Blue footed bobbies dolphins pelicans on wirelines

Trip Start Aug 25, 2007
Trip End Sep 03, 2007

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Friday, August 31, 2007

This is a jammed packed day so we're up early. First tour is a raft float down the river. Then a bus to Topolobampo for a cruise in the Sea of Cortez. I had to sign up for this cause the name just kept singing in my ears. It sounds like a water day. First is breakfast in the hotels Mexican themed restaurant.

Then down to meet the bus for the float ride. We're using 2 rafts for our group. Somehow we luck out and get the first row on the second raft. But we're quickly slathering on Deet, cause the mosquitos are BITING. No make that attacking. This is a slow float. There are flowering plants that have washed away from their anchors and are floating down this  pristine river. The best way to discribe the feeling is the same level you are in at the end of a massage. Liquid. Seems most of the two rafts are  filled with avid bird watchers and can spot all the varieties. Egrets  and herons I'm ok with. The rest I'm just clicking my camera and taking the shots. We do get a few little bumps of white water, not enough to rock the boat, but it did add a little excitement to the float. It's about two hours of serenity. No worries, not problems, just relaxation. When I go back, I'll do it again, but will study up on the birds, just so I can spot them.

Next, it's a quick drive back to the hotel where we grab our swim suits and sunscreen. We're off to the Sea of Cortez!  The bus is just about full, as most wanted to get in some beach time, and staying at the hotel was just not an option with the humidity. Even lazing in the pool didn't sound like fun. I had originally signed up for an Indian village, but there weren't enough participants. This was a small dissapointment, since I wanted to go to the Petrogylphs - there is a huge Eagle petrogylph up from the river, but it's the darn snake season, and rattlers do inhabit the area. So for once, I am taking someones advice and staying safe.

It's a long bus ride down. We do a quick stop in Los Mochis, which is a town I'd like to explore. Then on to the beach restaurant on the Topolobampo bay for lunch. On the way to the bay I am staring at a pelican. I'ts not like I've not seen one before, but never sitting on a power line. Then another, and more. I'm so amazed that I forget to get my camera. Then we pass caves on the right side, where bats fly enmass out at dusk. Our tummies, and the bus driver knows that it's chow time. 

This area has a lot of beachfront restaurants. We're stopping at one. And the chosen one is close to perfect. Beach views from every table and a killer menu. We're sitting with the California couple who we find out have a son who lives in Sitka Alaska. This is one of our favorite places and our daughter spent the summer before heading to Virgina Tech in Sitka getting her bird handling liscense. Their son is working in environmental and knows a lot of the people Kary stayed with when she was in Sitka. Small world!

The menus are in English and still hard, since there are SO many choices.  I am sure I have the best meal - freshly caught shrimp stuffed in large chillies and fried. Everyone is convinced theirs are the best. Too much food for me, so I share my stuffed chillies.

This area has a lot of beachfront restaurants. It's relaxing to eat and have views to the water. Some of the group is already in swimsuits and wading. We decided to wait till after lunch to change, then back on the bus to the pier.

We pass the same scenery as we did coming in. But Cesar caught our murmors of powerline pelicans and tells the driver to slow down. We start clicking away. Can I submit this to "believe it or not?"

  It's not far from the restaurant to the Topolobampo harbor. Everyone's anxious to get off the bus and on the two deck small boat. Gary grabs the "back seat" on the first deck. I'm in the half sitting half standing routine as I wander around taking photos. We're cruising slowly up the coast. Oh my gosh - is that, could that be blue footed boobies? Yep it is!! I knew they were in this area but never thought I would see them. Well, they are on rocks, many rocks. And many birds. I'm just snapping away.

Then someone says "dolphins."  Two off the left side. Then more, at least four spotted on the right side, then more. There's a group of eight. Then six. Everyone is moving around trying to get the perfect photos. The dolphins are swimming under the boat and resurface on the other side. Thru the air in perfect arches. We spend a lot of time positioning the boat in search of the pods.

Finally, when no more are spotted we head a little further down the bay and drop anchor. It's swimming time. Most stay on the boat,  but Gary and I are anxious to get in the water. It's so warm and so salty that you don't have to put any effort into floating. I swear I feel a few large bumps against my legs, but without my glasses, which are on the boat, I am nearly blind. Could it have been a dolphin or two? 

The "order" comes to return to the boat. A few of us are slagging as much as possible. Getting up is much harder then getting down. The ladder isn't long enough, so you have to hoist yourself up at least three feet. Easy for those over five feet high. I'm pushing, but I make it. My back feels the effort unfortunatly. But I do have my Biofreeze with me, and when I get back, it will be slathered on immediately.

We pass the La Paz ferry, which is larger than I expected. Ferry funs from La Paz and Topolobampo Bay. Takes 8 hours. La Paz- Topo 3pm -11pm and back same times. One way tours $105 per person. One way with a cabin $165 per person.  Once back at the dock, we head for the dressing rooms. There are showers, but due to time, we give those a skip. 

Back on the bus and headed north, the scenery is the same. Cesar points out the large amount of used car lots. Katrina cars he calls them. Brought in from New Orleans after the hurricane. Most of them were underwater. The prices are cheap, but you get what you pay for.

It's about an hour and forty five minutes from the pier to the hotel. We are given thirty five minutes to shower and change. Then we meet up with the group outside the hotel to tour the Municipal Palace (city hall). There is a new exhibit that is just being put in place. Along the lower level of the courtyard are huge  balls each painted in a different theme. Some sponsored by companies. The city hall is two story  Spanish colonial.  Beautiful building, but many of the buildings in El Furete are. This is a well preserved colonial town.

After the tour we walk down the block  to the restaurant, passing the plaza. We have decided to check that out on the way back to the hotel. Dinner is typical Mexican fish and rice. Good. Better yet is the ice cream desert. Then over to the Plaza.  Lots of palm trees and wrought-iron light fixtures, but the crowning jewel is the gazebo/bandstand. The railings are designed with wrought-iron musical symbols. The first "band stand" that I have seen with these. A stroll thru the small plaza, passing by lots of families and couples, then the walk "uphill" to the hotel.

Still too early for bed, we take a walk up to the hotels' mini-museum to look at the old photographs, then spot a carved wooden floral sculputre, with a realistic lizard on the wall. Very unique. I need a photo. Then the lizard moves. Still a unique display.

We're too late for El Zorro happy hour -5:30 ot 6:30 at the Palapa bar by the pool. Zoro in full costume is the host, and the drink are 2 for 1. We're also too late for the spa appointments at the hotel 1 hour is $50 us. A native Amreican Hot Stone is $75 for 1 1/2 hour. Reflexology is $50 for 45 minutes. Darn. Outside of the museum, but still within the hotels tiled floor areas are old trees. The roots are growing on top of the tiles. It's an unusual concept, but a watch your step.

We spot Donna and Bill across the courtyard. Donna is trying to get into her room, but the key isn't working. We stroll over to offer any assistance. Seems the housekeeper is the only one with a secondary key, but she takes them home with her in the evening. Gary tries the lock and finds the tumbler has fallen. A new key won't open it. Donna is sizing up the huge double shutters that lead into her room. She's tried to open the catch between the shutters, but it won't budge. Gary tries, no luck. Among many of her past positions and activities, 

Donna knows judo. She says a kick to the left shutter and it will open. I'm sticking around to see it happen. Darn is she good, the shutter flies open. She jumps across the small wall and she's in the room. The locked door can be unlocked from inside. Donna would have waited for assistance from the hotel, but one man in our group was ill for the last two days, and she just found out about his illness. She has some type of medicine that will help him, but wanted to get it to him as soon as possible. Well, the show is over for the night, so it's adios to everyone, we're headed down to our room. Hopefully we can get in, but if there's a problem, I'm just going up to Donnas room for help.         

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