Falling in Love with Mexico and vegetarian sharks
Trip Start Dec 22, 2012
2Trip End Jan 09, 2013
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Turns out that this was a fabulous idea as we end up at the fun and quirky Pescadero Surf Camp. This place is guarded by a suspicious yet charming hot-dog (tax in Swedish) Mata. Mata, a rescue from a beach further north, takes her job quite seriously and one better watch their ankles while entering the camp
The following days we hang out with the Surf Camp guys and they all fall in love with each other while I smile broadly at the budding bromance. The bros surf some of the biggest waves I’ve seen, show us the best local places for tacos de pescado and get Josh a music gig at the local brewery where we all hoot and holler and cut the rug on the dance floor to J’s version of Hey Ya and Just the Two of Us. I find fabulous yoga at the fancy Rancho Pescadero and get beat up on my boogie-board in the ocean. We take long beach walks and see the sunset and moon rise over the Pacific. We fall in love, Enamorados de México.
I am happy to say that Josh went from not wanting to go to Mexico, believing that he would meet his maker on this trip… to falling in love with the country, it’s people, food and ultimately proclaiming aloud , yes señores y señoras, "I want to MOVE here." A little casita on the playa sounds good to me, so why not right? In the future that is, as Josh finds out that he got straight A’s this last semester and he will most surely be accepted to USCD this fall
By the time Josh navigates Pescadero’s dirt roads like a local and a fin on his surfboard breaks off, we head over the town of La Paz for some snorkeling and Stand Up paddle boarding in the Sea of Cortez. Our first adventure is to take a “Panga” out in the bay to swim with the whale sharks that like to hang out in this area this time of the year. Heading out, the Capitan navigates the Panga like a champ but we manage to get completely soaked before even jumping in the water. One guy even decides to ride with his snorkel on his face to prevent being blinded by the massive amounts of water splashing over us. The shark-spotter yells that he sees a fin and before I know it, el Capitan yells at us to “Go, Go, GOOOOO!!!” My heart beats as I see the fin and the fact that I am about to jump INTO the water. Yes I am paying for this and yes I want to do this, I mean, the whales are vegetarian after all……
The amazing feeling of swimming alongside a 15 foot (5 meter) long whale shark was incredible. It’s massive body moving quickly and effortless trough the ocean. So peaceful and cool
La Paz turns out to be a great little town with a beautiful Malecón and out-of-this-world Mexican cuisine. Josh finds out that the got straight A's his last semester and we celebrate with the best guacamole I have ever had, ceviche del toro and camarones endiablados. The odds for him to get into UCSD are looking very good now, and we toast with cerveza and tequila.
Our last day is spent on Stand-Up Paddle boards at the incredible beautiful Playa Balandra. The morning starts out a little dramatic as two of the SUP boards fly off the truck and land on the other side of the highway. Our guide and driver (who tied the boards to the car) run across to examine the boards and one of them has a big dent in it and a broken fin. This turns out to be an incredible expensive repair, but luckily nobody had a gigantic 10 foot board flying trough their windshield that morning. Gracias a Dios.
Beautiful Balandra beach is protected and has no commercial buildings or structures surrounding it. It's azure water is home to several fish and we marvel a large manta ray gently floating by. Lots of birds make nests in the nearby mangrove trees where one can float trough while watching hundreds of fish swimming by. It was a fabulous experience.
From huge waves, organic vanilla lattes and yoga in Todos Santos to whale sharks, SUP and extraordinary food in La Paz; southern Baja quickly becomes a favorite in my travel book. But don't tell anyone, let's keep it a secret and it will stay this way a little longer ;)
Peace, Love & Vegetarian whale sharks