I wish I had a better excuse for not writing more lately, but the fact is I just kind of lost the rhythm for a few weeks. That being said, I’m back and with stories to tell.
Diana and I landed in Loreto, Mexico, on Friday and have been busy exploring ever since. It is much greener than I expected. In fact, it is much greener than people who have homes here ever expected. Apparently there has been significant rain recently, resulting in some amazing desert scenery. Not thousands, but millions of huge saguaro cactus dot the landscape with bellies full of fresh water. Vultures circle overhead, waiting patiently for parched cowboys to die.
As most of you know I grew up in Colorado, so take it for what it’s worth when I say that the mountains surrounding Loreto are an awesome sight. I understand that I can’t hike up into them and catch big, fat rainbow trout, but they are every bit as dramatic from where I stand as Pikes Peak or Rabbit Ears Pass ever were.
This is the calm before the storm here in Loreto. Many restaurants and hotels are closed until late October when tourist season officially kicks off. Unfortunately, many more businesses will remain closed as a result of a two-tier economic downturn. The first coincided with the U.S. recession in 2009, when guys like me suddenly lacked a pot to piss in. The second came about a year ago when news of drug violence in Mexico-at-large created guilt by association for this quiet little village.
The malecon along the water’s edge looks like what it is: a beautifully designed and ambitious project that recently came to a screeching halt. Here is where the grandest hotels and fanciest restaurants had the farthest to fall, and did. Plywood guards their largest panes of glass from would-be vandals as they wait for new money, new owners, or both.
We have only scratched the surface of the housing situation, so I will withhold my first impressions until I’ve had a chance to learn more. My guess is it starts cheap with significant room for negotiation. Not Ecuador cheap, but cheap.
And finally, for tonight anyway, we had an opportunity to experience Mexican healthcare firsthand; something my Dad has been concerned about ever since we first sprung the news on him. Diana had been having kidney pain for a few days prior to our arrival. We were in the middle of renting a car when the girl behind the counter started making small talk. Next thing we knew, she was driving us to a doctors office while our car was being prepped.
When we got to the office, the doctor was in the middle of lunch but happily set it aside and ushered us all (rental car lady too!) into the exam room. Diana described her pain, got weighed, poked and prodded and I got a free sucker. Ten minutes later we received two prescription drugs and a $40 peso doctor bill.
That’s somewhere in the vicinity $3.30 if you’re keeping score.