La Paz church
La Paz is the main city in Baja California Sur and we find it has a rehab institution, but not of the sort you might expect. It’s a reptile park that takes in sick and injured reptiles and then works to release them back into the wild.
The park is on the outskirts of the city and we feel we can walk there (and catch a local bus back) even though it’s reasonably hot here in the middle of the day. The park, though small, is very good and though an online comment, suggests that it’s expensive at 150 pesos ($11usd) but that isn’t too bad compared to many other wildlife parks. Inside there are plenty of snakes, a few spiders and quite a number of iguanas. There are also a few birds; parrots you can feed, a couple of owls in rehab and a falcon on a day off from scaring birds at the local airport.
We’ve come to La Paz as it’s the terminal for ferries to mainland Mexico. It’s tough to book these online so we track down the city office of Baja ferries and are a little surprised to find that the boat to Mazatlan
Main plaza La Paz
is fully booked for the next 2 weeks. There is another service to Topolobampo, which being a little further north is less convenient. It leaves daily and is available. This isn’t ideal since Topolobampo is a port with no real accommodation and as we will arrive at 8pm will need to taxi to Los Mochis which is about 25km away. As we don’t really have much of a choice we book for tomorrow afternoon’s sailing, find a hotel in Los Mochis and will take our chances with our negotiating skills for the taxi fare.
That doesn’t give us long to see La Paz, but it's long enough. The town is fine with a good beach, shops and restaurants but it’s basically a stepping off point for the popular tourist area south of here around Capo San Lucas. This is a popular area for Canadians to vacation so I finally manage to change my spare Canadian dollars into pesos just when I was beginning to think I would be stuck with these until I reached the UK. The other good aspect of the town is we finally find some cheap (and OK) lodgings. After struggling to find anything much under
750 pesos per night for the week or so, here we have a room close to the centre of town for under 300 pesos.
I’ve enjoyed our brief stay in Baja California, but possibly not as much as I expected. St Ignacio and Loreto were good but everywhere is a little pricey considering this is Mexico, due I’m sure to the number of US tourists who either visit, or just live here because of the excellent climate. Also with a car it would be easier to get off the main road and see some of the excellent scenery we just had glimpses of. I had also hoped to do some scuba diving, which hasn't happened, but I’m yet to be convinced this is that good and it is on the expensive side compared to many other places we have been, again a reflection of the number of US visitors.
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