La Paz (Day 1)

The journey here to La Paz was pretty harrowing. We began by getting on the last flight to leave Boston before things were shut down. I couldn’t say whether flights are back up and running – look to the comments, and maybe someone will report. But we sat on that runway for two hours while the pilot negotiated a route that would not take us over the Midwest, and we were de-iced twice. But then, finally, we were off.

That put us two hours late getting into Houston, which meant the door of our plane opened 10 minutes before our flight to Mexico City was meant to take off. We ran. Sprinted, I mean, and found that it was very slightly delayed, and after our 20 minute journey, we were on the plane. I am so grateful for all the time I’ve been spending on the treadmill. Once on board, we discovered a German had been given the same seat as me, so we played musical chairs. Then the flight attendant (whom I thought was pretty damned rude to the Mexicans on board throughout the entire flight; why staff that route with someone who absolutely cannot or will not speak Spanish?) demanded that someone with “very good English” needed to be in the exit row. Kris volunteered, and there was more musical chairs, which put a very sweet kid moving back home after nine months in Maryland in the seat next to me. This was when the gate discovered their seating error, and came on board and began interrogating this poor kid. I turned on the Midwest and helped him out, and we got moving. He gave me Mentos, which I think means he likes me. I did not invite him to be my cabana boy, but sure would have liked to…

We got some dinner and discovered our flight was delayed. Delayed. Delayed. We finally boarded. Then we got off the plane again and were sent back through security. Delayed. Delayed. Delayed. Finally the flight that was supposed to take off at 9:20pm took off at 1:00am. I still enjoyed the flight. The stars down here are incredible, and I saw three meteorites en route.

Sergio, bless his heart, was at the gate waiting when we arrived at 3:30am. He’s a friend of the kind soul who is letting us stay in this place FOR FREE. He’d purchased about 3,000 gallons of water for us, and dropped us and the water off, and headed home for three hours of sleep before he had to head to work.

And we crashed. Excellent sleep. And when we woke? Lo, the beach is near. Here is a photo I took especially for you, which is my view lying on the patio reading a book. See my bare knees?

Next order of business? Breakfast and coffee. We set out and discovered right away that Kris is perfectly dressed for this scene.

At breakfast, we were the only patrons. As I’ve been combing the beach, I’m the only comber. I haven’t seen anyone here except security guards (tons and tons of them) and the occasional construction worker). It’s strange and lovely.

Kris, a sucker, had a bit of work to do.

You were all so worried that I’d be working nonstop, and just look at him. Note the circus peanuts in the foreground, though.

So I took off, rambling. I roamed, poked things, stared at birds, and took some videos. I’m uploading them now, so you’ll have to wait. But here’s what I saw:

This is about 20 yards from the patio in the first photo of this post.

And this is having turned around to look back where Kris is working.

Some little tide pools that are just packed with interesting things (wait for the videos…).

And, ready for this? It’s a swallow-tailed hawk. This is on my bird-bucket list. You know bucket lists, right? Well, I have a bird one. Birds I really, really want to see in the wild before I die. And this, friends, is on it. I about wet my pants when I saw it.

Little sea creature (and my foot).

And this is from my Catch, Photo, Release program for shells (he was still in there, wiggling, when I dropped him back in).

Now it’s time to go to the store so we’ll have things to eat besides granola bars and water. And I’m making Kris get up and come into the tide pools with me. And then I think we’ll nap. Did I mention it’s 75 degrees? I’m so damned happy right now. Heather once accused me of having (as she had occasion to put it at the time) a life that is not uncharmed. I’m sure feeling that way right now.