Thursday, March 23, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017–La Paz, Mexico–Partly Cloudy - 72F

Distance from Mazatlan, Mexico to La Paz, Mexico: 272 Nautical Miles

This is our first trip to La Paz, Mexico.

La Paz (population 225,000) is the capitol of the Mexican State of Baja California Sur. 

Azamara Quest is docked at Puerto de Pichilingue – the Port is supplying complimentary busses to the Bus Terminal in downtown La Paz.  The busses run every 30 minutes between the port and city.  The Bus Terminal is in a central location and just a few blocks away from the Malecon, the boardwalk that runs 3.5 miles along the beach.  John Steinbeck put this area of the Sea of Cortez on the map by putting out two books, “The Pearl” and the “Log from the Sea of Cortez” – a non fiction log of tour he took in 1940.

The sail in was very picturesque -


Not sure if I felt safer or less safe by the presence of a Mexican Gunboat that escorted the ship into La Paz.


We tried to get off the ship quickly so we would have a good chance to see a lot of La Paz.  To make us feel welcome at this port, a Mariachi Band did it’s stuff right there on the port. 


Mariachi Hello

The best way to describe La Paz is that the area around the port is basically a desert.  Lots of sands and lots of cacti. 



There are interesting breaks in the terrain on our way to La Paz.  One really nice one is a fancy golf course – you can tell it’s a desert course since the only green color is on the fairways and greens.


Tee It Up in La Paz

La Paz was an interesting town to walk around in.  We found the main square, which was an obligatory photo op.


While the Malecon runs several miles along the beach, only a small portion of it abuts La Paz.  If you get confused as to where you are in Mexico, this city supplies a sign giving you a clue.


Ellen in La Paz

There are a number of statues and installations along the Malecon.  One impressive one was a huge bird and I had to get a picture of it.  The other statue below was shot from the bus on your return to the port.


Statues Along the Malecon

It’s true that a lot of business have gone south to Mexico.  On that really hits home is the relocation of Thrifty Ice Cream stores from California to Mexico.  The Drugstore business apparently did not survive but the ice cream is alive and well – we have spotted Thrifty Ice Cream locations in at least three Mexican cities.  Although we are fans of the ice cream (especially the 15 cent cone our kids used to love), we decided it wise to pass on the ice cream since we have a lot of cruise ahead of us.


Thrifty Ice Cream – Blast From the Past

Another interesting local in La Paz is “Iron Man” (no not the Iron Man).  The armor looks a little thin but still worth a picture.


Me and the Tin Man

After about a couple of hours wandering around the city, it was time to go back the bus station.  Here’s an interesting observation – the La Paz Bus Terminal has two sets of washrooms – one that costs a peso to use and the other free.  Who has to use what – we could not figure it out. 

The bus ride back seemed shorter than the one to the city and soon the Quest came into view.


After a late lunch, we spent the rest of the day out on the open deck.  I finished Val McDermid’s detective novel, “The Skeleton Road”, about the Balkan Wars and a murder in Edinburgh.  It was very good and I should have figured it out earlier than I did but the author did a good job of confusing me.  I started a couple of books that I gave up on early and settled on a historical fiction novel- “Dust and Shadow” by Lindsay Faye , which inserted Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson into the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888.  Lots of facts, some terrific descriptions of London and Whitechapel, and amazing dialogue.  

A perfect, no cloud in the sky, day and one that begs for photos.


Moon over La Paz



View from Deck 5

After dinner in the Discoveries Dining Room, we took in the first production show:  “Stage Door to Dreams”.  We have seen this show several time but the songs and dances are great and it never grows old.


Stage Door to Dreams

It was still warm on the deck as we sailed away so I took a picture of the moon over the Sea of Cortez.


A nice, warm day in La Paz.

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