|Finding my house on the interactive map in Schipol airport|
Getting flights for when we wanted to go was easier than we thought it was going to be. Getting a place to stay our last week was easy, organising 2 days Scuba diving was easy, organising a days horse riding was easy, however, the main part of our time away was to go paddling - and this wasn't quite so easy, so much so, we were on the plane and I was still hoping we would actually get paddling!
After a very lonnnggg flight, we eventually arrived at La Paz. It was a bit worrying to see so many police in the backs of trucks dressed head to toe in black carrying massive guns! We did eventually get used to this.We were offered breakfast at our hotel while our rooms were prepared (it was only 8am). It was great sitting in the heat watching our first Hummingbird. After we were given our rooms, we went in search of food. Armed with our trusty Spanish dictionary, off we set for the supermarket. It was surprisingly easy to get the food for our trip, with lots of small packs of all sorts of things that go into tortillas. After that it was so hot it was a necessity to get ourselves an icecream and beer!
Back at the hotel, we were shown our boats to check over, Ken's had no front bulkhead, but that seemed to be quite common for his size of boat! I was so glad we had our own BA's and paddles.
Next morning, as we were trying to get kit organised, water decanted into containers, all the gubbings we were going to need for our trip, the office was STILL going over our route. We had emailed our trip plans a while back, we had rearranged them at one point to take into consideration that they didn't want us to do a 30k crossing, but they were still suggesting different routes - aaarrrggggghhhh. The taxi had arrived at 9.00am to take us to our put in and papers were still getting signed!
Eventually the van was loaded with our boats, kit and 80L of water.
The journey was going to take 4 hours. Once we were getting near the end of our journey, the land was changing from cactus covered deserts, to rugged mountains with sneaky peaks at the sea in between. We arrived at Playa Loretto where our driver tried to get us as close to the beach as possible, taking us over some very soft sand, getting us stuck! We speak no Spanish, he spoke no English, so with a lot of sign language, we all worked together to try to dig and work the van out - to no avail! We were stuck! There was another truck on the beach, but no-one around. After more digging in the sweltering heat (still getting no where) 3 kayakers appeared across the water. I went to speak to them and was extremely relieved to find out they were from Illinois and the truck was theirs. The van was soon pulled out, we were unloaded, the boats reloaded,we waved goodbye to our Mexican driver. It was just so good to eventually be paddling!
|WooHoo! Eventually getting paddling!|
|Shiny new tent|
|Our first dolphin|
|Dinner by lamplight|
Up nice and early (yes, me up early!) even though we had been woken up during the night by the puffing of dolphins close in the bay, just settled down, then a donkey somewhere decided to start braying!
|The first of many cracking sunrises|
|Early morning paddling|
|Doesn't look like a 16k crossing|
|Dry river bed|
|Left these shells behind, some were as big as my hand!|
|Lovely turquoise waters|