Mexico
La Paz

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28 travelers at this place

  • Day70

    A curve and chasing shelter

    November 16, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    We got up very early to make it somehow to La Paz as a tropical storm was forecasted to hit Southern Baja within the next 24h. But as it was still another 220km to La Paz, we were not confident to make it there. Actually, we were about to be stuck for 2 days in the middle of nowhere in the tent or maybe in a hotel (if we could find one).
    So we started to ride. The first 60km was just straight road without any hills. It could have been somewhere in Northern Germany. So we were very lucky when the first curve occurred.
    We arrived in a small village at noon and tried to "hitch bike" but none of the cars stopped. So we went to a tire shop and asked some of the mechanics if someone was going to La Paz today. 20 seconds later we got a ride - easy! 😂
    Once we got to La Paz, we found a very good bike store where we bought new chains. In the end, it took us 14 days to find a well equipped bike store in Mexico.
    While having a beer at the malecon and checking the options for the night, we contacted Donna and Bill from Los Barriles to let them know that we would arrive a couple of days earlier. We met them in California at a brewery and they invited us to their place in Mexico. Donna offered to pick us up somewhere between La Paz and Los Barriles, so we finished the beer quickly and went back on the saddle. After 2h of riding we met her on the road and got a ride for the last 60km. We got yummy sandwiches for dinner and had margaritas and beer 🍻🥂
    So luckily, we got a very nice and safe place to stay for the next few days 😁
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  • Day75

    Swimming with the whalesharks

    November 21, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    After breakfast in the nice cosy patio of the hotel, we went on a boat tour to see the whalesharks. La Paz is a great place to see them due to its special location in the bay. When the Northern winds come in autumn, they blow all the plancton towards La Paz. There is a big sand strip in front of the city which serves as a kind of net, so the animals can easily find food. And it's only about 15 minutes away from the harbour which makes it easy for the tour operators.
    We met at the tour office at 9, but didn't leave for the landing strip til 9:30am (Mexican times 😉). We already saw many boats heading for the whaleshark zone and were eager to go out as well. Once on the boat, we had to wait a little and cruised around in the harbour, as we were 7th in the line. They whaleshark watching is actually well regulated and only a few boats are allowed in the zone at the same time. Sid, our guide, used the time to explain how to behave in the water and provided some useful information about the area and whalesharks in general. When it was our turn to enter the zone, we were very excited. And we were sooo lucky! We saw plenty of the impressive animals and could snorkel with them 4 times. Sometimes, we were surrounded by 2-4 of those 4-7 metre long whalesharks and didn't know which one to watch first. They even came very close to the boat to show off, so we could take amazing pictures. We really had an awesome time on the boat!
    Back in La Paz, we were totally tired after all the swimming, so we had a lazy afternoon just walking around and doing some grocery and tire-repair-kit shopping. Bed time at 7pm 😂
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  • Day71

    Bike maintenance and a whale

    November 17, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    We got up early in order to see some baby turtles get released at the sanctuary. However, it started raining heavily, so we decided to better stay at home and have breakfast. The electricity had gone off as well. But luckily, the stove runs on propane, so we could cook and boil water for coffee made in a French press.
    After breakfast, it cleared up, so we went for a walk along the beach with Donna and her dog Zoe. Back at the house, we did some maintenance on the bikes. As we could use the garage, we stayed dry even in unstable weather conditions.
    The rest of the day, it rained a lot. So we spent most of it on the porch, getting spoilt with food and drinks to regain energy after a long period of biking every day. We even saw a whale making his way up North, jumping out of the water every 100m or so. Whale watching from the porch - not bad!
    In the evening, the power came back as well. We were all quite happy. As the water pump needs electricity, we didn't have running water. (During the day we managed by using the rain water out of the pond 😊)
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  • Day73

    Enjoying the beach and the sea

    November 19, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Finally, the weather looked kind of nice. So we spent the morning kayaking in the bay. Good training for the upper body after LOTS of cardio and leg training over the past few weeks. In the afternoon, we went to town to have some tacos and check out the beach. Some kite surfers tried their luck, but struggled with relatively calm winds. We went to a nice restaurant for dinner and got some icecream from the supermarket for desert. Great day for regaining energy for the days of cycling to come!!Read more

  • Day74

    Back on the bikes

    November 20, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    This morning, we got back on the bikes to cycle to La Paz. It was quite hard to leave Los Barriles as we had a really good time with Donna and Bill and very much liked the town. However, there's still a long way ahead of us and it won't get any easier to move again.
    On the way to La Paz, we passes some nice mountain villages and stopped at El Triunfo at the famous bakery to get some awesome bread - yum! It was a nice ride with great views. The rain was good for the landscape, everything is green down here and we saw many trees amd bushes with yellow, pink, red, purple, blue, white and orange blossoms. Haven't seen this in a long time...
    Once we got to La Paz, we had to organize our ferry tickets to mainland. It's actually pretty hard to find valid information on the ferry times. We had tried our luck online, but the website of the ferry operators either didn't work, didn't have information at all or showed contradicting information. So we had tried to ask for help in Loreto already, but the Mexicans at the tourist office there didn't understand the information provided either and advised us to go directly to the habour in La Paz (which is 20km outside of the city). When we got here last Saturday, all offices were closed for the weekend. So we checked at a hotel when we were in Los Barriles. The staff was supportive and called the ferry call centre who told us that there's no passenger ferry to Mazatlan at the moment. Only a cargo one which we cannot use, so we'd have to go to Los Mochis, some 450km North of Mazatlan (= 4 days on the bike). That's why we decided to try in person. At the first operator, they confirmed that we'd have to go to Los Mochis, so we went to a second one. At that place, they sold us tickets to Mazatlan on the cargo ferry - no problem at all! Typical Mexican! It doesn't leave before Saturday though, so we have some time to explore the marine life here (whale sharks and sea lions).
    We also passed the 6000km today - wohoo! But Herbert got another flat tire. Roads in La Paz are pretty dirty, so it wasn't a surprise. Luckily, we are staying in a big room in a hotel (first time in a hotel on this trip), so he could fix it straight away.
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  • Day72

    Exploring - and more rain...

    November 18, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Today, the weather was supposed to get better. So we went to the turtle sanctuary in the morning in order to see some baby turtles get released. The people in charge look for turtle nests along the beach and mark the spots, so eggs don't get destroyed. 45 days later, the baby turtles hatch and first thing they do is crawling slowly right to the sea. They are all on their own against their predators. 13 years later, the turtles return to the same spot where they hatched to lay their eggs in it. This morning, we saw maybe 50 baby turtles heading to the sea. At least a couple of them got caught by seagulls straight away for breakfast. That's nature, I guess.
    In the afternoon, we did some exploring. Our destination was a waterfall at the end of a dry river. We could borrow the ATV, which was good fun. However, it started raining again and the dry river was not that dry anymore. When we could basically see only water around us instead of a dirt road, we decided it's probably safer to head back as fast as we can. Good decision! It rained so heavily that we could hardly see anything. Furthermore, the sand and mud flooded the paved roads and the dirt roads basically turned into rivers. But we made it back to the house safe and spent more time on the porch 😀
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  • Day77

    Leaving Baja California

    November 23, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Today was our last day in Baja California as we had booked on a ferry to Mazatlán on the mainland. The harbour is located about 18km North of La Paz. As there is some nice beaches, we used the day to check them out. So first, we had a beer at Tecolote Beach. Great beach to hang out, just a little windy today. Secondly, we cycled to Balandra Beach, a stunning bay with mangroves, white sand and turquoise water. As there were way too many people, we decided to go back to the ferry terminal early and have a beer at the restaurant/beach club next to it while waiting.
    Boarding the ferry was quite professional. However, they didn't really know what to do with our bikes. They wanted to put them in the baggage container, but realized that this wouldn't work. So they called us back via the radio and we had to push them in the truck area. Let's see how they make the it... We got seats in a dark shady room. They are showing some loud Bruce Willis movie and our seats are right next to the "cafeteria". Don't think this is gonna be a quiet night...
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  • Day76

    Isla Espirito Santo

    November 22, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Today, we wanted to check out the second major attraction at La Paz: The sea lion colony at the tip of the island Espirito Santo. We went on a boat trip and headed North towards the island. The wind was pretty strong and blowing from the North, so the boat ride was quite rough and pretty wet when we hit the waves. The people at the front of the boat had no fun at all. After about 30 minutes, we turned around. Apparently, our small support boat couldn't make it against the waves and the current, so we had to toe it for the rest of the trip.
    As we came closer to the Northern tip of the island, the waves got even higher which didn't make it any smoother. The captain did a really good job and we could already see the arch - the rock formation where the sea lions live - , but when some people got too scared and pretty mad, he decided to turn around. We stopped at one of the beautiful bays of the island to have lunch and later at a reef for snorkelling. We also saw some sea lions on a rock close by. They were just sunbathing though and we couldn't stay to watch them, as the wind and waves made it too dangerous. Luckily, we had the waves in our backs on the way back to La Paz, which made it a lot smoother.
    In the end, it was a long day sitting in a boat today - definitely not enough exercise for us 😉
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  • Day28

    Decent Dough!

    March 4 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    A rare treat of proper breads in Mexico.

    Good flour isn't cheap to come by in Mexico, I'm told, so maybe that explains why bread generally isn't that great, and maybe also because the demand isn't there- dough like we're into back home isn't what this country has been built on, not in its current form at least. Tortillas In one form or another, I.e. unrisen dough, is what it's all about. And result is I couldn't even find yeast the other day - in Walmart, as well. The assistant in the shop looked at Jen lile she had two heads when she asked for 'levadura'. I do hope we didn't offend by risking suggestion of some delicate lady-infection. Done now...

    I'm sat here, back in La Paz, in a mechanic's garage whilst we get some repairs done on our truck, Spud. I figured I might as well use the waiting tine to make my update for the day about bread, and the fact that we actually found some decent examples in the town of El Triunfo, yesterday. It's an old silver mining town which has been well-preserved. We'd been told by a few people that we must visit the cafe there for some bread- this is where the biker guy is meant to be. We didn't see any such dude, but it was a cool place and pretty sweet to see a wood-fired oven on the go.

    The menu was all Italian, pretty much. House-made pastas and the like. As much as I wanted to test their Lasagne - I find it hard to resist an opportunity like that, especially when it's so rare out here- I figured we really should go with something from the oven, so pizza it was, whilst Susie and Patrick went for Lasagne, much to my curiosity. At about $15, thr pizza was far from what we typically spend- our daily budget is $14 to cover both food and a few beers or whatever. But, sometimes, needs must.

    The result was better than the norm for this kind of thing here, but a bit short of what your mind goes to when you think of pizza. It was, at least, twice the size of Jen's head. The base was nice and thin, and crust crisp. The tomato sauce was decent, and they understood the idea of less is more- something that almost no pizza restaurants seem to get their head around. It always surprises me- you can serve better pizza that will cost you less to make, if you just put less on it! I guess maybe that's not what 'the people' want, and who am I to argue.

    The owner of the place is self-taught, so that's a nice part of the story. Hopefully one day I'll be able to say the same.

    It has all got me to thinking, despite the flour situation, we need to get in the case with making our own breads now that we have a van with an oven. So, I'm thinking Rosemary Focaccia would be a good starting point- that said, finding rosemary here is hit and miss. Maybe oregano and tomato. Focaccia in any case. Watch this space.

    For now, I just want the work to be done here so that I can join Jen in town for some long-awaited local food, served up on plastic plates as we sit on plastic chairs, eating at a plastic table, with a plastic cover, on the side of the road, side by side with local people, looking out over the Sea of Cortez. Canne beat it. I wonder if they know how good they have it, here.

    I have a little rapport with the mechanic boss here. I should maybe take the opportunity to ask him about food over in Mazatlàn in the mainland, where he's from, and where we'll be heading next, likely early next week.
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  • Day33

    Bossing the Leftovers

    March 9 in Mexico ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    Making the most of our spare ingredients, and sharing some food with new friends- at Balandra once again!

    As we're due to cross to the mainland today- we're currently sat waiting on getting onto the boat- we needed to take a step back and look at our produce as the customs guys sometimes like to take fresh produce from you to help control the spread of bugs.

    From our travels before, we know this sometimes results in some interesting concoctions in a bid not to waste anything. On this occasion, it was complicated slightly further by the fact that I'm trying to control certain elements of my diet in an attempt to limit the effects of what I think is an intestinal parasite that I seem to be carrying- I need a doctor soon to get that confirmed and dealt with.

    So, cucumbers and habaneros were pickled; I rustled together a great pasta sauce with tomatoes, aubergine, onion and oregano, blitzed; green tomatoes were turned into some green sauce, although I bloody well burned the tomatoes so the recovery mission resulted in a smaller portion than planned. I needed up the coriander content in the green sauce as well to use what I could of what I had left of that, the result being pretty good, actually. Lastly, leftover chipotle chillies blitzed with some mayonaise- I didn't make my own mayo, as I wanted the pasteurized bottled stuff so it'll last.

    Jen made us a bunch of 'vannini' with asadero cheese with a lemon and oregano olive oil marinade- a take on a BBQ halloumi dish I used to do at home- all that stuffed in the tortilla with fresh tomato and heated in a non-stick was a delight.

    Lastly, Jen put her skills to work once more to knock out easily the best Spanish Tortilla that we've ever made. Our previous attempt using our new cast iron skillet resulted in it sticking- the pan needs further use with easier foods before it'll really turn as non stick as you hope for. So this time, she used a non-stick frying pan, and altered the recipe to cook the potatoes in a full cup of olive oil first. She tweaked the recipe to include some white onion, and boom! What a result. She was so (deservedly) pleased. We've been munching it with the pasta sauce I made and some good old British HP Sauce. The Spaniards would likely slaughter us for such an offensive act, but screw it. Why not?!

    Our other notable story on the food front was when Thom and Madi came to visit- our friends, Patrick and Susie, had met then whilst a walk at Balandra. They came and hung out for a while and, seeing as Susie was assembling some leftover veggie burgers anyway, we offered to defrost some more and feed the guys, also. Madi is Celiac, so couldn't have the veggie burger, so instead, she got some tortilla chips with my bean chilli, guac and pick de Gallo. All the food went down really well. It's so nice to spread the love via making happy bellies. It's the one thing I can give people, and it is my pleasure to do so.

    So, next stop, Mazatlàn after our 18 hour ferry ride to get over the Sea of Cortez. I'm not sure we'll hang out there- it's a city twice as big as La Paz, so we may well just move on as we don't hear anything about the place that makes it sound like a desirable stop. We'll be pushing down towards the fairly touristic Puerto Vallarta and around, before heading to Guadalajara where I believe we can expect some great food, not least in Taco Fish! We have some contacts who we'll likely be meeting there, so I'm sure we can get the inside track and maybe I can finally start getting under the skin of some real food stories and personal history.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

La Paz, Ла Пас, لاپاز، باخا کالیفرنیا سور, Opština La Paz, לה פאס, ラパス, ლა-პასი, 라파스, La Pasas, Ла-Пас, لا پاز، باجا کیلیفورنیا سر, 拉巴斯

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