100 kilograms of luggage in 3 bags, 2 guitars and 1 sail for Iñaki and Carmen. 3 flights. 1 night in Mexico City. 1 bus ride of 8 hours. These are the bare numbers of our trip to Mexico. We migrate to Puerto Peñasco and will soon be living full-time on a sailboat. What began as a pipe dream is now becoming reality.
The week before leaving, we said goodbye to a lot of great people. Practically every day we met family, friends and acquaintances for brunch, lunch, a walk, coffee, beer, or in the evening with soup and tea by the fire bowl. It was good to see all the faces again that are close to us and bring so much joy into our lives. The virus was of course always in the back of our heads and so we tried to meet outside whenever possible, kept our distance, or used face masks.
Here we go!
The time had come on the 12th of January 2021. Very early in the morning my family drove us to Zurich Airport. There, we had another coffee and get-together before our enormous project called Milagros started. The trip began with the report of massive snowfall in Frankfurt. Since this led to the closure of the airport there, our plane took off with a delay of two and a half hours. Nevertheless, we didn’t miss the connection to Mexico City.
An arduous trip to Mexico
In contrast to our last trip to Mexico together, this time we had planned enough time for the layover in Frankfurt. Also in the Izzzleep Sleeping Pods in Mexico City we’re becoming regulars. The onward flight to Hermosillo went without any major incidents. Once there, we boarded the bus to Puerto Peñasco. The journey went north through the Sonoran desert. It would actually be a nice ride. But we watched plastic waste on the roadside and in the surrounding desert for eight hours. Ouch. You are just not used to stuff like that when you’re from a groomed and neat little alpine country.
Stopped by the Military
When we passed a military checkpoint, the whole bus was cleared and searched. That wouldn’t have been a problem if we hadn’t brought luggage for five. So the quick stop turned into a big haulage of our bags, while our fellow Mexican passengers eyed us more or less pityingly. Then the journey continued to Puerto Peñasco and Milagros. We’ll soon be living on our own sailing ship. Did we mention that before?
After a 44-hour journey, we arrived at our new home in the Astillero Cabrales. There, we first had to look for a ladder to move onto our Milagros. Said and done. Hatches open. No cockroaches, no mice and rats, no bird’s nest and everything in its place. Everything garnished with the typical odour of a sailboat and a layer of desert dust. Milagros was just as I had left her a short time ago. Welcome Home. Now it was time for some sleep.
The first morning
The sun hadn’t even blinked over the horizon as we were already wide awake. It’s chilly early in the morning up in the north at this time of year. So we layed in bed thickly wrapped up and provided with coffee. Before the trip we got an Aeropress from our friends Romano & Lisa. The first coffee creations already taste better than those of our good old Bialetti. This is another step on the way to the perfect coffee on the boat. If you have any other ideas for two caffeine junkies, please let us know!
The very first day of our lives as liveaboards had started. We wanted to combine a tour of discovery with something useful. So we received a little advice from Salvador, the place manager. We had to get an extension for our water hose to supply the boat with water as we no longer fill our rusty water tanks. They have had their day and have to be removed anyway. Off to Ferreteria de Puerto Peñasco!
The small hardware store is within walking distance of the boatyard. They carry everything from carpenter’s materials, water pipes, painting products, brooms, sandpaper, toilet lids and turtles. Yes, you read that right. Turtles. Once we have mastered more than two sentences in Spanish, we’ll have to ask what the unusual offer is all about. Since a sailboat unfortunately is not a species-appropriate home for turtles, we bought a selection of parts for our water hose.
We meet a Cab Driver again
When we had to go a little further into town for our tour by taxi, we randomly waved the same taxi driver over with whom we took Carmen and Iñaki to the bus in November. This after we had thankfully refused a taxi with a broken horn. Its uninterrupted “Hoooooooooonnnnnnkkkk!” could be heard for a long time after. Fredi is now our trusted taxi driver. Although the cracked windshield and the lack of seat belts might suggest the opposite. Nevertheless, we swapped numbers with him so that we can call him when we need a ride. Us barely speaking Spanish and him not speaking English is not a big deal, we still get along very well.
We needed a ride to get from A to B in Puerto Peñasco anyway that’s why we wanted to get two bikes. Here Fredi came into play again, because he knew where to find hem. So we drove all over Puerto Peñasco with him. We even ended up at Fredi’s house, where he wanted to sell us his son’s bike. Fredi’s wife, however, objected to the fact that the bike had already been promised to one of the son’s friends.
We were ready to go again when Fredi wanted to show us his dog’s offspring. So we get out of his taxi again, to look at the puppies. One does not turn down a look at puppies. The proud dog mom had broken a leg some time ago, which had now grown back quite crooked. Thank god the puppies had all their legs where they belong. So we got to know a part of Fredi’s family and were able to catch a glimpse of his home. The search for our two-wheeled vehicles through Puerto Peñasco continued.
Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’!
We drove from place to place with Fredi and he did the talking to the dealers. In the end we were successful and can now call two shiny Puerto Peñascan bikes our own. Even tough taxi rides are cheap here (and are fun with Fredi anyway), this makes us a little more independent. We assume that we’ll be biking all over town looking for materials.
Slow and steady
The supply of electricity and water is now also ensured. Our water hose also has room for improvement. It is currently a patchwork of our own water hose and a borrowed hose from Jim. He’s one of our neighbors and is also working on his sailboat. He lives right next to it in his huge mobile home. There’s a leak in his hose. But he doesn’t know that yet.
The first few days in our new life were already peppered with many experiences and new acquaintances. We will continue to settle in and at some point work on the boat will begin. We already have a lot of new ideas, also for the blog. Exciting times ahead!
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