Saturday, January 24, 2009

San Antonio

Last Sunday we visited San Antonio, a small town in the mountains near La Paz, once a much larger center of gold and silver mining. Many of the oldest buildings were open for touring as a part of a fund raising effort. It was especially interesting to move through the dark, cool interior rooms and then out into the courtyard gardens around which the houses are built. Interior and exterior space merge in many ways; the use of space is perhaps much more a factor of shade and shadow.

And of course as always in Mexico, color brings alive even the most mundane details. The modern palette has vivid colors; in this almost forgotten, faded place, the colors were much softer and quieter.

San Antonio sits on the lower slopes of the Sierra de la Laguna, and consequently recieves a bit more rain than La Paz. There are particularly rich stands of vegetation, and one nearby place is fenced and set aside as a Cactus Sanctuary, where we saw some wierd and wild prickly plants.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Peppers and New Photos

Shopping for food here in La Paz provides an opportunity to try out new recipes. We're trying to understand the characteristics of all the various chilis. Our current favorite, and the chile most easily found here, is the Poblano. Our best new recipe is a Corn and Poblano Chowder.
We have posted lots of photos to a Flickr page. Click on the link to the right of this page that reads "Photos from Indigo's Travels". There is some significant family news included in these photos....

Friday, January 09, 2009

Leaping Manta Rays

It's true - leaping Manta Rays. On video, actually. But first, let's put this in context. We returned to La Paz yesterday after a week spent traveling with our son Sam and his lovely Kate in the mountains and then on the boat in the islands north of here. It was a great visit, and we were sad to see them leave for home today.

We had all kinds of weather - some calm and sunny and hot; some downwind sailing in near gale force winds, a few mellow hours sailing with the spinaker. There was some great hiking, including this ridge walk on Isla San Francisco.

Sam and Kate explored the anchorages by dinghy and kayak, finding that the water temperatures are cooler now. We all cooked and ate like kings - the chicken with guajillo chili sauce is getting better, and Sam and Kate introduced us to an amazing pasta dish. There were many scrabble games, and the Captain and I learned that loosing to Sam and Kate was made easier by shots of tequila.

The wildlife highspot of the trip came when we were anchored in Caleta Partida at the north end of Isla Espiritu Santo. We had seen a few odd creatures jumping out of the water, and had guessed they were some sort of ray. Late one afternoon, we heard quite alot of slapping and splashing, and found that our boat was surrounded by at least a half dozen rays, and that they were leaping three to five feet out of the water.

We still don't know why they were jumping, but we were able to see them well enough to identify them as Manta Rays. Friends Steven and Darusha, shown here on their sailing vessel 'Scream', took this video (click here to view the video) of the rays around Indigo.