Yeah, you know, sometimes you need a vacation from a time out. Temperatures are reaching their maximum and we are not so unhappy that we can fly to Switzerland for Pati’s brother’s wedding. Back home everybody complains about the weather. The summer in our home country was rainy and cool. Perfect for us! Because wet and cool is exactly what we need at the moment.
The horror stories from the other boat owners and also from Iñaki and Carmen about the heat in Puerto Peñasco have not yet come true. Yes, it is very hot during the day, especially around noontime, but we are more surprised at how humid it is. If we divide the workdays well, we can still make good progress.
Rescue from the heat
We’re glad that we have air conditioning in both compionsway hatches to Milagros’ cabin, otherwise we would have died a long time ago. I have no idea how Iñaki and Carmen carried out their refit in Guaymas without air conditioning. Respect! We now just work in the mornings and late afternoons and evenings. At noon, when the sun just burns from the sky, we retreat to the cooled-down boat and devote ourselves to either siesta or computer work.
It’s such a pleasure!
We can’t get enough of our shiny, beautiful white boat hull. All the work we have put into this project has paid off. We could probably have saved ourselves a lot, a lot, a looooot of sanding with a different color selection, but what the heck. The result has turned out more than impressive. It is about time that the underwater hull is finally ready for paint, too. Milagros will look like she’s coming straight out of the shipyard. We’re already looking forward already.
Of course, free time is not neglected either. One of the great positive aspects of our new everyday life is that we can freely decide when to work and when not. That is a completely different quality of life than before our adventure. As people and their boats come and go in the boatyard, we make new acquaintances all the time. With Doug for example, who owns a small, beautiful sailboat in the yard, on which he had the workers treat the underwater hull. So of course, we didn’t say no when he invited us to a pub on the party mile in Puerto Peñasco for a few beers.
After we moistened our throats, we went on to the obligatory taco stop. As soon as we finished our meal, we suddenly saw a thick cloud of black smoke rising in the direction of the Cabrales Boatyard. Not good! Back quickly! When we arrived at the yard, it quickly became clear where the smoke was coming from. A motor boat caught fire in a marina in the Peñasco harbor basin. The fire brigade was already there and a few helpers tried to avoid the worst. Unfortunately, it turned out that in addition to the motorboat, two “uninvolved” sailboats were to suffer total write-offs as the fire could spread. Bad. Once again, we were shown how fast things can change for the worse. One morning you are the proud owner of a boat, the next morning you’re looking at a heap of rubble.
We’re going home!
After all the excitement, it was time for us. Time to say goodbye to the last remaining friends in the yard (many people are fleeing the summer heat) and take the bus and plane home to our beautiful home country that is Switzerland. The journey dragged on again with a duration of 36 hours. 7 hours by bus to Hermosillo, then by plane to Mexico City. From there to Madrid and then on to Zurich. Unfortunately, the United States are still sticking to its travel ban for us Europeans. If the restrictions were finally relaxed, it would make a lot of things much easier for us.
My parents picked us up at Zurich airport. It’s been half a year since we last saw them. There was a lot to talk about. We stayed at Pati’s parents’ farm again. What an idyll. Far from the dust, dirt, noise and heat in Puerto Peñasco. Green as far as the eye can see and calm, just calm. During a walk through our hometown Aesch, we were completely fascinated by the silence in the small village. A culture shock, so to speak.
A strict schedule
In the short two weeks that we were in Switzerland, we naturally wanted to meet as many familiar faces as possible. Meetings, beers, walks, bowling sessions and visits to restaurants were fixed. And the wedding was coming up, too! Thanks to two home games in a row, I was even able visit the stadium and my beloved FC Basel. Everything happened in quick succession. Far too little time for far too many activities, that should quickly become apparent. A highlight was a day of hiking with Pati and my sister. We went to the “Wasserfallen”, a local recreation area around the corner, just under 40 minutes from Aesch. The full load of Swiss idyll.
Full Commitment to the Wedding
The wedding of Patricia’s brother should originally have taken place on a fairground in the forest. But since the weather didn’t play along, the entire party had to be rescheduled within a very short time and was now held in the barn on the farm. The wedding couple activated family and friends and a completely new wedding celebration was set up within three days. When Pati and I weren’t out and about to meet friends, we also helped out a little. The rescheduling was once again a great example of what can be achieved when a group of people pulls all the strings together.
What a great Party it was
The effort was worth it, because the wedding party of Flavio and his Michèle was just amazing. Lots of great people, a relaxed atmosphere, coffee, cocktails and pizza from the food trucks. The wedding setup in the barn was next level, and there was dancing and partying until the early hours of the morning. Dear Flavio, dear Michèle, when you read this: We love you guys and hope that you will grow old and grey happily together! Hopefully our plans will work out and we can welcome you on Milagros and / or Anila at the end of the year! Thanks for the invitation and the great wedding party! ❤️
Our little Paradise
Of course, we also had to stop by our little paradise close to beautiful St. Ursanne. For several years now, we have been the owners of an extremely luxurious property right on the Doubs river, which mostly flows in France, but crosses the Swiss border for a short detour. We have spent entire summers there. There’s no other place where we can recharge our batteries as well. The fact that some of our best friends also own caravans there is the icing on the cake. We were definitely home now. Unfortunately, we had to go back to Puerto Peñasco shortly afterwards. The question arose: did we even want that? Or did we want to stay in Switzerland longer?
Are we staying any longer?
Why leave now? Our stay was far too good to fly straight back to the dusty construction site in Mexico. It was only after we got home that we realized how much we had missed our home, friends and families. At the same time, however, we also noticed that the same routine prevails at home that we actually wanted to break out of. Everything was exactly the same as when we left Switzerland. It could have been two days since we left. Still, we didn’t want to leave just yet. One day before departure, we started trying to extend our stay.
Yes, no, yes, no, no, yes!
The idea to stay longer could have come earlier. Rebook the flights? Way too expensive. Book new flights? We could, but it would be only marginally less expensive. Aaaaaah! First world problems! Life is hard. What to do? The solution came on Facebook. We found an article about the fact that the Covid infections were soaring again in Sonora and that the authorities were already reinforcing new restrictions. Switzerland also reported increasing numbers again. So, it quickly became clear: back to Milagros. We had absolutely no desire to be stuck in a lockdown again. Our experience in 2020 was experience enough.
I get stung
I even got a farewell present, which was a load of bee stings which resulted in an allergic reaction on my part. My father and I take care of a few beehives at home. I took a beekeeping course a few years ago and my father took over the colonies when I went to Mexico. Now while I was present too, of course I helped him out. What is extremely helpful when dealing with bees is if the protective clothing is completely closed before the lid of a bee box is lifted. Unfortunately, this was not the case with me, and so suddenly a couple of bees flew around my head on the wrong side of the veil.
Actually, that’s not a problem. As long as the bees don’t feel threatened, they won’t sting either. So, I could have just opened the veil and let the bees out. Of course, I was promptly stung anyway. When a bee stings, the stinger gets stuck and is torn out of the bee’s body, the animal unfortunately dies as a result. The nasty part is that even without a bee, this lancing device pumps pheromones into the air that basically say: “Attack! War! Kill everybody!”. So, I was stabbed in the ear, head and stomach. Even that is not really a problem, except that it hurts. What I did not expect was a massive allergic reaction 3 hours before departure to the airport.
Pustules all over the body
I’ve been stung by (my) bees countless times and have never had an allergic reaction. This time it was different. Less than 20 minutes after the bites my whole body itched and small red dots turned into full-grown pustules, an ugly sight. It was time to take antiallergic drugs and cortisone and go to the pharmacy. The farewell dinner with Pati’s family that took place at the same time? Not for me. Fortunately, the medication worked quickly and I was soon looking normal again. That is the crux of the problem with insect bites – 100 times you do not show any reaction and with the 101st bite it suddenly starts. So, in the future, caution is called for when dealing with the little stingy buggers. Considered that there are millions of desert bees in the Sea of Cortez, who of course like to collect condensation water from boats, I might go and stock some meds against allergies in Peñasco before we’re outta here.
Goodbye, beautiful Switzerland!
Not to imagine if the symptoms had dragged on longer. The trip back to Mexico would have been a nightmare. Off to Zurich Airport! At that time, we didn’t know that the airline Iberia would have a surprise in store for us in Madrid.
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