Sunday, May 26, 2013

La Paz - First Impressions




One day melts into the next here in La Paz. It is HOT! The temperature has been in the 90s every day since our arrival.  We try to get chores and errands done in the morning hours. The afternoons are too hot for anything but a long nap under the fans.








I knew that I hadn’t written in the blog for a few days, but it really did seem like only a few days of neglect. Then I got an email from our San Diego friend, Michael, containing only two words: “Write something.” I was surprised to realize that I haven’t yet written anything about La Paz and we’ve been here for two weeks.






This is the third Mexican city we have visited and it is as different from the other two as they were from each other. I am reminded of Audrey Hepburn's line from the 1953 movie, Roman Holiday. "Each in its own way was unforgettable..." Unlike Audrey's character, I have not yet chosen a favorite.





There is a large and well organized, semi-permanent community of cruisers here. Some, like us, are just passing through and stay for a few days or a few weeks. Others came cruising here more than twenty years ago and never left. Many boats are headed farther north into the Sea of Cortez for the summer and will return in the fall. Some cruisers will have their boats hauled out of the water and stored while they return home (wherever that may be) for the hot summer months.



We are staying in Marina Cortez, the newest marina in La Paz and the closest to town. We had originally tried to get into Marina de la Paz, the most well-known among cruisers, but they had no space available for us, nothing available, in fact, for at least two months. 




 
Because they are relatively new and almost empty, we got a great price here and have made some wonderful friends among the few cruisers on our dock. Marina Cortez is a little quirky, though. The strip of land that parallels our dock is home to four busy open-air restaurants. The marina office is at the head of the dock but the bathrooms and showers are on the second floor of a small office complex and one must walk through the restaurants to get there.

One of the restaurants expands onto the walkway on busy weekend nights. It is a little disconcerting to walk out of the shower with a towel wrapped around your wet head, shower bag slung over your shoulder and have to weave your way between tables of elegantly dressed diners to get back to the boat. Judging by its dock layout, it appears that this marina was designed to accommodate day charters and self-contained mega yachts rather than the typical cruiser.
The restaurants all have loud, sometimes live, music every night of the week until at least midnight. Because they are all open-air we get to enjoy all of them at the same time.


Quirkiness aside, the views from our cockpit are phenomenal.




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