Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Red Letter Day in Loreto Bay

As an indication of the significance of the paving project on the Paseo, or main road, that runs through our development of Loreto Bay, I return to the subject for the third time in as many months. This third (and I expect final) episode was prompted by an invitation last weekend from Homex to the Home Owners, to join in a ”Paseo Inauguration Ceremony” this past Friday.

A large group, consisting of most of the Home Owners who are currently in Loreto Bay, assembled in front of the INN at the south end of the Paseo where a PA system had been set up. Shortly after 4:00 pm Roberto Vez and Carolina Silva, both from Homex, made some opening comments welcoming the Residents and speaking about their company’s recent history in the Loreto Bay project and their plans for the future.

It was clear that for them, as well as for we Home Owners, the paving of the Paseo was both a tangible and symbolic example of their corporate good will toward the existing community and, they admitted that due to the complicated jurisdictional issues surrounding the road and it’s actual ownership, they had finally made the decision to proceed with the paving project on their own, without having received all the official approvals. A case of asking forgiveness rather than permission on a corporate level!

In an earlier posting I mentioned another example of Homex’s willingness to respect the interests of the existing community, when they initially had left a section of the road unpaved, due to the misunderstanding that this stretch was to be set aside for a landscaped area. However, when they realized that we Homeowners wanted the whole road paved, they tore up some of the concrete curbing they had already poured, and re-graded that section in preparation for additional asphalt paving.

After the brief remarks of introduction and welcome there was a symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony performed by one of the original Homeowner couples, Dottie and Mike, following which, about half the assembled crowd boarded a string of Golf Carts parked nearby, and the remainder walked or biked about ¾ of a mile from the INN down to just past the Golf Course Clubhouse, where we turned back on the opposite lane of the road and walked or rode back to the starting spot at the INN.

This in itself was a remarkable, albeit somewhat strange event, which could only be appreciated by those who were participating and had endured the dusty, pot-holed road that we have all lived with for the past five years. Picture about 150 people wandering down the center of a freshly paved road, led by a somewhat disorganized collection of Golf Carts, travelling at a slow walking pace, followed by the rest of the crowd, some of whom were on bikes. A parade with nobody watching, because everyone was in it!

As I took these pictures of the passing crowd and then walked through them to get to the front to take more pictures, I heard bits and pieces of conversations, many reminiscing about early experiences they had had in the adventure that we have all shared in acquiring our homes here. I was struck by the genuine celebratory mood of the group – everyone was happy and smiling and enjoying this big event in the recent history of our community.

When we had returned to the INN we signed off our names on the RSVP list in the Hotel lobby before passing into the central courtyard area where tables and chairs for over 200 had been set up with a PA system and several Buffet lines on the perimeter. After most people had a chance to visit the cash bar, Roberto and Carolina took microphones and welcomed us again as their Guests and talked further about Homex and their plans for the community.

Following this, they opened the Q & A part of the program and responded in a remarkably open and forthright manner to almost all of the questions they fielded. I very much respect their willingness to initiate this sort of give and take process with a largely unknown group of Foreign Homeowners who (they were well aware) have endured some serious challenges in the sometimes long process leading to the completion of their homes.

I also was pleased, and, dare I say, a bit proud, of the almost unanimously positive tone and attitude of those who raised questions, and the response of the crowd as a whole to the answers that were forthcoming. Without trying to present a complete report of what transpired, your Humble Blogger did make a few notes during the proceedings and I will offer the following observations:

- Homex continues to work behind the scenes with a number of Airlines to increase the air service to Loreto from various hubs in the US and Canada.

- They are committed to seeing Agua Viva I completed, and they plan to construct architecturally compatible homes on the bare land lots they have acquired there.

- They are now in possession of the two unfinished Posada buildings and are beginning the process of negotiating with the other stakeholders in those buildings to determine a course of action that will result in their completion.

- They are moving forward with the first phase of their own development with initial plans for over 200 homes beyond Agua Viva.

- They have purchased the proposed “Beach Club” parcel of land in Founders but have not made any plans as yet for how it may be developed, but they did advise us they did not see a Beach Club as being a viable option there for Homex, and that it would likely be some form of residential development at some time in the future.

- They have purchased the old Convention Centre shell in AV which will eventually be demolished and be developed residentially.

- Regarding the Golf Course, they stated that they intend to offer the same access, at the same cost, to Loreto Bay Owners as they will to their Homeowners in the future.

- They are conscious of the importance of the situation around the sewage lift station, and they are working with the several levels of government involved to come up with a solution for the future.

After answering all of the questions that were raised our Homex hosts invited us to start the Buffet lines and enjoy a Mexican themed meal of soup, salad, rice, beef and fish with deserts, all catered by the staff at the hotel.

Following the meal, as darkness fell the Homeowners drifted out of the Hotel courtyard where some Taxis were waiting to shuttle people down the Paseo, but most opted to wander back along their newly paved street in small groups, sharing flashlights and conversation as they retraced the path of our earlier “Parade” back to their own homes.

When 200 people come together to celebrate a couple of miles of paving, and make their own parade – with no one watching because everyone is in it – to be followed by a meeting with the Developer, who will move our community forward into a new and exciting phase, and have a positive exchange of information (something sorely lacking for the past several years) before finally sharing a delicious meal under the stars. That Parade marked a symbolically big day in the history of Loreto Bay, a day that many will remember who are lucky enough to be Living Loreto!

I would like to take this last opportunity to invite any Readers who are in or around Calgary on March 5/6 to attend the Mexico Living Expo being held at the BMO Centre on Stampede Park. I will be one of over 20 Exhibitors promoting the lifestyle options that are available for Foreigners here in Mexico and specifically, I will be presenting information on the homes now available in The Villages of Loreto Bay. I look forward to meeting you there and talking about the place I love to call home! Pre-register for free at: www.mexicolivingexpo.com

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rockfest 2011 - Rock of Ages!

Last month I wrote about a quiet evening of musical entertainment that was held in a neighbour’s home (A Little Night Music – Loreto Style) in which I talked about the relative scarcity of live music here. Well, this past week there was an event that was one of the exceptions – Rockfest 2011, which was held at Del Borrachos, a favourite western saloon style watering hole located just off the highway, a couple of kilometres south of the town of Loreto.


First of all, a few words about this venue, which I have also mentioned in these pages before, Del Borrachos (which, appropriately enough, can be loosely translated as The Drunkards) is one of the busiest and most popular eating places in town, due in large part to the short order culinary skills of Chole, co-owner with her husband Mike. In addition the locally famous El Guapo con papas (“Whopper” hamburger with fries) which is the closest to a “cheeseburger in Paradise” that I have ever found, there are other menu favourites like the half head of Romaine lettuce with chicken Caesar, and Thursday’s special lasagne. All of these great meals are ordered at the counter in one corner of the large open room, which has about a dozen tables and several pool tables and large screen TV’s, and then the orders are prepared in a deceptively small, but efficient kitchen. Across one end of the room is the bar where draft and bottled beer are dispensed along with the regular assortment of other spirits.

However, for the Guerra de Bandas (Battle of the Bands) the regular outside patio area had been supplemented by several shade tents under which were dozens and dozens of plastic Tecate (Beer brand) chairs in what is usually the parking lot. Set up in front of the seating area under another couple of shade tents, was a temporary bandstand with banks of speakers and amplifiers and a drum kit which would be used by the more than half dozen bands scheduled to perform during the afternoon and evening.

One of my neighbours and I arrived before the 2:00 pm start time to get a good table and enjoy our lunch before the festivities began. We chose to sit outside on the regular patio, to one side of the temporary seating area, but with a good view of the stage. Meanwhile, inside, the main room was filling up with a late lunch crowd and gradually the outside chairs and tables started to fill up with other early birds for the entertainment.

After several sound checks by different bands coming and going from the stage, the first set began. Now I confess that I will not be able to report accurately on all the names of the different groups that performed and in what order – blame the language barrier, the somewhat distorted PA system, and, yes, perhaps the combined effects of frosty pitchers of Negra Modelo (one of my favourite domestic beers, amber with a nice hoppy aftertaste). But, the groups included Black Dog and Mi Name is Pancho, both from Loreto, and Pigstail, and Rockstar Again from as far as La Paz and Los Cabos along with a number of others.

What became apparent was that the groups played in what appeared to be approximately age order with the youngest on first, and the band members got older as the afternoon progressed. What also became apparent was that there is some serious talent among the younger generation here. Although the repertoire and styles of music varied from group to group, there were a generous number of what I would loosely describe as “Classic Rock” and Blues standards as well as some original material in Spanish. In fact, a number of times I was struck by the incongruity of hearing mainly unintelligible (to me) Spanish lyrics in one song, followed by a familiar “classic” sung in apparently unaccented English by the same vocalist. This left me wondering whether this indicated that there was actually a high level of fluency, or alternatively, a near perfect mimicry of these “foreign language” songs.

I also realized, that for many of these young groups, some of the music they were doing these great renditions of, I had been listening to for more than forty years! (Having just recently ushered in a new decade on my last birthday, I am, admittedly, somewhat sensitive on the general subject of aging anyway!) This brings me to one of my infrequent “rants” about the undeniable significance and cultural impact of MY generation’s contribution to the music iconography! When else is history has the popular culture, and more particularly, that culture’s young generation, continue to listen to and, in this case, perform, music that was created several generations earlier. That would be the equivalent of my generation in the 60’s, listening to, and being artistically influenced by popular music from the 1920’s!

In fact, one of my favourite ways of defining myself, in terms of my Boomer credentials, is to say “I saw the Beatles live on Ed Sullivan” which is, I think, undeniably a cultural touchstone and reference point for people of a certain age – like me! Anyway, I digress (again), the juxtaposition of Mexican teenagers singing 1960’s American and British Rock and Roll in flawlessly unaccented English, while playing thunderously loud electric guitars in the parking lot of a western-style saloon on a dusty side-road in Baja Sur Mexico was a delicious cultural experience!

An experience that was shared by what eventually became a standing room crowd of a couple of hundred avid fans who packed the saloon to overflowing, filled every chair and table in the patio and parking lot and finally stood shoulder to shoulder on the veranda and ringing the seating area. But it was not just the numbers that impressed me – but the diversity of the crowd as well. I saw many friends and neighbours from Loreto Bay, as well as a number of Mexicans who were employed there and many more that I recognized from town. That in itself was to be expected, given that this was one of the entertainment highlights here of this winter, but what was unique about this crowd was the large numbers of really young kids who were there with their parents – Rock and Roll is a family affair, just like so many things are in this very family oriented culture.

Perhaps the subject matter is clouding my judgement, but as I write this the morning after, I am reminded of the lyrics of a song from the very same era that I have been describing, although I confess Neil Diamond is not my usual first choice in music – “Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone go!” And that just about sums up the mood and nature of the crowd, everyone from leather skinned senior citizen ex-pats to goth garbed, gelled haired Mexican teenagers and middle aged middle class Mexican family groups complete with toddlers . Oh yes, and I can’t forget, there were also two caballeros in full cowboy regalia who rode in on their horses and (appropriately enough) and were able to leave their mounts conveniently tied up to the hitching rail by the front door of the saloon, in the shade of a 20 foot high inflatable plastic Pacifico beer bottle – only in Mexico, pity!

So that was my experience this week, sharing music with friends and strangers on a perfect sunny afternoon with a light breeze making the 80 degree temperature even more ideal (is it really February everywhere else?) and watching the nearby mountain horizon turn into a purple black silhouette as the sun set behind – it seldom gets better than this, even when you are “Living Loreto”!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sports, Politics and Paving - a week in Loreto

Even though, living here on the Baja Peninsula, we are “off the beaten track” we can still participate in many of the cultural traditions from where we used to call home – like last weekend’s Superbowl. Not being a serious NFL fan, this is often the only American Football game I may see each year, but for me, like many other people I know, this game is an event that overshadows the mere sporting aspect and takes on a celebratory significance.

Therefore, I was happy to be invited to a party hosted by several good friends who invited 40 or 50 of their friends to share the festivities together. Our hosts have rented a large custom home adjacent to, but not a part of the Loreto Bay development, for office space for their new construction contracting business (www.usgconstructiongroup.com ) and that is where we gathered for the party. In the large open courtyard area in the center of the building there was a BBQ and propane fired deep fryer with a table of drinks and a cooler with two beer kegs buried in ice – all the ingredients for a good time!

Two large flat panel TVs were set up, one in the main courtyard area and the other in a smaller room, both of
 which opened onto the outdoor pool which was surrounded by a patio arranged with chairs and tables in the sun. Pregame, this patio was a popular spot, with many guests enjoying the return of the warm sunny weather after a week or so of unseasonably cool and windy days that we had experienced.

When all of the preliminaries to the actual game had finally been completed on the broadcast, most people moved into view of one or other TV as the action began. I had chosen the smaller room as it seemed to be where the “serious” fans had collected and there was less cross-talk conversation going on during the play. Well before halftime delicious smells started coming from the cooking area of the courtyard as hamburgers and hot dogs started to come off the BBQ grill, and whole chickens were deep fried in minutes and then carved into delicious portions. In another room there were fresh salads, condiments, chips and salsa and delicious fresh baked bread, still hot from the oven – yumm!

Of course, this was not the only Super Party taking place last weekend – many of the local hotels and restaurants were having special events as well. However, as it happened, this year the game coincided with the local and state election which was also being held on Sunday and, due to the law governing election day, Mexican Nationals were prohibited from buying liquor and “Gringos” (even though we are ineligible to vote) were limited to four drinks in restaurants. So, the “commercial festivities” were somewhat more sober than would have likely been the case had the election not been on the same day.

Although I am normally somewhat of a political “junkie”, as a guest in this country and a non-participant in the local politics, I feel it is appropriate to only make a few general observations. First of all, I have known for some time that Loreto is a very political town – witness the fact that voter turnout for this most recent election was 76%, which was 10% higher than in Cabo or La Paz the two largest voting constituencies in the state of Baja Sur – compare those figures with the anaemic voting rates in most North American jurisdictions!

The Governor elect is Marcos Cararrubias of the PAN party, which is the same party as the current and past Presidents of the Federal Government, Felipe Calderon and Vincente Fox. Previously the Governor’s post was held by one of the opposition parties so it will be interesting to see what the impact may be of this shift toward the Federal majority party for the future in this state. I also understand that the new Governor is from a small town not far from Loreto, so he will also be very familiar with the local issues here, which may auger well for us during his term in Office.

The Mayor, or Presidente’s race was very contentious locally, with three candidates finishing very closely, but the eventual winner was Jorge Avil├ęs of the PRI party which is another political change from the affiliation of the current Mayor (whose unlikely name is Yuan Yee Cunningham). Yuan Yee’s term of office has had it’s controversies and so, again, it will be interesting to see what the consequences will be of this change in the local power structure.

The other major event of this week was the resumption of the paving project that I first mentioned here over two months ago (Giving Thanks – for a road – maybe! Nov. ’10). As you may recall, at that time there was a great deal of excitement when work began paving the main (and only) road through our development. Since the work was being paid for by the new Developer Homex, who is continuing development on the north side of what is now Loreto Bay and, incidentally, also owns the Inn at the other end of the same road from their future development – hence the incentive to repave the road.

Well, picking up the narrative from the earlier Blog, work continued at an impressive pace for the next few weeks until they stopped prior to Christmas for the traditional Holiday break, which down here can be a couple of weeks. So after the New Year we Residents of Loreto Bay watched optimistically for the road work to resume – and we watched – and watched – and all through the month of January no further work was done.

But we took some comfort in the fact that all the heavy equipment was still here and so we were optimistic that eventually work would resume – maybe! Well, good things come to those who wait (I don’t think the origins of that phrase are Mexican, but they could be!) and so it was with great rejoicing that greeted the resumption of the road work last weekend, and it has continued apace all last week, including, (be still my pounding heart) the stretch of road at my end of the development.

But before you get too carried away with shared enthusiasm, there is still about half of the work in the first phase to complete and almost as much again in the second phase so this project will be ongoing for weeks or even months to come. But, for now, I love the smell of hot asphalt in the morning!

So for a week that began with a sporting extravaganza, included a hotly contested local election and marked the continuation of the biggest infrastructure project in our community’s short history, it’s been a pretty good week, but, after all there are “No Bad Days” when you are Living Loreto!

Post Script: 

For any of my readers who are in the general vicinity of Calgary, you may be interested to know that I will be there to participate in a promotional trade show called the Mexico Living Expo on March 5 & 6 at the Stampede Grounds.  I will be exhibiting on behalf of Dorado Properties, the Real Estate Broker that I work for and I will be promoting the amazing resale properties we have currently listed in Loreto Bay. 

I invite any loyal Living Loreto readers to drop by and say hello, there will be many other exhibitors and seminars about various aspects of the lifestyle that is available in Mexico for foreigners.  You can get more information at http://www.mexicolivingexpo.com/ and register online for free admission to the Expo.  I hope to see you there! 


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hunting and Gathering - Revisited!

Over the past two years that I have been writing this Blog, one of the most popular postings was “Hunting and Gathering” in February ’09 where I described the grocery shopping process here in Loreto and identified the stores that I frequented. Well, much has happened in the two years since and I think it is high time to update the information with some of the newer stores that have opened.

That’s not to say that shopping here has changed in any fundamental way – it is still a “hunting and gathering” process which can involve visiting a number of stores to comparison shop before you find most of what may be on your list. That is because we are still served here by a number of relatively small independent, usually family owned and operated stores, and the selection (particularly of fresh fruit and vegetables) can vary from week to week and store to store.

For most North Americans the idea of going grocery shopping and NOT finding lettuce or salted butter is hard to imagine, and although that sort of problem is less common now than it was when I wrote about this two years ago, it still can happen. But before I give the wrong impression here, let me be clear when I say that compared to when I first started housekeeping here five years ago the variety, selection and quality of the food available in town has improved dramatically.

But the procedure remains much the same – to “harvest” the full range of what is available on any given day, it is necessary to visit five or six stores (at least) and therefore a trip into town can easily take a good chunk out of the day. And, that remains one of the things that reminds us that “we’re not in Kansas anymore!”, which, after all, is why most of us chose to live here in the first place. If I gaze into my crystal ball, I think I can see the day, someday, when there will be a “supermarket” here in Loreto with everything that can be hard to find now, under one roof. But, I for one, am not looking forward to that day, because then shopping will be a somewhat tedious chore as opposed to the adventure it can be now, when you come across a new store and find artichoke hearts!

I enlisted a research assistant for this week’s posting, my friend and neighbour Camille, who added her local knowledge and support, and joined me on the trip to town earlier this week. Incidentally, for the edification of those of you up north who have been suffering, so far, through one of the nastier winter’s in recent memory, the day we went shopping was one of the coldest I have ever experienced here in Loreto – with a high of only 55 deg. and an overnight low close to freezing! These “extreme” temperatures were accompanied by very strong winds which kicked up a dust storm that blanketed the area and proved that wind chill is a concept that is not limited to the Snow Belt! Before any of you get the wrong idea and start feeling sorry for us down here, I am pleased to report that as I write this on the weekend the clear blue skies have returned along with gentle breezes and a comfortable “winter” temperature in the mid-70’s – so I think we will survive!

Although I intended to focus on “new” additions to the shopping selection in Loreto, our first stop on Juarez was at Dali Delikatesan, which I wrote about in the previous posting two years ago. At that time Beatriz and her husband Jose Luis had just relocated to a new larger store. Over the past two years they have steadily grown and added more products to their selection including the opening of a wine “cava” with a wide selection of fine wines that are not available elsewhere in town. Space does not permit a detailed inventory of this store, but they continue to specialize in a wide selection of frozen meats including delicacies like New Zealand lamb, a variety of cheeses and dairy as well as a growing assortment of ingredients that make gourmet chefs smile. In fact, it is not uncommon to see local restaurant owners shopping here.

Our next stop was nearby and an important addition to the foodie scene in Loreto. Pan Oli is a new Euro-style Bakery that has opened strategically two doors away from Dali. The charming front of the store has a refrigerated glass display case of pastries and cakes next to the sales counter and on the adjoining wall there are shelves stocked with a variety of breads, and buns that vary depending on the time and day of your visit. But usually you can find long skinny baguettes, chibata buns, boillos, focasia and sweet rolls sometimes including cinnamon buns (one of my favourites). This store has filled a void for many of us who have been craving baking “like home” and the young Mexican couple running it are a welcome addition to our community. My only complaint is that often when I have dropped in they have been almost sold out of most of their specialties, but I guess that is just another sign of success.

Speaking of baked goods our next destination was a couple of blocks further down the street was not technically a food store, although some people may consider their product one of the major food groups – doughnuts! Yes, Loreto now has a doughnut store located next door to Promaza, one of two tortillarias across the street from each other on Juarez. Although this small franchise operation has been in operation for over a year now it still counts as a “hidden treasure” as many people I know had no idea that it is even possible to get an Old Fashion Glazed anywhere near Loreto! Part of the reason this enterprise has stayed below the radar for so many people is that they don’t actually have any signage to advertize outside the store. The closest they come is a poster in Spanish for a specialty coffee stuck up in one window. After going through an iron gate on the sidewalk you enter into a small crowded serving area with a 3 foot wide display cabinet of doughnuts and muffins – maybe. Because this is another enterprise that apparently doesn’t believe in inventory. In fact, when I wanted to have donuts for an event last year I had to call and order 2 dozen for the next morning – and when I went to pick them up they only had a dozen left at 8:30 in the morning!

One of our main objectives for this trip was our next destination – the Green Grocery – which has assumed mythical properties since it opened some time ago. I say mythical because, prior to exposing it in this Blog, I had only been taken to this store once before by a return customer and so far had been unable to find it again. My investigative shopping partner Camille, had had a similar experience and so, between the two of us, we were determined to find it once and for all and so reveal it to the world! The proper name of the store is actually Mercabastos Raygoza, but for the first few months of operation there was no name on the store at all. However, the fluorescent lime green exterior paint job was, to say the least, noteworthy and hence came the familiar name – Green Grocery, which is how most people I know identify it (if they are in the know).

I am not going to try to describe the location near the corner of Missionaros and Preparatorio, but before you start to write me a nasty email about holding out on you, I am including a special feature in today’s Blog – a MAP! Don’t look now, but at the bottom of this posting you will find a scanned image of a map of most of the town of Loreto that was the work of Harry Morgan and that I copied from the locally produced “Gringo” phone book (many thanks and credit where credit is due). But suffice to say, it is in an obscure location, far away from any other stores, which has contributed to it’s mysterious appeal and reputation.

As one enters through the narrow front door you are immediately beside the single cashier counter, around the corner from which is a large, impeccably clean meat cooler display with a wider variety of fresh product than I have seen elsewhere in town, including (according to a poster on display) fresh carne asada a particularly delicious marinated skirt steak that is a favourite of mine. From this meat counter, running lengthwise down the store are four aisles of packaged foods with tidy, well organized and fully stocked shelves, again, space does not permit any attempt to detail what is on offer, but I would sum up the selection as better than average, for everyday staples, but exceptional for the variety of specialty foods ingredients, and condiments etc.

But wait – there’s more! At the back of the store is a wide arch closed off with a clear, heavy vinyl “fringe” drape separating a refrigerated produce room about ¼ the size of the rest of the store with the largest and best selection of fruit and vegetables in town, well displayed, carefully organized and - dare I say it about vegetables – EXCITING! To sum this up I will give you just one example, for the first time in my experience here in Loreto I found broccoli crowns - stored on chipped ice – and it was not even hot outside!

After both Camille and I stocked up on things we didn’t even know we needed it was time to head back home to Loreto Bay – anything else after the Green Grocery would be an anticlimax. But I did have to make one more stop, which will be the last entry in this shopper’s tour of Loreto 2011. I needed to get some gas for Denny, my SUV. Now there are three Pemex stations in the town of Loreto; one each on Salvatierra and Juarez (the main “drags” toward the Malacon and the shoreline) and a third at the corner of Padre Kino and Independencia, north of “downtown” Loreto, well off the beaten track, so to speak.

However, of these three stations (remember, gasoline is a monopoly here in Mexico and all stations are under the Government owned Pemex brand) only this third (and newest) one is ever busy. You may well wonder why, in a town of over 12,000 people, and plenty of cars and trucks, would one station, in the least convenient location, be the only one with a steady line up of customers. Bearing in mind, that the Government sets the price of gas (currently about 85 pesos per litre, or about 70 cents US – it’s not just beer that’s cheap down here) so it is not because of any discounted prices, quite the opposite.

Now I will be cautious here, as I don’t want to be accused of slander, but suffice to say, when I USED to buy gas at the other stations, before this one opened several years ago, I was occasionally surprised, when I filled up a near empty tank, that my familiar 90ish litre tank sometimes held slightly more than 100 litres. Curious, but not something I thought about, other than fleetingly as I paid the bill. However, since I have become a loyal customer of the Third Pemex (or as I now call it, the Good Pemex) my fuel tank seems to have magically returned to it’s traditional capacity of a maximum of 90 litres.

Now far be it from me to imply anything nefarious about the weights and measures of the other two stations (which are owned by the same franchisee), but I am convinced it is no coincidence that virtually ALL of the local Loretanos only buy their gas at this one station (hence the permanent line ups) and typically you usually see mainly Motorhomes and other out-of-town travellers buying their gas at the other two stations.

With our Hunting and Gathering complete for another week, Camille and I headed back to Loreto Bay and unloaded our treasures after our successful expedition. Where else does a grocery shopping trip take on the dimensions of entertainment? But, then again, knowing where to find broccoli on ice and fair measure gasoline that too is part of “Living Loreto”!
 
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