Sunday, July 22, 2007

Life and Images of Baja California Sur

There are so many things to do in this area. Most of us come down “to check it out” and end up buying land to build our second or third home that will offer a lifestyle we have worked our entire lives for and find ourselves dreaming about more each day. A simple life where little is taken for granted and the small things are appreciated because it is a hard life here. Obtaining the basic amenities, services and consumer goods are a task in creativity, luck and timing.

The natural instinct is to become obsessed with building our home, which for some reason must be more perfect than any other home we have owned. It is not that we are building for Architectural Digest, more than we feel these bricks and mortar will provide the conduit and reward to justify the reason we have worked so hard, for so many years, and at times have cost much emotional and physical turmoil. Finally, we are nearing the stage when we can truly see the finished home in sight … now what??

It is time to put the anxiety of building and waiting behind us and explore all the amazing natural spaces around us. Time to get involved in the community and make a difference where we can. Time to live each day with little purpose except to have the greatest day possible and make someone else’s day a little brighter.

There are so many places to explore that I am not worried about Loreto growing into a major tourist development area. As long as it is done with integrity to be environmentally sensitive and sustainable, to respect nature and the life here, to be safe and not become the “gringoville” of other Mexican resorts, we will be happy. The only way to ensure that this does not happen to is to actively participate in the community and the decisions of change. To simply sit back and say “we don’t want another Cabo” and complain about change is helping no one and hurting all who live and invest here.

I have noticed on my road trips throughout Baja California Sur that there is major road work being done. Highways are being widened and paved; massive bridges are built to avoid any further flooding in the arroyos. The Government is spending millions on infrastructure in preparation for the planned growth that will take place over the next 15 years.

We came across this small Windmill Farm which powered a little town. The American residents seemed very satisfied with the results and reliability of it. The only comment was that there needed to be better planned maintenance of the batteries to prevent costly repairs. I remembered seeing the giant windmills in Yuma that truly looked like alien structures seen many miles away and wondered if they will ever become part of the landscape and landmarks of Baja.

Although it is always impressive to see the luxury yachts moored in our harbor, the sight of the local ponga boats lined up with their catch of the day is thrilling. Life here is genuine without airs and graces, just fresh seafood with a cold cerveza and life is pretty damn good.

Getting lost is always an adventure for me since I seem to enjoy not knowing where I am going or how to get there. My only goal is to have a great day ... everything always works out. The amazing diversity before my eyes on this particular wrong turn was astounding. The road was a dirt path with a large mountain bluff on one side, and thick palm trees and ferns on the other. Off in the distance you can see a Cactus Forest reaching for miles, and then barren nothingness towards the mountains. It seems that this oasis of palm trees in the middle of desert and beaches is not as uncommon as I expected.

It is fun to have the toys, although I realize they are environmentally sensitive and politically incorrect. Now there are few rules, but we will be happy to abide by them as more and more people have them. Wave Runners, kayaks, small recreational vehicles both for water and land will be on everyone’s wish list to have.

Many of the islands are deserted and it is still easy to find a new beach or hill to explore. Occasionally, you will run across a lone fisherman or campers that have been brought out by boat for the day to enjoy the solitude. I love to see the seals, crabs and different birds that make these special places their home.

Even the diversity of beaches is surprising. You can find different types of sand and rocky beaches without going very far. White sand beaches are most common near Mulege about an hour and a half up north, but there are also some nice sandy beaches that are not quite white about an hour south as well. I invested in a very nice picnic knapsack complete with wine coolers and glasses, cheese tray, and insulated pack for all my home made goodies. A few beach towels, checkered tablecloth and napkins and it is another incredible memory waiting to happen.

The Pacific is known for the surfing and wave action. It reminds me of California and you meet many characters who have decided to take up residence there. I started this article by saying that most of us initially wanted this place to be our second or third vacation home, but I think the more time you spend here… the more time you will spend here!

I never have to venture far to see the local sights. On the malecon this week were four vaqueros y caballos (cowboys and horses) riding past my front door. They stopped to pick up a few beer for the road and trotted off into the sunset.

Also in the middle of the day a few naval officers were out for a stroll. In 100 degree heat what I noticed first was that they were in full uniform, boots and hats. I noticed the riffles second and realized that their base is further down the road. I never thought about it, but they are close by which makes me feel a little safer.

Have a great week!

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