|The "Red Eye Express" Lands in Guadalajara at Sunrise!|
|Loading for La Paz!|
|Flying High over the Sea!|
With plenty of time to spare we arrived at the airport and flew off on the "Red Eye Express" carrying more than 180 pounds of boat parts and "necessities" for Mexico. Landing in Guadalajara, we were blessed with the green light and our bags were not searched going through customs, thus dodging a time consuming fiasco. Rechecking our luggage, an agent asked if we would like to check MY carry on for the short flight to La Paz. We Agreed, as we had so much to manage inside the small plane. After landing in La Paz, we watched with amusement a customs dog walking along the conveyor belt sniffing the luggage piece by piece until there were no more bags. Wait ... MY bag is not here! It literally contains every piece of clothing that I brought for our 4 month trip! Immediately, we inform an agent of the missing bag and are ushered right past customs, again getting a pass on search and also dodging the possibility of duties owed on our boat parts. We leave sadly minus one very important bag...MY BAG! Later that day, we learned the bag had taken a trip to Tijuana and would arrive the next day.
We arrived in La Paz in perfect timing for the Carnival, Mexico's version of the Mardi Gras celebration. Tired as we where, we walked from our hotel to the Malecon two times, once to eat and again to take in the Carnival while we waited for news regarding my missing luggage. It truly was the biggest Carnival I've ever seen. We had hoped for a cab ride back, but there was not a working cab to be found . Still suffering from lack of sleep, we walked like zombies all the way back to our room again! We figured we had walked between 10 and 15 miles after flying all night with no sleep. Thankfully, the bag with ALL my clothes arrived the following day as promised and my happiness and sanity was salvaged!
|Carnival at La Paz Malecon|
|World's Biggest Cotton Candy|
|Step Right Up and Play the Game|
After visiting Valhalla we realize the amount of work she needs. Seeing her again was a sight for sore eyes, but with enthusiasm, we are elated to take on the tasks at hand. We found Hotel Alcatraz less than a block from our boat and moved our things from one apartment to another. We call the innkeeper Maru, as we can't seem to pronounce her name in Spanish. She will fix us breakfast or I am allowed to cook in her outdoor cocina when I wish. It has all the luxuries of home except WE'RE in MEXICO!
|Hotel Alcatraz has Everything we Need, including 2 Labrodoodles and a Tienda|
|View From the Outdoor Cocina Where I Cook|
|If Only These Chairs Could Talk|
|House Dogs - Oso and Sandy (Mother and Son)|
We worked a regular shift from 8 to 5 removing shade cloth, washing 10 months of sand and dirt from her deck and cleaning inside. Though exhausted, we were gratified by the results at the end of the day. She was a very dirty girl, indeed!
Ahh at last, 10 days later the grande barco azul moves out and Valhalla moves in and takes her place. Work begins almost immediately. The rudder was removed while on the lift for new bushings and fiberglass repair. The propeller shaft is getting new bearings and Don put dripless packing in the stuffing box for a DRY bilge! The waterline is being raised 3 inches with 4 inches of new paint detail, top and bottom and all around adding the finishing touch. Then her bottom will be painted black. All that and we’ll be right on schedule to put Valhalla back in the water. While the boatyard does their work, Don is disassembling, cleaning and greasing his winches while I continue to polish stainless and massage and wax Valhalla’s deck.
|69' Grande Barco Azul Moves Out of the Way!|
|The Captain Watches as Valhalla Moves in for Her Attention!|
|Marina Singlar Fonatur|
They ALL look alike...REALLY!
|Don Greasing His Winches.|
ALL Six of Them!
Caesar, Rafael, Javier and Daniel all work so hard. They have come to know us and know how much we appreciate the quality of their work and all they do for us and Valhalla. Juan is the foreman and oversees their work and makes sure the customer is happy and that the work is done in a timely fashion as well. Every day we are closer to returning her to the water as their work is nearing completion. I will be sure that our crew of hard working men is rewarded in the end with lots of cold cerveza!
|Pretty Paint - Not as Important as That Rudder or Propeller! |
But looks really nice!
However, all plans are subject to change and we are flying home again to the States on April 1st. Don’s father has taken a turn for the worse in his health. Sadly, his condition at his age of 94 is not treatable and he will be called home to Valhalla soon. My father-in-law, James Wight, is a very respectable and intelligent man who has maintained his intelligence and calm sweet nature through these final days. He will be missed greatly here on earth by all who know and love him. Soon after his Celebration of Life, Don and I plan to return to our boat to finish our voyage and then return Valhalla to California by the end of June.