Wednesday, December 22, 2010

La Paz

To err is human

To arr is pirate

La Paz is an interesting city to walk and drive around. It has about 200,000 inhabitants in the greater La Paz area and is the capital of Baja California Sur (south) – BCS. The place has the feel of a middle class working town.  The biggest employer is the government, as there isn’t any serious industry around. Because of nearby Isla Espiritu Santo and it’s abundant wildlife, there’s tourism, but not anything to the scale of Cabo. The city is home to a lot of ex-pats and ex-cruisers, they make up a small percentage of the population.

Apparently hitting a pedestrian with a car is a bad thing here.  You end up in jail – guilty till proven innocent. This means that you can haplessly wander into streets and have pretty good odds that someone driving will stop to avoid hitting you. You won’t endear yourself to the driver, but you’ll save on medical bills. The driving rules are a little strange. The 8-sided red stop sign like signs with ALTO printed on them mean slow down a little. A red left turn arrow on a traffic light means left turn on red after most of the cars have cleared the other side of the road. A no left turn sign means there’s a reasonable chance that the street you are turning on is a one-way street, the wrong way, but go ahead and give it a try if you want. The town is laid out with a lot of one-way streets. It seems to be based on the apriori-knowledge system, as the one-ways signs seem to be at the starts of the streets near the water and on major intersections. Leaving the intermediate streets as locals only knowledge.

We finally ran into Steve and Lulu on Siempra Sabado. Siempre Sabado blog I’ve been e-mailing with Steve for a year and a half now, as we both were trying to get out of the PNW. Good folks to share a cerveza and tacos with.

LaPazIMG_6089 Steve ands Lulu coming out to recover the sewing machine and Deadwood DVDs they loaned Chris

 LaPazIMG_6030 Here’s our friends from Edmonds Owen and Carrie’s new ride, a Tayana 37, that they purchased in La Paz. Currently named Que Tal soon to be Madrona. We spent a bunch of time helping Owen out when we got back into town. He had a lot of systems to check out on the boat and a few to get working before bringing the family down next month for the great adventure – life on a 37 foot boat with two small kids.

After helping Owen out on his boat a bit we decided to do a little maintenance work on Jeorgia. The engine is a 2003 (model, not year) Volvo-Penta, the green machine. The injectors have not been out on it since I’ve owned the boat, so it was time to get them serviced.  Not something that had to be done now, but why not. Diesel work is pretty reasonably priced in La Paz.

LaPazIMG_6066The green machine sans injectors and value cover

 LaPazIMG_6067The shiny injectors after service, just waiting to jump back into the engine and purr on for a few more years

Unfortunately this model of Volvo does not use copper washers under the injectors to make them seal like most engines. The injectors sit in an injector sleeve and mate every so carefully at the base of it. If these are corroded at all then you have to pull the head to replace them. After a lot of trial and error, we were able to reface the sleeves enough to get a good seal.

LaPazIMG_6086Here’s Chris bringing the mechanic, Colin and his trusty dog Blanqita back to shore. Colin is one tenacious dude and won’t accept a small, micro leak as good enough. Plus he comes with a life time of stories to tell while working on the boat – and even an opinion or two. He can’t complain about the weather, so he complains endlessly about the traffic. (We’d definitely recommend him: Colin Agar - Colfa Marine Tech. Services, cell0446121576884)   

If we can get parts together, we will probably come back over and do a head job on the engine.

Now for some random La Paz photos


Pelicans scrafing down on the morning entrails dumped by the panga driver into the anchorage – think of it as recycling.


Vote for Ricardo! Lots of campaign noise whenever you stroll around La Paz right now 


Holiday decorations in the entrance to the boat yard that Que Tal is in. Enough said.


Anyone need a Christmas piƱata?

LaPazIMG_6062Chris getting a vaccination from Dr. Tuschman, a surgeon, before her next trip to Africa. The total cost was less than the co-pay in the USA.


Dinner at our favorite cheap taco stop, Ranch Viejo.


Sunrise view of La Paz from the anchorage


The other sunrise view from the anchorage


With a little bit of luck we will be off tomorrow to start the crossing to the Mexican mainland.


1 comment:

  1. When we attended the language school in La Paz in 2002, one of our instructors explained that ALTO signs in La Paz are merely "suggestions".

    Have a good crossing.

    -Steve & Lulu