Only in Mexico

Only in Mexico could the transport of a huge tank that utilizes the entire width of Mex 1 – the solitary two-lane highway that spans the peninsula – take place in the full light of day. No matter that traffic backs up for hours over the spiny mountain climb through the central deserts of Baja. No. Just a couple of guys riding on the very back (no seat belts or other security measures) waving traffic to ‘back off.’

At special spots on ridges with a small pullout, the caravan (three huge trucks all tied together – imagine a Burlington-Santa Fe train – pulling this enormous tank) would simply stop. Rather than the rigs pulling over, the dudes on the back jump down and begin to direct north and south bound traffic around the road covering vehicles.

In between the stops, the traffic sooooo slow (around 8 MPH) let travelers kind of hang out, chat while ‘parked’ in the middle of the road.

In the States, it would require mountainous piles of permits, special hours of travel, police escorts with sirens and flashing lights, a special traffic co-ordinator, and specified rest stops.

It’s scenes like this that really bring travel Mexico to my heart. All that’s required is patience and a good sense of humor – along with a dollap of curiosity.

The tank? Probably bound for Santa Rosalia and the newly re-established copper mines.

Airline Angst

SanTaco Airlines

SanTaco Airlines

Once upon a time Alaska Airlines flew daily flights from Los Angeles to Loreto – and “…the living was easy.”  During the buildup of Loreto Bay,  Delta and Continental both added flights.  Prices were low.  Flights were easy to obtain at the last minute, and travel to and from the United States was relatively simple.

Enter the dawn of the US housing crisis and airline traffic dwindled.  Delta and Continental pulled out of Loreto market, and Alaska : aka Horizon : cut flights to four days a week.  Then they switched from the 737 Jet to the much smaller load carrying prop Bombardier q400.  While the plane is more fuel efficient, it adds an additional hour to travel time.  Cost cutting measures insure that airlines stay in business, but lately, the cutbacks have had a ferocious effect.

Tie whale-watching season – mid-January through the end of March – to the needs of local fliers, and simply forget about a/getting a flight, and b/getting a flight at a reasonable price.  At least for February and most of March.  Unless you’ve got $1000 to spend round trip.  Gee whiz : I went to London and back last month for 1/2 that price!

So this morning, when my friend, Cynthia, sent me an email with the title, “New Flights to Loreto,” I couldn’t wait to open it!  Was there really a new option???  I almost peed my pants I laughed so hard, looking at the photograph she attached, with the new planes name, “SanTaco” proudly painted on the tail.  Can’t wait to book a flight – but better make sure to tie back my hair and wear sunglasses!!