door width because I remember some of the doors as being really narrow.

Pension  California: “Hotel California” – economical, spartan hostel smack-dab in an awesome location – close to the stores, markets, the Malecon downtown, the bus center, everywhere. Access: it’s accessible! There are some stupid door things you have to step/roll over with some rooms or with some bathrooms, but if you have a portable mini ramp it should be okay.

** note: I’m not an expert on access – so I definitely advise you to double check on anything you read here – contact the hotels/hostels from the sites directly to be sure **

Mikey and  I – okay, mostly just I – were concerned about the toy situation and the fact that we were only going to be bringing one milk crate’s worth of toys for 3 kids. That’s it. No more than what would fit in one small square milk crate.

We shouldn’t have worried.

Micah and Moxieclimbing moxie Moxiemac DSC_0018mac DSC_1154all 3 DSC_1156all 3 againDSC_0020 moxie

****

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I had this thing on my back for some time. At least since September of last year.

I didn’t go to the doctor to get it checked out because despite the fact that we were shelling out around $400/month in insurance, I had copays that ended up in the region of $100 – and I’m not even talking about medication here. I’m talking about just seeing a doctor.

We couldn’t afford that. If I didn’t feel like my mortal life was in real danger, I simply hoped that whatever it was would go away. I think a lot of Americans are doing that these days.

Anyway, I secretly wondered if I was popping out something cancerous – that thing was weird! – but it didn’t hurt. It wasn’t until we were all the way in Mexico, at Tecolote that it started to be painful. And then it wouldn’t quit.

IMG_5424

It just hurt more and more and it seemed to be festering or something. It got to where it was keeping me up at night and making me pretty miserable, so we went into town to the hospital to see a doctor.

the hospital

In we trouped, right up to the information desk, where they told us that almost all of the doctors were on vacation so it might be smarter for us just to go to a pharmacy. Ha! O-kaaaaaaaaaay. So that’s what we did, spun right around, hopped back in Myrtle and went to the pharmacy.

the mexican pharmacy

The Mexican Pharmacy

You know what I love about these places? I love that they seem like they are having one big, non stop party going on, all-the-time. They have dancing doctors in costume, balloons, blasting club music, it’s like,

WHOAH! Let’s hear it for some DISEASE, baby! Jive those sores away!

come,let's talk about your disease

I love Mexico. I love Mexican Pharmacies.

The pharmacy directed us to the doctor consult right next door – went in, sat down and waited. I got in a “conversation” with the old ladies next to me about hearing aids (- they were wearing them!) that was all about them being polite and me digging around in the dictionary.

Everyone in the waiting area was super nice and laid back about the kids and I was grateful. It’s so much nicer to deal with deeper thoughts on cancer when people are being so nice to you.

Then it was my turn and the doctor almost laughed at my thing and slapped me with a prescription for an antiobiotic, told me it’d be gone in a week and heartily chuckling, shook my hand and waved us out.

The visit plus the medication? Total? $9. I repeat: NINE DOLLARS.

waiting to pay the $2 for medication. the doctor consult was $7
waiting to pay the $2 for medication. the doctor consult was $7

NINE DOLLARS OF THE UNITED STATES VARIETY

I just have to say that in caps because I think it’s total bullshit that if I had gone to see a doctor in the Bay Area, I’d have shelled out about double that amount for just the medication. The medical situation in the US is so wrong, so, so, so wrong, but church preaching to the choir here, I know, I’ll move on.

The good doctor was like a soothsayer. I did what he told me to and voila. As clear as clear can be.

Take that, oh bloated US medical system with it’s overpriced insurance and take that, cancer!

Viva la farmacia!

 

I dig being at Tecolote. The same beach in Baja, different year.

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I dig looking at these pictures of Micah and Moxie from 2 years ago

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Moxie was a year and a half and we had no idea then that 2 years later, she’d be the one leading Micah all over the place:

IMG_5336 IMG_5338 IMG_5337 IMG_5334If you are a parent of a child with Down syndrome – especially a new parent – all I can say is: CHILL OUT. Everything that seems like SUCH AN ENORMOUS DEAL right now is likely to fall neatly in the “what was I worried about?” folder that we file away silly worries that we once had about our kids. Like, ‘is Johnny going to get teeth?’ – yes, Johnny is going to get teeth; ‘will this kid learn to communicate?’ – yes, that kid is going to learn to communicate (- maybe on his/her own timeline though! gotta keep you on your toes, right?!).

On that note, I dig this old photo of me and my girl:

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Here’s another one – totally a selfie – I have to remember to take more of them though because I’m forgetting to, and we all read that post about keeping mom in the picture, right?

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I dig this old one of Mikey, even though he looks kind of pissed off in it.

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Here’s another one that he looks a little happier in. Sort of.

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Oh, but wait – here’s one from NOW in which he DEFINITELY looks happier.

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I dig it.

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I think they do too.

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More random digs:

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PS

No children were harmed in the making of this post

PS2

More info on Tecolote, see yesterday’s post and check out the Church book that is in the sidebar box, “books we are reading now”

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Tecolote’s the biggest,baddest, freest, awesomest beach this side of La Paz. It’s huge, stretching a brisk forty minute walk in the sand to get from one side to the other. And I walk fast.

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The first time we went to Tecolote was in January 2011.

2 year old Micah begins his career as a beach enthusiast at Tecolote
2 year old Micah begins his career as a beach enthusiast at Tecolote

We had flown in to Cabo San Lucas (remember all that?), took the bus to La Paz, then took the bus to Tecolote.

lil' Moxie-kins was all of 6 months old
lil’ Moxie-kins was all of 6 months old

DSCF5797We had nothing in which we could camp, so we had to just make the day trip, arriving at something like 11 and leaving when the bus came back at 5pm.

the bus driver
the bus driver

During that time, Micah was running around like a kid wired with the energizer bunny’s batteries and Moxie was rolling around in the sand, doing her thing.

The second time we went, we camped. That was in January 2012. We loved it. We were careful about the broken glass (of which there is a fair amount) – everyone needs to, especially if there are tender little feet you have a responsibility to keep safe.

our camp in 2012
our camp in 2012
camp princess
camp princess

reading.

I give Tecolote credit for building little Moxie’s leg muscles so that she was walking well before she was two. Digging around in the sand and trying to get up those dunes…oh yeah. That was a workout.

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And I like to think that placing your children in a cradle of beauty is doing something for their soul too. Working those muscles.

IMG_1244 IMG_1247 IMG_1242 IMG_1240 IMG_1268These are all iphone photos, by the way – I apologize for the blurriness and crappy quality – but you get the gist of what I’m trying to say here, right? Tecolote is gorgeous.

It’s a happy-making space, and all of us were once happy there, and happy once more to be back.

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We were happy in more ways that one. We were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over budget. It was wonderful to slip on along the sides of the beach, park our truck Myrtle and know that we wouldn’t be paying for anything for the next few days, because Tecolote is completely and totally FREE. Free! Nobody coming around to “collect”, no fees for anything, just straight up and out, FREE.

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Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!!! Right? And can anyone tell me why the spectacular Tecolote is free while duds like some of the beaches around Bahia Concepcion actually cost? 

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Beats me.

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More Info:

  • There are flat spaces for camping around Tecolote so pretty much any type of rig can access it. The bigger bus-types and RV’s stay closer to the road, on flatter and harder surfaces while the all-terrain types and trucks go on the dunes.
  • There are no services. You have to bring your own toilet facilities (we brought our porta-potty). I think you can buy a shower at one of the restaurants – we didn’t – we used our sun-shower thing. There are also no food vendors. At all. Nor are there any small markets or places nearby in which to pick up supplies, so come prepared! There are a few restaurants though and a bar. We went to the restaurant only once, the first time we were there – we thought it was expensive so we never went again. But you know… we have a pretty tight budget – you might think it’s super cheap!
  • The wind can get fierce at Tecolote so it’s wise to camp behind the dunes if you are in a tent or light camper – and use really long stakes.
  • The bus that goes to and from La Paz leaves and arrives infrequently. It’s possible to bike there – it’s about 18 miles from La Paz.
  • Bring a boogie board! DSC_0912

 

Superman in 2012

Superman in 2012

...and back in 2014!
…and back in 2014!
There he was again, 2012
There he was again, 2012
and - KABAM! - in 2014!
and – KABAM! – in 2014!

The fine citizens of the Tecolote Beach rejoiced as their hero returned after a long sojourn.

“Hooray!” they exclaimed, cheering him on his mighty way, powerfully treading the sand dunes, “YOU ARE BACK!!”

Our young hero put his strong hands on his hips, fixed his audience with a steady and steely gaze as he thrust his massive shoulders back and into the wind. Thus prepared for action, he did what all true superheroes must do at one point or another:

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