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Old 12-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #631
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Merry Christmas from Toronto, without snow.
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:15 AM   #632
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Merry Christmas to all
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:54 AM   #633
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Christmas tree in Alicia and Vincente's house

Thank you all for the Christmas wishes! We really enjoy reading all your comments and encouragement!

We're far from our family and friends this season, but we're in the middle of a jam-packed day of Skype appointments! Hoping all you guys are able to spend time with your loved ones in some way or another!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:40 AM   #634
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Finally caught up.


Now I want ceviche and modelo. Subscribed.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:49 PM   #635
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/58.html



Seems like every weekend, we're hitting the beach! Cabo Pulmo National Park is at the eastern tip of the Baja Peninsula and is recommended to us by our homestay family for its excellent snorkeling. There are only three coral reefs in North America, and the one located at Cabo Pulmo is the oldest at 20,000 years, and provides shelter to a whole host of marine wildlife.


Excellent ride from La Paz to Cabo Pulmo, last 15 kms are down a gravel and sandy road

There are many dive shops in Cabo Pulmo, which really isn't a town more than a few buildings scattered over a wide area. Unfortunately, the dive shops have suspended tourboat operations for today, because of the very strong winds. They tell us that visibility is not very good at the coral reef because the waters may be murky from the sand kicked up from the sea floor.


Beautiful beaches at Cabo Pulmo


Definitely off-season, but a few families were here swimming in the waters

We debated on whether to rent some equipment and to head down to the beach ourselves, but I chickened out (It was cold, man!) and stayed on the beach taking pictures. Neda being the braver of the two of us, rented a mask and dove into the waters from the shores.


Divemaster Neda preparing to go in

Although it's advertised as being totally waterproof, this is the first time we've taken our Nikon AW100 completely underwater. I half-expected it to return ashore as an expensive brick. We were pleasantly surprised:


Neda says this school of fish were very curious about her and followed her everywhere


Water was a bit murky, but the pictures turned out surprisingly good


Although it looks small, this fish was almost a foot long!

The Mexican government has done an excellent job preserving the reef against commercial interests that seek to develop condos, marinas and resorts in this very popular tourist area. It's now designated a protected park and the aquatic wildlife has bounced back and flourished from the over-fishing in the 1980s. The park maintains a very wilderness-like feel to it, and the rough road in and out of the park reflects this.


Only old people abstain from swimming. So I grabbed my metal detector and walked the beach with this guy


So long, Cabo Pulmo, and thanks for all the fish!
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:00 PM   #636
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Thank you for this wonderful ongoing report. Great shots underwater. Based on your ongoing report and photos and that I was looking for a tough camera I bought a Nikon Coolpix AW100 for myself as a Xmas present, thank you for testing it underwater first. I got a great deal at Costco on sale, camera, 8gb card and camera case for $175.
Have a Great New Year and many safe journeys in 2013.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:00 AM   #637
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Happy holidays from mississauga,now with lots of snow !
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:44 AM   #638
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/59.html



School's out for... er, Winter!

After two weeks of Spanish classes, we've graduated, and the school has thrown a party for all the students that are leaving this week!


Mariana and Felipe and the rest of the Se Habla teachers look on proudly as we are given our certificates


Our graduating class. We celebrate with chocolate cake!

We've spent 16 wonderful days in La Paz, making lots of new friends and pulling out the first tendrils of roots that we were starting to put down was difficult. We packed our once-light motorcycles with all of our traveling kit, ready to continue our wanderings. It was a sad goodbye to our homestay family but at the same time, it felt really good to hit the road again. Neda and I both agreed that we are nowhere close to settling down yet!

There is a ferry just outside of La Paz that is able to take us to the mainland. Unfortunately, our laissez-faire attitude to planning bites us in the ass, and the ferry to Mazatlan, which is just across the Gulf of California, is all booked up till January 4th, 2013! Seems a lot of Baja Californians travel to the mainland during Christmastime to see family and reservations are made weeks in advance around this time. Uh oh...

Fortunately, there is another ferry that travels to Topolabampo, about 4 hours north of Mazatlan. After having a good laugh over the funny name, we decide a 4 hour motorcycle ride from Topolabampo to Mazatlan is perferable to waiting another 3 weeks, as nice as La Paz is. Plus the Topolabampo ferry was much cheaper!


The ferry departs from Pichilingue, a great windy 10 km ride from La Paz


Along the way we pass some really nice beaches

We met some other motorcycle travelers at the ferry terminal - Jayne and Phil are a brother/sister team from Calgary (more Canadians!) - they were getting their vehicle importation papers done early for their trip to the mainland. I think they were staying in La Paz for a couple more weeks, so we suggested the Spanish school to them. We exchanged travel stories and they gave us some good roads to ride in the mainland, can't wait!


Into the belly of the California Star, capable of holding 100 cars and 900 passengers!

We were directed to park our bikes in a corner of the ferry's hold, and we searched for vain for tie-down hooks and straps. There weren't any around, so we assumed that the ferry was large and stable enough to keep our bikes upright even in the most violent of storms. We could not have been more wrong.

There was one other motorcyclist on the ferry: Rick was riding from Ensenada back to his home in Mexico City, and this was his very first motorcycle trip after getting his license late last year. Like all those that have been bitten by the touring bug, we would spend much of the 6 hour trip to the mainland talking about motorcycles, with him practicing his excellent English with us, Neda practicing her excellent Spanish with him, and me practicing talking Spanish like a 2-year old.

A couple of hours into the trip, we hear an announcement over the radio. All motorcyclists were being summoned to the cargo hold of the ferry. I looked at Neda and Rick and immediately I said, "I think the bikes have fallen over"...


A flurry of activity getting the bikes secured

Fortunately, the bikes were still upright. The staff had summoned us so that we could move our bikes to a spot where they could tie the motorcycles to the railing. The crash bars I put on at Mark's place in San Diego were to come in handy.


Excellent tie-down job by the ferry staff

The winds and waves were picking up very strongly, and I'm glad that our motorcycles were secured properly now. However, the contents of my stomach were less secure, and as the ferry undulated up and down and back and forth, my face got greener and greener until I had to rush to the closest bano. Neda alarmingly yelled after me, "Mujeres!" That mean's "Women's washroom" in Spanish...

Thankfully, even 2-year olds understand that and I stumbled out and then back into the "Bano de los hombres". Just. In. The. Nick. Of Time...


Well-rested in the morning in Los Mochis

We arrived in Topolabampo after sunset. Much like Pichilingue, it's not a very big town, just the ferry terminal and some buildings, so we rode with Rick about about 30 minutes away in darkness to Los Mochis. Rick is a biologist and used his corporate rate at a nice hotel in town and we had a really good night's rest on our first night on the mainland.


Rick is off to service his motorcycle in Los Michos.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:45 AM   #639
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Database error?
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:51 PM   #640
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let's see what's going on here.. database glitch maybe, but now it's back on top and your most recent update is visible.. now the real adventure begins!! bon voyage mes amis!
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:58 AM   #641
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Glad you had a good crossing with just mild discomfort.

Feliz Año
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:15 AM   #642
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As a very , very motion sick prone person, I know the solution . Before any boat ride, take a Gravol one hour before , and one as the boat leaves the dock. Getting seasick will ruin your day. For a lot of people, taking it only as the boat leaves can be too late.

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Old 12-30-2012, 09:29 AM   #643
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here's the turtle release place in san pancho (san francisco) next town north of Sayulita http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Pa...79273792083463

glad to see you made it to Cabo Pulmo.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:49 AM   #644
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
here's the turtle release place in san pancho (san francisco) next town north of Sayulita http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Pa...79273792083463

glad to see you made it to Cabo Pulmo.
and yet another reason or 2 why not to miss san pancho at sunset (& the turtle release)
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...1287986&type=3
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:15 AM   #645
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GP1200 View Post
As a very , very motion sick prone person, I know the solution . Before any boat ride, take a Gravol one hour before , and one as the boat leaves the dock. Getting seasick will ruin your day. For a lot of people, taking it only as the boat leaves can be too late.
Thanks for the tip! I've never been seasick in my life, but this was probably the most bumpiest water crossing I've taken. I'll definitely stock up on the Gravol the next time we decide to head to the open seas!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
and yet another reason or 2 why not to miss san pancho at sunset (& the turtle release)
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...1287986&type=3
Sorry eakins, can't see it? Permissions?
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