Thursday, February 12, 2009


We are reluctant Snowbirds! We love the seasons of North Island and when many of our neighbours pack up their motor-homes and head for places like Yuma and Phoenix, we put another log on the fire, hunker down with a good book and listen to the rain – a time for R&R. This winter, however, we weakened to the call of the sun and the invitation of our daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Don Mancell, to join them at their house in The Baja, Mexico. On December 6th we drove to my Mom’s in Surrey and on the 12th flew to San Jose del Cabo where Kathy and Don took us on the two and a half hour drive north to their place in La Ventana.
La Ventana, a small Mexican fishing village, has become “Gringo-ized” by wind and kite surfers. Likely one of the best places in this hemisphere for this type of surfing because of the very dependable winds, it has grown in popularity to where many of the surfers have exchanged their spots in the campsite and built more permanent adobe style houses. The land here slopes away from the Sea of Cortez and nearly everyone has a view of both mountains and an ocean that is never more than a kilometer from anyone’s house. Kathy and Don’s place had an added “Casita”, a self contained unit separate from the main “Casa” (house), that we inhabited It had its own patio facing the mountains that were bathed in colours at sunrise and silhouetted at sunset. Among the fifty or so sketches I did were several views from the patio. The one shown here is a ten by fourteen inch watercolour that shows the incredible Cardon forest sloping all the way to the mountains. The Cardons are a cactus closely related to the Saguarros in the American Southwest. My favourite place to sketch was in the desert among these friendly giants. The holes in the old ones, drilled by various woodpeckers, were often inhabited by other birds. I soon discovered where our humming birds went during the winter. Any time there was a flowering plant, there they were!
Christmas was, strangely, not too different from here, except for the century plants used as Christmas trees. Christmas Eve was celebrated with a monstrous potluck dinner at the campsite on the beach and, later, a huge bonfire and Christmas carols. Church, the next morning, was all in Spanish but meaningful, nevertheless. We arrived home to banks of snow in Vancouver but, to our delight, sunshine and no snow in Nimpkish Heights! Home is where the heart is, don’t you know?

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