We reboarded the ship and enjoyed breakfast in the Club Restaurant (our days of full breakfast service are dwindling down). After that morning pill taking activity, we walked off the ship again...and right to one of the vendors set up by the terminal. Some silver jewelry had caught G's eye when he first disembarked, and he was in a gifting mood today. I left sporting a new bracelet, ring, pendant and earrings and love them all. It's kind of like a slightly belated birthday present!
The port was offering two free shuttle services today, since it really is located in the middle of nowhere. First, luxurious motor coaches had been driven up from Cabo San Lucas (complete with WiFi!) and these were making the 17-mile drive into the town of La Paz. Then, some shuttle vans were making the 20-minute drive in the other direction to Tecolate Beach. Not that it was beach weather- it was beautiful and sunny and in the high 60s- but the photos of the beach on display were nice, and the beach itself looked endless. We opted for the beach, and just the two of us were driven there in a van and dropped off at a pair of very rustic beach bars.
The water (this was the Gulf of California, or the Sea of Cortez) was a brilliant bright blue color, clear and placid. Though the beach was a little rocky; it was extremely walkable. We first settled in at a bar and each had a Pacifico beer and soaked up the solitude. Just across the water was Isla Espírito Santo, which looked uninhabited. I think it's a nature preserve. After awhile we decided to walk the full length of the beach. And as we got to the other end, we saw for the first time a handful of motor homes scattered on the wide beach. We were greeted by two couples, one from Washington Stqte and the other from Canada who were traveling together. They said they spend several months each winter in the area and that was their favorite beach. They can camp there for free but once a week or so they pay to camp in La Paz to empty their sewage and get water and do laundry. We talked with them for quite awhile before we continued on our walk.
The most interesting campers were a couple with young kids from Lithuania who were camping in an old school bus, but there was another guy from Germany camping in a van. The beach was so long and wide that they all had lots of space but apparently do socialize each evening and have a big campfire on the beach. It sounded like the kind of vacations we took when we were first married. We had a blast then, but I'm not certain I'd want to be bathing in the Sea of Cortez these days.
We made our way back down to the end of the beach where the couple of beach bars were located and drank a second beer. We kept an eye on the area where the shuttle van had dropped us off; we hadn't seen another come by yet, and there were no fellow passengers (or anyone else) on the beach at that end. But just before 1:30pm, a van did show up and we took it back to the port terminal. Without even getting back on the ship we decided to take the large bus into La Paz, and at that time of the afternoon we were the only passengers doing that. It took almost 30 minutes to get there, and, once there, we only had about an hour to walk around. I was hoping to get some fish tacos but we didn't see a restaurant offering them on the main drag. There was a local craft fair taking place (color me shocked) and, interestingly, a few classic cars on display, including three old Ford Broncos (one of which could have been once owned by G). But by 3pm we were taking the (completely full) bus back to the port. I'm glad we spent most of our day at the beach. I think it was much more enjoyable.
We returned to the terminal just in time to see some local folkloric dancing and then reboarded the ship. It was nearly 4pm and we were starved...and tired. We decided to skip dinner in the Club Restaurant (it was the Chefs Menu) and instead just enjoy sailway and sunset from the Panorama Buffet. It was too chilly to sit on the Panorama Terrace (weep!) but we kept going out there to take photos. The ship sailed shortly after 4:30pm and passed close to land, offering gorgeous views of the craggy mountain peaks. We saw a beautiful sunset and then continued grazing the buffet and talking with fellow passengers until after 7:30pm. The entertainment tonight was a cellist and vocalist duo called Brendan and James, but we were still wearing our clothes from the day and didn't have the energy to get cleaned up or attend the show. Instead we are tucked into bed early tonight, watching videos on TV.
I think tomorrow will be a yoga pants and fleece pullover day. Even today we were chilly when we weren't in the sun. But hopefully the payoff will be some whale sightings. Captain D said the weather should continue to be good until we are almost in LA, when he is expecting some swells again. But he said that he is going to try to increase our speed while the ocean is fairly flat, so that if the swells arrive early, we will be earlier.
We will really miss sailing with Captain D. He is aces in our book. :-)