After Steve boasted to me of his fluent Spanish skills the preceding day he had no chance to prove it to me as the lady at the ferry office when we returned to buy the tickets spoke absolutely perfect English. It made the exact details of what we were classified as by the ferry company a lot easier. There is a big difference in price between whether we are a mini-motor home (this is US motor homes we are talking about, so we are positively tiny compared with some of them!) or something far larger and although we have the reservation at the cheaper rate, we might have to be reclassified at the dock next week when we get on the boat, possibly very expensive change.
We spent the following two days after La Paz nearby at Playa Tecolote, a beautiful long white sandy beach with a few restaurants in the middle and nothing either side. There wasn’t any campsite as such but there was no problems free camping. We had a lovely time swimming, snorkelling and playing in the sand. The second day we awoke to grey clouds and wind. We thought there was no point pushing on as we were planning on staying on a beach the following night, so the weather would be much the same there. So the day consisted of lots of schooling, lunch at the restaurant, playing and wet walks along the beach. Although we were wearing macs it is a lot more pleasant, than we as Brits are used to, in the drizzle when it is still 27 degrees.
Steve was excited at the prospect of fishing at our next stop at Las Barrilles, there was the prospect of deep sea fish like dorado, sail fish and even marlin. Alisha is his willing partner in all things fish related, so they set off the following day on a boat for 8 hours out to sea. When they left in the early morning the sea was flat and calm. However by the time they returned at 3pm the wind had picked up dramatically and the boats were being tossed around. I was very pleased to see them come in one piece. I knew she was in good hands but I was little anxious about sending my little girl out to sea in such a swell. We had bought both girls life jackets in the US. Although they are fully equipped here we are not sure if everywhere that we will get life vests for them. They had a great time though. First hooking a big squid for bait right down from the deep and then getting a good size dorado. As with all fishing trips there was tales of massive marlin and manta rays that they saw but didn’t quite hook in. The Dorado was delicious for tea that night though, cooked up by a local restaurant and shared with a couple we met from the UK who have been travelling all over the world in their land rover.
We’d heard about a turtle conservation project near here but couldn’t find it on our beach wanderings but asking around I found out that they were doing a hatchling release that evening from the beach. The guy had 340 tiny baby olive ridley turtles to release into the sea. They dig up the eggs from the main beach where they are in danger from dogs, birds and cars and bury them again in a fenced area where it is quiet. They then release them with people around to scare off the sea birds who pick them off as they make their way down the beach. The odds are still massively stacked against them but it still improves their chances of survival. Lucy was in her element and loved the tiny one day old hatchlings. Seeing them all make a mad rush down the beach towards the crashing surf was amazing. The girls were very keen to gently turn round any baby turtle who was confused and heading the wrong way up the beach.
We were in Las Barrilles for Halloween and saw some of the local kids taking on the American tradition of trick or treating. Our girls, are keen to take any traditions involving sweets, so had dressed up and be rewarded by us and a few other people staying nearby. I was more keen to see the traditional Mexican holiday of Dia de los Meurtes (day of the dead) a couple of days later. People clean their relatives graves, decorate them and set up altars for the dead, who are supposed to return for the night. It isn’t seen as a macabre or sad occasion, more of a celebration and remembrance of those who have passed away. Although it seemed far more low key here than we’d read about in other places we were very impressed with an altar we came across in a local shop. The lady making it was very happy to show us the sweets, sugar skulls, freshly cooked meals, fruit, toys and even tequila on the altar and explain a little.