BOLT Vida con Kahlo 

Our new puppy, Kahlo, has added so much joy to our lives.  She is a 3-4 month old chihuahua-terrier mix.  Right now she is around 3 pounds and is not expected to grow beyond 10 pounds.  That’s a perfect size for our RV life.

She is super smart and is already potty trained, walking on a leash and answering to her name. She did none of these things when we got her 3 weeks ago. 

Kahlo has really added to the quality of my life.  I find that I really look forward to our walks at dawn. I’ve seen so many beautiful sunrises and I love the peace found in the morning quiet.

We named her for the fierce and fabulous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo.  I’m not seeing any creative talent yet, but she sure is brave! Yesterday she chased a dog 10 times her size.  Brave, but maybe she could use a little more caution. 

Another wonderful thing Kahlo has added to our lives is all the friends she makes and the great conversations I get to have.  My Spanish is getting better, every day. 

We leave Loreto tomorrow, heading north.  I’m looking forward to more walks, more sunrises and more puppy joy.  Of course, I’ll be sharing our moments with you! 

Baja California, Mexico:  !Un Gran Lugar para RVs!

Our decision to travel through Mexico was met with a mix of concern, fear, cautionary tales and some support. A fellow RVer (in the U.S.) commented to me that she would “never take her RV across the border”.  As always, we believe in going and seeing for ourselves. Our Baja experience has been wonderful, a magnificent adventure, and delightfully serendipitous . In addition we have found Baja to be a particular boon for Winnie, our 1995 Winnebago Class C RV. 


Winnie is an oldie but a goodie.  Being an old RV meant an excellent purchase  price. It also meant the expectation of necessary repairs.  We had several costly mechanic visits while in the states. Here in Mexico we have had several too, but none have been costly.
Here is a list of the things we have had done in Baja along with the approximate cost.  Each repair was done extremely well and fairly quickly. If you are interested you can Google to get an estimate for similar repairs in your area.

Diagnostic and fix of the RV “house” battery $5

Generator Repair $50

Step Repair  $20

Refrigerator Repair Attempt (it is still not perfectly fixed but theydid a lot of work) $150

Oil Change, Brake Inspection, Lube Job $60

We also had beautiful kitchen cabinets made (the originals had been ruined when a pipe burst) $100

My Spanish is getting really good and I have learned lots of car related words in the process. We are really glad we came to Baja and definitely plan on visiting more of Mexico Soon.


En El Camino Con BOLT

Kathy and I have a great tourist road map of Baja.  It shows all the towns, big and small.  It shows gas stations, RV parks, and lots of places of interest. While in La Paz we took a good look at the map and decided that Carretera 53 (Highway 53) looked interesting. It showed an area called Comondu and the “Siete Maravillas” (Seven Wonders) there. The wonders included missions, oasis, beaches, mountains  and observation areas for whales and tortises.  It looked like an easy drive from La Paz. We would take Carretera 1 through Ciudades Constitution y Insurgentes, two towns we had driven through before.  The 53 would then take us into new towns, new sights and of course the 7 wonders. We planned to take it all the way to El Rosarito, where we could connect back to the one.  Ahhh, the best laid plans… As always, we set our intentions, the results are not in our hands.

After getting some RV maintenance done in La Paz, we hit the road. While taking a walk in Ciudad Insurgentes we got a blessing.  A lovely lady gave us the newest member of the BOLT family, Khalo. She’s a three month old mixed breed, 2 pound bundle of joy.  We spent the night in Ciudad Insurgentes and the next day traveled to the local vet.  Khalo got her shots and a clean bill of health.  We were ready to hit the road again!

Like I said, we have a great Baja road map and we love it.  The problem is that it doesn’t accurately portray the roads!  From Ciudad Insurgentes we got onto Carretera 53.  The map showed it to be a highway.  Turns out it was full of crater sized holes, unpaved stretches of dirt and narrow, tree lined curves.  The vistas, however, were amazing.  We saw majestic mountain ranges, rivers and oasis.  The were herds of goats and cows.  It was wonderful but also difficult driving. 

We did make it to the 7 wonders area.  The two towns of San Miguel de Comondu and San Jose de Comondu were tiny almost deserted spots. Their populations are less than 500 people. They did have the “wonders” of the missions and the oasis.  The roads in and out were twisting dirt roads, full of deep ruts. The homes were small, traditional style adobes.  You really felt you had stepped back in time, if I couldn’t have seen electric poles I could have imagined I was in the 19th century.  We spent the night parked in the town of San Miguel.  We probably saw 15 people the whole time we were there. But everyone was kind and friendly and the quiet was blissful.

We woke up early to the crows of roosters.  We set out on the dirt road, hoping for the best.  We made it as far as the next “wonder”, La Purisima.  This is another tiny town, population 400.  There is, of course, a mission and also a wonderful, very picturesque small mountain,  Cerro Pilon.  It was a lovely spot to break for lunch. 

After lunch we got back on another bumpy, twisty, dirt road.  The map said the road would be good enough to get us to El Rosarito.  A kindly farmer came out and stopped us.  He told us there was no way for us to go farther, that the road would get much worse.  Our only choice was to go back the way we came and get back to Loreto.  The drive back was beautiful and we made it to Loreto safely. 
So, we didn’t get to see whales or tortises, and the wonders were pretty tame but we really did have a great time.  I’m grateful that we got to see a part of Baja that most people don’t visit. When we are ready we will continue north, I think we will stick to Carretera 1.

?Paz? BOLT En La Paz

We are back in La Paz, the capital city of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.  It has a big city feel, lots of traffic, noise, big chain stores and smog.  It’s a great city for shopping and auto repair, which are reasons we are here. La Paz has the closest Fed Ex office, which is another reason we are here.  What La Paz doesn’t have, in my opinion, is a lot of paz (peace).

But finding peace is a lot about intention and attitude. La Paz has a beautiful malecon  (beach walkway).  Kathy and I enjoyed a lovely and peaceful day there. 

While I did enjoy the malecon, the most peace we have found in La Paz is the RV park we are staying at.  Campestre Maranatha is approximately an acre of lovely dessert landscaping, dormitories, small casitas, and a coffee shop.  

There is a lovely pool and well maintained basketball, volleyball and pickle ball courts.  You can even play tether ball here!  It’s a great spot for RVs with full hook ups  (electricity, water and sewage) and really good wifi.

Campestre Maranatha hosts lots of groups.  During our first visit there was a large church group here to celebrate Easter.  It was really wonderful to see all the children, teens and parents enjoying the camp. We woke every morning to their singing beautiful worship songs in Spanish.  This time there is a youth group from Redding, California. They are having a ball!  Young people and their joy bring me peace.

I am really grateful we found this place of peace amidst the hustle and bustle of La Paz.  Peace is something that has been on my mind and in my prayers a lot lately. I trust BOLT will continue to find such places as long as we are willing to seek them.

As always, thanks for reading this blog.  We’d love to hear from you. 

Coche Lento, Casa Rápida (Slow Car, Fast House)

I’ve always wanted to travel in an R.V.  What I imagined was long days of driving, visiting lots of beautiful sites for brief periods. The reality has been much more wonderful than I had imagined. R.V. traveling, BOLT style has come to mean slow travel with fairly long stays in beautiful places.  I know this type of travel is not possible for everyone and I am extremely grateful for the privilege. If you are someone who is considering a full time R.V. lifestyle here are some of the top reasons why I have come to believe slow travel with extended stops is best.



Longer stays mean you really get to experience, explore and enjoy the place.  You find favorite stores and restaurants. You get to see sunrises, starry skyes, sunny or rainy days.  During almost every longer stay we’ve been able to participate in festivals or other community activities. You really get a feel for the place.



There are substantial savings to long stays. Obviously you are using far less gas and that’s not a small thing in our 30 foot R.V.  A tank of gas currently costs us about $100 and takes us about 250 miles.  Every day we stay parked is a good day for our budget. Also, most R.V. parks offer substantial discounts when you stay a week or longer.  We find places that include water and electricity in the rate, which cuts down on our propane and water costs. When we find a spot within walking distance of shops and town activities we are truly in finance paradise. 


While we’ve met interesting, friendly people on brief stays, one of the great things about longer stays is you can really get to know people. There is camaraderie among RVers and a lot of helpful information gets exchanged. 

I think the best thing about longer stays is the chance to slow down and really enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I love our quiet, slow mornings; long, aimless walks; lots of time for reading, and sharing BOLT life with my beloved, Kathy.


If  you have any questions about RV life or experiences of your own to share we’d love to hear from you.  Your support and interest are always appreciated. 

Sueños Trabajaron Durante (Dreams Worked For)

On our walk today we met Abel.  Abel had a dream.  He worked hard all his life and almost four years ago his dream came true.  Abel opened the first hostal (hostel) in Loreto.  Casas Loreto is just a few steps from the first mission of California and right next to the mission museum. It is just a short  (and lovely) walk to the beach. Centrally located, there are lots of stores and restaurants, and there is often something happening in the zocallo (town square).

Abel was welcoming and charming, inviting us in and sharing his pride and joy in the realization of his dream. 

There are 7 lovely, spacious and immaculate  rooms available, including one suite and a special “honeymoon” room (very private). The rates are affordable  (about 750 pesos/$40 a night for two people).

There is a communal kitchen area where guests can prepare their own meals.

The common area is beautiful and inviting.  Abel shared with us how hard he worked for his dream to come true.  We know how true that is.

Kathy and I had a dream too, to build a life of love, service and travel. Like Abel, we worked hard.  Today, we are living the dream. Right now, we are loving life in Loreto. We are staying 2 blocks from the beach. Every day we take wonderful walks, meet interesting people and enjoy being Black Old Lesbians Traveling. 

What’s your dream?  What work are you willing to do?  We’d love to hear from you! 

 

RV Life: Lessons in Mindfulness 

We’ve been living full time in our Minnie Winnie RV for almost six months now.  Kathy and I have loved every minute of this new chapter in our lives. An unexpected blessing, for me, has been an opportunity to increase my practice of mindfulness. 

mind·ful·ness

ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/

noun

  1. 1.

    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

    “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”

  2. 2.

    a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

I started on my journey to increase my mindfulness when I began to read the works of Thich Nhat Hanh.  Mindfulness is really difficult for me.  I’m a big multi-tasker and have a mind that is often racing onto the next chore, idea or imagined difficulty.  I could clearly see the value of staying in the moment but it’s day to day practice eludes me.

So, how has RV living helped with this? 

Well, first of all Winnie is a truly tiny home.

I have had to learn to move more slowly and carefully.  

Because space is limited, I’ve become more thoughtful in my shopping.

For me, slowing down and really considering what I am doing are big steps in growing more mindful. 


But, I think the biggest asset for my increased mindfulness is in how I now think about and use water.  I used to be way more casual about my water useage. Long showers, overly full tubs and triple washed hair was my norm.  In an RV you become way more aware of the fact that water is a finite resource. Water tanks have to be filled and emptied, drinking water has to be purchased and carried home. Water has always been finite, it’s my awareness that changed. I began to think about how many women, the world over, don’t have the luxury of turning on a tap (or filling an RV tank). I began to use our daily water getting routines as opportunities to practice working meditation and mindfulness. I started to be really grateful for the blessing of fresh, clean water…it should not be a privilege but it is.

I am still really far from the always mindful person I would love to be.  But for today, I am happy with my slow progress and this moment, in which I can share with you. Wishing you all a day of beauty, mindfulness and joyful moments.