LEAVING LA PAZ
Sometimes we wonder if we’re on the right road in life and then little things pop up that say “yes, you are”. There is this little stirring of impatience that occurs when we’ve been sitting somewhere for too long. We both experience this whether we are on land or sea. For most, this is called a vacation. Becoming cruisers it is called a lifestyle. There are many boaters who get to a place and stay there for a long while perfectly content but we are not of that breed. We’ve been here in La Paz for somewhere around a month for this reason or that. It has provided us the opportunity to make some really great friends and learn a little more of how to navigate this lifestyle; so there are no complaints. But, it is now time for a change.
We are still waiting on some parts for Brent to be able to work on the engine but it is functioning just fine which means that a trip to some of the islands outside of La Paz is in order. First we must get provisioned with water, fuel and food. We are anchored in the bay in front of La Paz with about 30 other boats so running our water desalinator is probably not the best idea. Every day that we go into town, we bring 3 five gallon containers to fill up with water from the marina’s filtered water tap. Doing this on an ongoing basis keeps our two water tanks (about 250 gallons total) from getting too low. One aspect of this lifestyle that more people should experience is that one becomes more aware of what resources you are consuming. For fuel, we also have containers for diesel which runs the main engine and gasoline to run the outboard on the dinghy. It’s a little more difficult as we have to walk a few blocks into town to get to a fuel station. To carry the 4 containers back, we have a foldable cart that works amazingly well for our fuel and food excursions. I’m so glad that we got that item before we left! I couldn’t imagine how many times we’d have to go back and forth without it. Then we come to food, This task is not quite as easy as it is in the states. You have to learn what stores to go to for different things. Aramburo for instance has a fantastic meat and fish counter but ok fresh vegetables and some basics but not a very big selection. Chandrai is the closest to a US type of store but there are no “grocery” specific stores. These are more like the Walmart superstores with more clothing and housewares than food but this one has the best overall selections. Mexico is funny with their food. They have varied selections of beer, soft drinks, citrus fruits and hot peppers (of course) but little variety of most other foods. To be expected, gluten free items are a bit of a challenge but I will be enjoying some GF brownies after dinner tonight. For personal hygiene, medications, vitamins you have to go to a “farmacia”. There are two types of “Farmacias”. One in which you need a script from a doctor that you bring to get your medications and another where you can get medications ‘over the counter’ that you can’t get in the states without a script. Anxiety, depression, hormonal, pain…..It’s kind of crazy and apparently they are pretty popular among the cruise ships that come to port. I did hear from some locals that the medications in these ‘over the counter’ shops can be somewhat questionable. Anyway, to come back around to food provisioning. The bigger cities have some bulk stores such as Costco and Sams Club but as you would expect they have very different selections of items. We’ve found that having a combination of fresh, frozen and canned foods is the most sustainable. The last step to getting fresh vegetables is to wash them. This removes any dirt and harmful bacteria keeping our gringo bellies happy as well as helps them to stay fresh longer. There are many ways to do this but we use ¼ cup of Hydrogen Peroxide to a gallon of water and so far so good. Rinse, dry and store.
Now that we are fully provisioned with the necessities, it’s time to put things away that may go flying, pull the anchor and head out to explore the next place. For this short trip, we have decided to head out to Isla la Partida for the night and then on to either Isla San Francisco or Isla San Jose. By Thursday, we have some stronger Northerly winds developing for a few days and both of these islands offer good protection. We are both looking forward to a nice change of scenery.