Friday, March 27, 2015

Northbound to Loreto

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When Hans, Ursula, and I had decided to caravan back up the Baja together, we initially thought we’d skip Loreto and just head right for the Bahía de Concepción.  But with a couple of rare days of rain predicted further north, we decided it’d be best to wait out the weather in Loreto.  The town welcomed us home with an amazing sunset and more!

We took our time hooking up our yellow toys to our Views, and left sunny La Paz by mid-morning for the easy 200 mile drive to Loreto.

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Our drive was pleasant and uneventful.  Nothing but 1,000 more miles of narrow, shoulder-less 2-lane highway between La Paz and the US border!

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The biggest town along the way, Ciudad Constitución, still had its “100 stop signs,” and we had a lovely lunch in our RVs while parked next to a few semi-trucks in a dusty dirt parking lot next to a Pemex.  Just so you don’t think Baja life is always fun and glamorous!

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The last half of our drive brought us back to the La Giganta mountains.

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With a few mountain curves, hills, and valleys to spice up the drive. it was time to pull out the cameras and take pictures of each others’ rigs!

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Finally up and over the last hill, we were back to the wonderful Sea of Cortez.

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Soon we were rolling into the driveway at Rivera del Mar RV Park.  Home, sweet home, again!

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I had traded my Swiss MAN overlander neighbors in La Paz… for another MAN Overlander in Loreto!  This time, surprisingly, a British version.

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Kinda interesting that the View is the same width and height as a MAN with almost the same ground clearance!  We might not have 4WD and be able to cross remote rivers, but hey, we can go faster than 45 mph and have twice the living space and creature comforts when parked!

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Another big surprise at Rivera del Mar, was seeing 2 giant Class A’s squeezed into this cozy neighborhood park.  I can’t imagine how they managed to drive these 40’ beasts down the narrow Highway 1, but the hood ornament on the Winnebago kinda says it all (as did their overly loud, overly intoxicated happy hour).  All the rest of us quiet little camper vans and Class C’s were kinda glad to see them pull out and head south the next day!

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After getting parked and set up on our first night, Hans, Ursula and I headed down to the plazuela for dinner.  Wood-fired pizzas for a change!  They weren’t quite as good as the U.S., but bonus points for the outdoor oven!

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The next day, we returned to the plazuela to take pictures of the lovely Posada de Las Flores hotel and spa.  Seems like a pretty great value with rooms starting at US$90/night.  The checkerboard roof of the lobby is quite unusual—there’s actually a shallow pool of some sorts on the roof that has a clear bottom allowing natural light to shine through the shimmering water and down into the lobby!

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If $90 a night still seems a bit too pricey, we also discovered Loreto’s Hostal a block away off the main plaza with rooms starting at just US$28 a night!  The caretaker invited us to come in and take a look at the rooms (which were a variety of doubles, 2 twins, and even a suite).  All had their own bathrooms, with a shared kitchen and common area. No spartan dormitory housing here!

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As we wandered back to the plaza, we noticed it filled with many more gringos than usual.  More street vendors as well.  What could be going on?  Expert sailors, Hans and Ursula, figured it out instantly—cruise ship passengers!  Really?  In Loreto?  We walked down the promenade towards the malecon to be absolutely sure…

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And there it was… a monster-sized Princess cruise ship with a half-dozen red pod boats shuttling dozens of passengers between the marina and the ship! 

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There they go, hauling their day’s purchases back to the boat.  But not before puffing one final cigarette and snapping one more photo with the iPad!

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The Loreto vendors were certainly pleased with the temporary deluge of shoppers, but with so many things still unsold, it didn’t take Ursula long to use a bargaining trick she had learned in the Caribbean—“what’s your best price for us non-cruise ship people?”  “You don’t want to have to pack all that up and carry it home, do you?” Amazingly, the initial price would melt down to less than half the original price!  Ursula got a great deal on one of these gorgeous painted wood bowls.

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We browsed around a few more shops but decided against loading up our Winnies with any big blankets or giant sequined sombreros.  I think Hans was slightly tempted by the sombreros though Smile


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The next few days were cloudy and dreary.  Good for staying home to do laundry and rest up for the 800 more miles north.  One afternoon, in between rain showers, we walked over to the marina to check out the action.  Not many humans mulling about, but there were quite a few birds diving for their dinners.  At first, I thought they were pelicans…

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but the shape was not quite right.  No giant bills, and different shaped wings…

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Well, here’s a clue.. look at the feet.   It was a group of Blue-footed boobies!

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They were fishing for dinner along with the brown pelicans.  Curiously, the pelicans would sit in the water watching the boobies fly around.  As soon as the boobies dove, the pelicans would fly over to that spot and try to snatch the fish from the boobies.  Guess they were just getting back at all those frigate birds who normally steal fish from the pelicans!

Well, so long you “pirate” pelicans, friendly locals, Chihuahua guard dogs, historic missions, and lovely arched Indian Laurel trees.  Hasta Luego, Loreto, until we meet again!

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5 comments:

  1. Looks like Loreto welcomed you back with open arms. Splendid photos today.

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  2. I always enjoy these blogs, Lynne. Thank you, once again, for taking me down roads I probably would not have gone on. This has been very entertaining. BTW, I hope all is well with Millie.
    Jane

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  3. I always enjoy these blogs, Lynne. Thank you, once again, for taking me down roads I probably would not have gone on. This has been very entertaining. BTW, I hope all is well with Millie.
    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have 2 sets of friends who live in Loreto and they truely love it. Love all the photos and I want some of those painted bowls.

    ReplyDelete

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