Saturday, November 15, 2014

Friday – Loreto Mexico

We drop anchor early today and as I glance out the window I am in awe of the beautiful bay.

We sit and sip our coffees and enjoy the view and Bernie heads up to Horizon Court to get a bit of breakfast.

Loreto has nearly 155 miles of coastline and 14 islands.  The Sierra La Giganta mountain range, one of the tallest and most spectacular in Baja, overlooks the town of Loreto and creates breathtaking panoramic vistas.

This area is considered the oldest human settlement on the Peninsula of Baja California.

They are announcing that the tenders are quiet, but it is still too early for us to go ashore – time is around 8:30.

The weather is perfect and hot with a high in the 30s.  Being in the sun is kept to a minimum if possible and both Bernie and I got a bit too much sun yesterday in La Paz while snorkeling so after slathering on the sun screen today we head to the gangway to board the tenders, the time is around 10 am.

The tenders on board the Grand are a bit different than the other tenders we have experienced.  First they are more square like, I know sounds odd but they are.  And there is no top outside deck that you can go to.  So we are all inside and each bank of seats can hold four people in it but of course only three are occupying them.  Until the tender operators ask people to move over and allow room for more to sit.  People can be strange – I always say (even on my bus) make room, get to know your fellow passengers and allow more to ride cause one day it may be you waiting to get on board and wishing people would make room.

The ride ashore is short and we walk off the pier and to the right and stroll about.  Note if you want to go directly to town turn left for about four blocks to the main pedestrian road with the beautiful tree arches.  Can’t miss it.

But we go right along the Malecon and then left and we pass locals and say good morning.  We walk back to the main downtown and the pedestrian area and local performers are out in the main square performing for us.  Beautiful, simple beautiful.  Can you hear them?

The Mission stands tall and can be seen from almost everywhere in town.   In 1697 the Jesuit priest/explorer Juan Maria de Salvatierra and a small group of loyal followers founded Loreto with its sweet water oasis and semi arid climate.

We spent a vacation here many many years ago.  Our hotel was just south of the city in Nopolo where there is some lovely hotels and a golf course.

This is not the crazy city like Cabo or Puerto Vallarta but a much more laid back town.  It is the Mexico of the past where the main square dominates and school kids run around.

Activities are limited but still there is a lot to see and do.  I can highly recommend a walk and a nice meal but really the water activities abound.  Great place to see whales, birds and fish.

But for us it is more about strolling around and viewing the town.  We walk along the main street to a small coffee shop for a cold Frappuccino.  Bernie bought some pineapple turnovers at a street vendor and they go perfectly with the coffees.

Back out we walk around for a few more hours and even enjoy a park bench in the shade and watch the people 
strolling by.

We really want to get another Mexican meal and walk to a bit quieter location for something to eat and drink.  The restaurant is called La Palapa  and the food is very good.  I had a margarita, Bernie had two beers, we shared an entrée and a big bowl of tortilla soup for $25.

Back out to the Malecon and we stroll quietly back to the ship.  We then are surprised to hear our names called out.  Al a guy we work with is getting onto the tender too. 

tender/pier area

What is odd is I saw him the first day but just figured he was a familiar face but didn’t know from where.  Today I realize he is another driver out of garage in the city of Burnaby.  His wife Carol and him like to cruise and I recall talking cruising with him in the past.  We agree to meet up for dinner tonight.

We are back in the cabin for some relaxation.  When I wake I realize I am getting bitten by something.  It started last night, when I woke this morning I had four small bites on my right wrist all in a row.  Now anything that bites loves me and ignore Bernie so I apply some anti itch cream and went off.  But after relaxing this afternoon I can narrow it down to something is biting me in the cabin.

We all meet up in Crooners for a drink before dinner and then off to Da Vinci for dinner where Francesco directs us to our table.

I start the meal with Gazpacho soup then a nice salad and for my entrée Beef Stroganauf.  All were great but the topper was the Norman Love White Chocolate cheese cake.  Very very good.

Mike Wilson the impressionist is playing again tonight with three shows in the Vista Lounge and we had good intentions of going but we decide to stroll around on the decks instead.

Footnote:  As soon as I lay down and I am reading I feel itchy again and notice something has now bitten my toe, three small bites on one of my toes.  At 4 am I wake to more bites but this time on my right hip.  I lay on my right so I am not surprised I am getting bitten mainly on my right.  I have about ten bites in a two inch diameter on my right hip.  Looks bad… I dress and head down to the Purser’s desk to report.

This is always a difficult thing, I don’t like to complain but obviously something is biting me.  Lucas deals with me and then a supervisor comes out.  It is apparent by the marks on my body that I am getting bitten.  They ask if I have been ashore, “of course”.  The supervisor (sorry didn’t get his name) says that this has happened to him too but they then can’t find anything when they look.  They tell me to go back to the cabin and they will send the nurse.  Really the nurse I say – but they insists – and of course when I get back to the cabin they call and say since this is not an emergency that I should go during officer hours.  But I am not going to go and pay just so they can say they are bites.  Plus I have anti itch cream and antihistamines to help with the itch in Bernie’s walking pharmacy.

A few minutes later the night supervisor with housekeeping knocks on the door and says that they will do an inspection and treatment later when we get up for breakfast.  They offered to do it right now but we can wait cause most staff are not up and about yet.

Of course I can’t get into bed knowing that I will be bitten.  I inspect the bed but I don’t see anything.  I have a feeling it is sand flees which probably came on when we were ashore one day.  Will report more after they have treated it. 

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