August 12, 2009

Loreto to Cabo Pulmo

Our vacation is not proceeding smoothly, but rather in fits and starts. When we left Loreto 3 days ago I got the grunge from something I ate at lunch, I thought. In retrospect I believe that one of our houseguests who thought she had bad food had a 24-hour stomach bug and passed it on to me. In any event we stopped in Loreto for lunch at La Mision, a new luxury hotel there and were offered a terrific lunch buffet. I ate far more than I had intended to including lasagna; enchilada suiza; little strips of fajita meat; these delicious ground meat gorditas in a deep fried pastry which you topped with salsa, fresh chopped onions and cilantro; ceviche; and a wide selection of desserts including fruit, flan, buñuelos, various pastries and cakes. After stuffing ourselves we continued our journey, 4 hours south to La Paz.

I was so full from lunch, I began to think I was going to throw up before we would ever get to our destination. I just chalked it up to something bad in the lunch and way too many solid days of driving. By the time we got to our accommodation for the evening, Casa Tuscany, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and go to sleep. Our hosts, a delightful couple, Patricia and Ken Bonner (respectively from Australia and New Zealand) were quite chatty and I hoped I wouldn’t pitch it all in front of them before they showed us to our room 30 minutes later. I had no desire to go to our favorite restaurant, Las Virgenes. Fortunately our hosts had provided a very decent bottle of wine with the room and Esperando wasn’t hungry either. He sipped some wine and read while I cratered. In the morning I still hadn’t recovered, I felt better but now had diarrhea. Fortunately I recovered after a dose of Lomotil.

We ran a bunch of errands in La Paz, including retrieving a dresser drawer that had been repaired from shipping damage; trying to get a scuba tank filled (but without enough time); buying a few groceries at Walmart; and checking to see if a red enamel/stainless steel GE stove was still available at El Ferry (an appliance store) for Casa Abeja. I had seen the stove 5 months previously. At the time it was drastically marked down, I assumed because of its color. Esperando was sure it would be there, I was sure it wouldn’t and my jaw dropped to the floor to still find it, although without any price on it. Turns out someone had bought it, but returned it since one of the burners didn’t work. We told them we would be returning in a week and would buy it if they could get it fixed by then. This is Mexico, we’ll see if anything happens.

After that, we got back on the highway for Cabo Pulmo, which turned out to be 2 ½ hours distant. I had set up a 3-day stay for us at the delightful El Encanto de Cabo Pulmo, a private home comprised of a small main house, separate loft with balcony (where we stayed), and small casita. The house was designed by artist Diane Varney and every detail is beautifully finished and furnished Mexican style. She has planted an interesting garden of desert plants and many native trees which support the abundant bird life of several species of doves, cardinals, orioles, some small olive colored flittery birds and a desert lark. Cabo Pulmo itself is a national marine park, Parque Marino Nacional Cabo Pulmo, noted for great diving. It has the only coral reef system in the Sea of Cortez. Interestingly most of the tourists we’ve encountered here are Italians.

After lunch yesterday, Esperando caught ‘the grunge’ and fell ill. This morning he was feeling not 100%, but in the way of men went off on his dive anyway. Turns out the first two dives were good, but Esperando was too ill to make the last one.

Cabo Pulmo is an unusual place. We think the population must be about 200 with quite a few Mexican families. It has very little in the way of a grocery store, 4 restaurants, 5 dive shops, a host of beautiful gringo homes running on solar cells and well water. Although quite isolated it still manages to generate a cacophony of noise Mexican-style—generators humming, roosters crowing, peacocks mewing, birds chirping, children screaming, metal pans clanging, trucks rattling by, car alarms screeching, cars honking, cars revving by some with radios blaring, dogs barking, horses neighing, hammers tapping, electric saws roaring, and workmen constructing new homes hollering at one another—because of its small size every noise takes on a life of its own and rivets attention during its broadcast.

We have been eating at El Caballero. The meals are simple but tasty and the young waiter makes a truly great Margarita. Tonite we took the steak we had planned to bbq, but lacking the means for doing so they prepared it for us. Medium rare turned out to be pretty much well done, but still it was tasty.

The daytime temperature has been about 95F (although we think it topped 100F today) and since the generator is down we have no air conditioning. Other than living in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez, taking a shower every couple of hours is the only way to cool down for a few minutes. Fortunately there is a fairly steady breeze after about 10 am (I say that as I sit here dripping prespiration in the shade). Our bedroom has a ceiling fan directly over the bed—and mosquito netting. I have already sacrificed a good portion of my ankles and legs for mosquito nourishment—they must be Aztec mosquitoes as they are quite a bloodthirsty lot. At night all the stars in the heavens and the Milky Way light up the night sky and are visible from our fine balcony location. We started out saying this place is way too remote, we could visit here, but we could never live here, but now we have added Diane Varney’s lovely home to the list of places we would buy to retire to—but just for 4 months every year—and not in hot August.

No comments: