La Paz :: The Peace

Sheila Hwy 1 going south to La Paz

A Day Older. Not feeling wiser though!

Rising with the sun, we pack and make the multiple trips back to the highway, first holding our panniers high to avoid catching on the dense, thorny growth around us, then the bicycles.  We check our tires quickly for any thorns that might have hitched a ride before we finish out the climb from the day before.

We thought we were going to gently coast the rest of the way into La Paz but, instead, we spend the entire morning climbing up then down, up, then down.  Over and over again, one after another, my least favorite riding – short and steep rollers.

Kai is way ahead of me, looking for a place to pick up some water (what he worries about most) and probably also to avoid hearing me swear each time I top a hill to see another dip ahead of me.  Some days we need to ride separately, to give each other some personal space, and today is one of those days.

A few hellish hills later I see Kai has stopped at the only roadside stand we’ve seen for miles.  As he works with a sweet man and woman to fill the water bottles, I fall into white plastic lawn chair in the shade and moan.  Whine. Whine. Whine.  That’s what I’m doing, silently, in my head.  I’m really not digging the heat.  I’m done with the desert landscape and it doesn’t help that I’m still feeling groggy from lack of sleep.  Nonetheless, I’m motivated to get to La Paz today so that we can witness the People’s Summit activities, so I buck up and try to readjustment my attitude.  The couple’s cute dog helps to cheer me up, doing little dances around my legs and licking my toes as I pet him.

Friendly Dog at Mini-Mart

Lovable Little Thang

Siesta/Afternoon Break, Hwy 1 toward La Paz

Stopping at a Roadside Stand for water.

Selling Bread from a Van, Hwy 1 toward La Paz

Bought some muffins from this bakery on wheels.

Finally we hit the high note and we begin cruising down and around the bends in the road.  For miles we effortlessly coast toward La Paz and I am thankful for the break in climbing but as gravity pulls us toward the Sea the heat intensifies.  It’s one of the hottest days we’ve had in Baja and when we check the temperature it’s 37C (99F) but feels like 40C (105F).  Because we’re starting to look like lobsters (our latest tube of sunscreen is not working very well) we pull off to take our afternoon break 10 miles outside of La Paz.

Bean Tacos, Just outside La Paz

Break Time. Yummy!!

Bean Taco break, outside of La Paz

Is his face red from the heat of the sun or the food?! Answer = Both.

Photo found in Restaurant, 10 miles north of La Paz

Photo found hanging in restaurant.

Before we start off again we check our list of hotel possibilities.  We have three in our price range that might work so we review the most efficient route in to the city and to the first hotel.  When we get there we’re not overly impressed and it doesn’t matter anyway because they don’t have rooms on the ground floor and we’re too lazy to carry our stuff up to another level.  On to the second hotel en route and we find it pretty glum looking and it’s smack in the middle of one of the loudest areas in the city, PA systems being utilized just outside the gates.  Our third hotel en route is harder to find and we meander up and down streets becoming more confused until I stop to ask a taxi driver for help.  Once on the road we think we’re supposed to be on we become even more frustrated.  With no hotel in sight and after having a totally humorous but unhelpful conversation with a family of five (they couldn’t understand us and we couldn’t understand them!) we start heading toward the Sea and the malecon where we know there will be hotels.  Unfortunately, they’re the expensive tourist hotels so on the way we ask anyone we see if they know where the Baja Paradise hotel is and finally we get a break.  A man points us to the road we should be on and after meandering a bit we find the “Pension Baja Paradise“.

The Pension Baja Paradise is just that, a little slice of (affordable) peacefulness in the city.  Only two blocks from the Malecon its close enough to the beaches and downtown scene to be convenient and far enough away to be quiet.  With a small fridge in our room and access to an outdoor kitchen and dining area we can cook our own meals while waiting the 10 days till we can get on the ferry to Mazatlan.   The owners and other staff that work here are very friendly and welcoming and even their cat, Allambre, has adopted us, meowing outside our door each night until we come out to give her a good amount of loving.

Pension Baja Paradise

Entry of Pension Baja Paradise

Our Room at Pension Baja Paradise

Our Room.

Allembra, the pension cat

Allambre, the pension cat with a heart for a nose.

Flowering Cactus

Flowering cactus in the Pension garden

Cactus, La Paz

I’m obsessed with how beautiful cacti are.

Close up of Flowering Cactus

Close up of cactus.

Close up of Flowering Cactus

Close up of cactus flowering.

Cactus in the Garden

We spend a couple of evenings taking in the scene at the malecon and then a couple of days wandering the downtown area and the rest of the city.  One night we see activists in motion at the People’s Summit concert right off the malecon, a very inspiring event.  During the heat of the day we hunker down in doors or in a shady spot outside to catch up on writing, email and route planning.  The past two days Kai has been doing some basic bike maintenance, like switching out chains, cleaning the drive-trains and sanding down brake pads.  We’ve had a productive week.

Bike Maintenance in La Paz

Kai cleaning up our bicycles.

Gecko hanging off the ceiling.

We spotted this guy (a gecko?) hanging off the ceiling one evening.

Sheila's Birthday Dinner, La Paz

My Birthday Dinner in La Paz. Yes, that WAS a casserole dish full tof greens!

Scenes from the Streets of La Paz

Streets of La Paz.

Scenes on the malecon, La Paz

The malecon, La Paz.

La Paz

One of many beautiful sunsets in La Paz.

Scenes on the malecon, La Paz

Recycling bins on the malecon.

Ice Cream Shop, La Paz

The ice cream shop.

The People's Summit, La Paz

Scene from the People’s Summit

The People's Summit, La Paz

Scene from the People’s Summit

The People's Summit, La Paz

The People’s Summit

Pan D'Les Bakery, La Paz

Pan D’Les Bakery

Mural in La Paz

Mural on Revolution Street, La Paz

Home in La Paz

Home in La Paz

Dead to the World

Afternoon Snooze.

Universal Political Photo Op

Political advertisements line the street fences.

Scenes from the Streets of La Paz

La Paz street.

Ferry Ticket Office

Waiting in line to buy our ferry tickets.

Reaching La Paz is a milestone for us.  Our time in Baja has come to an end.  Tomorrow we catch the ferry to Mazatlan!

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5 comments to La Paz :: The Peace

  • Great to hear of your progress! You both have indeed reached a milestone! Coincidentally, at the local bike valet (go by bike) near my work I met a summer intern from Baja! I told her about your adventure and heard a bit about her adventure here in Portland, Oregon. :^)

    Also we had a tiny house dinner party last night and your porch design (over the trailer tongue) came up. Your blog posts are continuing to inspire and inform folks even when you two are busy pedaling south of the border…pretty cool to think about how a person’s work takes on a life of its own. :^)

    Cheers!

    • Hi Logan!

      I’m sometimes amazed at how small this big world is. 🙂

      That’s really cool that our porch design came up. Thanks for letting us know. I love how the tiny house community is just building upon itself with all the great ideas unfolding between us. We seem to be a growing community and that makes me happy.

      Be Well!

  • Took a whole lazy Sunday afternoon off to relish the story of your ride through Mexico, particularly Baja. Planning my own Baja ride for Feb-Mar so didn’t want to miss a thing! Great travelogue and wondefful pictures. Best of luck as your jopurney continues. I look forward to following your progress. Thanks again for a most informative and entertaining account.

    • Thank you, Fred! I just took a look at your website and like what I see, will have to take a Sunday out on our end to check it out in more detail.

      Have fun with your Baja ride. We experienced some exceptional camping there – the stars and silence, like no other place!

  • I have a page on the site about tiny houses. Would be great if you could add some comments, pictures etc. about your own projects! I am now starting up a compressed earth block/adobe construction business here in BC with plans to also build schools in Mexico and elsewhere. Have not had time for the site for quite a while now but hoping to do a major update before long. You’re always welcome in Lillooet BC should you ever make it up this way. Salud!

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