Easter in Baja
Monday, April 9, 2012
It’s curious, feeling ready to leave a place you like. We arrived in La Paz at the start of this year, the first week of January. We now know the city. We own the streets and the faces we see are familiar. We have our favorite restaurants. I push my cart around the grocery store in a pattern and I don’t need to ask where anything is. We’ve filled our propane tanks a few times and we’ve done dozens of loads of laundry. We live here. We like it here. We’re feeling ready to leave.
There is no reason we couldn’t stay in La Paz, dig deeper roots. There is no reason we must leave. We just want to go someplace else, see something else. I guess this is wanderlust.
And this is where they ended up Easter night, at a bar, playing Barbies with others while their parents hung out with other parents, drinking beer and listening to live music. That’s Frances on the left, Emma of Whiskey Charlie_ in the middle, and Raquel, the bar owner’s daughter on the right. Of course, in Mexico this is perfectly fine. In fact, when the waitstaff was busy, I sent Eleanor to the bar to order and bring back a pitcher of Negro Modelo–try that at home._
There is nothing like it in a land-based life. Nobody gives thought to moving for the sake of moving. How would you get to work on time if you lived a hundred miles away next week? What an expensive and inconvenient proposition to pack and unpack all of your stuff, to move into a new place.
But imagine if the situation wasn’t so. Imagine if it was only a matter of deciding to leave. What if it took ten minutes to detach your home from its foundation and float away, coming to rest whenever you wanted in someplace entirely new? No packing, no hassle, just making sure you have groceries and water, and going…from Los Angeles to San Francisco, from Washington, D.C. to New York, from Houston to Lake Tahoe, from Portland to Aspen. When you arrived, you would walk out your front door to someplace new. You may be in a different climate. You would have to learn where everything is, maybe even a new language. You could stay as long as you wanted; you could always return to where you were. Could you? Would you?
This is cruising.
The strawberries we’ve bought from the back of this Ford Escort over the past three months have been the best, most consistently good strawberries I’ve bought anywhere. We must have purchased four dozen baskets (canastas) since we arrived. At 5 for 50 pesos, that’s only 80 cents U.S. a basket.
We want to leave La Paz and head for British Columbia. We hear it is beautiful—no, magnificent. We want to anchor near waterfalls, see orcas, and soak in natural hot springs when the air is cold enough to condense our breath. We will miss cactus, palm trees, warm water, and the friends we’ve made here. We’d like to see glaciers and rugged vistas that test the infinity setting on our camera. We are leaving tomorrow.
We have lots of friends and family with whom we want to visit on the west coast of California, Oregon, and Washington, so it will take us a long time to get up to British Columbia, probably a few months. We may winter over in Victoria and then get a jump on the summer cruising season next year, high-tailing it up to Alaska or something. Or we may not.
From the time we arrived in Mexico to begin our adventure, we have been bound by the projects we wanted to complete on Del Viento. There remains a short to-do list we’ve saved for San Diego, but we are otherwise untethered. We leave tomorrow, all of us eager to see where we go in the next few months—in the next few years—and how long we stay there.
_I__n our twenties, we traded our boat for a house and our freedom for careers. In our thirties, we slumbered through the American dream. In our forties, we woke and traded our house for a boat and our careers for freedom. And here we are. Follow along at _