onward to Baja!
its been too long.
We had heard from other travelers that you had to make a reservation 7-10 days before the ferry, way different than when we came across from baja on the same boat. We emailed and asked for a reservation a week or so in advance just to be sure. Sadly, the night before our scheduled ferry (while still sitting in san pancho) we asked what time we had to arrive and were informed we had to be there by 8am. Unless we drove through the night that wasn't going to happen, so we postponed a few days to the next ferry.We drove to mazatlan the night before, then woke up at seven (the first time i can remember setting an alarm in recent history) and went to get in line at the terminal. The week early reservation assures you a spot- but that's not to say you can't go wait in line with the truckers. We made friends with the security guard on the way in and squeezed in line between two semis to make sure we were one of the first few weighed and paid. Ticket in hand, we returned to the hotel for breakfast and some blog posting before a few days offline. A few financial freedom blogs seem to have picked up on my earlier post on the balance between money and freedom and the blog traffic is going nuts right now…a good time to clean things up and make some long overdue revisions.
The TMC ferry continues to not disappoint, although 20 hours on a cargo boat isn't exactly how we’d choose to spend our time, its a solid means to an end. We still got to park up top (meaning we could stay with the dog and sleep in the bus), a nice sunrise out of the deal and a few square meals. This time sadly no dolphin show. We should ask for a refund.
Unfortunately the unloading wasn't without issue. After the first few semis unloaded the ferry was apparently sliding off-center of the dock and had to be shifted. We knew something was amiss when 3 or 4 guys went running by E towards the back of the boat. At least in our experience... when you see (normally tranquillo) mexicans running it's not generally a good sign. A lot of conversation followed by some truly expert maneuvering of a 2million ton boat...and we were finally able to unload. Add the minor snafu to the fact we departed 2 hours late and a few complete searches of the bus (literally, every cabinet - the first time in the trip we've had this happen) we finally hit the ground in La Paz... over 5hours late.
Not entirely bad by mexican standards i guess. ;)
So exciting. We’ve been really looking forward to this leg of the trip. To see how the peninsula might be different in tourist season than it was when we had it all to ourselves on the way south. We also have any number of social engagements arranged… captain doug and bonny are still in southern baja and we plan to connect while E has a highly anticipated spa day with rojelio. A friend from back home is planning to drive south for a few beach days in northern baja and brock and kelly just bought tickets to meet us for some wine tasting in napa/sonoma. This is working out wonderfully!
We realized during long conversations on the boat that we have no idea what our next vacation/adventure is going to be. Driving the bus home seemed to be hanging over our heads for the past 18months and knowing that we had to bring E back meant we couldn't really think about what big trip we really wanted to do next as it was rather the default. We’ve also been having so much fun at home we haven’t much had the itch...
We know our desire to spend more time under water is growing quickly, so im pretty sure a dive trip has reached the top of the list, but who knows where. Vacations seem to take a different level of importance now than they did in the past. Before, we would not only save money all year awaiting our 2-3 weeks of freedom, but we would spend all year looking forward to and building up that one tiny chance to set our brains right. We would use it as a light at the end of the tunnel to keep trudging on all year, and would be ecstatic to board the plane to whatever destination we decided.
Sadly, once we arrived it would take at least 3 or 4 days to unwind, to begin settling in to the slower pace of "island time" and breathing deeply again. Just about the time we truly unwound our minds would start counting down the hours left before boarding a flight home. The last day was always misery as we hung our heads that our time away was nearing an end and we were returning to our "real" lives. Those weeks were never long enough and we always hated returning home after.
Now we find ourselves as eager for home as we were to depart. It seems just as exciting to go spend 3or4 days somewhere exploring as it does months away and there's no stress to pick or create the perfect vacation because we are already breathing deeply and fully charged before we go.
We also spent considerable ferry time talking about our next project, and since these conversations are happening on the road it's almost more exciting than the next vacation. We plan to begin in april or may, converting our "other" home into something more suited to short term rentals and possibly building another ADU. If our first ADU conversion allows us to live mortgage free…the second should allow us to finally have an income... and that- is among the most exiting things we can imagine!