Bobcats, Waterfalls, and Bike Rides: La Paz Weeks 7 and 8

Apologies for the delay in updates, I really did not expect that graduate school would dominate my life. However, we’ve done some really exciting things in the past two weeks and I’m excited to share! So, buckle in.

Week 7 started off with a dive near Punta Arena BCS, at a beach with water so clear that you could see your reflection. My dive instructor took me out to practice my navigation skills and explore a rock wall that is adjacent to an abandoned resort. I saw Moray eels, Tang, and nudibranchs among other invertebrates. I’ve officially decided that nudibranchs are now my favorite animal, especially after seeing so many colorful variations of them down here in La Paz.

One of the many beaches in La Paz

The rest of week 7 faded into week 8, and I was drowning in work. I swear that somehow zoom school is more work than clases presenciales. Someone finally took my bike to the shop in Monterey, CA, and it is currently being outfitted for a cycle tour this summer. More details on that to come.

At the start of week 8, we did a little reflecting and realized that we hadn’t yet ventured to the Sierra mountain range even though it’s only two hours away. We decided to go to La Cascada Sol del Mayo, a waterfall located in an oasis in the Sierra mountains. On our way, we found a rustic little restaurant and rural tourism center called El Meson de Carlota.

We give the food a 10-10 rating. I tried Manta Ray for the first time. It was a bit too fishy for me, but apparently they have the best, hand-caught ray in the peninsula. If you’re interested, they have a back patio with an open bar where you can dance and drink under the desert stars.

El Meson de Carlota

We got lost in the little town of Santiago on our way to the waterfall. We were nervous about taking the Prius down bumpy dirt roads to get to the mountains, but she took it like a champ. Fortuntately we made it to basecamp with no issue, paid the entrance fee, and hiked down to the waterfall. It was worth the hike.

La Cascada Sol Del Mayo
Waterfall swimming

We even ran into someone who was releasing Bobcats that he had trapped on his farm:

Bobcat going back to the mountains
Oasis in Santiago

To finish out week 8, we took a day to cycle from La Paz BCS to Playa Balandra. The large highway shoulder makes it an easy route to cycle, and the road wraps around the bay before taking you into the desert valley. My favorite part of the trip was stopping at all of the roadside celebrations of patron saints.

60 km cycle through the desert

The park guards even let us into Playa Balandra even though they normally stop letting people in after 6 a.m. People are always friendlier when you’re traveling by bike.

Playa Balandra, La Paz, BCS

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