Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hanging Out on the Boat in La Paz

It's still winter in Baja California Sur. While the daytime temperatures can range from the mid-70's to the upper 80's, night time temperatures dip
down into the low-50's and occasionally to the high-40's. Like many of our fellow cruisers, on our previous trip to Mexico we headed south during the early part of the year, rather than staying in the Sea of Cortez. By going south during January and February, you follow the warmer weather and head back towards the Sea towards the end of March, when the night time temperatures and the water begin to warm. Cold 'Northers' also become a thing of memory. Fortunately, besides enjoying warm nights, warm water and secluded anchorages, the other draw to cruising is being able to visit foreign ports and immerse ourselves in both the culture and language.

Between the weather and guests, we've spent more time in town and less time on the water than on our previous trip. The city of La Paz has a plethora of activities to offer citizens and visitors, alike, so exploring the city continues to be rewarding. The Centro Cultural La Paz (the old ornate brick and stone city hall on 16th de
Septiembre at Belisario Domingo) has undergone reconstruction and now serves as a venue for cultural presentations. Currently, there is a comprehensive display covering both the natural history and the human history of Baja California Sur. Murals display photos, narrative and graphic art depicting all that can be found in Baja California Sur from antelope to vaqueros. On the upper floor there are art galleries featuring local contemporary artist. Also included in the building is a tourist information office and a good Spanish language book store.

This week, Kathie and I attended our first free cultural presentation given at Se Habla La Paz (a Spanish language school located in a beautiful
house on Francisco I. Madero, between Republica and Guerrero). These presentations are offered every Tuesday afternoon. They're presented in Spanish and last a bit over an hour. This weeks presentation was a history of Mariachi music. The group that attended was approximately 15 in number and was conducted as an interactive discussion that served to help build vocabulary, as well as a better understanding of the history and cultural significance of this traditional music.

During our time here, we have also attended a few of the Wednesday night jam sessions held across the street from Marina de La Paz at the
Ciao Molino Restaurant. Last night found us at the Teatro de Ciudad (located at Navarro and Heroes de Independencia) for Noche de Trova (or a night with the troubadour). It was a fund raiser for the Mexican Red Cross and featured a half-dozen groups from Baja California Sur with regional music, Cuban music and more traditional romantic Mexican ballads. The latter was performed by a group of fourteen guitarist none younger than 60, with most in their 70's and 80's. The music they presented was a crowd favorite and a show-stopper.

The music scene isn't as easily found in La Paz as in places like La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, it does exist, but is a bit more difficult to ferret out. The Roz in La Paz ( website provides a wealth of information regarding music venues, as well as other cultural events that take place in town. This visit to La Paz we've made greater use of this information and have found a whole new facet of the city to enjoy.

With another Norther expected in two days, we'll likely continue or exploration of La Paz and some of Roz's suggested events!

This is dedicated to one of the friendliest and nicest guys on the staff of Marina de La Paz, who passed away this week. Nacho we don't think you realized what an impression you made on the marina guests and staff. Adios Nacho.

1 comment:

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Sounds like you're having a great time! Glad to hear that you've found a whole new part of the city to enjoy ... nothing better than local music!