Monday, August 10, 2009

Dateline: Loreto

Hola from steamy Loreto Bay, where the brows are hot and sweaty and the cervezas are thankfully cold and sweaty. I’ll leave it to others to post actual temperatures, as I’d rather not know!

George and I arrived on Thursday afternoon and walked from the plane in sweltering heat and humidity into the new cool, modern and spacious airport, where the wait was still long but a lot more comfortable than in the old terminal.

After picking up our rental car we headed into Loreto proper for a look-see and a nice cold cerveza before heading to Loreto Bay. We stopped at Augie’s on the Malecon for those cervezas and found it changed. The second floor open restaurant where we hoped to sip our drinks is no more. That space is now for rent, so we stopped in the downstairs bar, which was icily air conditioned. Once we’d cooled off, we decided to head for “home” and proceeded – as we’d always done – back up the street (which I believe is Hidalgo?. George noticed that the cars parked on both sides of the street were pointing in the same direction, toward the Malecon, and wondered if the road was now one-way. But being the brains of the operation, I said, “Nah, there would be signs! Keep going!”

Boy, was I wrong. Right as we got to the intersection where Mike’s Bar is located we were stopped by two of Loreto’s finest who proceeded to shake us down for driving the wrong way down a one- way street. Their English was as limited as our Spanish, but it didn’t take long to realize they were not going to return George’s driver’s license unless we handed over 300 pesos. They didn’t even make a pretense of writing out a ticket and they weren’t very good at demanding mordida, but we got the message, and, sadly, they will probably get better with practice. Our advice: Be very careful when driving in Loreto!

The only other sour note we’ve experienced since we arrived was driving into Loreto Bay and seeing the line of dead trees blocking the Paseo in the northbound lane as we approached Agua Viva. Seeing those dead trees really brought home the impact of Citigroup’s actions. They didn’t just walk away from the development; they walked away from any claim to care about being part of a living, breathing sustainable community. It was sickening to see those dead trees acting as sentinels to the entrance to Loreto Bay.

But once past that unhappy sight, the signs of Citigroup’s abandonment were less apparent. The golf course looks green and well-kept and the people were just as upbeat as we’ve always known them to be.

We’re fortunate to be staying in a very lovely Casa Chica that looks out onto the golf course, where we’ve seen workers tending the fairways and greens and even a few hardy souls out hitting golf balls.

We’re also very fortunate to be sharing the house with two wonderful friends and fellow home owners, Karen and Terry Stepp, AV 25. They’ve been such great company and we’re going to miss them when they leave on Tuesday.

Next up: Karen and Terry get a wonderful surprise! The home owner meeting!!

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