(October 26 – written by Nancy)
Well, our nice relaxing time in Loreto is coming to a close and tomorrow we start our final segment into La Paz. I was a little bit worried when we first booked a place here for 5 nights whether we would find enough to do to fill the time. Now I wish we had a bit more time! It has been very relaxing, we sleep in a bit, wander out a bit while it’s cool then come back and rest in our cool little cabana until later in the day when it’s cooler again and wander back out. It’s been a nice respite.
The place we have is very comfortable, small but nice and clean with enough of a kitchen for us to cook if we want to. It is far enough away from the central town area to be quiet at night but close enough to walk into the plaza area in less than 10 minutes. It’s fun to be in a neighborhood, rather than around other hotels, and it is also just a block from the water, where there is a nice walking path all the way into the town square. Good wi-fi as well, so we can get our news fix (though I usually have to tell Dave to quite reading about US politics before he gets too worked up about it) and make some plans.
We have about 350k (or 220 miles) to ride before we reach La Paz. Given the location of towns along the route we will need to do a couple of longer days, including the first one which will be at least 75 miles, maybe even 90 miles if we still have some energy to reach the second chance for a hotel at a bigger town called Ciudad Constitucion. There is a mountain pass to get over in the morning. It starts about 30k from here so we will leave at first light to try to get to the climb before it gets too hot out.
So, rather than worry about the days coming up (well, me anyway, Dave doesn’t worry about anything), we have been focusing our attention on another great tasty Mexican invention – paletas. Paletas come in all kinds of different flavours and can be dairy-based or water-based. Unfortunately we only found the paleteria here in Loreto yesterday, so we won’t be able to try all of their flavours – I think they must have 50 different ones in the case – but we are trying to fit as many as we can in to our remaining time here! Fortunately, I think we will be able to find paleterias throughout Mexico so there should be lots of opportunities to try them as we work our way across the mainland.
The paletas in the case at our paleteria store are not labelled so choosing one is kind of an ‘hmm, what looks good’ process. There are some that are very fancy, with whole strawberries and other fruits, some dipped in chocolate, some obviously made from lots of berries of some kind, and others that are packed with nuts and other things. The place is popular and there are always families there with lots of kids picking out their favourites. They also sell ice cream (helado), which is clearly pretty popular too. Funnily enough it is located just down the street from a school, so the old real estate adage of ‘location, location, location’ clearly applies in Mexico too.
So far I’ve tried a pistachio paleta (yumm), and a chocolate chip paleta (also yumm, though I think maybe it had some kind of nut flavour too). Dave has picked a couple that are dipped in chocolate and then something else – one was dipped in some kind of granola and the other was dipped in coconut (I think those are called esquimales, or eskimos). Also both very good. I think we have one more chance tonight to have another one, so the selection might take some time. It’s hot enough outside that you have to eat them pretty fast as they start to drip pretty quickly in the heat.
A quick search of the web shows a couple of sites that have recipes to make your own – this one looks on Epicurious looks pretty good – Homemade Popsicles: Recipes and Tips. I know it may not be popsicle weather in the US right now but it’s never not the season for ice cream, is it? And our friends in Australia are headed into summer so maybe this will come in handy for some fun summer treats. If you make some let us know – I’d love to know how they work out.
Okay, that’s enough for now. We are off to find our last dinner in Loreto now, leaving sufficient time to allow for picking just the right paleta for dessert. We are not sure how the mobile signal or wi-fi will be over the next couple of days but we’ll post things when we can.