Friday, December 11, 2009

San Blas

Currently in San Blas, Mexico and loving it.
After repairing the alternator and electrical wiring we took a two day trip down to Chacala. We saw whales and dolphins on the way. We had a great time and hiked to a small volcano crater on the south end of the bay. The trip back was punctuated with a spectacular sunset.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Home for the Holidays

We are heading South by boat to fly North! Moving the boat to PV but flying home for the Holidays. Flying on December 17th. I have to get Tucker his health papers prior to that. Wish me Luck!

Following the 80 degree water heading to P.V.

Wrapping up our stay here in La Paz. It has been really fun. It is an interesting Town with lots of nice local and transient folks. We have Jamie Rosman on board as crew and will make the crossing of the Sea tomorrow. I will turn the SPOT back on so you can follow as you like. I will try to post some pictures of our stay here in La Paz later on.

Today Jamie and I spent 3 hours in immigration because I noticed my VISA was only good for 30 days, I had asked for 60 days. And Jamie didn't have any paperwork at all. So technically I was here with an expired VISA and Jamie was illegal. We are now "Schooled" and will not to leave the airport immigration without the proper VISA. The official gave me half the time that I asked for and I didn't know to check or question what he did. Before I left to go over to Immigration I radioed the other women who had also traveled by plane the same day I did and asked her to check her VISA. The official had again only given her half the time she had asked for. So she came along with us. Jamie had come down to La Paz via crossing the boarder in San Diego then catching a plane from TJ to La Paz and did not have any paperwork at all. So he had two forms to fill out. Again the immigration officer said don't leave the airport until all your paperwork is in order and it's your responsibility to make sure it is in order. Lesson learned. For me it was a 236 peso lesson and I think it was double that for Jamie. So from now on I will go for a 180 day VISA and not be intimidated by the guy with the stamp.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The collectiva or local bus

Well, I've figured out a few things wandering around this little town. I actually think I have acquired a little bit of local knowledge.

Like I said in previous posts I was doing a lot of walking. Well, I got tired and am too cheap to pay for a taxi so I decided to figure out how to use the local bus called the collectiva. They are basically the short yellow bus no one every admits to have taken as a school child. Let me tell you how they work.
There are only certain streets they roll on, I think the taxi's and the buses have their own turf zones. So what you do is stand out in the street and look in the direction you think the bus might come from. Then when you see the bus you try to get a good look at the writing on the bus. Sometimes it is handwritten on the bus where it is going like "Walmart" or "Sorianna" along with many other places. So the key is to read as quick as you can and decide if you want on the bus.

If you want on you jump up and down and do the hokey pokey and the bus will stop in front of you. I had a little bit of trouble yesterday when I fell off the sidewalk and into the bus. Just a little bit embarassing in any language.

I ALWAYS carry a map with me and I point to the general area I want to go and the driver will either says "Si" or just look at me blankly. Then I sit back and hold on for Mr. Toad's wild ride. The bus takes off with the petal to the rusted out floor and stops just as abruptly at the next person waving. They wander all over town, through neighbors, grocery store parking lots. You really can't go wrong. If nothing else its a good tour of the city. It only costs 8 pesos or about .70 cents. Once I decide where I want to get off I have enough energy to wander around.

Sometimes there are folks on the bus who speak english. This helps a lot. I met a young man home on vacation yesterday, he now lives in Guadalajara. He came home to go to a party and did not have the right shoes with him so his mom sent him out to buy some new shoes. His folks and his sister live here in La Paz. Mom is a dentist, Dad is a Doctor and his sister is a Lawyer. He is a mathmatician working at a bio tech firm. Wow, I was impressed. Never no who you might meet on the local bus.

Yesterday I ended up walking back to the boat because I was more interested in looking down at the sidewalk then catching the bus I guess. The sidewalks here are really quite treacherous. There is NO UNIFORM building code for sidewalks in Mexico. Some are lined with catus, and the sidewalks are all different widths, heights, steps, shear drops, uneven pavement you name it! I thought about taking some pictures but I really dont think I could possibly catch the danger on camera.