Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Week of Extremes from Cabo, La Paz, San Juanico, Loreto, Mexico

Last week I hosted the First Ladies of Founders pot luck party. It has been over four years since the first 52 buyers put their dot on the board and committed to paying an average of $350,000 USD for lines in the sand. These were mostly Canadians who were looking at 60 cent dollars at the time, and knowing that we were buying into the dream and vision, with a lot of risk involved. We hung in there, through much adversity, anxiety, frustration, and now are slowing moving in, one by one, to complete the original Cluster 1 in Founders Neighborhood. I think it would be great to have a five year reunion of the first pioneers in November 2008, so if you were part of the early groups, please join us November 15, 2008 and I guarantee … it will be a party!!

Many of the initial group are now living in Loreto several months a year, even though the neighborhood is still more of a construction zone than some of the later clusters in the development. We persevere and are building a community, where we say say Hello every morning, and take the time for a little chat. We offer to help each other without a second thought and feel safe in our camaraderie. It was a great evening for the ladies to get reacquainted and share stories of that fateful day when we started the momentum of what is to come.

My trip to Cabo San Lucas was fantastic and as promised, I was treated to the most delicious sushi in all of Baja at Nik San Restaurant. It is very expensive, and every morsel is worth it as you sit and watch the dozen sushi chefs create edible works of art, served with the best selection of Sakes available. There is so much money in Cabo that it is very surreal. Seeing this yacht with the helicopter perched precariously on top was just another part of the view on any given day.

It was great to see my long time friend Tony from Toronto, Wayne from Vancouver, and Mark from London England. They were my devils for the weekend, and every girls’ dream … Single, Good Looking, Super Successful and Extraordinarily Nice. Extreme Gentlemen and I felt like the luckiest girl in Cabo Wabo!! We certainly got a lot of looks and attention!! Pure Power, Pure Presence, Pure Pleasure … that’s how I would describe these guys. It is a shame that Loreto is still too sleepy and quiet for the likes of them.

Driving back through La Paz, I was impressed by the real Drive Thru Car Wash with several booths, and many workers cleaning cars in an assembly line style. You can get a terrific car wash in Loreto for 70 pesos, but it will take you a minimum of 3 hours and sometimes 6 hours to get your car back. With this type of enterprise, plus Walmart and Costco coming soon to La Paz, it is only a matter of time before they will make their way north to Loreto. This is part of progress and change, and even the ones that protest it the most … are often the most frequent customers.

The highlight of my week was visiting San Juanico or Scorpian Bay on the west coast side. From Loreto you drive an hour to Insurgentes and then another 2 or 3 hours to San Juanico. The Government is paving the road all the way up and half way finished, so part of the drive is wonderfully straight and smooth, and half the drive is still on a very rough dirt road. The scenery is flat for the most part until you get an hour away from San Juanico and then it is a desert of mountains and dried riverbeds.

When you finally reach the Pacific Ocean it is like a mirage to come over the hill and see an incredible expanse of sandy beach and whitecaps. San Juanico is at least 10 degrees F cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It is an old surfers paradise, still deserted, remote, and without much infrastructure. There is one satellite phone in town for communication and internet is still unused by most. The high season is June through November, and during our visit there was only one taco stand and one restaurant open.

There is one gas station in town, which is Los Chinos. You pull up next to the many tanks and tell Chino how much you want, and then he will siphon the correct amount into your car. The rates are double what you would pay at Pemex, but it is well worth it since Chino must drive over an hour on a rough road to get the gas, bring it back and have it available for the town and its visitors.

There are not many places to stay in town and my favorite little spot is staying with Jack and Angela at their guest casita. It is overlooking the beach, and Angela operates a coffee shop during the high season, and makes the BEST bagels that I have had in Baja California.

It is a simple life and the kind of place where one is torn between keeping it a secret so that we can selfishly enjoy it all for ourselves; and telling all our friends so that they can share in this wonderful place. I visited this place last summer and kept it to myself, but after this trip … it is just too good not to share. Dorado Properties Loreto has researched properties and found that many are titled and even the Ejido land has very little risk as they are a cohesive Membership, unlike some of the others.

Buying land in Mexico has many complexities and it is important that you deal with people that fully understand Foreign Investment in order that you make an informed decision BEFORE putting down any money. There are still large beachfront lots available from $110,000 USD and small lots in town available from $10,000 USD. I am trying to put together money to buy a lot as a weekend get away from Loreto. If you are interested in more information on these lots, please email Nellie@doradoloreto.com or Brenda@doradoloreto.com or wait for our new website to be launched in a few weeks at www.DoradoLoreto.com

There are many people selling land in San Juanico for asking prices higher than waterfront in Loreto or La Paz. Please remember that there is no legislation or regulations governing real estate sales in Mexico. There is a new AMPI organization of reputable realtors that Dorado Properties belongs to that is trying to introduce legislation, standards of ethics, multiple listing, co-broker agreements and regulations for this area. It is important that you deal with people that understand real estate prices and the legal conveyance of title; otherwise you could pay too much either for the land or in acquiring clear title.

It is a dog’s life in Baja and this was particularly evident as we had coffee on the deck and watched this dog with his head perched on the ledge enjoying the scenery and totally oblivious to us around him. There was a look of total contentment on his face and I was a little envious.

In San Juanico it is common to see fields of daisies and flowers that we do not have in Loreto. It is a great life in Baja for those that can appreciate every moment and take nothing for granted. Live Fully, Tread Lightly … now where have I heard that before? Have a great week!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

1000 Visitors to Loreto for Sea Turtle Conference

This has been a hectic week with long hours chained to my desk, but feeling productive and a renewed energy emerging among my staff. I hosted a Ladies Pot Luck party at my home but will have to give you details next week when I can get the photos uploaded. Also in town were many of the San Francisco homeowners, John & Felicia, Del & Nancy, Joe & Miki, Chuck & Marsha, and their friends. We all had dinner at Mita Gourmet and it was a lot of fun.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air have launched a major fare sale with one-way fares starting at $49 for flights between West Coast destinations and $99 for Mexico flights. "Spring on These Deals" sale fares are available at alaskaair.com and horizonair.com or by calling (800) ALASKAAIR. Customers must purchase tickets by Jan. 31, 2008, and travel by May 8, 2008. $99 between Seattle and Los Angeles. One-way fares to Mexico start as low as $99 between Los Angeles and Los Cabos.

From January 19-26, 2008, over 1,000 sea turtle researchers and conservationists will gather in Loreto, Mexico, to share the latest news and report their progress on sea turtle monitoring and conservation. Every hotel in town is full, and some have even set up tents for visitors to camp.

Grupo Tortuguero Celebrates 10 Years of Conservation Success in Baja. Ten years ago a collection of fishermen, scientists, conservationists and others formed Grupo Tortuguero, the first sea turtle conservation network in Northwest Mexico. Today, the network has grown into one of the strongest grassroots conservation movements in the world, serving as a model for other countries. In 2007, Grupo Tortuguero achieved notable success through creating an international exchange, bringing together local fishermen from Baja California with their Hawaiian and Japanese counterparts to share information on turtle-friendly fishing methods. In 2007, hundreds of turtles were saved while preserving traditional livelihoods.

My New Year’s Resolution is to get out of town more often and play. I am putting this out there, so my friends can keep me honest and make sure I do it! What is the point of having a blog called Where in the World is Nellie? if she is always in Loreto?? This weekend I was invited spur of the moment to meet friends in Cabo. Rent a car, drive the 500 km each way for great sushi. Sounds reasonable to me!

Leaving at sunrise, I am always in awe of the beauty of the sun coming up over Carmen Island reflecting off the water and making the surrounding mountains all aglow with vibrant pink and orange colors. The 6 hour drive from Loreto to Cabo San Lucas is amazing as you weave through the mountains, have long stretches of agricultural land and cows actually behind fences, and then through the hillsides of cactus forest for miles and miles. The drive from Constitution to La Paz is about 2.5 hours and there is nothing in between. It is endless highway, beautiful scenery and no where to pull over for gas or pit stop. Normally, I only go to La Paz for business and it is comforting to get to the Military Stop just outside the city limits because then you know that you are close to civilization.

The drive from La Paz to Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific side is about 1.5 hours. There are less mountains and more beautiful Pacific sandy beaches. It has a much more wide open sense and the air feels fresher. There is so much to notice if one is aware, and so many dirt paths that are begging to be explored before they are exploited.

I was loving the drive and thinking how wonderful it is to be cruising down the Mexican TransPeninsular Hwy. at 120 km/ph which is 75 mph in my rented red Jeep Liberty listening to Andrea Bocelli serenading me full blast. I remember how thirty years ago, I loved to cruise the TransCanada Hwy in my 68 Plymouth Dodge Dart, 454, with Bachman Turner Overdrive playing on 8 track tape at 170 km p/h which is 105 mph. The more things change, the more they remain the same. I guess this equates to me slowing down 1 mph each year for the last 30 years. Sounds reasonable to me.

Some things don’t change. I am still drawn to men with fast cars, and am quietly impressed when they can parallel park better than I can, which is pretty damn good. I figure any male that has the confidence to push a fast car to the limit without being stupid, and can park it on a dime knows how to handle a fast woman. Sounds reasonable to me.

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Del Borracho and The Road to San Javier, Loreto, Mexico

Would you like your home video to be shown on Fox Sports Network? My friend Ronnie Kovach has asked me to solicit video clips of marine life in this area for his upcoming series showcasing Loreto, BCS, Mexico. They need good video footage of fishing and/or marine life this week to add to their film. If you have some good footage readily available, please email me at Nellie@BajaBOSS.com and I will put you in touch with Ronnie’s film editor. Check out Ronnie’s show “Fishing Ventures” at www.fishingexpeditions.com

DORADO PROPERTIES LORETO is proud to announce our newest listing of Del Borracho Restaurant and Bar. Mike and Cholie have made Del Borracho a local institution and landmark in the area. It is truly the great equalizer where you have Mexican professionals and construction workers, long time ex-patriarch community, tourists, and the new emerging group of professionals and homeowners involved with the newest land developments in the area all wanting to flock to this place for a little dose of the true adventure spirit of the Wild Wild West.

“Mavericks” are easily bored and need to be given constant challenges to ensure that they are as productive and engaged as they could be. They tend to come up with innovative solutions and their way of working does not fit the established corporate norms.


This describes Mike of Del Borracho. Mike has been an adventurer, thrill seeker, and maverick his whole life. After many years of traveling half way around the world on motorcycles and large boats, he and Cholie settled in Loreto more than 7 years ago. They fell in love with this place and decided to do something special here. Both can be proud to be among the original pioneers of the change from a sleepy fishing village to world tourism destination, which is not that far away.

Mike and Cholie are big supporters of the local community and purchased all the wood that the Saloon Restaurant, their home, and guest casa are made from a local supplier. Mike built all the buildings himself with local help. They work 5 days a week (Wednesday to Sunday) from sunrise to sunset preparing delicious meals at affordable prices and offer exceptional value. Cholie is forever in the kitchen and Mike is always working around the place, behind the bar, or clearing tables and making everyone feel right at home. It is truly a place where “everyone knows your name” and all are welcome, including families, visitors, regulars, and just plain hungry people. Make sure you keep enjoying this wonderful place for years to come!

Their hard work has paid off into a very good solid business that continues to increase and grow each month. Their staff is friendly, the service is fairly fast given the long lineups, and the food always mouth watering and hot. Along with the land, buildings, and inventory, are the secret recipes, business name and goodwill. We can provide a lot more business information to serious buyers who want to purchase a ready made institution and expand to create something unique in the middle of town. Please contact Brenda@DoradoLoreto.com for more info, or call her at 613 135 0310.

A rolling stone gathers no moss, and it is time for Mike and Cholie to move on to new adventures in another unchartered territory. They are not sure where or what this is, but are excited to start the next chapter of their life adventure. Loreto will miss their contribution, role model, support and participation in the community, but we are so thankful to have shared the journey for as long as we have. There is no rush or hurry in selling the property, but as we all know … sometimes to make things happen … you just need the Power of Intention and I am “putting this out there”.

Another one of my local dinner spots is 1697 Restaurant with Kieran and Norma. I love their thin crust pizza which they offer with many different topping options. They have a decent wine selection and it is my favorite place to share a pizza and salad, sip good wine in a nice atmosphere by candle light. Kieran is an Irishman, Norma is Mexican, and they met in Hong Kong with their big executive jobs and now run a restaurant in Loreto. How romantic! 1697 is located near the town square next to Mita Gourmet Restaurant. You can ask anyone about 1492, 1712, or 1346 and everyone will know what you are talking about! But for those in the know, 1697 was the date of the Mission.

Mediterraneo Restaurant is beginning an "Early Bird" dinner service special. It will be only Mondays thru Fridays from 5 pm to 6 pm. It will be a fixed price menu of 6 of their best sellers including bread basket, soup or salad choice, entree choice, desert choice and a glass of red or white house wine. The rule of thumb is that it will be a 40% discount during the 5 to 6 early bird special. Prices for the complete meal range from $190 to $290 pesos. If you have not been there lately, give them a try.

For those taking a ride to San Javier, please note that the main road past Del Borracho is closed as they are working on paving and expanding the new section of road. Take the River Bed under the new bridge and it will connect to the road to San Javier. Take your time to enjoy the goats, vegetation and spectacular rock formations.

I took the trip again this weekend and it was beautifully green and more water than last week, even though I do not remember it raining. Take your time to explore off the already beaten path and discover amazing waterfalls and places of such tranquility that you wonder if you are the only person that gets to enjoy this natural creation before Mother Nature changes it again. Notice how small I am in the middle of the waterfall, and wonder how I got there?!

Dorado Properties Loreto has several listings of large parcels of land in this area, where you can own thousands of hectares (1 ha = 100,000 sq. ft) for the price of a very nice mobile home. Park your car, walk around the town and look up into the mountains and imagine what could be with a little imagination, a lot of money, and great ideas.

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year from Loreto, Mexico!

To end 2007, Greg and Carmen of FN58, Mike and Carol of FN151, and Carver and Marian of FN62, and I all played Bocci Ball on our new courtyard by the 9th Green. It was Guys versus Girls and quite a heated competition. Nothing like a little friendly sports to see people’s true colors. Of course, I was playing in my fur lined parka, high heels, and beer in hand … every handicap I could claim for my bad aim! Carmen is always a class act as she brought out Champaign and glasses for us to toast the New Year in style!

The wind finally stopped on January 4 when most people have left town. The last few days have been perfectly warm, bright and sunny in Loreto. This must be heaven on earth and I must have done something good at sometime to deserve such a life. There is NOTHING better than being out on the water with good friends on these beautiful mornings.

We went out with Jeff and Maria of FN556 and their kids Mitch and Ashley. Jeff and Mitch had no trouble diving into the 60 degree water while Captain Chino and I watched and laughed at these crazy polar bears from Nebraska. The water was smooth as glass and we saw hundreds of dolphins playing with the boat for what seemed like hours. No matter how many times I see the dolphins, I am always amazed at their playfulness and beauty.

No trip is complete without going around Coronado Island to see the sea lions basking in the sun and posing for the passing boats. Even in our 34’ Luhrs Sports fishing boat we were able to get within 15 feet of them for a good look and photos. Another perfect day with 80 degree temperatures, calm water, abundant sea life, green mountains in the background, and most importantly great friends.

This was Mitch’s first time to Loreto and he hopes to be back soon when their home is completed. There were so many great young adults here with their parents over the holidays that I think we need to find a forum for them to get together and find each other during these vacations. I am so impressed with all the families that I have met here and it is another reinforcement of what a fantastic community is growing here.

We thoroughly enjoyed having dinner with Russ and Cindy Demers of FN109 and their daughters, Alexandra and Marissa, at Mita Gourmet. Alexandra was very interested in the heated political campaign happening here and noticed right away that each of the parties were on the opposite sides of the street with their supporters actively soliciting votes. Marissa is attending college in Upstate New York and was telling me how her class was studying Loreto Bay as an example of the New Urbanism Development. How interesting!

Tomorrow is the first day back to work in 3 weeks for most businesses, and I am feeling rested and ready to tackle another rollercoaster year. I have done little work over the holidays and am training clients that there is very little that can not wait until the vacation is over. There was nothing more evident to make me realize this than getting a phone call at 10 am from a local Loreto Bay resident on New Year’s Day, who shall remain nameless.

I was so pleased that he was thoughtful enough to call and wish me a Happy New Year, until in the next breath, he had to ask me a FM3 question. Are you kidding me??? I reminded him of the time and date and said surely this could wait until tomorrow, especially since Immigration was closed until Monday. He responded by saying that he did not want me to “work” but just to answer his questions? Would you phone your lawyer on New Year’s Day and expect him to answer a question without “working”. Good thing that I consider this person a friend and was able to joke with him, and I took the positive from this experience and realized that I have to be more adamant about saying “Not now, let’s discuss that during office hours.” in the future.

One of Baja BOSS’s corporate clients is Sea Kayak Baja Mexico, which we helped incorporate last year. David Noel and Ginni Callahan love kayaking in Baja, so much that they’ve built their lives around it. Ginni has been guiding in Baja for 11 years, and is a British Canoe Union (BCU) sea kayak coach Level 4. Sea Kayak Baja Mexico is the only BCU-endorsed kayaking center in Mexico and is also Mexico’s only Nigel Dennis Expedition Centre. With this valuable support, Ginni and David provide kayak instruction and expeditions for those with basic experience looking to enhance their skills and challenge themselves on longer and tougher expeditions than other kayaking companies offer. All of their kayaks are singles of British design (skegs instead of rudders). Enjoy a course in the Sea of Cortez or in the surf of the Pacific! The photo is from the beginning of a trip down 60 miles of central Baja’s Pacific coast in early 2007. For more information on how to join them in Loreto on a kayak tour go to: Sea Kayak Baja Mexico http://www.columbiariverkayaking.com/baja.html

Loreto is growing up as a business center. I used to say that there were three Gentlemen’s Clubs in Loreto and one bank. Now Bancomer Bank has opened their brand new second branch located on the highway offering services for Preferred Foreign Clients. Banking has come a long way in one short year, when previously it would take waiting in line for at least 2 hours to have money changed or inquire about a new account with staff that spoke very little English. Bancomer has definitely stepped up their customer services and are now open on Saturday mornings for everyone’s convenience.

The new competition in town is Banamex Bank located on the main street of Salvaterra. Banamex is owned by Citigroup and we feel competition is healthy for better services, rates, and options. Now we can say that we have 3 strip joints, and 3 banks. I do not believe there is any relation to one another; it is merely a twisted comparison of life in a small town. I think it would be interesting to know how many stores there were that sold beer, and how many pharmacies (many) in comparison to how many lawyers and accountants are here (very few)?? This would be an interesting survey, but far too time consuming for me to visit every beer store!

I am looking forward to getting back to work and seeing what 2008 brings. One thing is certain, this has been a very fun holiday season and a great community is forming just as we had all hoped. All the best for a prosperous and healthy new year!
centerpointe