La Paz

TUESDAY, May 3

We were just getting used to “our” neighborhood in Loreto when it came time to say “adios.”

Mex 1, for whatever reason, crosses the peninsula south of Loreto to the Pacific side. We looked at the map and decided to see what was shaking in Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, a town known for whale watching.  The whales, alas, are long gone.  The place is practically a ghost town.  Every business associated with whale watching, including restaurants, is closed.  At the dock where boats pick up tourists there are at least 20 small shops that are locked up tight.  The ghosts of whale watchers past haunt the place.

Back on the road to La Paz we were driving through Cd. Constitucion when Chris screams out “Telcel Centro!” We’ve been looking for one since San Ignacio.  A centro is the only type of Telcel store where we can get the now unlocked iPhone activated.

The store is surreal.  Walking through the door is like opening a portal to the future.  The interior is cavernous, mostly empty and almost blindingly white.  I expected to be asked to take my shoes off and put on a white robe.  All of the agents are attractive young women with their hair pulled back into a bun.  They are all dressed alike – tight gray pants suit that puts an emphasis their, um, assets.

Fortunately for us we found the one agent in the store who spoke English.  About 20 minutes and $15 later we had an iPhone with a prepaid “Amigo” SIM card with unlimited calls to the US, Canada and Mexico and 1 Gb of data for a month.  We were happy campers. We no longer have to rely on slow wifi for internet access.

Nearing La Paz we checked into the Campestre Marantha on the recommendation of an ex-pat couple we met in Loreto.  They told us a taxi to downtown would cost M$60 – just under $4. We got the impression from them that it was in the outskirts of La Paz.  In reality the camp is 11 km/over 6 miles from town.  A round trip bus fare to the malecón for both of us would cost almost double the nightly rate.

Until Loreto we didn’t have a problem with biting insects.  In Loreto, at dusk, a particularly nasty variety of noseeum comes out.  The bites are small but intensely itchy. Discretion being the better part of valor, we now retreat to the cozy confines of the camper as soon as the sun dips below the horizon.