Saturday, 15 September 2012

Day 70: Loreto to La Paz, Mexico

Buenos noches senors y senoras (senoritas?)
Tonight we will make like tourists. It is Mexico Independence Day tomorrow so we will be leaving the road to the celebrants, of whom we understand will be many. Many of those driving will have had a couple. Of cases. Before desayuno. You get the pitcher. :-)
It was another day of contrasts today. The back entrance of the hotel was blocked by parked cars so I wheeled Ebony through the front foyer and down the hotel steps onto the street. It was actually much easier. I then went for a walk with the camera and did some random snapping.

We had breakfast and were on the road a bit after 9am. Quite civilised really. The first bit of the road along the coast was great. It would seem very much like a failing resort area with lots of huge flash resort hotels slowly falling to pieces. Also a RV park crammed with dusty RVs and boats waiting for the owners to fly down next summer. I understand that the Baja tourist trade is suffering badly at this time partly from the recession but also because the lawlessness on the mainland is frightening people away from Mexico generally.
We then entered a superb mountain pass near Huatamote which was just fantastic. Very steep and very twisty, I dealt to the rough edges on those new tyres. :-) The road was then pretty straight all the way to Villa Insurgentes where we stopped for a coffee and a pee. It began to rain gently here so we packed up pretty quickly and headed on.
We then embarked on the most extraordinary 80kms of dead straight road through Villa Constitucion to Saint Rita. I wonder who Saint Rita was? I know several Ritas but none of them are very saint-like. It was hot and it was long and I didn't take any photos but it was ok. It was almost raining the whole way through and the road was quite wet with fords or puddles across the road. I misjudged my timing on one huge puddle and arrived at exactly the same time as a truck going the other way. I was given a good spray and could hear the driver chuckling all the way back to Tijuana!
Interesting again with bridges. I still don't get this. On the northbound lane a bridge with six spans. On the southbound lane (ours) a series of six fords all of them dry but ... whoops .... one not so dry! Also a bridge called "Puente Los Cojones" which I think has to mean testicles bridge. Please correct me if I am wrong. If I am right, my mind is boggling. Boggle boggle boggle.
Along the way we stopped at a cafe for a coke and a chat to Christina, a teacher and her friend who was very pregnant. They wanted us to suggest names for the baby boy but we were a bit hesitant to do so in case they took our suggestion. Somehow Kenneth Mendoza didn't quite sound right. Kiwi checked them out. Seemed ok. (I don't think her t-shirt has anything to do with our ERO! )

Kiwi also checked out the turtle shell.

Those are Christina's diplomas behind.
Getting close to La Paz my petrol situation was getting pretty tricky. Ebony had counted down to zero and then run another 20kms before a petrol station appeared. She took 20.1 litres which must be the most I have ever put in. Muy seco!
We cruised into La Paz in the heat with thunderstorms threatening and booked into a hotel with air con AND a swimming pool. :-)

and a view. And then the thunderstorms came.

I went for a walk to see the sights and I saw them. This was good - on a cafe wall. Very Iain and Frank.

And this one for the carne-lovers and home economics teachers.

And just when you thought you were in another country.

We had to go in for a beer so we went in for a beer. And some plates of nachos and stuff. I then went to find a bank with an ATM. The first one I found had a young woman inside the cubicle weeping and punching the machine in frustration and saying rude words in espanol. Apparently it had eaten her card and wasn't giving it back. I gave that one a miss and walked on for the next. (this is in danger of becoming a three little pigs story.)
At the next bank it accepted my card, agreed to give me the money and then said it could only give me 50 peso notes and was that ok. I said si. So then it said it could only give me 50 peso notes and was that ok. I said si again. So then it said it could only give me 50 peso notes and was that ok. I said no. So then it said it could only give me 50 peso notes and was that ok and I said cancel and went to the next bank. Which worked perfectly so there you go. What you call withdrawal symptoms.
We have now been out for dinner and a check on the local populace. Things are ahumming. The cervesas are being drinken. I understand that at midnight the current President reads out the original speech made as the declaration of war on Spain in 1810. People then begin to celebrate and basically keep on celebrating until Tuesday. Water pistols are popular. The fireworks have begun already.
I think I may go to bed.
Today's run: 358kms
Cumulative: 20,539kms
Tipovers: 2

Ps here is a photo of one of my grandsons. He's the one on the right.

Location:La Paz, Baha California Sur, Mexico

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