La Paz, BCS Capital

Dinner at Vags included the Grey Cup

Dinner at Vags included the Grey Cup

December 2, 2013 We arrived 2 days ago after 3 nights at Bobby & Wendy’s campground in Pescadero.  We have exchanged peaceful nights listening to the surf break on the beach to traffic on Hwy 1 at Campestra Maranatha.  The good news is Hot Showers and all the other amenities that come with a full service park.  Unfortunately the pool is undergoing cleaning, minor repairs and maintenance so it is unavailable (I was really looking forward to a dip).  On our way yesterday we fueled up and grocery’d up at Walmart; lots of action with a number of ambulances heading out to the La Paz Int’l Airport, they made several trips, still not sure what happened.  The first evening we headed into town for dinner at Los Tamarindos which provide the folkloric dancers for entertainment.  First we drove the Malecon from end to end then back tracked to the restaurant.  This was an adventure all in itself as there is so much road construction downtown it seemed I was thwarted at every turn and intersection, eventually we did arrive.  The food was filling, the dancers performed and we toasted Dom & Diane’s 39th Wedding Anniversary, great fun for sure.  Afterwards another short and slow drive along the busy La Paz Malecon full of families and young folks and no shortage of supervising police, not very menacing at all, mostly just chatting up the public.

Watching for whales at Lake Pacific

Watching for whales at Lake Pacific

Our stay in Pescadero is really quite a departure from our busy time in Los Cabos and again when we stay in La Paz.  Tranquility, serenity, endless beach without a soul in site, yet another Baja experience.  Bobby continues to work on the campground and the road in, we took the time while we were there to trim some branches and look forward to further improvements when we return in January.  For the first 2 days we enjoyed Lake Pacific, easy in and out of the water sitting at about 25C or 75F.  On the second afternoon we enjoyed the whales, many of them, one really performing leaping out of the water and tail slapping at least 20 consecutive times.  What a show!  By the 3rd day the surf had got going as a large northerly surge came in pounding heavy on the beach, the surfers were in heaven for sure.  Everyone enjoyed there day into Todos Santos and the dinner at La Pasadita, Bobby, Wendy and their son Coen joined us; Jose and family always to a good job, it is all about the beef!

Sunrise at the Pescadero Campground

Sunrise at the Pescadero Campground

Our stay in Los Cabos included a dinner at both Vagabundos & Lattitude 22, we also spent some real quality time at Playa Santa Maria.  We managed to stop by at Wahoo RV and pick up some required items and have a look around the Art District of San Jose Del Cabo, yes some jewelry was bought! Julio at the park also managed to get most of the rigs washed, he always works hard.  On our final day in Los Cabos, a free day with the exception of our traditional hosted happy Hour on Playa Medano, the gang was busy.  Brenda & Fred got away for the day taking a boat cruise around the bay and El Arco.  Joe & Sera joined Gerry & Ilano for some local shopping in Cabo and Hank & Marty jumped in with Dom & Diane as they familiarize themselves a little more with Cabo.  The Happy Hour on the beach was busy, lots to see and do, many vendors including the lemon wood bowl seller, always a favourite.  Afterwards Lisa & I accepted an invitation for dinner to Dennis & Gwen’s new residence at Glorieta to celebrate Gwen’s birthday, what a fun time and wonderful dinner, thank you both (Dennis & Gwen came down on our January 2013 tour and stayed!)  The next day we were off to the Blanket Factory to see Afrein & Vivianne, purchases were made as usual.

Happy Hour was happy!

Happy Hour was happy!

Yesterday the group had an excursion into La Paz and last night we toast Dom & Diane’s 39th Anniversary with wine they provided and carrot cake courtesy of Fred & Brenda from Cafe Esquisito at the RV Park .  Today another excursion into town, could hit 28C or 80F tomorrow, I understand it may be snowing back home in Surrey, BC.

 

Did you know?

Enjoying Playa Santa Maria

Enjoying Playa Santa Maria

From early winter until late spring the whale sharks can be found feeding in the rich waters of the Sea of Cortez and in the Bay of La Paz in Baja California Sur.  The gentle giants of the sea are the largest fish in the world and each season return to the waters close to the city of La Paz. Seeing these ocean behemoths in their natural environment or swimming close to these fish can be an exciting outing for young and old. Island tour boats that visit the Isla Espiritu Santos or the sea lion colony at Los Islotes often close the trip with a whale shark encounter.

What's up with the 3rd arm?

What’s up with the 3rd arm?

Whale sharks are fish, not air breathing mammals, as they come from the family of the second part of their name, sharks and the Rhincodon genus.  These giant filter feeding fish known scientifically as Rhincodon typus eat amongst the smallest creatures in the ocean, plankton. Moving slowly through the water, filtering thousands of gallons per day, these fish glean their nutrients from the rich winter waters of the Sea of Cortez.

The gang enjoyed the stop at the Blanket Factory

The gang enjoyed the stop at the Blanket Factory

Whale sharks are the largest known species of fish, growing to 12.5 meters and can weigh as much as 79,000 pounds.  The whale sharks here in La Paz are often 7-10 meters in length.  The fish can live as much as 70 years. The species which originated about 60 million years ago have very large mouths; they feed mainly, though not exclusively, on plankton, microscopic plants and animals, and occasionally on small fish.

What a place eh?Once plentiful in the waters of the world’s oceans, the whale sharks are an endangered species and protected under international and Mexican law.  A variety of tour operators in La Paz can take you to see the whale sharks, or if you are visiting by boat you can venture out of the Ensenada de La Paz and have a whale shark encounter of your own.  Since the waters of the Sea are relatively cold in the winter time, dropping into the upper 60’s, a 3-7mm wetsuit make the experience much more inviting if you plan on getting in the water.

Dennis & Gwen were on our January 2013 tour

Dennis & Gwen were on our January 2013 tour

 The whale sharks are usually found near the middle of the spit of land that extends out in front of La Paz, known as the Magote.  There is a drop off where the 2-3’ meter depths that extend out from land and drop quickly to 7-10 meters.  Currents in the area often form a rich up welling that provides food for the whale sharks.  In the afternoons the location can often be determined by the cluster of tour vessels.

Lattitude 22 will do this sometimes!

Lattitude 22 will do this sometimes!

If you wish to get in the water with whale sharks it can be an unforgettable experience.  First, remember you present far more danger to the fish than the fish does to you.  Stay clear of the whale shark; give the marine giant at least 2 meters of space.  Do not touch the fish, the touch of the whale sharks skin can leave them open to life threatening infection. With the fish moving so slowly and docilely, it is difficult to resist the urge to make contact.  Giving the fish distance also provides you some safety, as it is still a large animal moving freely in the wild.  A brisk movement of the tail to escape intruders can cause injury to swimmers.  It is a breath taking experience to look eye to eye with a creature this large.  Our friends Ron & Maggie who participated in our first 45 Day Tour in 2010 have swam with the Whale Sharks in La Paz.

 

Gallery

Cabo San Lucas - main beach Catavina boulder fields Maria Isabel's RV Park, Mulege Potrero Regional Park La Ventana La Ventana CarArt-in-Bahia De Los Angeles Fidels-El-Pabellon-Campground Mexican-signage