Got a knock on the boat about 8 this morning and it was Jeff wanting to buy me breakfast at the place he had eaten at the day before. He had raved about it all day the day before when I first met him. I’ve been in a pretty ease into the day mode pretty much ever since I had gotten here but I had woke up early, was starving and figured I’d learn something from the old guy. We start walking and it was the same route that I had taken the bus the bus to town on a couple of times before. We crossed the bridge with the small river I’d mentioned in an earlier post and in one of the pictures you are actually looking up towards the beginning of the Sea of Cortez. After crossing the bridge, we followed the road to the right same as my bus ride to Soriana’s but crossed over to the other side and walked about a block. He starts heading into the back of this parking lot and I have no idea what I’m in for.
We walk into this place and I’m just astounded! This is the Tropicana Inn. This is one of the most picturesque, beautiful, artistic, aesthetically serene settings I’ve ever seen in my life. Just absolutely breathtaking. Only one shot turned out inside the restaurant because it was so dark and I’m really disappointed because it was truly indescribable ! The one shot is a curio I think you call it recessed into the wall with a figurine in the style of art the Mexicans use to decorate and celebrate on Día de Muertos or the Day of the Dead. It’s celebrated around Halloween and I unfortunately just missed it when I arrived in Ensenada. I love the artwork and you see it all over the place. After a $20 breakfast which was worth every penny of it in this setting and the food presentation and flavor were like heaven in your mouth I was feeling pretty good about the start of this day. The backside where we entered was a boulevard with a few businesses of a various nature and more a thoroughfare. Jeff told me when we walked out the front that we would walk into a whole new world and did we ever! Out front was the city center with several government buildings spread about around a huge beautifully decorated plaza and towards the end of the tourist section with it’s many different varieties of shops. A lot of silver, pharmacies , t-shirts and literally hundreds of knick knacks. All the stonework and cobblestone is just amazing and even at tourist prices you can find some pretty good deals. It’s early in the season and will start peaking around May from what I understand. Jeff is slow but a walking fool! we branched off away from the tourist section and walked up the hill into where the locals lived. It appears to me and from what I understand that there is actually a middle class growing here that wasn’t always present as the tourist industry continues to grow and provide so many people with jobs. Almost all of the buildings have some rebar sticking out somewhere and Jeff explained that was how people avoided property taxes. Apparently it’s a commonly accepted loophole, because the more I looked the more I saw it everywhere! How much did you pay in property taxes last year?!? Haven’t confirmed this but it actually appears to make sense. Here’s some pictures from the walk.
Jeff was obsessed on finding pastry. He speaks way better Espanol than me and asked a lady on the street and she told him the Mega Store was the place to go. We checked Google Maps and it was about a 37 minute walk. I’d already walked further than any of my ventures out prior but was feeling pretty good so off we went. It was a beautiful day and I was really enjoying the adventure. I can be pretty shy and cautious until I become familiar with an area and having Jeff dragging me along really helped as well. He’s got all kinds of medical issues and by the time we go to the Mega we were both pretty pooped and his hips and ankles were starting to get to him. It’s the first time I’ve really noticed my hip in months so I’m guessing we covered 5-6 miles. I know that’s not very far but for a guy that is on a no pain, no pain exercise plan, but I was starting to feel it. We finally made it to the Mega and decided since we’d gone so far that we’d buy some groceries and splurge on a taxi ride back. The Mega chain is a huge modern store similar to a Walmart Super Store. The selection, variety and quality was a sight for sore eyes. They have just about anything you could want. It’s located just down from all the large resorts and high end condominiums that lined the streets on the walk up. We got Jeff’s pastries and I picked up a couple myself, some milk, a 1/2 kilo slab of the most beautiful tuna that we planned on cooking later that evening, some veggies, Coke Zero and a few other items and checked out. We found an air conditioned cab out front that wanted $25 to take us back to the marina which was about 3 miles but Jeff got the guy down to $20 so we split it and back to the marina we headed.
I had planned on a shower and a shave that morning until Jeff had interrupted that plan and after the long walk on a warm day I was feeling pretty gritty and headed back to the boat and took a shower, while he went up and took a shower in the marina facilities. I fired my rice maker up, grabbed a delicious cucumber and tomato and headed over to Jeff’s boat. His boat is over 40 yrs old and doesn’t have a lot of the amenities that mine does but he’s done a great job of making it functional. We were going to barbecue some of the tuna and make sashimi out of some of it as well but Jeff had some issues with the grill. We ate the sashimi with wasabi and soy sauce while he pan fried the tuna steaks instead in butter, garlic and lemon and some green herbs while I made the salad and served the rice. The meal was simple but the tuna couldn’t have been more than a day or so old and it was such a delicious meal.
I’m worn out so probably going to hit the rack early. Another shot at radar installation tomorrow morning, wind cooperating. Jeff is really anxious to go out sailing with me and I can’t wait. I’ve been pretty much self learning most of the way and having someone knowledgeable teach me would help my learning curve exponentially. Pretty excited about that and had actually hoped I’d run into someone just like him. His plans have changed and he plans to head up into the Sea of Cortez until May or June and it would be really nice to have someone to buddy up with to watch over each others boats and safety in numbers. I think he was kind of hoping for the same. We may take my boat up together and then take the bus from La Paz back and take his up. I’m really looking forward to getting to know him better. This man is 67 yrs old, has a prosthesis and has seen things in Vietnam war as a young man that would mess anyone up. He sails his boat by himself and I would love to tell his story but it’s not mine to tell. He has survived it and is starting to thrive and just amazes how the human psyche and spirit can adapt and actually thrive in hardship and strife. I knew I was going to meet some amazing people but I couldn’t have dreamed up some of the stories of the people I’m meeting. I know I’ve just met a lot of these people but they are so genuine and real and the more I’m around them I’m convinced their stories are true and real. I’m also learning more and more in myself that hardship and strife make you stronger. Yes there are risks but I’ve never felt more alive in my life. This has been one of the most fascinating experiences of my entire life and I can’t wait to see where the adventure takes me next. Steve(The Puffer) Pierson will probably factor in there somewhere because he will be in Cabo on Feb 4 and I know that’s an adventure I do not want to miss nor do I have any idea where it will take me but once again I can’t wait and still say the best is yet to come!!