Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bye Bye Baja

The time has come for me to head back north :-( Fortunately it started to chinook on Friday so I will be going back to plus temperatures, but the cold is still going to be a shock! I have had a fabulous time down here in Los Barriles and it has been made even better with some great friends.

The last couple of days have been what I would call lazy days, but hard days nonetheless. I don't quite understand how you retirees aren't perpetually exhausted doing nothing! The last couple of days we have stuck fairly close to home, hanging out and we are all plum tired each night! Maybe there is an upside to working!

Thursday was Brian's day and given that he has been our chauffer all week and the majority of the roads that we have been on have been crappy, he decided that we were going to stick to a beach close to home. There is an arroyo about 5 minutes from the house that we cross when going into town - 2 in fact and there is a beach at the end of it. We decided that we would hang out on the south arroyo beach. The big difference with this beach was that you could actually see people and houses from this beach - so our spoils of having a beach to ourselves was over. Mind you, you still don't see very many people.

Friday was my day and by then the winds had started to pick again in Los Barriles style, so I knew that it wasn't going to be a beach day. Earlier in the week we had been told about some hot springs up by Santiago so I decided that that would be on the agenda, but first we would spend a little time in town going through some of the shops. We went in to this one shop that sold the typical Mexican crap and came across what I call Mexican porn (will post pics when I get the chance). They were these little clay domes that kinda looked like a butter dish and when you lifted the lid, there were two little clay people engaged in various sexual positions. Little was left to the imagination! After our shopping, we drove out to Santiago which is about 20km south of Los Barriles - what a beautiful little town. It looks like there is a natural spring that runs through it, so it was nice and lush and green and CLEAN! We even saw garbage cans on the side of the streets which is rare down here. Everywhere you look, they seem to use the ditches as the recycling centre. After passing through Santiago, we carried on down a little dirt road and came to the park where the springs were. It was a $2 entry fee for each. There were some nice camping sites and even some outhouses - if I were into camping more than I am, I would consider staying here. The hot springs were great - in one pool they go up to about 95F. We probably spent about an hour there - mainly watching Gus Gus swim around and chasing fish. After the springs we came home for "happy hour on the deck". I some fresh salsa and guac and had a nice margurita.

Since it was my day and I didn't want to cook, we went out for pizza at the Greek place we tried on the first night. Great pizza, although Kim and I had a bit of a misunderstanding with our pizza - we ordered one with 4 toppings only to receive it with each topping relegated to it's own quadrant - it was still good though. We also opted to not have the cherries put on the Hawaiian pizza :-) Only down side to my day is we forgot to put the hot tub on early enough, so no hot tubbing.

Yesterday was Kimmie's day and Brian and I each made an effort to not pick on her - I have to be admit, we have picked on her a lot on this trip but it is so easy b/c she is so obsessive about the dog! Even worse than me with Horton if you can believe it! Kim decided that Saturday would be a free day. Early in the day, Brian and I noticed some people walking up the road - right away I thought that they were either Mormons or JWs, however I ruled out Mormons quickly when I couldn't see name tags through the binoculars. They spent about 20 minutes at the neighbors and then came and knocked on our gate. Brian engaged them from the deck, while Kim took pictures from in the house. After about 3 minutes of their chitchatting at a distance, Brian nicely told them that he didn't think that he would be attending their service. Now for those of you who know Brian, it would have been more in character for him to tell them to F off! We all had a lazy yet exhausting day sitting in the sun (it was windy out) but managed to get in a nice hot tub!

Every night we have been treated to an amazing moon rise over the horizon and the sky full of amazing stars - I am definitely going to miss that! I will not miss the cat that screeches every night about 4am! I will miss hearing the waves crash.

As mentioned it has been a great trip with great weather and great times. Now I am packing up and we are going to head into San Jose del Cabo and poke around and maybe do some shopping before my flight at 5:30pm. Kim and Brian are down here until the end of February, so I may be back. . . or I might head to Nigeria :-) Will keep you posted.

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's My Day to Decide

Today is my day to decide what we are going to do and I have decided (with the support of Brian and Kim) to take break from the beach. I know - drastic, however we are all pretty much beached out right now, it is taking a lot out of us and the breeze is up today. So instead I think we are going go and check out some hot springs and maybe do a bit of poking around Los Barriles (code for shopping). Yesterday it was Brian's day and he picked a beach about 5 minutes from the house - which was nice. The only downside was that we got there early (for us - about 12:30pm) so were on the beach during the heat of the day and it was hot. We ended up leaving about 3:30ish b/c we were all baked! Brian and I went into town and bought a few groceries for supper and when we got home I made us a nice supper of bbq steak - beautiful new york strips - yum, roasted potatoes and carrots with a chipolte cream, tossed salad and garlic bread. Not sure what is on the menu for this evening but I had better decide! Of course we topped off the evening with a hot tub and as we were sitting in the tub, the moon rose over the horizon - which was spectacular. Given our hard days at the "office", we are generally in bed by 10pm.

I had wanted to post some pictures today (my blog is looking a little naked) but for some reason, Blogger isn't uploading them - not sure why?

Thank you to John Brown for his shout out on his blog about my blog (I just need to figure out how to link his to mine - that is for another day) Welcome to all you retired RVers out there! I promise that I will get back to work soon - gotta keep that oil & gas flowing so we can keep your homes on wheels running! LOL!

Until next time. .

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baja Beaches

Today is looking like another glorious day down in Baja California Sur. To be honest, I was a little "ugh" about coming down to Los Barriles because they are known for their winds - they even have a huge kite surfing festival called Lord of the Winds - it ended the day that I arrived. With the winds comes the microderm abbrasion on the beach - free of charge of course, so I came down with the understanding in my head that there would not be a lot of beach time - boy was I ever wrong. The Big Guy upstairs must be liking me right now b/c since I arrived, we have had nothing but windless days and great days at the beach! There is one place inland that we want to go - some sort of hot springs but have agreed that so long as the wind is down, we will be beach bound!

We have discovered some amazing beaches both north and south of Los Barriles and for the most part, there is not a soul on them. Yesterday we went down to Los Frailes which was located in the Cabo Pulmo National Park. There were some people camped on the beach and about 1/2 km off the beach, but the beach is so big, you don't really notice them. I think the other reason why they are so quiet is that they are off the beaten track. To get to this beach we had to drive on 20km of washboard that would take about 45 minutes - but so worth it! As well, we are out of the "tourist zone" and the majority of the people down here are the type of people who come down and winter. Don't get me wrong - I am not complaining and neither is Brian about the lack of people - we think that Kim might like a few more people, so we won't pick on her so much :-).

I am not sure what today brings. It is Brian's day to decide everything and all he has told us is to wear what we would normally wear and maybe bring a few dollars in case we decide to stop somewhere. Normally surprises like this would drive me nuts, however in this case, it is kinda cute to see Brian all excited about where he is going to take us, so I haven't been harassing him for details (unlike Kim) He has already decided that we are going to bbq steak for dinner, roast some potatoes and have a salad - my kind of easy cooking! And if the winds stay down, I am sure he will decide that we will hot tub it.

The only downside to not having the wind is that I can't hear the waves crashing at night and I really do enjoy that, however if I have the choice, no wind wins!

Hard to believe that it is already Thursday. . . I wonder where all the time has gone? I leave Sunday at 5:30pm so we have already decided to head into Cabo for the day. I want to check out Costco and we want to poke around town a little. I guess the upside is that I am on holidays again in about 2 1/2 weeks and there is a really good chance that I will be back down here.

I apologize for the lack of pictures - I am still using Kim's MacBook Air to post to my blog. JB gave me the suggestion of using Live Writer (or whatever it is called) but every time I try and download it it says I need to upgrade some Windows file and whenever I try that I seem to get in this loop and nothing happens. . .so until I figure out something, this will be a pictureless blog!

Until later. . .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Hard Day at the Office

Ah yes, another hard day at the office. . .our word for the beach. This area of the Baja is notorious for it's wind - in fact they had their big kiteboarding festival this past weekend, so when by 10:30am today the wind hadn't started gusting yet, we figured that today would be a "beach day". Kim and Brian had discovered a great beach about 30 minutes up the road (we will get to that in a minute) and we decided to pack up the wagon and head on up there. Now the road - every time we travel on the gravel roads here, I know that Brian is just itching to take a grader to it. We did one road yesterday that was 30 km of wash board. Some of these roads make the Demspter Highway look like a small piece of driving paradise! To get into Los Barilles, we have to cross 2 arroyos (big flood ways) at which point the pavement and 2 lanes end and the sand/dirt road that quickly expands into a 3 1/2 lanes begin. It is always a crap shoot as to where people are going to be driving - one would think that it would be fairly standard - stay to the left, but nothing is normal down here :-)

Today after about 20 minutes of large rock ridden, narrow winding road, we landed on a gorgeous beach with not a soul on it. We unloaded our crap (we travel with a lot of stuff - chairs, umbrella, cooler, towels, snorkel gear, etc.) we all planted our asses in the sand for an afternoon of work. And by work I mean, 20 minutes on the front, flip and 20 minutes on the back, followed by some water time and possibly a walk. Or in my case, putting my chair at the waters edge and reading my book.

On this trip we have instituted a new way of decision making that seems to be working fairly well, however Kim hasn't gone yet and that is that each day a person is responsible for making the decisions on where we go, what we eat and if we hot tub or not. Yesterday was my turn - we went to the beach in La Ribera, I made chicken soft tacos for supper and we hot tubbed. Today was Brian's turn and we went to the beach, I made bass with tequila, garlic and pepper with a nectarine salsa and we hot tubbed. Tomorrow is Kim's day to decide. We have already agreed that there will be a time limit on decisions or we could be at home all day before she decides. One thing to note is that in exchange for lodgings, I have offered to cook. :-)

We are almost at a full moon which is making for some spectacular evenings in the hot tub. Also being out in Cabo, we get amazing views of the stars. Now my friend JB, I am sure your star vistas are a bit better being in the desert and all, but coming from Calgary and all the light pollution, it is great to be able to see all of the stars nice and bright. I marvel at them every night before I got to sleep.

Oh - one last thing - it truly is a small world. Brian has NWT plates on the jeep, so this guy wandered up while we were sitting there. I had my iPod on when he introduced himself and when I got the sense that the conversation was going to go on for a while, I turned over and took off my iPod. Lo and behold, it was Gord Rozon - a consultant that I had worked with about 6 years ago up in the Mackenzie when I was working in the Beaufort. Him and his wife have a place just south of the beach that we were visiting. I think he has the right idea - semi-retired, able to work from there with the odd trip thrown in to places like Asia. . .sounds like a plan to me!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ah the Baja

So I made it down to the Baja safe and sound with no big excitement along the way. I had a lovely 6:30am departure and given that customs and security don't open until 5am, figured that there was no reason to be there too early. Plus knowing that I have Elite status and get to check in a a dedicated counter and my Nexus card would let me fast track customs, I wasn't too fused. They both were nice and handy but Calgary, unlike Edmonton, does not have a dedicated security line up for people flying either business or with Elite/Gold status - I wish they did! I flew down on US Airways which I think merged a bunch of years back with American West - good flight, service was good and I would definitely fly them over United! Only down side was that there was no inflight entertainment :-( I had a short layover in Phoenix and then a nice bumpy ride down to Cabo. The poor pilot tried every altitude between 25 000 and 37 000 feet and it was all rough. As per usual, there were a bunch of dumb people on my flight who couldn't fill out a customs and immigration form properly, thus a long and slow line when l landed - probably took about 30 minutes to get through. Why couldn't my Nexus card work here?!

Kim and Brian have got a great place down here in Los Barilles. Although we are not right on the beach, it is only about a 2 minute walk away and we have fantastic ocean views. As per typical Los Barilles weather, it was pretty windy yesterday however today there is just a light breeze. I told Brian this morning that is because the Big Guy upstairs knows that I am here so he is giving us calm weather :-)

For my first night's dinner we tried a local restaurant which turned out to serve Greek food - not quite what I was expecting or hoping for but it was really good. It looks like they also make a mean pizza there so we will definitely go back and try it out.

Not sure what today is going to bring. So far it has been coffee and bailey's in the sun! :-)

Have a good one folks!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Baja Bound

Holy cow - it has been a year since I have posted on here! Guess it is time to get back on the horse again (this is a tribute to you JB :-) ) Seriously though, the reason that I haven't been blogging is because I can't access my blog from my home computer for the same reason that I can't access Google - I "broke" something when I uninstalled Google Chrome and since then, I have been SOL for both, thus no blogging. If you are wondering how I am doing this now, I am on my work computer.

So tomorrow nice, bright and early (6:30am) I will be Baja bound! I am heading down to Los Barilles, which is about an hour north of Caba San Lucas down on the Baja. My friends Kim & Brian have rented a house down there for a couple of months so I have decided to go and join them for a week. I have travelled with them before - to Palm Springs in 2009, and I really enjoy their company. To be truthful though, this was not the trip that I had planned to take this week, so in other words, they are my "plan B" - but they know that! :-)

Originally my friend Ann and I (who I often travel with - went to Palm Springs with her in 2010) were going to go down to the Mayan Rivieria this week, however it just wasn't in the cards. About 2 weeks ago, she had to break the sad news to me that she couldn't go. I seriously considered going down by myself and plopping my ass down at an all-inclusive and bake, drink and read for a week but then I remembered, I get bored with me when I travel by myself. So I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to work instead. Plus, I had already planned to head down to the Baja from February 9 - 20 to see both some family in Cabo and then Brian and Kim up in Los Barilles. Early this week I got an email from Kim saying "why don't you come down next week - we would love to have you!" So I did a bit of looking and managed to find myself a cheap ticket to Cabo ($520 rtn!). On Wednesday I booked the ticket. It is now Saturday and I am getting ready to leave and not a moment too soon - this -30C with the windchill weather just isn't doing it for me!

The next part was a little harder - finding someone to look after Horton. His regular sitter Elaine is on holidays for 3 weeks (which I knew) and she had thought that her neice might be coming down to run her dog walking/sitting business but I guess she decided not to. So I checked with Elaine's back-up and my some time back up Maureen and she too couldn't take Horton b/c she already had a lot of dogs. So what to do, what to do. I mean I can't just leave him with anyone. I managed to find a dog walking/sitting company called Dawg Tired and after doing a little research decided that they were qualified enough to look after my boy. My big thing is where does he sleep? He is staying with a lovely lady named Lynn and he gets to sleep in her room with her however he will be on a bed on the floor - yah - I wanna see how well that one goes over! In any event, she came and picked Horton up this afternoon and he was not happy to be leaving his mama, but as I told Lynn, he had better suck it up because I am not cancelling my holiday because of him!

So now I am just in the office finishing up a few last minute things before I head out. I am not taking my BB 1) because I am on holidays and 2) there is no cell service where we are, so I need to make sure that everything is in place. I also managed to get a pedicure today, pick up a few odds and ends for Kim & Brian, including some coffee - had to be Nabob and now I am off to a girlfriends for supper - we are having tacos and I am bringing dessert. Guaranteed it won't be some fancy frozen peanut butter pie or whatever it is that Brenda makes. (another ode to you JB :-) )

Will try and keep this posted regularly and hopefully will get in a few pictures.