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10 March 2014

Baja Bound, Part 17. Enjoying a Day in La Paz, Baja California Sur


La Paz, Baja California Sur


October 31st 2013 we reserved all day to explore La Paz. Early, we went for a long walk along the 5km long waterfront promenade, the Malecon. The sun was shining, and the city looked freshly washed after the rain yesterday.
Morning Walk along the Malecon in La Paz
La Paz is the largest city on the southern Baja Peninsula and its Capital. About 200,000 people live here. Already at breakfast at a little restaurant along the Malecon, we could feel a different atmosphere in this city. Locals and tourists ate in the same places.
Coffee in the Sun

The locals do not seam to care if we are there or not. The people from La Paz go about their daily life without just serving the tourists. There seams to be a balance. At our hotel in the evening, male and even a female had business meetings. Native and Spanish looking waiters served us. It felt like we were back in the 21st Century.
Shopping at the Municipal Market

On our long walk today we visited the "Teatro Juarez Exposiciones" In this old building the native history of the Guaicura and Pericu people was exhibited. Eventhough it was only in Spanish, we did understand the hardship these people had gone through. How the missionaries came and  forced them to build missions and churches, and the Spanish conquerors forced them to change their life styles and age old cultures.
Walking the local Neighbourhoods

The history of La Paz is similar and even more varied than the smaller Baja towns we visited so far. In 1533 Hernan Cortes landed here in search of water.

The indigenous people fought them off. It took the Spanish until 1683 to establish a stronghold here. They came not only for the water and the  religious conversions, but especially for the pearls. The saltwater pearls from oyster beds close to Isla Cerralvo just offshore from La Paz was the big attraction. But by the 1930's the oysters beds were depleted.
Back at the SevenCrown Hotel Balcony

We visited some art galleries. We found many of the art works in flamboyant colours, but in dark and macabre expressions. Often not very comfortable. I assume the artists' long histories of suffering under the religious and Spanish rulers comes to the surface.

We eventually found the "Ibarra's Pottery" shop in the inner city. Local artisans and artists were demonstrating their work. Very interesting. We bought a nice pottery dish.

Tired, but happy we walked back to our hotel and had a long siesta. Toward the evening we drove out to the Peninsula and toward  Pichilinnque where the ferry terminal to the mainland is. It is very commercial around there. But passed that and further out, are some beautiful beaches.
Playa Balandra

We stopped at Playa Balandra and Playa El Tecolote. Here we watched the ferry make their choppy ride toward the mainland. Families were swimming in the surf, and Anders and I had a drink and watched the dramatic sunset.
Playa El Tecolote
That evening, back in La Paz we enjoyed watching the children, accompanied by an adult or the whole family, visiting all the businesses asking for candy - it was Halloween.

Beautiful Evening on El Tecolote Beach
If you like to see more pictures from La Paz, please click on our Web album


Click on any of the links below to go to other parts of this wonderful trip.

1.       2.      3.      4.      5.      6.     7.      8.      9.      10.

11.    12.    13.    14.    15.    16.    17.    18.    19.    20.

21.    22.    23.    24.    25.    26.    27.    28.    29.    30.

31.    32.    33.

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