Between Storms in La Paz
In the morning we wake up before sunrise, drive down to the malecon and park along the water next to a coffee shop for a little wifi and fresh coffee as the sun comes up.I'm sure our choice of spots has nothing to do with the fact it's right next to jen's favorite ice cream shop. The roast was no McRae but all in, not a bad way to spend the morning. We are ecstatic that the storms have brought cooler temps that make LaPaz so much more livable than our last visit when we huddled inside our air conditioned room for days.The malecon and coffee shop deliver a constant supply of people looking to pet karma or talk about the bus, but we eventually pull ourselves away and walk a handful of blocks up to see Rogelio. He is as friendly and helpful as ever and gives us additional restaurant advice, a list of friends who can help with various needs we have and even agrees to squeeze time in his schedule for us on saturday before we depart for the mainland. At one point we ask about buying a spotlight we see on another van (to help light our bbq at dinnertime) and he quickly has one of his guys go remove the one they recently installed so we can walk out with it. Locisimo. The rest of the afternoon is spent at one of Rogelio's friend's shops getting a radio installed. We have been driving E without tunes for years since we ripped out the original interior) but the hours we now spend in the bus has moved this from want to need. After hours spent by the guys in the shop making our old radio work and the difficult installation (into an old split bus that was never designed for such amenities); the bill is $60...far less than it would have cost us to either fix or replace just the radio in the states. Why again didn't we do all our shopping here before?
We spend an extra hour or so at the shop because Miriam's final storm passes overhead dumping sheets of rain on the city and turning the streets into rivers. Good chance for us to hide in the covered protection of the shop, and for jen to entertain the two boys while we put things back together. When the rain lightens a bit we find our next parking/camping spot for the night and head to dinner at the shack, a place we saw on our last vist and have been hoping to catch open in the off season. We walk up hill crossing streets with water rushing past well past our ankles. We found them open with quite the local gringo crowd, but also found a great atmosphere and terrific food. During our conversations with the owner we learn that Rogelio is not only a great mechanic and nice guy, but apparently a legend for having invented (with his brother) the baja bug years ago by being the first to flip the axle. We shall now add humble to the list of positive adjectives we already had by his name.