3rd February 2018
We were coming from Baja California on Highway 1. We means, the girl couple, who gave me a hitch and I. I could read on their license plate, that they have their home somewhere at Baja California Sur. It was not very far from the Loncheria Mary, where we have had lunch, that we entered Baja California Sur. A little while before we crossed the border between these states, I also saw a sign about Paralelo and 28 behind. I thought it was a town and 28 km distance, but when I looked it up it was a longitude. Anyway, you cannot miss, that you leave a state and enter another one. Both are signed in a similar way (see initial photo for this site).
The girls drove me to a gas station in Guerrero Negro. They should also had driven me to my host, but their goal was not this town and I was thankful anyway. By GPS I found easily my way to my new host, a guy couple. There are some dirty streets in this town, the guys’ house was in one of them. The houses here has no numbers, though I only asked them for the color of their house. It is an easy way to find a building in Mexico, when you know the street. Both were outside their house and welcomed me. I was shown the guest room and the bathroom – both upstairs. There were friends, too, and Jonathan offered his friends and me a piece each of a cake he had baked and decorated.
Ruben asked me, if I could cook, what I told him, I do. He first asked me to cook a meal, but I have never got the choice. We had a conversation, which soon needed help of Google translate, because they only speak Spanish and know a few words in English. They did not get tired of it. They told me, they will travel to Paris next year and the states around and were also asking, which language they should learn: French or English. We also went shopping (by car). We were to a supermarket and later to a market for sweets and similar things. They bought lots of “everything”, which surprised me. When we came back, I have got the answer, without questioning the guys. They make their living by a little market and the things, they had bought, were for this. I also have seen a kind of dolls at the shop for sweets. I took a photo of it and asked Ruben later, what they are. He told me, that they are piñatas.
The dinner was pork chops, mixed salad, fried potatoes with chilli and tortillas. We had talked about it before, that I cannot eat spicy hot dishes, therefore I did not need to eat of the potato mix. When I asked them after the meal about the whale watching (it was actually the reason, why I had chosen to go to this town), they told me the name of the tour company and tried to phone them, but did not get any answer. Though they were driving with me to that place, where also a hotel is and at the hotel I could sign up for a tour next day. I only could book for 11am (they have tours from 8am to 12am) – if I remember right, every hour. There was no space left in another tour. I was told, I have to be at the meeting point 20 minutes before the tour starts.
Around 8pm the guys told me, that we should take a break, but I was allowed to stay in the kitchen and use the Internet. I updated my blog for Baja California. They came out again after a while. Jonathan started to decorate a cushion and Ruben used his laptop. We were to bed after 10pm. By the way it has been t-shirt weather all the day and even the night was not so cold.
4th February 2018
I awoke already at 6am, I thought, but I had not the correct time zone. It was already 7am. I checked my smartphone and changed to automatic update of date and time. It was around 8am, when I entered the kitchen. Ruben was just going to his shop (which has the back door in his kitchen and faces to the parallel street. I did take the breakfast, I was told the evening before. cappuccino of powder (very sweet) and a kind of mini donuts. All Mexicans I have met so far like it very sweet. In the contrary to my first host, the guys have sweet breakfast.
At 10am I left the house for the whale watching tour with my little backpack and warm as well as rain clothes. I was early, I knew, but I won’t miss it. The guide was already there and started a chat with me – in English. He asked me, from where I am coming and googled Sweden. He also told me a little about the tour until I told him, that I have to go to the office and pay for the tour. Well there I also asked about the snack, we will get, because I was afraid it will be something with seafood and it seemed, I was right, because the assistant asked me, if it will be OK with a cheese sandwich. I also got my snack pack to care of, while the others were in a freezer box. I was surprised and very happy, that it was so easy to get a special meal. By the way all got a banana and an orange drink, so did I. While I was waiting for a tour I heard a family, who tried unsuccessfully to come with a tour this day, though I was very happy, that I could book the tour the evening before.
We were going with a shuttle bus to the sea. The guide was with us and explained about the tour. He also explained about the surroundings like the salt fields. At sea, boats were waiting for us. Our boat was named Tonina. We were eleven passengers, it was room for twelve. The boats were small, but we were told, that the sea is not deep here and the whales are using the priels at low tide. At sea it also was t-shirt weather. I did not need any of the clothes I had with me. In addition to that, the sea was calm. On the way out, we have seen several groups of seals. We have seen a lot of whales, many mothers and kids as well as two of them came very close, though we could touch them. I actually touched one of them. The skin felt very fatty, but soft. Some whales were swimming under our boat, especially one of them was very close under it. On the way back we also saw a dolphin.
Back at the guys home, they surprised me, when they during the dinner were watching “Desperate Housewives”, but in Spanish. It was synchronised. After dinner we made a new round to the supermarket to buy items for the shop. At home again, I asked them, if they always buy their stuff for their shop at the supermarket and I was told, that it is right, but that they get it to special (lower) prices. Later on, Ruben painted a wall and Jonathan letters, which will be fastened on the wall. Jonathan makes a lot of decorative arts and all after his own mind. He has no studies for it, but is very creative. A girlfriend came, when they nearly had finished their work. The rest of the evening they played cards. Another girlfriend came with her little son. We were offered sweets (filled chocolate balls in X-mas paper). While watching the others, I ate some of them. Around 10pm I was up to the guest room and pre-packed my backpacks. Afterwards I was going to sleep.
For more photos of my time in Guerrero Negro click here.
5th February 2018
I was up around 6am and said goodbye to Ruben with a hug (he initiated) around 7pm. Jonathan was still asleep. I walked to the same gas station, the girls had left me two days before. It was misty and I did not await a soon ride, but the mist was not at the gas station. It actually was only a strip of mist. I was only waiting for five minutes, when a father with his little daughter stopped for me. He told me, that he only is driving to the next town, but it was anyway in the right direction, therefore I took the offer. This town was a real oasis, but the landscape between Guerrero Negro and this oasis was actually boring. The dessert often is not, but this part was. There were only a few cactus and the area was very flat. I have got an explanation of the driver about the big tents in the desert. Under them, vegetables are grown. I was impressed, how this father explained to his daughter about Sweden etc. He also named all the different cactus for me. It was an old car, we were going with, it only made 70 km/h, but it was reliable.
At the oasis town, the driver let me out at a gas station. On the other side of the road was also a bus station (if needed). Unfortunately in this town the same street was separated in files for the traffic going through and the traffic in this small town. I could not go close to the through traffic. Most of the drivers signed, that they will stay in town, the others did not stop or sign anything, when suddenly after an hour a car stopped. There were two women in the car and a little girl. The elder one of the two was closest to me. We had our conversation totally in Spanish. She told me, that they only will leave the little girl at home and then come back and I will get a ride. I did not really trust this and started walking down the street to find the place, where I could come close to the file for the through traffic. I stopped from time to time holding my thumb out. I was still far away from the point I would have liked to reach, when Nelly (the driver) of that car with the two women and the little child, stopped and asked, if I want to go to Mulegé (which I had told them before). When I was in the car, she told me, that she will go to La Paz and that she lives in the town she picked me up as well as in La Paz, but her family lives in California, USA. She also told me, that she studies English in La Paz, but that she has to improve it. I gave her the possibility to do it. The landscape became more and more beautiful, even it is still dessert. Once I also took a video.
Nelly dit tell me, that there is a lake, when we were close to it. She did take a detour to show me and was also driving into the close by little town San Ignacio to show me the church. She also explained for me, when we passed en volcano etc. She stopped from time to time to read messages on her phone and answer them. One time I did take a photo at such an occasion. I also took photos through the (unfortunately little dirty) windscreen.
Well reached Mulegé I ask her to stop outside the town, though she could easily continue, what she did. Mulegé is not a big place at all. With the GPS it was very easy to find the hotel. On the way there I also saw a sign for a laundromat. It was perfect. The hotel itself is not worth it’s price. The name is: Hotel Historico Las Casitas. It has had it best days and should be refurbished. Things are broken or very worn. The stuff is not kind and not good in English, even they announce, that English is spoken. Even I booked online by booking.com, they did not have my full last name. The best thing was, that they do take credit cards.
It was still early and I took a walk in the surroundings as well as I checked the laundromat and bought some snacks for the evening and next morning. I left the food at the room, took my laundry and went back to the laundromat. While I made my washing and drying, I used the free wi-fi offered and was on twitter. Time was running fast and I was soon back at the hotel. I hanged the Merino sweaters and pants on hangers for drying. Afterwards I was on the Internet, but I first had to find out, where Internet is strong enough – actually not in the rooms as promised. I had my evening snack, continued with my blog and was to bed, when it got too chilly outside.
6th February 2018
I awoke already around 7am again and was up around half an hour later and took my medicine. A short time afterwards it sounded, if someone is walking on my roof, which should be weird, because the roof is not plant. This noise repeated from time to time. Around 8am I had breakfast and dressed directly afterwards. I also fixed the clothes, I had washed before. All was dry, but the Merino pants. I would have liked to go to the beach “Bahia Conception”, but it was very cloudy this day. Therefore I made a sightseeing tour and started with the church, close to the hotel.
From there I have seen an old building on a hill, which I thought, was the mission (why I chose to stay in Mulegé), but it was an old prison and now a museum. It was not easy to find the way to that building, but Mexicans are keen to help, even they do not speak English and my Spanish improves a little everyday. The entrance to that museum was for free and the woman there, was keen to explain – in Spanish. She actually did not speak English, but I did understand anyway. The way down was then very easy to find. It was a staircase. I was happy, that I had taken another way up.
The woman at the museum had told me, that I will find the mission (Misión de Nuestra Señora de Santa Rosalía de Mulegé) downtown and to the right. I had not seen it downtown before and asked another time at the laundromat. The owner was very kind and explained the direction for me. I found the Jesuit monastery easily after his explanation. The building is from the 17th century, which makes it special. I was surprised at, that the statue of Jesus was dressed and took a photo.
A female janitor showed me the original statue of Santa Rosalía, which was in another room. Before I walked downtown again, I took a look at the “Panteon Misional” (church yard of the mission). It was very simple and only one grave stone with an inscription.
Back in town I was hungry and bought a pizza slice at the restaurant I yesterday had bought the ice cream. It was a big and very thick slice. The taste was OK. I have got really full of it for the amount of 25 MXN (1,20 EUR). I had an orange juice as well (for 20 MXN).
I still was willing to go to the beach, though I asked at the bus terminal about a bus to the beach. There are more than one terminal, but only one was open. The assistant did not speak English. As I understood, there is no bus to the beach I would like to go. I have got the phone number of a taxi instead. Guess I have not been at the beach! If the weather had been as good as yesterday I would have tried with hitch hiking (it is an hours drive by car), because of the very cloudy sky, I walked back to town, bought my evening meal and a breakfast as well and was back at the hotel, where I updated my blog. Before I fell asleep I listened to some of my songs on my phone. It was the first time during this travel.
For more photos of Mulegé click here.
7th February 2018
I took a shower around 7am, even the water was not really warm and checked out around 8am. The weather was less cloudy this day, but it was still chilly at this time. I went outside the town and stopped at a good place for getting a hitch. There were a bump over the road, to make the drivers slow down and it was space enough beside the road to stop. I had to wait for a little more than an hour, when a female driver stopped. Later on she told me, that she is a lawyer. She did take me to Loreto.
For more photos of BCS, highway 1, around Loreto, click here.
Well there, she also showed me the town by car and brought me back to Highway 1. During the drive she had told me, that she already as a girl was dreaming about to backpack the world. I told her, that I started with it since I retired.
In Loreto I had to wait for almost one hour again. The few (all Mexicans), who had stopped, were not going far. Suddenly two cars stopped at the same time. The female driver was closest to me, but she told me, that it is a five hours ride and she would not go there. Meanwhile the other car was driving further. I was waiting for a while again and had just taken my thumb down, because the car looked like a car of a worker and also had a sheet of paper on the right hand side of the wind screen. The driver stopped anyway. He looked reliable and asked me, where I will go. He was on his way further than La Paz, made space for me, helped me to put my backpack on his load area and took me all the way to La Paz. He was good in English and asked me some questions as well as he told me, that his name is Carlos, he retired in the age of 62, is now 65 and had worked for 50 years before he retired as well as he told me, that he divorced after 40 years of marriage and now tries to travel as much as possible. He even shared four bananas with me – though we had two each. In addition to that, he told me, if I come to Cabo San Lucas, he will show me around. The car was not reliable as he. The seat belts were not working, the gears made a horrible noise while changing in a lower one and I did not get any answer, when I asked about that paper on the wind screen. It seemed to be official and was signed. Anyway the inside of the car was clean and we were neither stopped at the military check points nor by the police, which also checked cars at one point. He drove me close to my new host. He might have driven me all the way to my host, but I was very thankful anyway and told him, to let me out at a shop. We changed phone numbers before he drove further. By the way, most of the ride was through a beautiful landscape, but around an hour close to La Paz.
I had to look for a bathroom on the way to my new host. There was a simple restaurant and I asked if I was allowed to use their bathroom. Surprised I have been told, that I am allowed to do. It seems to be usual, that people, even they are not eating there, may use the bathroom. I gave them 5 MXN, when I left. This was my only expenses for the day.
By Google maps it was easy to find the street, where my new host is living, but the house itself was more complicated, because of the numbers. There were 840, 245… I continued further and came closer: 770 and the next house was 760! The one I had to go to. There was no bell at the door and the garden door locked, though I had to call Daniela, my new host. I should name here, that I actually have a helpx host in La Paz, but agreed to stay with this CS-host, too, because they invited me. I had posted my itinerary for Baja California and Baja California Sur a couple of weeks before I started this part of my RTW-trip. I thought, I will send requests closer to my travel, but there was no need, but for Guerrero Negro, because I have got invitations from hosts of the other places. I would have erased “La Paz”, when I had got my helpx host, but I did not find a way to do it.
Daniela’s husband, who also speaks English, had sent the invitation. Unfortunately he is not at home for the moment and asked me to come and stay anyway, even his wife only speaks Spanish. For my first named dates, he would have been at home, this situation was created by my change of dates (see Baja California/Tijuana (Jan 2018). It seemed, he was very happy about my answer, that I will visit his house anyway.
Daniela and her cat were very happy to welcome me and the first minutes of our conversation went smoothly. Afterwards we did take help of Google translate. Soon she had to go to her English lesson and I was allowed to stay at her home by myself. When she came back home again, a girl, called Renata, was with her. I actually could not guess her age. She speaks good English. After a short while I asked her, if she is a friend of Daniela or her sister. She is neither nor, but, as she explained, the daughter of the guy Daniela is married to. She is still a school girl and goes to school in the afternoon (2pm to 8 pm). When I asked her about it, she told me, that the pupils cannot choose, if they will go in the morning or in the evening, but they can change by special reasons. I was thinking about, how good it would have been for my son Daniel, if he have had that opportunity. I also was thinking about it again, how much money can be saved by using school buildings this way. Furthermore the girl told me about carnival and that the performance will be on Sunday. I hope, I will have the opportunity to see it.
Daniela offered a mixed salad with cheese. Afterwards she and the girl decorated a cake in a shape of a heart for Valentine day. They made a photo, to put it on the Internet. If I understood Daniela right, she bakes and sells cakes. – We were to bed around 10pm, but had agreed about the activities for the upcoming day.
8th February 2018
I was offered breakfast, Daniela and Renata did not have breakfast, because both were meeting someone separately and have breakfast with respective person. Daniela took me by car downtown to Malecón, the beach front of the city, where I also easily could access the city center. I first walked around without using the map, I had got of Daniela and soon found the cathedral. I read the billboards outside before I went in. There was still a service ongoing, though I sat down on the last bench. After the service I did take a closer look at the cathedral.
Afterwards I was going back to the center, checking what this town has to offer and found, that it has less touristic offers and more common clothes etc. I actually bought a new pair of flip-flops, because of the pair I have my feet hurts. Unfortunately the new ones need more space in my backpack. In addition to that, I visited a hairdresser. They announced haircuts for women for 80 MXN (~ 4 EUR) and it was also exactly that amount I afterwards had to pay. – When I was in Portugal, my hairdresser offered haircuts for women for 7 EUR, but he did always add washing and drying and I had to pay 15 EUR each time. – My steps continued then to Malecón. There were sellers preparing their stalls for the carnival. A few already offered their items, so did one with churros and fried bananas (platanos). I bought a big fried banana for 50 MXN (~ 2,50 EUR). It came with strawberry jam and cream (evaporated milk). They use this milk usually to strawberries and also other fruits. Even bottled drink chocolate tastes like the basic is evaporated milk.
I walked the beach front for a while and also listened to music, still most of it not life. Around 5pm I entered the restaurant “La Casa del Abuelo” (Grandpa’s House). I ordered “Enchiladas rojo y verde”. I was served 4 Enchiladas with a red and a green sauce as well as lentils and a salad (a red and a green one – the red one had a strong spicy taste). The Enchilades were for 80 MXN. I also had a little bottle of water for 15 MXN (which was expensive). The total cost for this dinner was in EUR around 4,50. For me it was enough for the rest of the day.
I took the bus home after I had asked Daniela for the name of the bus stop per sms. Even this time it worked well, even I had some difficulties to find the bus stop downtown, but a police officer explained the direction very well for me. He also named the colours of the bus. Even here each route has its own colour and no numbers. I asked the driver to call at my stop, but I did not trust, that he had understood, what I was asking for, though I followed the route by the GPS. When I left the bus I had to force a high bridge. Even this one had stairs, where one can look through, though I was looking on the one stair in front of me all the time. It is my way to cope with my fear of high. The streets to Daniela’s home had no good light, therefore I used the flash of my smartphone. It is important with a good light, because of the uneven surfaces.
Finally at Daniela’s house, it was dark. I called her, because it is the only way to enter (she has to open). When she answered, she told me, that she did forget me, but he will be home after a while. I found a place to sit and was waitIng for her. She arrived together with Renata, but told me, that she will go again and meet friends. She did not invite me, to follow her. Therefore I went to the room, where I sleep and used Twitter.
9th February 2018
Daniela fried a platano for breakfast, but not in the thin slices, Rosi did. Daniela cut the platano in six bites. She also cooked porridge and offered berries (directly from the freezer) as well as coffee, like an Expresso, even not so strong.
During the coffee she told me, that she will go with Renata to Playa Balandra and offered me to follow. It was raining a little, therefore I asked her about the weather and she told me, that it can be different at the beach. The car ride took nearly an hour and the weather was changing after a while. Daniela told me after ca half an hour, that it usual never rains so far away from the city and at the Playa. Well at the Playa, we walked through the water, which was at most a little more than knee-high for me. I actually was a little afraid, that my passport and my smartphone would get wet, but my trouser did not – which I had taken the legs off. We were walking to an amazing rock formation.
We stayed there for a while and were then going back to the sandy beach. I had my travel towel with me, though I could really relax, meanwhile Daniela and Renata were sitting only. The sun was really hot, fortunately I had my sun screen with me.
We went back in good time for Renata to go to school, which this day started later as usual. Daniela had bought fried chicken on the way home, which we ate with a mixed salad. While we nearly were done with the meal a female cousin to Daniela arrived and enjoyed the meal with us. She was a little better in English as my host and were asking me a lot of things about my travel and my way to travel. When the cousin had left, Daniela had told me, she will go to the cinema with her cousin in the evening and I thought, I won’t understand enough to enjoy a movie. I asked her, if she mind, if I will go to Malecón again and listen to the music. She told me, that I should call her, when I will go back to her home. I understood it the way, that she will pick me up.
At Malecón I first tried a “gordita de nata” with chocolate. I was wondering for a while about the taste of this bread. It is sold everywhere in the streets. I have seen them already in Tijuana. A gordita de nata is a sweet cake, often eaten as a snack. It is like an American pancake, but made with mais flour. The seller dit cut it in halves and put the chocolate in between. I had asked for the price before I ordered one. He told me “thirty pesos”, but when I paid to his wife she only took twenty. It seems, he set higher prices for tourists, but the wife was not agreeing to it.
I walked all the Malecón to the last scene and back again, saw a new beautiful sunset – La Paz is known for them – and chose a temporary restaurant with a dish (Queso Fundido), I have not eaten before. I dit ask about the dish and ordered it, but unfortunately I did not ask for the price. I had only 160 MXN left in my pocket. The other money, my credit card etc I left at Danielas home. I thought it should be enough, even I was served a mixed salad to the dish and had ordered an “agua de horchata” it is based on rice water and contains even milk as well as vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. It is tasty and my stomach loves it as well.
I could not eat all of the salad and asked for the bill, when I had finished the meal. By the way, I did not really know how to eat it, though I put the most of the avocado sauce on the tomato dish, because it is a little spicy and the sauce is not at all. Later I saw someone at the next table having the same dish. He put the salad in the tortillas and added the sauces. Another thing I have to name here is, that the restaurant did not have a menu. Prices were not shown. The dishes were only named on a banner. Back to the bill. It was not a really bill either, the waitress only showed me her block, where she had added 150 + 30 + 30. I think it was for the main meal, the drink and the salad. I had not ordered the salad separately and thought, it is in the price. I told the waitress, that I did not expect such a high price, that I do not have so much money with me and that I have to call my friend to bring the rest of the money and I called Daniela, told her, that she need to take of my money in “my room” with her, though I can pay the bill. I first was afraid, that she still was at the cinema, but because she answered, I thought, she was no longer there. I was even afraid of, that she had not understood my situation, though I sent her even a text message. I paid the waiter the 160 MXN, I had with me and was waiting for Daniela.
Meanwhile I was waiting, I could learn about Mexican life. The most surprising was, when a man with a simple “instrument” came to the neighboring table. This item was two handles of metal, which were connected with a battery as it seemed (it was in a box). The owner could vary the intensity of the electricity in the handles. One man tried it and hold it all the time. Afterwards he paid the owner of this thing an amount of money. I could not really see, how much he paid. It was a Peso-note. After an hour I sent Daniela a new sms, around every quarter of an hour, but she did not answer. It took one more hour before she answered me, that she is on her way. When she finally came, her cousin was with her. I gave Daniela a hug, when she arrived. She did not have of my money with her, but helped me out with the missing 50 MXN. – At her home, I paid the money back. – We were waiting for friends of her cousin for a short time and afterwards directly going home by her car, which she had parked close to the cathedral. I learned a very important lesson of this. I felt very uncomfortable at the restaurant, of course.
Back at home, Daniela made company with Renata and her best friend. Together they were preparing boxes with sweets, hearts of paper and a balloon each for Valentine’s day. Renata had to sell them on carnival. It seemed, that the money earned by them, had to go to the school. Daniela and me were both to bed before the youngsters had finished their work.
10th February 2018
I awoke around 7am and paid my Swedish phone bill. I also updated my blog somewhat. When I was dressed around 8am, I was going down to the kitchen. Nobody was there. I went up again och knocked on the door to Daniela’s room, nobody answered. Renata’s door was open, nobody in the room either. Though I called Daniela. She told me, she will be back before I leave. I opened twitter on the Internet and was waiting for her. She was back around 11am and told me, that I should have had breakfast as well as she told me, I should have it now. I cooked coffee for me and fried two egg. Meanwhile the cleaning lady arrived. Daniela had not told me before, that she has a cleaning lady. After the meal I said good-bye to Daniela with a hug and made me on my way to my next host. By the way, Daniela asked me before, how I will go there or if she should drive me. My new host was expecting me not earlier than 3pm. Though I thought, I could take a walk, even I told Daniela, that I will take the bus.
I started walking. It was a sunny and really warm day. It was around 25°C, but I had no shade. Soon I bought a bottle of water. Lyckily on the side of the main roads there is often either a shop or a stall, where you can by something to eat and/or drink. I came to a point with a bridge and got a little problem, because there was no space for pedestrians on the bridge, though I anyway had to take a bus. Fortunately I had not to walk back for a long distance. It was a normal big bus and I had to pay 10 MXN for the ride. I told the bus driver, that I want to go to the Universidad Autonoma. He made a sign with his hand after a short trip, but did not stop. After a while I thought, the bus was already too far, though I checked by Google maps and I was right. I left the bus at the next stop. To take out my big backpack was close to as heavy as to get it up in the bus. By the way, there is no space in the buses for big backpacks or suitcases. Therefore my backpack stood close to the driver. He also had an eye on it, so it did not fall.
I walked after Google map for pedestrians, but there were more than one street I could not use, because they were private and closed or no streets at all and I could not be sure, that they would not end after a little while. I had been told, that I should come to the main entrance of the Universidad Autonoma Baja California Sur (UABSC). My new host had also described the way from there to his home. When I finally reached the university, I thought, I was on the wrong side of it, because Google told me that. I could not come through, because the area was closed by fences and gates. I bought a cheese tamales of a stall next to the entrance and asked the seller about the entrance to the university. He only could tell me, that it was the entrance. I walked a little further, to the entrance of a ranch, I thought. There were a horse standing on the yard, but no people and I could not see anyone I could have asked. I could not find a way through to the university building either. On the pedestrian’s way was an opportunity to sit down. There I did eat my tamales, which had a bit of chili pepper pod inside, I easily could take out.
It took not a long time to eat the tamales and I also understood afterwards why the seller had asked me, how many I want. One of them was for 17 MXN (~ 80 Cent) only and they were not big. It is like burritos and tacos, you usually do not eat only one of them. It was still two hours too early to call my host, though I sent him sms, but I did not get any answer. At 3pm, I called him and explained the situation for him. I told him about the ranch, what did not help him. He asked, what I could see more. Though I told him, there is a bank not far away, a Banamex, but there are lots of. This did anyway help him. It took no long time for him to come by car and find me. We were soon at his house. I actually was on the right side of the university. Google was wrong with the main entrance. Later on Hans, my new host, told me, that he first understood that with the ranch, when he saw the advertising on the wall to the building, which is owned by the city of La Paz and the only place to have private horses. It is not a ranch.
This host is a helpx host, that means, that I will help them, e.g. with the household and have free accommodation and free meals. I was surprised, when I saw Hans’ and Isa’s home. It was not similar at all to the homes I had seen so far, even I only have been with people, who have an own house. Every room has stairs to the next room, so has the kitchen and the hall. It was really dangerous for me in the beginning. Hans told me, that a while ago a tornado had blown off the roof of the house. Under the roof had all water and electrical supply been. They have hot water in the shower again, but not in the kitchen and not in the bedrooms. There is lots to do left.
The first thing I had to help them with, was to take out the trash. Afterwards we were going by car to the supermarket. This one was called Ley. It was similar to WalMart, without the electric shoppers. They told me, that I could choose, what I will eat, even they had told me before, that they prefer vegetarian food. I told them, that I like avocado and papaya and asked, if they have oats (for breakfast) as well as I asked them, if they have coffee.
Isa cooked the evening meal, which consisted spinach, chickpeas, bulgur etc. They have big plates and Isa filled our plates well. I only could eat half of it. They were surprised, when I asked them for a box to keep the rest for another day.
Hans had a long chat with me this day. He is happy, when he can praxis his English. He told me, that he makes his Master and has only his thesis left. Isa is studying something with social work. He added, that both will have a busy time during the next two weeks, though they are happy to have me there. He also told me, that he is lucky, who has a scholarship. In addition to that, he owns some apartments, which he lets. The house they are living in, Hans has grown up in. His mother still lives on the second floor.
I asked him about the different prices of the buses. When I go with a smaller bus, I pay only 5 MXN, but when I go by a bigger bus, which transports more people, I have to pay 10 MXN. There is no difference either, if I go to the next bus stop only or throughout the entire community. He told me, that the drivers of the bigger buses get paid in percent of the income and they therefore are interested in higher prices. Here in La Paz nobody get a ticket on the bus, it does not matter which kind of bus, one is going with.
During the evening meal I asked my hosts, if I may go to the carnival the upcoming day, which they were OK with. Hans also told about helpers, they have had before and that Mexicans cannot say no to girls, who are like 18-year-old in her mind and way they show, even they are older. This night I only had a thin cover, but I was warm anyway.
11th February 2018
It was Sunday and Hans had told me the evening before, that he won’t be up before 11am on Sundays. Though I had finished breakfast (oats natural, sugar, milk) around 9am and washed the floors. After that I was on Internet. I had checked about the times for the carnival parade at Malecón. It was stated, that it will be in the evening. I did not have anything more to do and was at noon going by bus (for that bridge) to the city centre. I walked around, bought a bottle of water and a small bag with popcorn. I sat on a bench for a while and later on the curbstone of the street, waiting for the parade. The weather was beautiful and 29°C most of the day. I was happy to have my hat.
Meanwhile I was waiting I counted for different types of police, which were all involved in the security around the parade. There were the police of the city, of the state of Baja California Sur, the polícia vailidad (a kind of security for the people) and the polícia preventiva ( even a kind of security guard for the people). If I understand it right, one is from the state of Baja California Sur and the other one from the city. In addition to that, the Marina (police or guard) were driving around in jeeps with guns.. Carnival is the only occasion of the year, I have been told of Renata, where it is allowed to drink alcohol on the street – and only at Malecón.
All has an end – even waiting for the parade. The police was standing in front of all the trucks etc. for a long while. It seemed they were waiting for someone. It might have been the ambulance, which has to follow the parade. Furthermore it looked like one of the police officers had a problem with his motorcycle. Around 6pm the motorcycles of the police started, but it still took a while, before the two small trucks of the police started as well. Behind the police came a lot of motorbikes. One of them looked like an old VW Beetle. Afterwards all the trucks and groups came. Some small trucks were only for the music of a group, others just had a music group to transport. In addition to that there were a lot of Kings and Queens, pirates, mermaids etc. Even monks were there. The crowned royal couple for the year were around 12 years old and I read, that it is usual, that they are, because it is a holiday for the children and the royal couple are the two, who raised most money for this event. By the way, one of the trucks had a problem. Until it was fixed, the other trucks and groups were overtaking. After around half of the time of the parade, it had become dark.
The public were mostly families with children in all ages, couples and friends. There also were a lot of tourists attending. Some of the families were there early and had big picnics with them. Another strange observation were all the eggs, which were sold. I guessed, that they may be thrown on the trucks and/or groups, but nothing of that happened. Actually it were only eggshells, which were filled with confetti. Even these were not allowed to throw on trucks or people.
The parade lasted around one hour, the first 25 minutes I recorded. When mugs were thrown into the public, an eager spectator nearly beat my phone out of my hands. I apologise for the bad quality of the video during this occasion. By the way it took me nearly three days to upload that video. First because of the low wi-fi quality and the last time, because YouTube did not accept my file by the length. Though I had to validate my account before I was allowed to try one more time. Only files up to 15 minutes are accepted without validation. For watching my file click on: Carnival on YouTube.
I walked the Malecón again after the parade and was looking for something to eat. Renata had told me, that I have to try the hotdogs, though I checked if they were different to the hotdogs I know. Actually they are a little different. The kind of sausages seems to be the same, I am used to – if I eat one, but they are served with fresh, diced onion and slices of tomato in the bread. I did not like to eat one. I bought unfortunately churros instead, these were very fat. The churros I had eaten in Tijuana had not been so fat at all.
Soon I went to the bus stop, taking a bus, which was even signed with UABCS. I sat on the right side, though I could see the university. I also followed the route by Google maps. Close to the university I told the driver to stop, but he did not, even other people repeated it. After a while I tried again, I would not miss the next stop, too. The driver said, that the bus stop already has been, but let me out a little while later. I had to walk back and did that at the same side, where my host lives. At the University of Tijuana, which is on this site of the road, a security man did greet me and shake hand with me. I asked him, if it is the right direction to the graveyard and he answered me, it is. Though I told him, that I have to go further in that direction. To round the hill was not very easy, there was no good pedestrian’s way. I was happy, when I climbed the stairs to the house.
I may not have told you, that the couple has two cats and two dogs. The dogs are not allowed in the house. One of the dogs is white, the other one black. The black dog dit recognise me, but not the white one, which growled. The black one was coming to me and I could fondle him. Now the white dog dit stop his noise and let me into the house. I had a sandwich and a glass of water for the evening meal, because I did not find leftovers of the meal of the couple. I was a short while on the Internet, trying to upload my video from the carnival, but the browser was not strong enough, though I went to bed around 11pm.
12th February 2018
I awoke two or three times during the night and had to go to the bathroom, even I did not freeze with my pants with short legs and the t-shirt with the short sleeves. I also felt easily asleep again. I finally awoke 7:30am and had breakfast at 8am. This day I also had a double sandwich with a fried egg in between.
After breakfast I made the dishes and cleaned the kitchen including the stove. Afterwards I washed the bathroom floor as well as the floor of the hall in front of it. In the room, where I sleep and have my backpacks, I washed the washing basin and cleaned the room from the webs. It is up to the user of this room to clean it. The last one just left two days before I arrived, though I do not really understand, why there were webs. When I finished I was already hungry again and ate my leftovers from Saturday.
I asked Hans if it is OK, that I take the weekend off and go to Cabo San Lucas. I explained, that I will leave at Saturday morning and be back at Sunday evening. He agreed and I tried to find a CS-host.
Later on I made my files (took care of my economy – which is still very good). Isa came home with friends from the university. She asked me, if I had eaten something and made burritos for Hans. I asked Hans, where to buy stamps, because I still had written postcards for my friends in my backpack. Unfortunately there is no post office on this side of the bridge. Therefore I took the bus downtown. When I finally had found a post office, they only had stamps with a value of 7 or 15 MXN. Though I bought 10 X 7. The female assistant put them on the cards the way, that the values were visible. That was not so easy, because the stamps are big.
The weather was made for ice cream and I found soon a shop selling some. I chose chocolate (I always name it first, because I like to have it in the bottom, though it is the last taste I get.) and cappuccino. The two big scopes were for 30 MXN together. I also had to top up my phone card as well as I were looking for tissues. I entered a phone shop asking, where I can buy a top up, because I have not seen a 7eleven in town. I have been told, that in La Paz I have to go to the Oxxo. It is the only shop, where I can do it. Though I did and was then looking for a pharmacy, because in Tijuana I could find tissues there and a Walmart was too far away. Unfortunately the pharmacy did not sell tissues, therefore I was taking the bus back to my host. When I told the driver, that I only will go to the UABCS, he first did not understand me, though I told him: “Universidad Autonoma” and he answered “uni?” It was still daytime and I could see all the buildings beside the road. I also could see, when we were on the bridge. Directly after the bridge I was going to the door, but the driver told me “next one”. From now on I know exactly, where the right stop is. By the way it was very easy from there to find the house of my host.
Even this evening I had problems with the Internet. Instead I cared about my files again, but tried the Internet later again. I wrote some lines in my blog and still tried to upload the video from the carnival. Hans and Isa worked with their own things, Isa also had been to her dog. He is living with her parents, because the dog is used to be in the house, what Hans does not accept. I was not offered an evening meal, though I ate a big slice of a papaya and an avocado as well. I was to bed around 10pm.
13th February 2018
I had a similar breakfast like the day before and made the dishes afterwards, followed by cleaning the kitchen, the living room and “my room”. Hans had told me before, that he has to work with his thesis and an article for a science magazine 24/7, but he has some other things to manage as well. When he took a short break, I asked him, if they have a washing machine. I also had another meal (strawberries and papaya). When time was, he showed me the washing machine and put it on. It is an old machine and not easy to start. I checked the machine from time to time, meanwhile I uploaded my video. Fortunately it worked this time, but YouTube told me, that I have to verify my account, because the video was more than 15 minutes long. I followed the verification process and found, that I have to upload the video one more time – which I did.
During this time, I checked the washing machine again. She is in an outhouse, though I have to cross the yard to go there. Well there again, the machine was taking in water all the time and it was close to run over the machine, therefore I closed the water supply and wrung out my clothes by hand. I hanged them on the line. I expected, that they need to dry more than a day.
I continued to upload the video and was looking for more to eat. I found cereals and took some of them with milk. At that time, I saw Isa come home. Soon she cooked something and also used her laptop. When she had finished that cook, she told me, it was for the dogs. I told her about the washing machine. We were going there and she put the program to empty it – because the machine is so old, I could not see, which button was the one for this work. Short afterwards she left the house together with Hans. He had changed clothes and his laptop with him and Isa was going to her dog. They did not tell me, when they will be back, though I was awaiting them shortly, but they had told me, that a former helper will come in around half an hour and pick her things up.
Finally I managed to upload the video, twitter the link as well as I could link to it on my blog. The weather changed again. In the morning it had been very cloudy and Hans had told me, that it is very unusual for the time of the year. In the afternoon the sun was shining and now it became windy. I had no pins to fasten my clothes on the line, therefore I checked if they already were dry. I did not expect it, but they were. Only my woollen socks were not. I took in my clothes and put them on “my bed”. Afterwards I was updating my blog, waiting for Hans and Isa and hoping for dinner. I was happy, that I had changed the time for the stay from four to two weeks and I asked myself, if I ever will be a helpx helper again.
Meanwhile I was updating my blog, Archi, my host from Tijuana, called me. It is nice, that he still cares about me.
When Isa came home from school, she did only care about the dogs and herself. Around an hour later, both Hans and Isa were leaving. Hans was dressed for a meeting and had his laptop with him, Isa was going to see her dog. Hans was first back home. He was hungry, so was I. We had cereals. Afterwards he told me, that there is pasta, rice, beans and more and I could choose what I want. I understood it that way, that I am welcome to cook. So I will. I also asked him for the weekend off. I would like to go to Cabo San Lucas to see “the arc” and more. I told Hans, that I will be back Sunday evening. He told me, that it is perfect, but that the place is very touristic and expensive. I sent a couch surfing request.
Well to bed I watched a movie on the Internet. Unfortunately I could not fall asleep before early morning because of the mosquitos. I used the “djungelolja” (jungle oil), I had bought in Sweden on my entire body and left the light on. Actually I had neither seen mosquitos somewhere else in the house nor outside, but the bites on my arms and legs were typical mosquito bites.
14th February 2018
Even I slept a very few hours, I was at 8am in the kitchen and had breakfast. This time I had cereals and a toasted sandwich with ham and cheese. I made the dishes and swept the floors directly afterwards. I also had planed to clean the mirrors and maybe also the windows, but the spray bottle was not working and I did not find more than one dry cloth, I could have used for it. Something, which seems strange for me, is the fact, that in the Mexican households I have been so far, nobody used or even had dish-towels. Though I could not use such one either. I cleaned the switches for the lights instead, which soon was done. For lunch I prepared pancakes, but Hans told me, he will become tired, if he eats during the day. He also told me, that Isa loves pancakes and always is very hungry, when she is coming home from school. Therefore she will enjoy them.
In the afternoon I cooked spaghetti with sauce of soya chunks, pressed tomato etc. as well as I prepared a mixed salad including avocado. It became much more spaghetti and sauce as I had planned, which has to do with the big pots they have. I ate around 5pm, Hans and Isa much later. After the meal and dishes, I was to “my room”, tried again to find a CS-host for the upcoming weekend in Cabo San Lucas and watched movies on the Internet. I had to take my medicine against heartburn again, therefore it became late that night again, before I could fall asleep.
15th February 2018
The morning was as usual, but I told Isa, before she was leaving for the university, that I would like to clean the mirrors and asked her, what I could use for it. He brought me the cloth I already had used the day before to clean doors. Though I continued asking for a detergent or similar and she told me, she has to buy one.
The cleaning of the floors and the dishes did not take long time. I was on twitter afterwards, to have something to do. I also checked, if there is a supermarket on this side of the bridge. I found one not far away, but I was not going there directly.
I had a meal around noon, actually leftovers from the day before of the meal I cooked. Before I was on my way, Hans told me, he had a new tenant for the apartment, which had got a new floor (tiles) in the combined kitchen and living room. He asked me to clean the fridge and if I would see anything more. When I came there, I first checked, what has to be cleaned, but the most was OK. There were much less dust than in Hans’ and Isa’s home. Anyway in the kitchen was more to clean but the fridge. The apartment contains in addition to the named a bedroom, a shower and a separate WC. It is furnished and Hans told me, that this is usual in Mexico. It may have around 50 sqm, maybe a little less, but is a lot bigger, than my apartment in Sweden. It also has water in the kitchen 😉. Hans told me, the rent per month is ca. 150 USD, but people pay in pesos, of course. He added, that an apartment or even a big house is not a privilege, a new car and good clothes are.
When I finished the cleaning, which took around half an hour, I went to the supermarket and told Hans, that I will do that. He told me, that I can get all by them, but I answered, that I need tissues – they had not. It was around 4pm at that time and still sunny and hot outside, though I took my hat (which I really love) and walked away.
At the supermarket I was walking the most of the aisles, even there were signs with the names of the things on the shelves, but on one hand side I was interested in, what they offer (when I follow hosts, I never have time to check it all) and on the other hand I did not know, with which other items I can find them, e.g. Higenicos were only WC paper and kitchen towels. I also looked for milk without lactose (which I did not find). At the end I bought tissues, cotton pins, a banana, soap and a Milky Way bar. It was for ca 68 MXN and I paid with 70. The change I gave the “packer”. When I left the supermarket I have seen a sign, which caught my interest:
It is an information about, that Polio vaccination will be held at the supermarket. I think, this is a sign, that the health government thinks, that vaccinations are very important.
By the way many days I have seen, that no many Mexican women are wearing hats in the areas I have been so far. Most of Mexican men wear caps, one and another cowboy hats. I am really surprised about, that Mexican women do not stay safe for the sun.
Back at my host’s home again, I booked a bed in a dorm in Cabo San Lucas for one night, because none of the CS-hosts has answered me so far. The bed, including breakfast and wi-fi, was for 14 €. The hostel, which name is Baja Cactus Hostel, has very good references also for the cleanliness. In addition to that, it is located centrally in downtown. I am planning, what I will have with me. I try to make it with only my little backpack. Afterwards I updated my blog and watched movies again, because my host already said good night. He has to work more on his thesis, of course and his wife had to do homework as well. Actually they are not married, but live that way. I did not know that, before we were talking about it in the afternoon. Hans had started the conversation, asking if Swedish couples are wearing rings. He told me, that 95% of Mexicans are no longer going to church and it is very usual, that people are not officially married.
16th February 2018
was a very boring day. I did not have much to do, though I was most of the day on twitter, but in the living room, where also the entrance is. By this I was available for the couple. It was as usual, when Isa came home from the university, we greeted and she was going to Hans, where he is working with his thesis. I can’t remember, that I have seen him the entire day. I cooked a meal for me between 5 and 6pm. Neither Isa nor Hans had asked me to cook for them. In the evening I answered emails I had got before I started this trip. I also watched a movie on YouTube. I was to bed around 10pm, because I have to be awake early the upcoming morning.
17th February 2018
I awoke 7:30am and left the house around an hour later. I have told my host, that I am going to Cabo San Lucas and will be back on Sunday evening. I went first to the supermarket to buy a bottle of water. Surprisingly I have got an amount of 90 cent back. There were a 50 centimes and two 20 centimes coins as change.
I walked a little further and tried to hitchhike. After a while a truck stopped. For the one night at the hostel, I only had my little backpack, though it was easy to climb into the truck. The driver was a Mexican man in the age of 61 (he told me later). He only spoke Spanish even he is driving between Cabo San Lucas and Los Angeles. Though we did not talk a lot, but had a short conversation. I was happy, that I could go with him the whole way. He bought soft drinks and chips at a gas station and offered me as well, but I thanked him and told him, that I have water with me. He opened one bottle, but he did not eat of the chips. Close to our goal he started fondle my arm. I told him, that I am old (because my skin has wrinkles), but he told me, I am not and even his age. Though I told him mine. He did not look surprised. Short time after, he asked me, if he should drive aside the road and, even I could not really understand the words, but understood, that he almost would like to cuddle me. I told him “no” and he accepted. That made me happy, of course. That he had asked me, had made me thoughtful. Maybe I should not go with trucks.
He stopped for me to leave the truck, when he had to drive into an industrial area. I walked a while, but did then take a bus, because I did neither know how far away the downtown is – the data traffic was not working for the mountains around, nor how far away the hostel is, which I had booked. I had to pay 12,50 pesos for the ride. I was surprised about the high price, even the town is smaller than La Paz and much smaller than Tijuana.
Downtown I could see the hostel from the bus and left at the next stop. It was too early for the check in, though I looked for a place to eat. I red menus, where they were available. At last I chose the Loco Taco bar, which was a mistake, I found out too late. I tried to order a Chesadilla, but the waiter told me, that it is very big and I should take tacos instead. I asked him, if the “taco al pastor” is hot spicy and he told me, it is. Though I asked for the chicken taco and he told me, it comes with just chicken and is not. Therefore I ordered a chicken taco and it really only came with chicken, but there were salads and sauces to choose. The salads were tomatoes with onion resp. coriander with onion. The sauces were mostly with chilly, but a white one, which came with garlic. I chose the white sauce. The tortillas of the taco were much smaller than the ones from Tijuana. In addition to that, the tacos in Tijuana came with two tortillas each, though you could eat the food, which felt out of the taco while eating with the extra tortilla. Here the tacos came only with one tortilla each, but accompanied by a fork. I had a beer to the tacos, because I still had of the water I bought in La Paz and was not willing to give a lot of money for a water only. Unfortunately the beer was very expensive. I first was served it as it is in the bottle, but had to ask for a glass. Maybe the use of the glass made it so expensive.
After the meal I went to the hostel, but they told me, that the bed was booked for March and that they did not have any bed left and added “it is Saturday”. He recommended me cheap hotels (around 600 pesos a night, while the hostelbed had been for half of it) and explained, where I could find them. I was walking further, looking for the beach. I was most interested in to see the “arco”. When I found a beach, I understood, that it was only possible to see that rock by boat. I had passed a tour business just before I came to the beach, though I went back there and asked for the price. It was for 250 pesos and after calculating, what it would be in Euro (11 €), I agreed. We had to hurry, to attend the boat, which just was to leave and almost a km from this place. On of the assistants of the business brought me there.
The boat was as small as the one for the whale watching, but there was only space for eight people. We were only three this time. A couple was already on the boat, when I entered. I always am impressed by the drivers, who can navigate very well. First we stopped at a place on the “Mar de Cortes” (Gulf of California), where we could see fishes through the part of the bottom of the boat, which was of glass.
The boatman also explained, what we could see. At one place it was like a small window in the rocks, through which we could see the Pacific ocean.
At another point, we came very close to sea lions, which enjoyed the sun on a rock. We also could see a lot of special birds like the brown pelican and fregatidae birds.
After we had seen the arc from the Gulf of California, he drove further to the point, where the Gulf of California meet the Pacific Ocean, but he drove more further, though we could see the arc from the other side as well other special rock formations.
On the way back, the couple left at a little beach, which only was possible to reach by boat, but I was going back to the harbour with him.
I continued downtown again, because for the best beach (I had observed from the boat) I had to go that direction, but first of all I was longing for an ice cream and in need of a bathroom. Luckily I came to a tourist information and could asked about it. A public bathroom, with a fee of 5 pesos, was nearby and even a Dairy Queen Ice Cream shop not far away. I sent Carlos, the driver I had hitchhiked with to La Paz a message, because he had told me,that I should get in touch with him for a cheap accommodation, when I am in Cabo San Lucas. Unfortunately he was not in town and I decided to skip the beach and try to go back to my host in La Paz. I remembered a bus terminal and walked in that direction. Before I reached the one I remembered, I found another one announcing rides for La Paz every second hour for a price of 240 pesos. I asked for a seat and was told, that the next bus at 5:45pm was full, but got a ticket for the 7:45pm bus. Fortunately I anyway got a seat in the 5:45pm bus. I informed my host by WhatsApp, but I could not read their answer, before I was back there.
For more photos of Cabo San Lucas click here.
The door was open as usual, but nobody at home. They were shopping. They had offered me to pick me up at the bus terminal in La Paz, but that had not been necessary, because I had asked the driver, if he can stop at the UABCS and let me out, which he did. When I had asked him for that favour, other passengers asked for other stops. Therefore the driver stopped three or four times before the UABCS. One of the stops where at Ley, the other one at the Soriana supermarket, where I have been in the morning.
I was awake until my host were coming home, but soon afterwards I was going to “my” room, because they did not share their time with me. I started to update my blog, but was too tired to write about the whole day.
My impression of Cabo San Lucas was that, what Hans told me: It is a very touristic place. Shop owners asked me to enter their shops, the food is more expensive than at less touristic places. You cannot find a simple supermarket downtown. Next to it, there are Oxxo supermarkets, which always have higher prices than Soriana, Ley, Walmart etc, because they are open 24/7. I actually do not understand why Archi had told me, that he loves Cabo and recommended me to go and see it. Regarding to the beach: I can go to the beaches of La Paz. It takes less time and is cheaper, because the collective buses are going there. Anyway the tour by boat was worth the day spent in Cabo.
18th February 2018
I met Hans, when I was going to the kitchen. I tried to take a bowl and a mug for breakfast, but there was only a bigger bowl as I wished and a cup. Though I asked him, if they had more dishes in their bedroom, because I would like to make the dishes. He told me, he will fetch them and he did. I have not seen all of them before and told him, that I did not know, they have so many. He answered me, that he did not know that either. 😊
I also gave the cats water and something to eat, but there was not much of the cat food left (they only get dry food). I showed it for Hans and he promised, he will buy more today. He also told me, that I can give them of the dogs dry food, what I did, but the cats did not eat of it.
I spent a lot of time with the dishes, especially because I had to soak a lot of mugs, plates and bowls. I also cleaned the stove, took the garbage out including the used toilet paper. I had to use two bags for it and do not understand, why they do not care about it themselves, when it is so much in the bucket. I actually do not understand at all, why their home is not as clean as the others I have seen before. However they shower as often as it is usual here in Mexico (daily, sometimes twice a day).
19th February 2018
Finally my host bought more cleaning utensils and even plastic gloves for me. So far I did use my own one time gloves, even I used them for five days. I had not asked for gloves, though I was very happy, they brought them. They did not buy special glass cleaner, but two bottles of detergent, which can be used for floors as well as cupboards and mirrors, even the result for the mirrors was not perfect, but that belonged more to the lack of drying clothes. The one they have, was not working well. What surprised me again, that it seems to be usual here in Mexico, to use chlorine in some percentage of the detergent, but also some declared only as chlorine. That reminds me of the discussion I have had with my host, when we had been together at the supermarket. Plastic bags are still for free and they use a lot of them every time, they are shopping food. Luckily Isa do not pack fruit and vegetables in plastic bags, when she choose the different items. Unfortunately there are prepackaged fruits and vegetables in plastic folio. I had told my host, that I do think, that it is not good to use so many plastic bags and we in Sweden as well as people in Germany often use reusable bags of different types, e.g. cotton and that in Germany unnecessary package can be left at the supermarket to show, that we do not agree with this package. As an example I named toothpaste. The box around the toothpaste tube is unnecessary. Hans told me, that it makes such a little difference, if they would start with it, though they do not care. I hope, they and many other people will start to change their behaviour soon.
This day I made not only the dishes and all the floors, but also the mirrors and washing basins. When I finished, Isa was coming home with two friends. It was time for lunch. I thought about the nopales (cactus), which still were in the fridge. When I took them out, they did not look so fresh anymore, though I asked Isa, if I still could use them. She told me, they are OK. Therefore I prepared them all. I had eggs over them, though it became scrambled eggs with nopales. I also found tortillas in the fridge and warmed two of them for me. I did not know, when Isa would like to eat and if she will invite her friends. I told Isa, that the food was ready. She came immediately, warmed up more tortillas and put the scrambled eggs with nopales into them and ruled them to burritos. She told me, that it is easier to eat that way.
The rest of the day I was on the Internet – checking about the ferry and what to see in Los Mochis, Hermosillo and Chihuahua as well as on twitter and YouTube. Once Hans called me, showing me, that water is tripping in the kitchen at one wall and asking me, if it is the same in the room I sleep. I told him, that there is no problem, but I will have an eye on it. He also told me, that the problem came after they had made a new roof, that it only is dripping, when it rains and that they had tried all to get it closed.
I could not fall asleep that night, but had no special reason for it.
20th February 2018
When I finally felt asleep around 5am I slept for nearly four hours. I thought, it should not matter, because I still can make the housework. The cats were still outside, but meowing. I took a look if they have food and water and they had. Though I had breakfast. Hans told me, Isa has a special project at the university and left the evening before as well as she won’t be back before 5pm.
After breakfast the cats were still meowing and I opened the door. Now I saw, that their food was very wet – I think it was from the day before, when it was raining. They did not eat that food, which I fully understand. I gave them fresh food and fresh water. I also checked the water for the dogs, but that was OK. I have got the feeling, that the cats are often forgotten. I am sorry about them for the future – they are quite thin already.
I washed the dishes after I had asked Hans if there are more in their room, because I almost missed two plates. Though he came with mugs as well. Before I cleaned the floors as usual I washed my underpants and hanged them on the line as well as I washed a couple of doors. Afterwards I was in “my” room on twitter. Around 1pm I had a healthy meal of cheese, avocado, fresh pineapple and papaya. When I finished, Isa came already home. As usual she just said hello. I heard her in the shower short time afterwards and later in the kitchen.
I did not cook any meal this day, neither did Isa. I should have used my free time to learn better Spanish. Unfortunately I learn best by doing, that means in conversations. I hope I will learn more, when I continue travelling to other places. I also could go to town or to the beach, but La Paz is such a small place, there is not more to see and I cannot enjoy to go to the beach without company. I am the kind of people, who likes to use their brains all the time. I met people, who told me, that I should stop doing that from time to time and relax. I cannot, but when I sleep and I enjoy to learn by interacting with other people or by the Internet. If it would be possible to use Internet at the beach, even the beach would be an option for me, when I do not have company.
The afternoon and evening I used twitter and YouTube again.
21st February 2018
I awoke a little later as usual and was still tired, anyway I was up around 8:30am. I needed purified water to take my medicine, but the big water bottle of 20 liters was empty, though I picked up one outside the house and carried it in as well as I put it on the desk and opened it. It was not easy to put it on the desk, because the one is unusual high. I think it is about 85cm high. To open the lock was the second complicated thing to do, but I also managed that. Before I was to my room for the medicine and to dress, I gave the cats food and water and checked, that the dogs have water. Before I had breakfast I went outside to pick my underpants from the line.
The breakfast was as usual and afterwords I did the dishes again. Hans came with some, too. In addition to that, I started to clean the fridge. Hans came with another big water bottle, though I told him, that I already had fetched a new one. He brought his water bottle back and had tea. Now I asked him, if he knows a laundry in La Paz. He first told me, that I could use their washing machine, but when I answered him, that it is not working properly, he showed me on Google maps. I also told him, that I will go further next Monday and buy the ferry ticket next Friday. He was sorry, that I already will leave and asked me to stay longer, but I told him, that I have my itinerary. He understood and offered me to drive me to the office of the Baja Ferries. I thanked him for that, but later I checked the address and if it would be necessary to go there by car. There is an office in the city centre and I also have to go to an ATM, close to it. I will make this independent from Hans and Isa.
When I had cleaned the fridge – I actually used my own tea towel, I had my light lunch. This time with ham, cheese, avocado and toasted bread as well as a glass of water. I had just started, when Isa came back from the university. I never know, when she is coming, though I had not prepared anything for her. When I finished my lunch, I was looking for her. I was thinking to ask her, if I should prepare a salad for her, but I could not find her. Therefore I was going to “my” room, checked twitter, updated my blog and watched movies on YouTube as usual at this place.
22nd February 2018
After the usual breakfast and cleaning I went to the supermarket to buy tissues and some food, because the household of my host had run out of milk and bread. I also bought toilet paper, because there was only very little on the roll left and no new one in the bathroom. On the way home I had two Quesadillas and a bottle of Aqua de Horchata. That was the first time I have seen it bottled.
I ignored the chickpeas on the stove. They were in a very little pot, in which I could not cock them, but not enough for one of the big pots, they have. The rest of the day I spent in “my” room and was as usual on the Internet. I found Spanish movies with English subtitles. Unfortunately I could not understand most of the spoken words, though I gave up.
23rd February 2018
The day started as usual, but then I was to the city centre. Actually I had my laundry with me and thought to go to the laundromat Hans had shown me on the map. Nearly all busses from the place, where I am entering, are going to the city centre, but they have different routes. Unfortunately the one I took, had a to me totally unknown route. Therefore I never came to that laundromat, but I found another one with the help of the tourist information.
Anyway, first time I was there this day, it was closed, even it should have been open. There was no sign about, for how long time it would be closed. I asked in the bookstore nearby if they know something. I had to do it in Spanish. The shop assistant was surprised to hear, that the tourist information was closed and could not help me. When I asked him, if there is another one somewhere, he answered “no”. I walked to the HSBC branch in the same street and took out 5,000 MZN for my upcoming trip. Now I went back to the tourist information to check if it still was closed.
Fortunately it was open now. I asked for a free map, a laundry and the office of the Baja Ferries. The assistant made a sign, where a laundromat is. It was not far away. I was going there straight away. It was a quite small one, what did not matter, of course. It was operated by an assistant (maybe she was the owner). That means, there were no need to buy special coins or tokens. The washing machine she started with a key and the dryer by a coin, which was in the open box below. The washing machine as well as the dryer took half an hour each. I also bought detergent there, which I have got out of a big container and just as much as needed for my washing. First when I had finished with all of the process including that I folded my clothes and put them in my bag, I had to pay. The amount I paid was: 18 MZN each for the washing and the dryer and 9 MZN for the washing detergent. For 45 MZN (2 EUR) I had done all of it to a really low price – if you remember my washing in Tijuana, where I had to pay 45 MZN for the washing in a machine of the same size and more for the dryer. If you ever will come to La Paz, Baja California Sur and need to wash your clothes, here is the address of the laundromat: Corner “Calle Mutualismo” and “Calle Melchor Ocampo”.
It was around 2pm, when I left the laundromat and I was very hungry now. I continued on “Calle Melchor Ocampo” until I found a restaurant I liked. It was a small one, offering “a dish of the day” for 85 MZN (4 EUR) including: A soup, a main meal, a dessert and a drink. This day it was a lentil soup, even including onions in small pieces and coriander. I decided to vary my lentil soups, when I am back home with this kind. The main meal was chicken breast Italian style, which was tasty, not hot spiced and a big portion. It came with pasta, salad and an unknown salad with cream. Maybe it was celery root. For the dessert I could choose between a gelatine dessert with milk, a cake or ice cream. Unfortunately I could not remember the name of the first option, though I chose the ice cream. The drink was strawberry water and I was served a whole liter in a carafe. The glass had a size of around 30 cl. I took one and a half glass and had not to pay extra. I left 10 MZN as a tip, because the waiters were nice to me. Afterwards I was asking for the bathroom and the only female waiter told me, I had to go to “Coppel”, a shop for refrigerators, stoves, household ware and clothes, but there was no bathroom.
At Coppel I took the opportunity to check the prices of fridges (between 8,000 and 13,000 MZN), stoves (4,000 to 8,000 MZN) and washing machines and dryers (5,000 to 6,000 MZN each). Did I already tell you, that gas stoves are used here? There are no pipelines for gas. They have containers of different sizes. Later I saw an announcement for a place as a cashier. The income of 1,200 MZN a week was promised and I think, it will be a monthly income around 5,000 MZN. Later I found out, that the tax will be around 250 MZN for this monthly payment. For an apartment it would be almost 2,500 MZN. Electricity and maybe for the water, it also has to be paid. There are only 2,000 MZN left for a month and I am wondering, how Mexicans can afford these items.
Though I asked Hans about it and he told me, that the amount is close to the minimum wage, which is exactly 88 MZN/day, as well as a third of the inhabitants of La Paz live on that wage. In addition to that, those people are “alone”, which means, that they anyway often have to feed their parents as well. To get all the calories, they need everyday, they eat fat and sugar like the fat of pigs or butter and Coca Cola to drink. They cannot afford fresh water each day, but every third day as well as they put the water in open, used containers. They suffer of paradontitis and parasites. Anyway, you cannot see, that those people are very poor, because they try to melt into the middle class, wich are nearly the other two-thirds, by buying brand clothing and cellphones. The middle class, with a usual income of around 10,000 MZN a month, often live in pairs, with such an income each. In addition to that, there are too many well-educated people, e.g. in agriculture. There are only a few opportunities to get a job, where they can use their knowledge. To open an own business they cannot afford either, though they are working for a minimum wage. Even nurses only get minimum wages. One has to be a lawyer, a doctor or an architect to make a good living. Many years ago, lots of people started in informatics. Now there are more people educated in informatics as necessary, too. Most of them do not speak English. Developers for informatics write the programs in Spanish. Afterwards they are translated into English by professional translators.
My next goal was the office of the Baja Ferries. It was easy to find, but the pedestrians way was full of stairs. A Mexican woman in her thirties was in front of me, but waiting for me. I think, because it was for the map in my hand. I told her “difficult” in Spanish, thinking about the stairs I just had to use. She asked me, where I want to go and offered me to show me the way. I would have done it easily without her, but followed her until she had to take off to her street. She also had told me, that it was almost two and five blocks away (two blocks on the street we were to the street of the right address and five on that street). I told her, that it does not matter for me, I will walk anyway. A little further a Mexican man, maybe in his forties, maybe already in his fifties, asked me if I need help. I thanked him while I answered, I do not need any.
Two men rushed into the office of the Baja Ferries before me, but there was no need, there were three counters operated, but the assistant at one of them was only taking phone calls. I asked my assistant for a ticket from La Paz to Topolobampo (the harbour close to Los Mochis). I added, that I will go, without car, on 26th February by the afternoon ferry. First she asked me about March and I corrected her to February, then she showed me the ticket for 27th of February. Though I told her, that the date is wrong, that I asked for a ticket for Monday, 26th February. She asked her colleague something, which answered “yes” and I have finally got the ticket I was asking for.
I had more errands, because I would like to go to the island Espiritu Santo on Saturday. The island is well-known for its different kinds of seldom flora and fauna. The boat trips includes snorkeling as well as a meal. Well at Malecón the most tour operators had a sign, that one should call. When I found an available, the operator told me, that it will be too windy for the tour on Saturday, but Sunday would be possible. He was not good in English and called his secretary to speak with me. Unfortunately she had to tell me, that it is not possible until Monday to go by boat, because of the windy weather. I was looking for another operator, with the hope, they may have bigger boats and can make it. I also found one, but was told, there are no tours at the weekend, because of the strong winds expected. I was unhappy of course and thought, it would have been better, if I would have used the weekend before for the island and had taken the trip to Cabo San Lucas this weekend. I also blamed myself, that I did not think about weather conditions as well that I did not take the ticket for the 27th February. On the other hand side, there might be another opportunity to sea all that at another place.
Furthermore I was going to the bus terminal to ask about the bus to the ferry terminal at Pichilingue – the one for La Paz. There is only one bus operator going there and it is for 50 MZN. Taxis from Malecón to the ferry terminal are for 200 MZN. Anyway I have to go to Malecón, which means to take a bus from the University to the city centre and walk to the Malecón. Therefore I decided to ask Hans, if he has time to drive me. I also will offer him to pay for the gas.
The weather was still sunny and warm and I could not withstand another ice cream. The smaller cup for one scope was for 30 MZN, the bigger cup with two scopes was for 35 MZN, though I did take the bigger cup, of course and chose a scope of ice cream with the taste of Bailey’s and the other was chocolate. There were tables and chairs outside the ice cream shop and I sat down. Meanwhile I ate my ice cream, there came grey clouds and the sun disappeared. It became chilly and people looked at me with my ice cream. When I had eaten it all, I dressed in the sweater I had with me and walked back to the bus stop in the city centre.
I was back around 6pm and it was still daylight. The cats were asking for food, but it seemed, they already have had. However the water bowl was empty, though I filled it and was then going to “my” room, where I ate something and then was watching movies on YouTube.
24th February 2018
I awoke around 9am and still felt tired. It had not been especially late the evening before. I think, I have not enough oxygen in that room, because I cannot open the window and the door I usually have closed to keep the cats out. I did not see anyone of my host, gave the cats fresh water and of the dogs food, because I could not find any cat food. I also gave the dogs fresh water before I had breakfast. Afterwards I made the dishes and cleaned the floors.
It was very windy, though I closed the garden door of the kitchen with the cats outside and opened the door to “my” room. With my tablet I was sitting in the livingroom, when Hans came back from the shop. I took the opportunity to ask him about the income of 1,200 MZN etc. He first asked me, if I am looking for a job, but then he explained, what I already have written the day before. Later this day, he asked me, why I am not staying at the same place for longer, about my ongoing trip and about my life. We were talking about all of that around two hours. He told me, he is interested in it, because the first subject he studied was psychology, even he never became a psychologist, but he can read in the eyes. He also was wondering, why just we met, because he is like my eldest son and I like his mother. He also would appreciate to read my book about “Family with special needs”.
I had a light, but late lunch afterwards and continued then with my blog. Hans was one more time shopping and put the items on the table in the living room. Isa was walking in and out of the house as well as Hans did, though I took care about the shopping. I checked the cats food and saw, that they had got a box of tuna each. Unfortunately the neighbours cat did like the tuna, too. Though I had to defend “our” cats food. – Also this evening I ate in “my” room of the food I had bought myself, but I spent the evening with Twitter.
25th February 2018
It is Sunday and I slept until 9am. The last hours of the morning, I had been freezing, though I took an extra cover. I took my medicine, dressed and cared about the animals. Surprisingly I found the package with the cats dry food on the kitchen floor, but the cats had something else to eat. It was hard to define. Maybe it was ground meat. For that reason I only gave them fresh water.
While I was eating breakfast, Hans came in from outside. I was surprised, that he was up so early on a Sunday, even it seems, he got help with his garden again. He told me, that the deadline for his thesis is the upcoming day and I understood, that I anyway have to go by bus to the harbour. Isa was up soon afterwards and left the house. I made the dishes, cleaned the floors and a mirror.
Furthermore I called the hostel in Los Mochis for the code, but was told, that it will be changed everyday and have to call the upcoming day. In addition to that, I checked my blog for Baja California Sur, corrected mistakes and updated the site as well as I uploaded the missing photos to Google photos. The cats had company with me on the couch, but were sleeping.
In the evening I had a long discussion with Hans. He did not care, that he had to leave his thesis the upcoming day, but used the opportunity to get answers on his question about social security in Europe. I answered as much as I know and asked him about the situation in Mexico. There is also a social security, but not as good as in the countries I have lived. We were even talking about electricity, too, including wind and solar energy. He told me, that the problem is, that you won’t have energy during nighttime, if you try with solar energy. That a few Mexicans can afford it, but not the batteries for the storage for the night as well as the government do not have a program for implantation of solar energy. They won’t help with money and it is not possible for private owners to sell and buy energy back. In addition to that, we talked about climate change. Furthermore I watched a movie by YouTube again, but only one, because I have to go up early the upcoming morning.
26th February 2018
I awoke around 7am and was up a little later, took my medicine, dressed and gave the cats food and water. I even checked, if the dogs had water. Afterwards I had breakfast, made the dishes and cleaned the floors of the bathroom, the hallway, the kitchen and the livingroom. Hans were coming hugging me around 9am, in case we do not see each other one more time this day. I finished with the job 9:30am and said goodbye to Hans. Isa was not at home. He gave me a second hug. Then I took my backpacks, my cooling bag and my hat and walked down the hill. I had to carry even my big backpack, because of the stairs. To the bus stop I was walking on the street to avoid the sandy pedestrians way. I was lucky, when I arrived at the bus stop, a bus arrived at well. It was from another company than I had used before, but neither the bus was more comfortable nor did the driver speak English. A Mexican man helped me to get my big backpack into the bus. Even this bus did take another route, but I still had lots of time.
At the city centre I left and was walking down to the Malecón and the bus station. I tried to buy a ticket for the Aquila bus, but the counter was closed, thought I tried it with the ABC bus company, but was told, that I have to buy it at the ecobajatour’s counter. So I did. I have got a ticket for the Express bus at 12:05pm. There was no earlier. I went to the Malecón kiosk and enjoyed the view for around an hour, before I went back to the bus station. The arrivals of the buses for the different cities was not announced. I was waiting for a ecobajatour bus, but when I saw, that the assistant from that bus company spoke with a driver, I was going there, too and showed him my ticket. He told me, where the bus is waiting, but it was an Aquila bus. I entered anyway. A kind Mexican helped me with my luggage again and put it on the bench (the last row). Other people did the same and my backpack became the one below all the others. The bus did stop from time to time to let people leave, though this was not an Express bus. We arrived in time at the harbour anyway and had to switch to a bus, which was going to the ferry. It was for free, but we had first to pass a security control similar to them at airports.
We had to walk onto the boat. The first stairs were accompanied by an escalator, but the next stairs, which were higher, there was not. Though I used the elevator instead, even I did not have my big backpack to carry. It was checked in. When the elevator’s doors opened, I saw, that I had to go up one more floor. I tried to go one more time by the elevator, but was denied of a crew member of the ferry. The seat in the saloon, which was included in the price, was quite comfortable, but not like the one on the ferry between Southampton and Le Havre. Anyway it was much more comfortable than at the ferry between Tasmania and the Australian mainland. Before we left the harbour, we have got a meal, which also was included in the ticket. We could choose between three different dishes, all were accompanied by rice and beans. We also got a drink. Most of the passengers chose Coca Cola, but I chose water. In addition to that we got a dessert, a kind of rice pudding, but it was not so thick.
When we left the harbour I was at the outer deck and could enjoy the view of the mountains. Furthermore I could see the southern part of the Spiritú Santo island, but it did not look special. I Think the special part is more to the North and in the sea. I listened to my music for two or three hours. In the saloon were two big TV screens. On both the same movies were shown. I did not like them, because they were extremely violent. I also was thinking about all the kids, which were in the saloon, there was not really another space to be.
Around 9pm we arrived in Topolobampo, Sinaloa. To follow me further, please click on Sinaloa.
Fore more photos of La Paz, BCS click here.