Living in La Paz

The Peace Center is so cool. Ana, Pavel, and Zarza run the place. They are fun, positive, warm, hosts. Everyone loves them.

Ana (l), Pavel (C), Zarza (R)

Most of the time, the place is full. The only way to reach them is to come by and yell through the “gate” Hola!! Someone will come to greet you and give you the latest on availability.

Tres Westie’s

There is a group of french-speaking Candians staying currently. It’s fun to see how happy they are to be together here in Baja. There are definitely life-long friendships developing.

Last weekend, we had a really fun potluck, with everyone contributing.

Chef Tobias
Cooks in the (outdoor) kitchen
Circle up
Fellow burners

The ebb and flow are fun, as is meeting so many new people. Any time someone needs to “chill”, they just retreat to their van, close the door, and everyone knows to respect their privacy.

Living in La Paz is quiet, fun, and vibrant. How lucky I am to be here.

La Paz Triathlon training group

Last Saturday I was so lucky to be invited to train with the La Paz triathlon group!! My hosts Pável & Anna are members of the team and allowed me to invite myself to the workout.

We left Peace Center at 6:30am on our bikes. We rode about 5 k to the meeting location.

After we locked our bikes, stored our packs in another members car, and joined the warm up

Next, we ran about .75 miles to a dirt road. We then did 6 hill repeats, running up 2.5 min and down 3.5. Gut busting! And I loved it!!

We the. Ran back to the meeting place and changed into swim gear. Swimming in the bay is amazing!! Schools or rather walls of fish went by! We all stoped at several places to meet up, one was a rock with a huge pelican perched on top.

I got cold and turned back along with two others. When I reached the beach Anna and Emma were cheering me on!

I changed back into dry clothes and rode my bike back to the hostel.

What a great to get to hang out with the local athletes of La Paz! There is a race on Feb 12 that I hope to volunteer.

Can’t wait to do it again next Saturday.

Sierra De La Laguna

The full moon shined bright throughout the entire trip. What a joy to traverse the biosphere of Baja.

Finding details on this route was next to impossible, and six of us decided to go for it. Here is the map we did find:

not much detail for navigation here

We were loosely organized. Raphael was kind enough to head to the park office twice to get our permits. Jaden and Amber coordinated with Raphael to leave one of their cars at La Burrera (our finish point). I took the bus from La Paz to Los Barriles to meet up with David and Leea, whose house in LB became our meeting point.

We all rode together to Rancho San Dionisio to begin our trip. There, we were invited into the ranch, which was amazing! Organic gardens, grass, games, and great hospitality surprised us! We camped out in the lawn, while Clarence told us his story and the story of the Ranch. Our trip was off on the right foot!

We were off! The first couple of miles were flat. Of course, we forgot our permit in the car, and I ran back to get it. Luckily, it was just the flat part. Then things started to get steep! Really steep.

Steep trail

At least we had shade and water. Jayden was backpacking for the very first time. What a way to start! Everyone kept a really positive attitude and arriving at Poza de Pepe made it all worthwhile!

The next morning we set out for the Laguna. It was mostly a hike along a ridge. Less steep than day one for sure.

We made it to the lake early enough that Leea and I dashed off to the peak. It was about a two-hour round trip hike. There was a group of runners from La Paz who were doing up and back in a day. Good on them!

One surprise to me was the Madrona tree! Growing everywhere once we were slightly west. How cool! A taste of home!

Madrona trees

When we got back to camp, we learned of an unfortunate situation with the landowner (parks are weird in Baja with much private land throughout). The owner charges 400 pesos per day per person to cross his land. A very high price, which feels pretty awful. We got him to charge us 400 pesos for two days, but it came at a price that involved a lot of arguing and stress. Ugh. That was the only downside of the trip. Leea and I were on the peak when it all went down, but I guess it got ugly.

The Landowner on the left

The next morning was our last and we had a lot of mileage to travel. The down was difficult, hot, sandy, and dry.

Everyone was pretty beat by the time we got back to the car. It felt SO GOOD to complete our goal! I could not believe we pulled it off. No maps, a couple of vague descriptions, very few people we could find who had done the trip.

It felt so special to cross the Sierra de la Laguna and visit the tallest point in Southern Baja. What a wonder to see a place so few people ever get to touch. My team was amazing, and so, so fun.

Full moon over Baja in La Sierra. Pure Joy.

On the Water, In the Water

Saturday was a calm, sunny, warm day. Perfect for a SUP outing. The hostel I’m staying in is about 750 meters from a beach. I hefted my SUP onto my back and walked to the water.

After launching, I paddled out toward the Island in the bay. As I worked my way across the channel, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, some movement. I sat down and just watched. The dolphins gave me a show!!

The following day I signed up for “swimming with the tuberon ballena” (Whale Shark). What a thrill! They are the largest fish (fish, not mammal). They hang out in shallow waters just off shore in the bay in La Paz. Out guide said that this is “the nursery” for the whale sharks.

To swim with these giants of the sea, you jump out of the boat (with a guide) and swim as fast as you can to keep up with this gi-normous fish that is effortlessly moving. You can see it’s eyes, and feel the rush of their movement. It’s a thrill!!!

Whale Shark

There are some joys on the water in La Paz, not to be missed!

La Paz artwork

In my experience, public art south of the US border is ubiquitous and beautiful! I have not explored all of La Paz, yet, I have found much artwork sprinkled throughout the city. It’s fun, festive, and fabulous.

Happy New Year

So many thanks for an interesting 2021 and best best wishes for 2022!

La Paz

Fireworks are blasting here at the Marina in La Paz! We certainly have no idea what 2022 will hold, but we all know it’s going to be interesting!

Cheers to you for making my life full, fun, and filled with love!