Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Falling in Love With Los Barriles + Winter 2010= Guess What??

Several posts back we had an entry titled “Falling in Love!” referring to how besotted we became when we arrived at Los Barriles. It’s a small town on the coast, 90 minutes south of La Paz, and 90 minutes north of San Jose del Cabo/Cabo San Lucas, in an area referred to as East Cape because it is on the southeast end of the Baja Peninsula, almost to “The Cape” (or Cabo). It’s a small town that began as a fishing village, and now has evolved into a secondary identity as a wind-sport location. Wind-surfing and kite-sailing are very big there during the winter months when the wind is high every afternoon for 5 hours or so, before dying down for the evenings and mornings. It also remains a big fishing place during the months of November and December before the wind arrives, and in the spring after the wind has died down. It has numerous small restaurants that serve excellent, inexpensive food, a school for the local Mexican kids, a medical clinic, dentist, many small grocery stores and one mid-size grocery, a store that is referred to as the Wal-Mart of Los Barriles (really more of a general store, sort of like a tiny Target except it sells appliances too), several real estate offices, an architectural firm and an attorney, banks, a couple of up-scale hotels, several smaller, local inns, a gym, laundromat, post office and police station, among other things. The weather is perfect in the winter months – day time temps in the 70s to low 80s, night time temps, when we were there anyway, around 50 – 60 degrees. The main road through town, an L-shaped affair cutting from the highway into town, then running parallel to the beach, is paved with adjacent sidewalks for 3-4 miles. Most of the remainder of the roads are dirt or hard-packed sand, but generally quite well graded and drive-able with any sort of car. Lots of people in town own or rent 4-wheeler ATVs and get around that way. Two large arroyos (dry, sandy areas that become rivers during the very rare days of heavy rain or during hurricanes) cut through the edge of town and are places where RV-ers are allowed to camp for free (we stayed in a “real” campground instead, with electricity, water, showers, etc.) We intended to spend only 2 nights in Los Barriles, but liked it so much we stayed a week instead. While there, we latched onto the idea of a longer stay there next winter, and our friends Jim and Phebe (who are in Costa Rica for their 12th winter) emailed us a couple of links to houses for rent in Los Barriles. We made appointments to look, and guess what? We’ve rented one of the houses from January 15 – March 31 next year. It’s an almost-new 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom house (each bedroom is a master bedroom with it’s own bath) all on one level, with a Great Room that includes kitchen, living room and dining room. It has about 600 square feet of additional covered patio on the front and back, so has shade at all times of day, as well as a roof-top deck with a palapa that covers 1/3 of the deck and includes a hammock. The view of the Sea of Cortez is quite nice from the main house, and spectacular from the roof-top deck. It’s about a 10-minute walk or 3-minute to the beach. The yard has nice plantings and ample parking space, so we plan to drive down with our RAV4 and Chalet camper as we did this year, and park the Chalet in the yard for the trip home, short trips around Baja Sur, or to use as a third bedroom if people decide to visit in sufficient numbers to need 3 bedrooms. We hope to have visitors! Jim and Phebe have already signed on to spend time with us there, and we hope our kids, Cathryn’s parents, our siblings and others will consider coming as well. Cathryn’s Dad says he expects to hear next the news that we’ve bought a house and applied for Mexican citizenship, but that seems absolutely unlikely to us. But Bob has sworn he won’t spend an entire winter in the Northwest again, so maybe this will become a habit. Who knows????? If you would like to see more about the house you can follow this link http://weaverrentals.com/ and then click on El Torote Casa February 23, 2009

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