Day Twenty – Tiburon Ballena

Today felt like an early morning, however, to be fair, the sun had been up for awhile before I crawled out of the sheets.

Why the early rise in the face of such reluctance? An appointment for a whale shark tour at 08h30! Camilo generously agreed to drop me at the tour office, so I cleverly did not bring any information about where the office was located or what it was called. #prepared

Eventually he let me out of the car near a cluster of tour companies and I wandered around quizzing nice people about whether or not they had a reservation for Melissa. No one did, BUT, the company Espiritu Baja admitted that the phone number on my phone was theirs… and so accommodated my claim that a reservation was made by phone yesterday.

The tour was fine. The whale sharks are great. The ethics… well. Complicated, as usual. Regarding the tour company.. I have to admit I’ve been spoiled for tours by BOA. Between the high quality infrastructure and equipment and the exceptional interpersonal, camping and safety skills, as well as local knowledge, of their guides… well. My bar has been raised. So, poor Espiritu Baja had a lot to live up to. They weren’t the cheapest or most expensive, I paid 65USD; and they weren’t the shoddiest, or fanciest, outfits in the water. So, probably, a pretty average company. That being said, I wasn’t impressed with their organization or personal engagement.

But! Whale sharks! Looks them up. They’re pretty neat. Giants. Pretty.

The tour company did offer sandwiches… wonderbread/funeral specials, if you know what I mean. I passed, planning on sampling one of the recommended restaurants in La Paz for lunch.

My first choice, Harker’s, (recommended for its choice of local craft beers), was closed on Tuesday’s, (wah wah), which turned out okay because the neighbouring restaurant has been awesome. The name is Sushi One, and I don’t know that it would be universally adored, but I’m quite enjoying it. It’s a sushi restaurant, obviously, and LOOKS pretentious. Sitting in the sun, on their sidewalk patio, however, I have found it delightfully laid back. They happily accommodated my request for a non-slushy margarita (2 for 100MXN), the waiter barely bothers me but is there when I need him [more on that later], the chairs are comfy and the ambient music is this delightful jazzy-blues/angsty rock. The reason the waiter appears exactly when I need him is because he’s busy privately rocking out by the service desk whenever he’s not doing important waiter things. He LEGIT loves this music. It’s amazing.

When I finally peel myself off this faux-leather haven of aural and gustatory delight I am going to head over to El Museo de la Ballena, and then start walking home. Paola mentioned lastnight that more of Tulio’s friends are arriving today, a husband, wife, baby threesome. Camilo mentioned something about wine and dancing this evening. So we’ll see what the rest of the day brings!

Mmm. Enjoyed that restaurant a little too much I’d say > accidentally got drunk on lemon margaritas. This sounds like an excellent idea when on vacation, however, less so when your next activities are a museum and a 5km walk in the hot sun.

The museum was excellent. Luckily I was alone, and so had no one to exclaim inappropriately loudly to. The museum had excellent exhibits of whales, turtles, sea lions and sharks. The guide, a boy, was friendly and informative.

After the museum, as my hangover settled in, I sweated my way through the 5kms home.

As I retrieved the keys from Camilo he invited me to go with him and his sun to bike to the beach and enjoy the sunset!

Camilo y Emiliano

Afterwards we all went out to Bandidos, best hamberguesas in all La Paz!

With the coolest bathroom taps!

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