We’re about half way through our long weekend stay here in Loreto, and I thought I’d share a brief update, typing away while I savor the meal we just enjoyed along the breezy Malecon. Look for more over the coming weeks as we post more videos, photos and stories about the trip. Meantime, if you haven’t already checked, you can follow our Twitter feeds: Loni on Twitter, Clint on Twitter.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Or as they say in Japan: hurry up and wait. Over the past 3 years that Loni and have been visiting Loreto, there has been incremental change, that now in total looking back amounts to quite a bit.

The one thing that remains the same though: the beauty of Loreto. Dramatic. Serene. Peaceful. Even your watch moves in slow motion. The days seem longer, passing at a relaxed pace, unlike the torrid race we experience back home each day. When you first walk off the plane there’s that nice feeling that everything is a step or two slower.

Speaking of planes, the flight from LAX to LTO was fully booked. As many of you may have read on Loni’s Tweets, I did indeed “suggest” Loni join me at the back so we could enjoy each other’s company. For some reason I was row 27 and Loni row 6. To get adjacent seats, Loni would have to sacrifice. And it would be something I would hear about almost on the hour for the first day of our visit.

Fortunately, our move to the back of the plane led to a fortuitous encounter with a friendly couple from Seattle who were visiting Loreto for the first time. They had watched HGTV’s House Hunters International epsiode featuring Loreto Bay, and spurred by relatives who researched whales, decided to finally get a first hand look. They also knew about SSC, asking Loni “do you run a blog?” And from there we enjoyed quick and easy conversation as we deplaned, walked the sunny tarmac and headed to the palapa — terminal as some would call it. 

More nice timing: being back of the plane, meant we stood at the end of the customs line. Beacause of that, we ran into Chuck and Marsha, and Jane and Sharon who were departing Loreto on the very same plane. We exchanged quick greetings, and based on their smiles and glowing faces, apparently it had been another good visit.

Even though our plan was again to use taxis, I by chance checked into the Alamo counter for rates and discovered a surprisingly pleasant price of $34 per day for a nice little Chevy Optra with A/C. We jumped at the deal, and for ths first time have a rental car. Now, it would be even more like home… Loni sleeping in the passenger side (“navigating”) with me driving and figuring out directions on the fly.

After a quick stop at El Pescador for beer (Corona Lights in odd, tiny, Red Bull-like cans), Diet Coke (yes, it tastes different than the US or Canada formula; more syrupy), water and some snacks we scooted down Highway 1 to Nopolo. 

Driving was no problem at all. The car runs great. The roads are better than I expected. Sure you have to watch for the cows and narrow shoulders. But signs are well marked and for the most part, other drivers are well behaved.

There is no doubt the economy is hitting Loreto, Baja just like everywhere else. How can it not? We’re in a devastating, twice-in-a-century economic cycle that is redefining everything as we know it, from Government, financial institutions, the auto industry, real estate, and tourism. So there was little surprise when Loni and I noted less activity. Less in every way; less tourists walking the streets, less workers in Loreto Bay, less patrons in restaurants and bars, less vacationing jubilation in general. That’s not to say that the spirit has diminished. It has not. Everyone we encounter is, as has always been the case since first visiting in 2006, friendly with a ready smile… ‘Hola!’.

Other random tidbits
  • The JW Marriott Residences Loreto discovery center is every bit as beautiful in person as it is on the liveloreto.com web site or photos you may have seen. On your way into Loreto Bay, you’ll see classy signs and lamp post flags. Turn left at the end (right for Loreto Bay) and in a few hundred feet you’ll see the entrance to the historical sales center on the right. It’s going to be spectacular. We have more on this in an upcoming entry. Laurie Sanborn was gracious enough to provide an extensive tour, including an interview that we will post here also.
  • La Mision = first class. We toured the new La Mision on the Malecon, and it too pleases us with fine finishings and amenities.
  • On Thursday night we enjoyed an Italian dinner at the new Il Campanile restaurant, which has re-opened after an 11 year hiatus.
  • Vista al Mar (aka “Clam shack”) is a screaming bargain and located right on the Sea of Cortez between Puerto Escondido and Nopolo; the owner’s grandson provides great service; recommended.
  • The Peso is much weaker relative to the US dollar since we last visited in November which is a bonus.

So there you have it. A mid-trip report live from Loreto. If you have any questions, or things you want to know, drop us a Tweet or email.

Oh, and for those interested in CoSP, home inspections, and Agua Viva please check out Club Loreto Bay where Loni’s been active with reports.

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear