April 6, 2010

How I spent my Easter Vacation

Esperando and I just got back from a 4-day fling to celebrate Semana Santa. This holiday is to Mexicans here in Baja what the 4th of July is like for USA folk: a holiday with beaches and partying, it's a true spring break. The Mexicans crowd the beaches to camp and just before they arrive all the remaining gringo snowbirds in trailers flee. We crammed in as much as we could in four days. First we drove to Playa Santa Inez to see how our favorite beach fared. It was still mostly empty. Where our truck was parked a lot of big ugly beetles had aggregated to feed and mate. They were scary looking even though they showed no interest in us. I never could find them on the internet.

These ugly beetles were about an inch long with red heads.

We continued on to La Serenidad Hotel in Mulege because we wanted to eat dinner again at Ray’s Place; it is always so welcoming and magical. After another swell dinner we drove back to our hotel. It was vastly under occupied with about five big Mexican families and just us. The children were relatively well behaved and it was very quiet at night. We were pleasantly surprised as we expected loud partying late into the wee hours.

The whole scene changed when we drove into Loreto for a 3-day stay at the Inn at Loreto Bay. Although the hotel wasn’t full, one entire wing of at least 100 rooms was occupied. We were probably one of about two other gringos couples staying there. We went into town that evening to eat at Mediterraneo. The town was alive. All the locals that weren’t tailgating on the main drag were cruising in their vehicles, mostly with beer. Our waiters watched all the action from the second floor balcony.

Back at the hotel we quickly discovered that our room was badly situated. It was under a Jacuzzi and a passel of children who ran it at warp drive and dragged the patio furniture around making loud scraping noises on the ceiling continuously. Outside the teenagers were cruising around in the golf carts and playing bumper cars with them. The grownups were in full party mode by the pool. It was very noisy. When the noise finally died down at 1 pm and peace reigned, I thought they would sleep until noon and we will be able to get some rest.

I don’t know what possessed the restaurant staff to start playing loud rap music the next morning at 6 am; it was totally uncalled for. Of course it got just us gringos out of bed as teenagers, children and party animals can sleep through any kind of noise. Esperando went to the front desk to organize a golf cart to move the scuba gear from the parking lot to the beach for a dive, but was told they were only available for golfers. We commented on the children we had seen driving them the previous day and were told that would not happen again. They would be happy, they said, to drive the scuba equipment to the beach for us. The murky water from the high wind the previous day put Esperando and Flaming Mike off the dive until the next morning. In the meantime a large aggressive looking black dog I will call Devil Dog raced around the beach going from palapa to palapa. When he approached our palapa, Dash acted like he wanted to tear his throat out.

This little boy in oversized shoes wandered into a group of people and took their towels away. No one stopped him.

We were able to change rooms to something more quiet. That night we went out to eat in town at the restaurant 1695 (so named for the arrival of the first missionaries to Loreto). Their food is excellent. We hadn’t intended to spend so long at dinner, but we were having such a good time that we shut the restaurant down. When we entered our new room at Inn at Loreto Bay, we discovered one of the dogs had torn a gaping hole in the sheer drape. Now that we were on the ground floor they could see everything through the sliding glass doors. Our guess was another dog or person got them excited. Surprisingly it was extremely quiet all night, we hadn’t realized that so many of the party goers would be leaving during the day.

Is this the beginning of curtain demolition?

The next morning Esperando took the dogs out and Devil Dog showed up again. It turned out yesterday’s doggie disagreement meant nothing now because all the dogs liked one another. When we took our morning walk Devil Dog reappeared and Dash ran off with him. Another large dog joined them and little Lupita started jumping on my legs to be lifted to get away from them. After that the big dogs began to rough house and she got bowled over a few times, then tried to bite one on the nose repeatedly but with no effect. I finally took pity on her and started to carry her. Devil Dog and Dash were inseparable. But when they started mounting each other trying to establish who was dominant, we decided Devil Dog needed to go elsewhere and Esperando drove him off by throwing rocks. Now Lupita was horrified by even small dogs that approached us on the beach.

Devil Dog - coming and going, just plain trouble

By the time we got back to the palapas it was time for the dive. Esperando and Flaming Mike struggled into their dive suits like a couple of seals trying to put on their skins. Then they waded off into the calm water and disappeared. When they finally surfaced an hour later neither of them thought was the dive too exciting. Because the time had changed to daylight savings that day (we are still on the old U.S. daylight savings time here), it was now time to check out. We went to our room and gathered up all our belongings to hit the highway home. The dogs were completely worn out from their beach frolics and slept all the way home. The torn curtain added another $30 to the bill, but it was worth it.

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