Just passing through......

Musings of a lowly pilgrim
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Across Baja

March 25, 2018

It was with fondness I bade farewell to Ensenada and Rebecca, my wonderful landlady of six weeks. Truly, it was an extraordinary time and one that will warm my heart in those frigid northern winters, if I ever have to endure another one.

On the road from Ensenada to San Felipe

I have come to the conclusion that what I am doing is gathering a variety of experiences and moments, tossing them skywards, and waiting for one of them to show me some direction. I have been considering longterm house/pet sitting, applying to homeowners on every continent of the world, as a way to make my travels affordable, though having a pet of my own to bring along does limit my chances. I would love to help out at an animal sanctuary/rescue or cuddle human orphans, but I have yet to find a place that will allow me to bring my cat and also stay free of charge. If anyone out there has any thoughts or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

The scaffolding yard dog, Ensenada

I was forewarned about the dogs south of the border and, unfortunately, that was no exaggeration. While in Ensenada, there was a dog chained up in the scaffold manufacturing plant behind the apartment I was staying in. He was chained there permanently. He was a guard dog and performed spectacularly, but it hurt me to see and hear him there every day. Before I left Ensenada I went with my Google Translate app, (which is wonderful most of the time, by the way) and asked if I could visit him and give him some treats. Google Translate said I wanted to treat him, so his owner was leery of my intentions until I showed him the dog biscuits I had brought along. That poor creature couldn’t care less about the treats, all he wanted was some love. He was so happy, jumping all over me. I would have loved to have broken him out of there, but Nerah would never have forgiven me. If she could talk, she would have an abundance of adventures to tell you about, such as how she couldn’t escape the street dogs last night and had to stay underneath the RV until 3.00 am, tucked up where the chihuahuas couldn’t reach her, because they could actually get under the RV. She has forgiven me. But it was her own fault. I let her out the back door, and if she had just stayed around that area she would have been fine. There is a wall there that the little dogs wouldn’t have been able to follow her over. But, no, she had to check out the whole block. She won’t be doing that again!

Sweet Nerah
Mama chihuahua from the neighbourhood, San Felipe

Of course, there is a dog at the end of this block in San Felipe who is chained up 24 hours a day. Once again, when I offered him some dog biscuits, all he wanted was for me to pet him and cuddle him. It really is heartbreaking. The disadvantage of not speaking Spanish is that I can’t talk to the owners about this. They may think I’m nuts, but maybe they just have never thought about it. We have all been in that place, where we have discovered that what we accepted as normal was far from right, and needed to adjust our way of thinking and our actions. Once upon a time I never considered how the meat I used to eat was produced. We always have something to learn. That’s what makes life such a fantastic journey!

Dog at the end of the street

I haven’t done much since I arrived in San Felipe. Some kind of ailment struck me down on the second day here and I’m just pulling out of it now. (If I managed to lose a few pounds in the process, it will not have been in vain. 🤪) I know not to drink the water, but I wash all of my fruits and veggies under the tap. It didn’t seem to be a problem up until now, so perhaps it could be that I need to wash my hands after petting all the doggies. They are so sweet and gentle, and most run away if you reach out to touch them, except for the ones tied up. The most aggressive dog I have met so far is a tiny chihuahua! And he just doesn’t like it when the other dogs in his little group get attention and he doesn’t. He becomes a bit pushy.

I did manage to look at one house for sale. It is lovely, but after staying in town, I’m not sure this is the place for me.

Sunset at La Hacienda, San Felipe

The weather is perfect and the ocean is right here, but there are sand dunes everywhere, and we all know what that means. Dune buggy paradise! All day and late into the night! I don’t know if it is like this year round, but, man, is it noisy. I suppose I would adjust, as I did in Ensenada, but it seems to be a lot noisier. Maybe the fact that there is nothing around to absorb some of the sound makes a difference. (My real estate agent just informed me that this is not the norm. It is Easter Week now and the following week will be the Baja 250, so there are 70,000 more people in town right now, triple the normal population!)

At the malecón

I spent the first morning here walking the beach in search of life. I am a tide pool addict. I found quite a few crabs and snails, but not much else. Apparently, there are better tide pools farther south. I haven’t decided if I should get up early tomorrow to find them or if I should try and lure the hummingbirds back here with some home-made nectar so that I can get some decent photos for stock.

Little hermit crab on the beach in San Felipe
My San Felipe rental

I definitely plan on checking out the beaches farther south and may do a bit of dry camping, just for fun. I have heard that there are lots of stingrays in the water close to the beach and I think that would be interesting to see. It is recommended that some kind of footwear is worn so that you don’t step on one and get stung, or you can do the “stingray shuffle”, a method of sliding your feet along the ocean floor so that you lessen your chances of stepping on one and also churn up the sand to warn them of your presence. Stingrays only use their barbs as a defence mechanism, as in when they are stepped on and aren’t looking to hunt and hurt you. Hannah and I saw some in Cancun and La Isla Mujeres. One swam right by us in the water near the beach.

Springtime in Baja California

 

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”            Sir Paul McCartney

 

  1. Hi, Tina!
    Better learn some Spanish in case you have to go looking for Nerah (who looks just like my Sophie). Here’s a phrase that will come in handy:
    ¿Donde esta mi gato? Ella tiene tres colores
    Cheers,
    Wes

    1. Good plan! I still only have words, as in “mi gato, mi gato!” Nerah is learning, right along with me, the pros and cons of travelling. She doesn’t ask to go outside nearly as much anymore. Good thing, I’m not crazy about sitting by the RV in the middle of the night trying to coax her out from underneath. She is probably scarred for life against dogs even though she spent her first year with our little Willow, who passed away last year.

  2. Oh and I live the photo of the drink … Beautiful portrait photoshoot and the bokeh is nice …what did you buy as a camera and what lens are you using

  3. Once again Tina beautiful article and who knows one day in near future I may need dog sitter …. September I have a wedding so it depends on whether Ron’s son will be around or attending wedding with us .

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