“The only truth is music…”Jack Kerouac
And so the circle continues… Rodrigo and I had a slight variation from our usual ritual this year, as we prepared for our journey North to do our fifth season as whale watching guides in San Ignacio Lagoon.
We usually leave our home in Cabo San Lucas, to stop first in La Paz, which we did, to stock up on last supplies and visit some friends before disappearing into the wilderness.
However the universe informed us that we, well more likely the van, would stay in La Paz as the transmission decided to give up just as we pulled out onto the highway out of La Paz.
Luckily, we were still close enough to civilization so we could pull in and call the nearest mechanic we knew.
Well, we didn’t know one but luckily, the person who we bought the campervan from, who is incidentally our boss at the whale camp, Johnny, lives in La Paz.
He told us who to go to, and as a change of transmission meant at least 3 days work, and the mechanic is so good meant he already had a lot of work on … so we were stuck.
Also, knowing that a large group of people would be arriving at San Ignacio Lagoon, eager to see whales, left us with no option but for Rodrigo to stay and take care of the van side of things, and I would take a bus up to San Ignacio for the first time, I usually make the trip with Rodrigo in the van!
We overnighted in Johnny’s home and I left the following evening, on an overnight bus for San Ignacio.
As I was leaving La Paz, I reminisced that it was this same house that we first spoke with Johnny about work at the camp, 5 years ago.
It was also the same time and place that we bought the campervan, for our life and travels at the lagoon and through Baja.
And so the circle continues … life is good
Day 5 in La Paz, time to explore
The van is still at the shop being taken care of, the transmission was completely wrecked and it’s very likely to need a new one.
While the experts work on the van and Lorna is at the camp, since 3 days ago, I have had the time to explore a little around La Paz, what a fascinating place, full of history and natural wonders.
Probably what I appreciate the more is the local culture; it’s everywhere, yet not easy to see for the inexperienced eye.
You need to look around, look up, look in the alleyways and corridors.
Street art is on walls and buildings, and this is the reflection of a very strong culture that prevails in the collective heart of the “Pacenos” as the people of La Paz are known.
Loud music from cars cruising the “Malecon” every afternoon playing “Norteno” music so loud one wonders how on earth they can talk to each other inside the car …maybe they just don’t.
Never the less big 4×4 trucks with their cargo bays filled with people laughing and enjoying of a La Paz sunset slowly drive along.
Another great tradition is the people of Baja’s capacity to fix anything and everything. Lorna and I were lucky to breakdown in a town like La Paz; mechanics are everywhere.
Yet and despite the undeniable capacity of the people of La Paz, like anywhere else, there are mechanics and mechanics. And we were pointed to a great one.
If you need a good transmission expert in La Paz find him here.
The spirit of La Paz.
La Paz is a hybrid creature that belongs to no one, and while Mexico claims territorial ownership the people of Baja California Sur feel they are far from mainland Mexico and they are happy that way.
Baja California was once believed to be an island, and the identity of its people sprawls not far from that.
Americans and other nationalities also have rooted in La Paz, they learned to love its roughness, being able to find the pearl beneath the shell.
Authors like John Steinbeck and Scott O’Dell chose La Paz as a stage for their novels and books.
Along with these American authors, many American citizens have decided to make La Paz their permanent home, and in other cases their winter hideaway.
For me, La Paz is still a city to understand and discover.
I have learned to love its pulse, the strength, and resilience of its citizens in an environment full of beauty and yet, defiant every day.
Van is due to be delivered tomorrow with a new tranny and ready to roam the roads.
Day 10, time to go, or not…
The van was remitted and I was able to start my journey once again, just to find some issues with the new transmission while on the road, luckily I was only an hour or so from La Paz, so with all the patience in the world, I turned around and headed back. It took a while but finally made it.
It took another day for the van to finally be ready, so it’s time to pack up, again, and try to ride to the Lagoon for the third time.
I love La Paz, yet, I can’t wait to get back on the road, join Lorna and the others at the camp and get the season going! At least for me, as Lorna is already there doing the work.
I hope this is the last update on this story.
Life changes all the time, that’s the rule, yet we forget this so easily.
What came as an unusual beginning of our whale watching season rapidly evolved into one of those years humankind will not forget.
A virus came to change the way we live, work, and interact with each other, but that is content for another post