Sunday, March 30, 2014

Los Barriles - week 4, March 22 -30

A yummy wrap with mango sauce

Seriously?! I cannot even believe we have already been here for four weeks and in Mexico for almost two months, wow! This has been a very busy week, indeed...we started off last Saturday with a trip into San Jose del Cabo to visit the Mercado Organico - it was fabulous. Not only did they have a fantastic assortment of beautiful, organic fruits and vegetables, but wonderful artisan wares and food that we could eat! I scored a cool bracelet out of some recycled leather and a yummy salsa, in addition to many bags of vegies.
COSTCO bathroom sign:
First time in 2 months we've been told to do this!!

We drove into Cabo for a Costco run and Bill wanted to get a drink on the beach and see the action. We found free valet parking at The Office so that's where we went. We started off with their special house margaritas - and I must say, they were the best I've ever had. We ordered a meal to share and then Bill spied our favorite tequila in their liquor cabinet - this was our first sighting of the Clas Azul that we found in Palm Desert several years ago and love.

if you look to the back all that light blue is the ocean and the tables are on the sand

When we ordered the Clas Azul shots (on the left, below) - it was brought out with the Sangrita (2nd from left) - this is called a Mexican margarita, which we learned about from our Austin hasher friend Smeg - truly delicious, and they make their own Sangrita here.

Bill's own special place!

Love these ladies...actually I love all of the color in Mexico, one of my favorite things!

And of course, that was just Saturday! Sunday we had plans to drive to Pescadero - no more trying to do this shit in just one day. I had purchased a pair of yoga pants at an event here in Los Barriles that needed exchanging, and the girl who sells them is in Pescadero, and has a booth at the Sunday farmers market at Baja Beans. I have been wanting to go to Baja Beans since my friend, Pat moved here and wrote about it - and boy is Sunday the happening day here! Quite a few of the merchants from the San Jose mercado were here plus a bunch more - not as much fruit and vegies, but definitely adequate. The sky was breathtakingly beautiful, as you can see from this pic. Pat showed us around and introduced us to a lot of her friends - it was really lovely and the coffee was excellent!

We then went to the Hortaliza Hierbabuena for lunch. Just around the corner from Baja Beans, this is an amazing organic restaurant in the back of a huge garden, which is used to prepare your meal. There is some meat served here, but there were vegan options, or you can just request to have something made up for you. We met more of Pat's friends here, including Dave & Janet, from Portland, who are building a house close by, and Burt and Susan, of the Gypsy Carpenter's, who we've heard a lot about. The food was spectacular, although the Chard Enchilada sin queso came out with pollo sin queso that I didn't even realize until Bill ate the 2nd half!

Bill must have made another witty comment!
And look at this table, beautiful iron work underneath and the top is fabulous!

And this was all just on Sunday!! Monday we invited our friend, Jim, from San Rafael, over for dinner. Bill made his grilled poblanos stuffed with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and some fabulous roasted vegies in a chipotle enchilada sauce - can I just say MOUTHGASM?!!! We had fun sitting out on the tiki bar and it brought back fond memories for Jim who stayed here long, long ago. He has owned his house in Los Barriles for twenty years and goes back and forth frequently. He is an avid kite-boarder and is super fun to hang out with!
Bill's first selfie!

Jim's casa with a beautiful view of the Sea of Cortez

Tuesday night the three of us went to the movie night at the East Cape RV park - it's a monthly fundraiser to support the East Cape Recycling Center, here in the cape. This is definitely something I am going to get involved with. We saw the Dallas Buyers Club under the stars - excellent movie. Wednesday night we hit up open-mic night again at the Roadrunner cafe, with Jim in tow - and ended up at Vagos bar, playing pool again. Thursday Jim left and we chilled... Bill snapped these pics of Jim and his house before he left. I am happily to report that I was at yoga - I FINALLY found the beautiful Sukhasana studio at the Healing Winds Holistic Center and am happy as a clam! I actually went three times this week, once to the last Kundalini yoga class of the season - this was super special.

Friday Bill, ONCE AGAIN, outdid himself and made these vegan jalapeño poppers, stuffed with - you guessed it - roasted garlic mashed potatoes - for the weekly Bocce Ball tourney and they were gone in an instant!

Saturday found us at the last city market day in Los Barriles - not really a farmer's market, not really much of anything but I wanted Bill to see it - we did finally get to the Raw Goddess cafe and had a super yummy breakfast.

And after all of that we wandered over to an open house....maybe a very big mistake, but we'll keep you posted!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

traveling thoughts...

I am so very well suited to this lifestyle that we lead. It's actually been quite a surprise to me. We originally started on this venture because Bill was ready to retire, but still had 2 more years left to work before he could get social security. This was a way to change things up a bit - and because the work we do is all on the computer, it was an easy transition. Everyone we meet on the road does things a bit differently. Some love boondocking all of the time, with nothing but nature around you and not a soul in sight. Some love being in the middle of cities and being able to hit all the hot spots while stealth street camping. We love to be in small towns where we can ride our bikes around and get to know the place and the people quickly. We do love to boondock, but the fact that we are sorely lacking in solar power makes this a limited venture and a bit painful because we have to run our generator, which I really hate doing. I don't mind being in a campground at all - I like to have some space to spread out and I appreciate considerate neighbors, but I really like waking up in the morning and hearing the campground buzz and come to life. I like to look out and see what our neighbors are up to; and I really like the amenities a campground can provide.  We looked upon this venture as a place to find that one destination we'd like to "settle down" in - plant some roots, and more importantly, a garden. But every time I think I've found that spot I think about all of the other places I enjoy traveling to; how nice it is to move around with the seasons, to see friends we've met or re-kindled a friendship with, all over the country.

I think I have been conditioned to believe that we must have a particular "place" to call home, to own property; just like I was taught that your life included marriage and a family. I never thought the latter was for me, but around 25 years old that's all I could think about, and eventually married a man that I thought would "fit" into my family and live the life with me that my parents had. Boy oh boy, did I get just that!! Silly me, I really had no desire to "fit" anywhere and if there was anything I didn't want, it was the life my parents had, especially their type of relationship. It took twenty years of living in misery and a whole lot of therapy to get where I am today. To try and be the me that I want to be and live the life that feels good and right to me. My parents are thrilled to see me so happy, but they don't really understand what we're doing. And you know what? I am ok with that.

With that said, we are off to go to an open house down the street and we're seriously looking at the Pescadero area as well - who knows what we'll do or where we'll end up, what I do know is that we'll have fun getting there, that's for sure!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Los Barriles...week 3

How the time does fly....this was a big week, starting with my daughter's sentencing. We had been waiting for this day since last July and there have been enough trial dates and meetings between the DA and Lauryn's attorney to know what was going to happen, but actually knowing that she was going to jail on that day made it as real as it can get. I spoke to her on the phone before she went to court and she sounded very strong and ready to accept her punishment. She still had to plead guilty to many felony counts and have that on her record, but with the six+ months she's been in rehab and the time she served last July the judge sentenced her to serve half of her remaining sentence of three months in the county jail, as opposed to a year or more in prison. There is a chance that this sentence could also be shortened, but we won't know that until May. I am hoping she will have access to AA meetings and keep herself strong with her reading and meditation, but I know it will be a challenge. She was able to sign up for "school" and attends a drug abuse class from 8-11, Monday through Friday. For every 15 hours she is in school she can earn a day off of her sentence. Her dad has been by her side throughout all of this and continues to call, visit and show up in every possible way. I think this support over the last 6 months has helped her "recover" more than anything else. We are all just praying she can maintain where she is at with her rehab, and continue to mature and grow. Part of the reason I chose to be in Baja during this time was so that I could remove myself somewhat from the situation. Lauryn and I are extremely close and although it is killing me to not be in touch with her by phone right now, I think it's best for her growth and my sanity. I have tried for weeks now to figure out a way to get her collect calls from jail, but the internet is just too slow down here to make anything work. My ex bought me an ATT "Go" phone that my friend, Laurie, is going to bring down here the first week in April and I am hoping that I can forward the google voice call to that phone and the cell service on the phone will work better than just through the internet, but that all remains to be seen. I have sent letters to her through emails to my mom and whenever someone leaves Baja for the US I send mail with them too. I was also able to send her stuff through But a huge part of my day has been involved with this.

We started the day with a green rum smoothie!

In the meantime it was also St. Patrick's Day and who knew, but down here in Los Barriles it's kind of a big deal! The little bar down the block from us - Smokeys, had two bands starting mid-afternoon and going all night. They set up a flat-bed truck in the street (taking up one of the two lanes) and  by the time the sun went down there was dancing in the street and anywhere there was room.

Before it got all crazy....the next time you see Bill he may be wearing a big-ass cowboy hat like the dude in the band!
And the best thing that happened that night was that we met Jim! Yes, another Jim, this one hails from San Rafael. He sat next to us at the bar and we've been enjoying each other's company ever since. Sadly, he leaves on Thursday but he's owned a house here for 20 years, is retired and flies back and forth all winter, so we're sure to see him again.

Wednesday was open-mic night at the Roadrunner Cafe and we finally made it over there. A lot of the guys who played in the bands on St. Patty's day showed up, with a scattering of others - it was a fun night, made especially so when we headed over to the Vagos Bar, after the music, for some pool-playing and dancing. Bill has been fixing up the pool cues that were in poor shape, bringing a couple home at a time, replacing the tips, sanding them down and fixing whatever else was needed. The owner keeps asking what he can do for Bill - we've been invited for lunch, now...we'll see if there is anything we can eat.

At the end of the week Bill and I finally broke down and got ourselves a $35, hour long massage and boy was it worth every penny, and then some. I think next week we'll try some of the other spas in town just to see who we like best! And then the week ended with another campground Bocce Ball tournament...we're having fun!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Los Barriles - 2nd week

Well Señor Montezuma finally caught up with was at that lovely spot on our last blog post where we had some great fish tacos at a little roadside stand. I looked at the lettuce before I put it on the taco and said, "hmmm...wonder if I should be doing this..." the answer was NO, you should not! The next day we had plans to rent atv's with new friends, Jim and Julie - half way into it, I was not feeling so good and had Bill drop me off at our campground. I ended up getting the chills and feeling really awful, by the time Bill got home a few hours later, he wasn't feeling so good either. Here are a few pics from the day
Jim and Julie

This is the aquifer where all the water for Los Barriles comes from.

Girls were taking a turn at the wheel

So we were "down for the count" for a few days - I recovered a bit quicker than Bill and I actually got quite a bit of work done that week. Friday we decided to join the campground Bocce Ball game - everyone brings appetizers and hangs out for about an hour before we pick sides by choosing from a deck of cards - reds on one team, blacks on the other, there must have been at least 20-30 of us. They have amassed quite a few bocce balls and the only rule is that you must hold your drink while playing! We had a great time and met lots of people.

On Saturday we made the trek down to San Jose del Cabo to check out the only rv supply store in Baja Sur, maybe in all of Baja, I don't know. We were hoping to see if they had either some rv batteries or a water pump. We've been having problems with both, but they had nothing there. At this point I think we're just going to wait until we get back to the states and go to Yuma where we originally bought the batteries and get a credit. And who knows what is going on with our water pump... We stopped at a cute place in Cabo for lunch that was similar to a Chipotle, but once you picked out everything you wanted they grilled it all up fresh for you - it was super yummy! Then we traveled all the way around the cape and up to Pescadero and Todos Santos. We found Pat's rv park and surprised her with a quick visit on our way to the health food store in Todos Santos.

and look what we stumbled upon in Todos Santos!

It was a long day of driving all the way around the cape but I'm so glad we got over to see Pat. We did decide to stay put in Los Barriles until our friends, Daniel and Laurie, get here at the beginning of April.

We made plans with Jim and Julie to go to the Bayview Restaurant at the Las Palmas de Cortez Hotel the night before they were leaving. We had eaten lunch there the week before and loved it and they hadn't seen the beautiful hotel. We met for drinks first at the tiki bar at our campground and watched the whales playing in the surf and the rays jumping. We were sad to say goodbye to our new friends, but know we will see them on the road again, somewhere!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Los Barriles

I think we were both prepared to not like it here, from what everyone had been telling us on the way down, but we came down to get our deposit back and stay two days to see what's what. Then we stayed another two days and I'll go in this morning and extend to a week. First off, the weather is glorious, we have a little bit of wind, but nothing that bad, and the campground is great and full of friendly people. We've met two from South Lake Tahoe and a fellow burner as well. And as luck would have it we also got to meet fellow full-timers and blog readers, Jim and Julie, from an Imperfect Destiny. Jim contacted me through my blog and we met up for beers the other night at the beautiful casa they are renting here. They left their "home" at his mother's house as he wasn't sure about driving it down here. I think he has been following our blog with real interest about our "drive." They are spending two and a half months traveling around Baja and are at the end of their journey and will head home in a week or so. We are planning to get together again today to rent some atvs and go check out the aquifer that our neighbor told us about.

Yesterday we went to the hot springs just past the town of Santiago - a really cute Mexican village. It was a half hour drive on the highway to the town and then another half hour drive to go eight miles in on washboard dirt roads; but it was absolutely beautiful. Because of all of the water in the area it was lush with green trees, bushes and lots of cacti starting to bloom.
The Entrance to Santiago

Santiago Town Square
Some funky art on the way to the hot springs

Beautiful Cordon Cactus in Bloom
As we were getting ready to leave for the hot springs yesterday, Dave approached us and asked if we were actually from Shingle Springs (where we purchased our Subie), and we told him that we were full-timers now but we used to live in Tahoe...and so it goes. He left Tahoe and moved to Hood River, where he lives about seven months of the year, four months here in the campground, and about another month traveling. Sounds like a plan I'd like to follow!! He asked about our interests, and told us about the Friday hiking club here. He also gave us some valuable information about the hot springs, most importantly, that there are quite a few of them. He also told us about hiking up to the aquifer that we're going to check out today.

We finally made it to the hot springs, which really weren't that hot, but they were a wonderful temperature, with water leaking out of the veins in the rock everywhere. We were told that if we kept hiking through some very large boulders about half an hour away was another pool and a waterfall. We must come back when we're suitably attired. In the meantime we set up our chairs, snacks and books, and had a lazy couple of hours. The water was swarming with little fish, and when you were in the water they came up and nibbled on you everywhere, tons of them - it was quite a feeling, very ticklish! We were the first ones there that day and it seems that everyone that arrived after us, had never been there before either, so it was fun to watch them freak out when the fish started attacking!  
I'm sitting on the bottom here - at it's deepest it was about 4 feet.

There are two towers for the internet here, but they only work if you are right by them. One is at the office, which is pretty far from us, and one is at the hotel, close to the beach and pretty close to us. The hotel tower was down for a few days when we arrived, but now we get a little bit from that. Bill put our big antenna up today and with my phone in the booster, attached to the antenna, we're getting a little bit more, but not much. To send an email I have to click on send about four times and writing this blog is becoming very, very frustrating. But, with that said, we just paid up through Saturday. I had hoped we could stay another week, but I just can't make it with the internet, and I have a March 15th tax deadline coming up. So the plan, today, is to drive over to Pescadero on Saturday and go look at the two rv parks, one there and one in Todos Santos. Hopefully at that point we can stay put for a month or so!

In addition to the people friends we've made, Bill, as usual, has been adopted by our neighbor's dog, Rider. He's a cutie and waits for Bill at the doorstep in the morning - he seems to know exactly when Bill is up and moving around!

Our neighbors have a nice set up with two fishing rod holders in each of their kayaks.
We stopped at a little roadside stand for beers and super spicy tomatilla salsa!
And indulged in some fish tacos, a la plancha (grilled)!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

From Los Barriles to Todos Santos or Pescadero??

La Paz blog coming soon but right now, I'm very torn...originally we were supposed to spend a month here in Los Barriles and a month in the Todos Santos/Pescadero area. Nope, scratch that - ORIGINALLY we were going to spend two months in Todos Santos or El Pescadero. Then I remembered all the rave reviews from our Tahoe neighbors about Los Barriles, when we were having our many garage sales, before we moved into our rv. So then we thought we'd spend a month in each area. THEN, people we've met down here started warning us about the wind and we got a little concerned because I am not a fan - it totally wreaks havoc with my allergies. We really aren't wind-surfers or kite-boarders and that's kind of what this whole area is about, but the allure of a small, old time Mexican town was strong. I found an awesome rv park that boasted 50 amp hook-ups (almost unheard of in Baja), a heated pool and jacuzzi, and fabulous reviews. I contacted them immediately and booked a month, and gave them a deposit of $100 to secure my spot, which was the last one they had. A week ago I received an email from the woman I had been dealing with at the rv park and she informed me that space was no longer available as one of the current tenants didn't want to leave, but if I wanted to come to Los Barriles and pick up my $100, she would be happy to return it! Well, I wasn't too upset about this because I had already been having second thoughts and there were a few other rv parks there that had pretty good reviews - one in particular was recommended to us over beers at Jungla Jims in Mulegé. So after some fun in La Paz, we came to Los Barriles and found a great spot at Martín Verdugo's Beach Resort, right on the beach. It was almost half the price as East Cape and had a really funky ambiance that we preferred. We paid for two days and we're definitely staying at least another day or two. We have a beer date with a blog reader that we're really looking forward to and we're going to try to find the hot springs that are nearby. We also found a small natural foods grocery here - The Blue Wave, and they're getting a big shipment today so we want to be around for that!

Cows, goats and horses mill about town - there are "grates" and cow-paddies everywhere.
Here is a calf nursing!

All kinds of toys ridden around town here.

At the beautiful Palmas de Cortez Hotel

So the dilemma now is where to go from here. We have two good choices, and I just can't decide. Pescadero is where my friend Pat lives. There is a little rv park that is very inexpensive, but the site is small and only has 15 amps electricity. Pescadero has a lot of charm, yoga and a great community vibe. I think it might have better beach access, but I don't know this for sure. Todos Santos has been described to me as an artsy town, much like Carmel. Well, I love artsy towns, but not too fond of the "vibe" of Carmel, if you know what I mean. But this rv park sounds really awesome - it has 30 amp hook-ups (which means we can use at least one air conditioner), a pool, a site that just may include a palapa, outdoor kitchen and bathroom. It's a small park that is comprised of mostly permanent, individually owned sites. I believe they may have a hotel and restaurant there, as well, and it is walking distance to town. Todos Santos also has yoga, a vegetarian restaurant and health food store, along with a myriad of other stores and galleries. So I'm torn. I do not have a deposit down at either place but have spoken extensively to both owners over the last few months, more so to the Todos Santos owner, though, who originally promised me the site, then wrote and told me it wasn't available unless I could arrive later. So it's now later and I'm trying to decide what to do...stay posted, or share your thoughts!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Baja Ramblings...

The Transpeninsular Highway
I am ever so thrilled to be traveling the Baja peninsula. The landscape is very different than I imagined. The peninsula is mostly desert, with an abundance of cacti, bordered by endless miles of blue water, the ocean to the west and the sea to the east. There is basically only one way down and one way up, the Mexican 1 Transpeninsular Highway. Another surprise to me was how well it is paved and how much work is constantly being done on the highway. Granted the roads are extremely narrow, with little to no shoulder, but most are freshly paved.  We have had a few detours, here and there, where we traveled a mile on a dirt road because of the repaving, but the amount of money they spend on infrastructure was quite a shock to me.  Unfortunately, Bill says, it still is the worst driving he has ever had to endure and it’s really taking its toll on him. He compares driving here to his worst day ever driving in the states – but here it’s constant. The narrowness of the roads coupled with the big trucks whizzing by and even passing you, is really what bothers him the most. Yesterday was the first day we drove any distance on a Sunday, and even though it was through the mountains, it was noticeably easier on him, because of the lack of truckers. We’re going to try to plan so that the majority of our driving is on a Sunday, if at all possible.

The other interesting thing about traveling through Baja is that the road is constantly shifting from east to west and back again. There are a couple of side trips you can take off of the main highway and lots of dirt roads, if you have a vehicle that can handle that, but for the most part we are staying on the main highway.  Baja is separated into two states, Baja California to the north and Baja California Sur to the south; the border is just north of Guerrero Negro.

Contrary to what we have been led to believe over the last few years, we have not seen any roaming bandits or false checkpoints. Every now and then we will come across a military checkpoint that is very official, and most of the time we have been waved right through. We’re sometimes asked where we are heading, where we came from, and how long we intend to be there. A couple of times the "federales" (police) will come on board and take a quick look around – seriously, that’s all they do. Once we had a young guy that opened our pantry door, but that was the extent of it. Not once have we been asked for our passport or visa, and everyone we have met has very been helpful.  That’s not to say that there is no theft here, because there is, and we had been told that in most places you shouldn't leave your stuff out at night or when you’re gone. Such was the case in Guerrero Negro when we got our chairs stolen during the night. Outside of Mulegé we met a couple who was traveling with some of the other Escapees, and they had a lot of stuff stolen in Guerrero Negro also, but at a different rv park. They contacted the police and miraculously they found everything, and got it back! While we were parked at the beach we heard stories of motorhomes being broken into and their computers and technology equipment stolen. They didn't bother with the chairs and kayaks outside, they just wanted the electronics. They broke into one motorhome through the screen of their open window and on another motorhome, who’s windows were locked, they pried open (and broke) the door to get inside. When we were leaving for the day Bill was going to close all of the windows and I said – leave them open, I’d rather replace a screen than a door! We ended up putting the extra cow-bells we had on all of our chairs too. This really isn't that much different from certain areas in the states.

We've been pretty lucky with the internet and cell service. We had none while we were camped at the beach and we’re in Los Barriles now and the campground WiFi is only available close to the office. Our Telcel internet on my phone and the aircard are not great here either. Bill’s T-mobile retina iPad is working like a champ, and in fact the only way I'm able to publish this blog is through using his iPad as a hotspot. Our arsenal now is my iPhone with a Mexican sim card in it for data and local phone calls; Bill has a cheapie Mexican cell phone with no data on it, our Telcel aircard and Bill’s T-mobile iPad. We have forwarded our calls from our American cell phones to our Google voice numbers, and that has worked out great for getting voice-mails, but actually using Google voice or Skype for calls hasn't exactly worked like I thought it would, because of the slowness of the internet. I called my daughter and my mother, one couldn't hear me at all, and the other said there was a loud buzzing sound.  I purchased a couple of international calling cards that you use at various Ladatel phone booths that are everywhere and I can call my family with those. This lowers the cost of those calls to fifty cents a minute.  It wouldn't work too well for calling my clients, though, as I usually need to be in front of my computer while talking to them. So far emails have been the main source of my communication with my clients, but this really isn't any different than when I am in the U.S.

I have a great Spanish translator app “iTranslate” that works great and when Bill goes out on his own he takes the iPhone and leaves me his phone in case he needs to do some quick translating. We both really want to take some language classes when we get to Todos Santos.

It’s hard to believe we will have been in Mexico a month on Wednesday, as the time has flown by. Bill is really looking forward to us stopping for a month and not moving when we get to Todos Santos. I hope our camping arrangements work out for that. Originally we were going to be stationary for two months, but we've chosen to stay longer than we had intended to, at a couple of places, one of the great things about our lifestyle.

I keep imaging a life of summers in Tahoe and winters in Baja, but Bill’s not so sure about driving Bebe down here again. He said maybe if we stopped around Mulegé and didn't go further south he could handle it. Or maybe we’ll get a place down here and get a small rv for the travels back and forth. Or maybe this will happen at some point in the future, who knows….but I do know that I absolutely love it here and would seriously consider making it our home. There have only been two other places that fall into that category for both of us, with Baja moving in to second place after Tahoe, for me.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Beach living...

We arrived at our friend Pat’s favorite beach and had no problem picking a spot for the two rigs a few feet from shore. It was a glorious afternoon and we quickly set up and made it out to the sand for happy hour. After a walk along the shore, meeting the other people camped here, we wandered over to Anna’s, a little restaurant about fifty feet behind us. There are actually two little café/bars right here on our beach, along with a dump station, pit toilets, and  cold showers for a small fee – all for 100 pesos a night (about $8).

We met Carlos, who, with his very good English, helps his mother, Anna, who does all the cooking and baking. He entertained us with his life story while we hung out. There were only two other people there when we arrived and after an hour or two, no one else had walked into the place. It was dark by the time we got back and we spent a little more time in our chairs stargazing before calling it a night.

We awoke to a cacophony of chatter from whence, I did not know! Once I got up and went outside I could see there were tons of seagulls squalking (this term is courtesy of Wikipedia), it seems that this is their mating season and they were at it in full force!

I began our first day here with a great yoga practice and then we blew up our rafts and floating cooler – filled it up with drinks and snacks and took off to explore the water. There were a couple of sailboats docked in the bay and we met Clay and Kelly, from one of them, when they came ashore the night before, but there was another one out there I wanted to check out. Once I got a bit from shore I took off my top to get rid of those bothersome tan lines. Clay and Kelly came out to say hi and they set off in their kayaks to go have a look at the sea lion that was frolicking about. Eventually there was movement on the other sailboat and I met Linda and Caleb. We chatted a bit and I invited them to join me for yoga in the morning on the beach, if they were so inclined. Linda hadn't been feeling well, but said she would think about it. We mentioned to all of the sailors that we were going into town the next day if they needed anything – or a ride.

Our second morning here began pretty much the same as the first, except that Linda did come ashore to join me for some yoga.  She is from New Mexico and was joining Caleb for a month on his journey south.  After yoga, Sini, Bob, Bill and I went exploring and took a hike to another bay around the corner from ours, where we found a whole other community of permanent residents who had built homes there in the middle of nowhere. We met Jim, who regaled us with tales of that side of the bay, of which, there were many - he'd been living there on and off for eighteen years with his wife and had just returned there for the first time after her death. Afterwards, we got ourselves together for a trip into town – we were picking up beer for Clay and Kelly, and Linda and Caleb bummed a ride in with us.
Street Art

Caleb has been here quite a few times and was a wealth of knowledge. When we drove into town he gave us a little history and some juicy gossip about the area.  He showed us where the bakery/internet café was, along with the launderia and where I could make inexpensive international phone calls. Bill and I got settled in at the internet café and registered online to get our Burning Man tickets, which were going on sale the following week. We also met a fellow burner, living here for the winter, who was doing the same thing. We spent some time on Facebook, checking our email and bought some fresh water, vegetables and then set out in search of Señor Geckos. It seems the guy who owns Señor Geckos used to run the café on the beach (now called Anna’s) for many years, but the woman own runs the campground decided she wanted Anna to run the café and didn't renew his lease. He moved on down the road and opened a very popular restaurant and bar. Because of this, the seasonal people here at the campground are now boycotting Anna’s. We found Señor Geckos on the way home and stopped for lunch and a beer – great bar full of expat’s, who were playing poker. He also has wifi and a cell signal which was very welcome.

We also found out that the gringos here have two "movie nights' a week - on Mondays and Thursdays and they are held at two different restaurants - Thursday nights are at an outdoor restaurant and we saw "Nebraska." Monday night was at an indoor restaurant and we saw "About Time" - both of these films were great. It was fun and gave us a little taste of the "ex-pat" lifestyle I could become VERY accustomed to.

I immediately felt that this was a spot I could spend some serious time at and wanted to hang out for awhile if I could make the work thing happen in town. I was pretty successful the first day we tried, so we decided to stay awhile. By this time we were having serious problems with our batteries and starting to have some water pump issues as well. Our batteries would not hold a charge and we needed to run our genie 2-3 times a day. We've done quite a bit of boondocking with friends, at Burning Man, and in the California desert, and I always feel badly that we need to run our generator as much as we have to, but Bill is super conscientious about maintaining the integrity of our batteries and if you boondock and don't have either a big battery bank or good solar it's just part of the deal. In the past, this hasn't been an issue for any of our friends but it seems we ran our genie at a bad time for our traveling partners and they were very upset with us, so that coupled with our different schedules made it easy for them to move on. I still feel really badly that things had to end the way they did, but at this point there is nothing we can do.

Friday night the bar on the beach had a party, complete with DJ and dancing - we had a blast and met more neighbors, including a couple of gals that got so plastered we had to "walk" them back to their rig.

Our three day stop turned easily into ten - going into town every other day or so for work, laundry or banking. I woke up every morning and had my coffee sitting at the shore, watching the sun rise, then it was either yoga or a run up the mountain, before starting our day. We became better friends with Carlos and John, a guy who's spending a couple of years here. John loaned us his kayaks and we had an awesome day on the water, afterwards we had John over for some of Bill's vegan chili, while watching the sunset. 

We did extend our stay long enough to go into town on Wednesday, February 26th, to try and buy Burning Man tickets online. John told us of another restaurant in town that had wifi and we thought there might not be as many people there to afford us a better wifi connection. We got there an hour before the tickets went on sale and it took us about 45 minutes, and working with the owners, to finally get a good enough signal and we were probably one of the last people to score tickets. We heard that they sold 38,000 tickets in just under 40 minutes. If you hadn't logged in before 12:01, you didn't get them. We were very, very lucky!!

We checked out some of the other local ex-pat hangouts, like Jungla Jims, and before you knew it, it was time to leave and continue our travels south. But I am sure, we will be back...
RAY's - The place for a celebratory meal, reservations recommended!

Super friendly folks hang out here!