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No Words…

         I’m writing this at night from our hotel room in Boise, Idaho.  We’re doing a banzai drive from Salt Lake City to get to Portland, Oregon.  As fast as the speed limit will let us.

         It seems strange to say that we’re not looking forward to being in Portland. 

         Let me back up.

         For almost 30 years, I spend the better part of 3 months on the road exhibiting at all the huge hunting and fishing expositions across the western U.S.  Every week another 4 or 5 day show. 

         My wife, Jill, and I haul our booth, a million brochures and flyers spreading the good word about fishing and vacationing in Baja.  Specifically with our own Tailhunter Sportfishing in La Paz.

         Thousands-upon-thousands of attendees wander and socialize with outfitters like ourselves in the fishing, hunting, camping, boating, RV and other outdoor pursuits.  Us exhibitors sell our wares. 

         Each week finds us in different cities like Denver, Phoenix, Bozeman, Seattle, San Diego, Long Beach, Las Vegas even Anchorage, Alaska!  Criss-crossing the U.S. up-down-back-and-forth in snow, rain, ice, and sunshine.

         We’ve been on the road now almost 6 weeks and have finished shows in Reno, Sacramento, Puyallup (south of Seattle) and this past weekend in Salt Lake City.   As previously mentioned, we’re back on the Pacific Coast in Portland this week.

         A few weeks back in my column, I had commented about driving through so many cities and states and observing the differing covid-mask protocols or lack thereof.  I also wrote about my observations of how everyone was hurting for employees.  And how customer services were directly suffering from it.

         We really didn’t know what to expect of the shows this year.  In short, a crapshoot. 

No one knew what the attendance would be like.  No one knew how many vendors/ outfitters wouldn’t show-up as a result of covid; the fear of covid; or the local mandates and protocols.

         As it turned out, attendance suffered at 3 of the 4 shows. All on the west coast. 

         Exhibitors were absent as well.  Again, this was at all at the west coast shows in California, Washington and, to some degree, the Reno Show. 

        Masking/ testing/ vax card protocols were in place to greater or lesser degrees.  Nothing was standardized

         I guess that was to be expected.  All these shows had been cancelled last year and it’s going to take awhile for them (and the public) to get back up to speed.

         And now, we’re headed to Portland. 

         We love our Pacific Coast.  My wife Jill and I both grew up on the West Coast.  But, after our experiences the past month in California,  Oregon and Washington, we’re dreading Portland, one of our favorite western cities.

         I’ll tell ya why.

         There’s been a drastic change.  A polar shift.  A techtonic social upheaval.

         In Sacramento, we stay at a well-know hotel chain.  Almost 20 years.  Not the 4 Seasons or the Ritz Carlton, but hardly the Econo-Riverside Motel either.

         Upon arrival. What a change!

        People living in their cars in the parking lot.  Broken cars everywhere.  People living in boxes on busy public street.  Multiple people living in rooms meant for 2.  Trash everywhere. Tent camps everywhere.  Open sewage/ excrement on sidewalks, planters…opens spaces.

         Vagrant folks lining the streets.  Stores trashed, littered and empty shelves.  Such common things like soap, toothbrushes, laundry detergent, masking tape…all in locked cases!

         I asked one store clerk what happened to all the shopping carts and shopping baskets.  He said, “They all got stolen.”

         The second night, our new Chevy Suburban rig got broken into.  Not just busted windows.  They tore the whole rear liftgate rendering our rig undriveable.  Looks like a crowbar was used. Because nothing could be found inside, the bad guys took it out on the vehicle.

         Fortunately, we had emptied the vehicle and nothing was taken.  But, the vehicle was disabled.  

Because of supply chain issues, parts not available!

         Over the next few days, others also got burglarized.  Police don’t come out because burglary is so common.  And they are under-staffed like everyone else. You file a report online.  That’s it.

 I had to take Uber to the Expo.  My driver said, in his neighborhood they leave their trunks and liftgates unlocked so the thieves don’t break in. 

         Except one day his neighbor found a guy sleeping in his trunk!

         While at the show, several outfitters got their rigs completely stolen.   One of our clients came to our booth and said several days earlier, he had been carjacked at gun-point by a guy who was escaping from a murder!

         We headed north to Washington.  Passing through Oregon (more on that later).

         While in Washington State, more of the same. Tent cities scattered everywhere.  Again, several of our outfitter friends had their trucks and trailers stolen.  This time in broad daylight from “guarded” parking lots.

         Friends who are law enforcement officers told us many vehicles are being stolen for the catalytic converters.  And, many officers are quitting or taking early retirement leaving the remaining tired officers working overtime.

         Oh, and new legislation prevents officers from giving chase.  About all they can do is yell “Stop!”  Also, if someone steals something less than $750 dollars and says “it’s a necessity”, no prosecution ensues.

         We were advised by Washington friends not to go into downtown Seattle, again, one of our favorite cities to visit.  

         And now everyone-and-their-brother is warning us against Portland now.  And saying it’s even worse.  Even before the pandemic, the area and hotels around the Portland Expo Center were rife with homeless and property crime was rampant.

         Vehicles at the Expo and surrounding areas, were regularly targeted.  Our own van was broken into several years ago.  Police told us that the thieves love vehicles belonging to the outfitters because they are often loaded with camping gear, fishing gear, electronics, outdoor clothing and yes…firearms. 

         So, now they tell us it’s even going to be worse.  And definitely do NOT go into Portland metro.

         Tell you what.  Several of us outfitters were standing around.  We were somberly discussing the crime these days while on the show tours now.  All of them hunting and fishing guides. 

       I quietly admitted that my wife and I both have our concealed-carry permits and that I always carry a firearm now.  There was a little pause among the group.

       I thought I was going get some blowback for carrying. Big burley mountain guys and salty fishing captains staring at me.

       As it turned out, all of them were carrying.  In fact, talking to most of the other vendors in their booths, everyone either had firearms in their booths, on their person, or in their cars.

       My wife wouldn’t let us drive this year without a (legal) shotgun hidden in the car.  

       As one Alaska guide told me, “I carry a big pistol to guard against grizzly bears attacks in the bush.  But, I’m even more afraid to walk around the cities.  So, of course, I carry. Bears are predictable. Idiot people are not.”

       It’s gotten pretty sad.  Portland, here we come. 

       Hope for the best.  Prepare for the worst.  The new normal.

Update:  Just finished the Portland Show.  We did NOT go downtown.  The area around the Expo Center was tragic.  Many of the outfitters and vendors said they would not come back.  Someone tried to break into our vehicle 3 times, but the alarm scared them off although we were messaged that someone had tried to open the doors…twice when we just ran into a gas station just to buy some soda for the road. It happened that fast!  Several vehicles in the parking lot at the Expo Center were burglarized as well. 

That’s my story

Jonathan

______________

 

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

 

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

 

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

 

_____________

 

 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

 

Website:

 

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

 

 

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
 
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

 

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

 

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

 

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

IN YOUR FACE CABRON ADOLF

I’ve always loved history. Given a choice, history might be my favorite subject to read or study.

And I really like trivia.

I was researching some info on Mexico’s imports/ exports and came across some really interesting facts about Mexico and World War 2.

WHA???  Mexico in World War 2?  The BIG ONE?

Well, actually that was my reaction.  Complete surprise. 

I mean, when you think of the major combatants of that global conflict, you think of the U.S., England, Italy, Canada, Germany, Japan, Russia.  All the main players, right?

And, of course, pretty much the rest of the world from the Philippines to Finland and Algiers to Australia.

Mexico doesn’t exactly come to mind.

And, you probably wouldn’t believe that Mexico was an ally to the United States.  That’s not a partnership that generally pops to the forefront of historical discussion.

But, yes, Mexico absolutely stuck one in the eye of the Axis powers.

Even before the U.S. was thrust into the war with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, countries had a strong foreboding of impending conflict.

Fortuitously, Mexico and the U.S. settled the usual border tensions with reciprocal trade agreements whereby Mexico continued to supply raw materials to the United States. Conversely, the U.S. helped stabilize the peso and Mexican economy by-way-of-long term loans as well as military aid for the Mexican military.

When Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1942, Mexico terminated all relations with the Axis powers.  It was one of the first countries to show support for the U.S.   It also closed all of it’s ports to Germany thereby securing the Gulf of Mexico for the U.S.

The Mexican people were initially very reluctant and adamant about joining in the armed conflict.

However, that changed several months later in May of 1942.  German U-boats torpedoed two Mexican tankers in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hitler was unrepentant about the attacks.

And Mexico took the gloves off.

Mexico declared war on the Axis.  It also urged other Latin American countries to follow suit.

Mexico instituted nation military service as well as civil defense.  However, it’s main contribution to the war was the continued steady supply of raw materials to the U.S. war effort.

As much as 40% of the raw material for the American war machine came from Mexico.

Moreso, although most other Latin American countries sided with the allies, only Mexico and Brazil sent armed combatants to the front.  

At the invitation of the U.S. Mexico put together a special combat team of airmen.  The Mexican President Manuel Comacho gathered up more than 300 volunteers including more than 30 hand-picked experienced pilots and the rest veteran groundcrew.

After receiving extensive combat training in Texas and Idaho, the “Aztec Eagles” were dubbed the “201st Fighter Squadron” and attached to the American 58th Fighter Group.

Flying P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Aircraft, the “Pancho Pistolas” were deployed to the Philippines and flogged more than 1900 hours of flight time and 795 combat sorties.  Their bombing runs and attacks were instrumental in helping push the Japanese off the islands of Formosa and Luzon in some of the toughest fighting in the Pacific.

Eight of the pilots were killed.  One was shot down. One crashed.  Three others ran out’ve fuel over the ocean and lost at sea.  Three others died in training.

Their ground crews were also involved in ground combat on  several occasions. 

According to Wikipedia, “The 201st Mexican Squadron was given credit for putting out of action about 30,000 Japanese troops [4] and the destruction of enemy held-buildings, vehicles, tanks, anti-aircraft guns, machine guns emplacements and ammunition depots.”

After the war, they returned to Mexico to a hero’s welcome.  A number of the pilots ended up becoming generals in the Mexican Air Force in later years.  

The Aztec Eagle’s squadron remains active today.  It is the only military unit from Mexico to engage in combat outside it’s borders.

In addition to the pilots, Mexico contributed in other ways. 

Although it was adamant about sending ground trips, Mexico did allow the United States to recruit Mexicans to the American Army. Between 1942 and and 1943 almost 7,000 Mexicans volunteered to fight for the the U.S.  In fact, the embassy was so overrun they had to close.

Nevertheless, somewhere estimates of 15,000 to 400,000 Mexican-born troops enlisted.  Statistics are not clear.  However, almost 2,000 would become casualties.

Many were decorated and four who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during combat in the European and Pacific Theaters of war.

Viva Mexico, Cabrones!

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004. Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico http://www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront. If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi. It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”
I PROMISE NEVER WILL I EVER…

HOLD MY DRINK FOR A MOMENT…

Originally Published the Week of Feb. 1, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

          They say no good story starts with the phrase,”We stopped in for one glass of white wine.”

          However, lots of stories, both good and bad, start with, “Let’s just have one margarita!”

          As the owners of a beachfront restaurant/bar in La Paz for almost 15 years and hosting fishing clients for almost 30, we’ve witnessed a lot of alcohol-related stories.  Most have been good.

          Just fun.  Folks having a good time on a well-deserved and long-anticipated vacation where the sand is warm, the waters are blue and the drinks are icy cold.

          Other stories?  Well…maybe not so good. 

         Usually, alcohol pain is “self-inflicted.”  As much as one can joke that you’re just a “victim,” no one forces you to down another shot or order another umbrella drink.

          And I can’t tell you how often, I’ve heard, ”Hold my drink for me for a minute.”  Promptly followed by some questionable lapse of judgement.

          I’ve always suspected that some drinks get you “more drinker” than others.  Or are more conducive to the dreaded hangover.

          Likewise, there are so many myths regarding avoidance and cure of the hangover.  Of course, you can simply abstain from drinking.   

         Not much fun in that. 

          First things first.  Obviously, the more you drink and the frequency at which you consume the drinks will have an effect. Likewise, the more alcohol in the drink will have an effect.

          However, all things being equal, drinks with bubbles will get you there quicker.  Therefore, drinks like champagne or drinks where you add a carbonated beverage like soda will hit your bloodstream faster.

          Consider this as well about the alcohol content of the liquor itself.  Tequila runs about 40-50% alcohol.  Vodka and rum can go 60-95% while gin and whiskey run between 30 and 50%

          By comparison a beer while top at 4-6% and wine about double that.

          So, how do you help keep a lid on getting totally blitzed?

          You’ve got nothing to prove.  Sip instead of chug. Sip instead of doing shots. 

          Water and food are your friends. Eating before drinking helps slow down alcohol absorption in your system. 

         Drinking water before, in-between, and after drinks helps to keep you hydrated and helps your body better absorb alcohol.  Additionally, it helps you slow down your drinking.

         Well…assuming you forgot all about that and you passed the point of no return.  The party is over and you’re feeling 10 feet tall and bullet proof. 

          Or not.  You know you’re headed down the rabbit hole.

Two rules.

          Don’t drive, knucklehead.

          Second, there is nothing…absolutely nothing you can do to lower your blood alcohol level.  What’s in there is in there. 

          You drank it…own it.   And hope there’s not breathalyzer in your immediate future.

          A cold shower might suddenly jerk you into feeling alert, but that doesn’t mean you’re any less intoxicated or impaired.  

          Same with coffee.  It might make you look and feel alert enough to fool someone, but your blood alcohol will still be the same.

          Either one is only temporary anyway.  You may still end up praying at the porcelain alter anyway and barking like the proverbial seal aka “throwing up.”

          Water and lots of it is the best thing you can do for yourself.  And lots of sleep.  Or, assuming you’re ambulatory and not walking like Gumby, exercise is also good. 

          But, in reality, few of us think of exercising after a good party.

          Now, assuming you make it through the night.  And here it comes…the hammer of the gods…your hangover.

          A few myths. 

         Those sugary drinks you had at the cantina did not make the hangover worse.  They only made the drinks taste better so you drank more of them faster.

          Having another alcoholic beverage (“hair of the dog”) makes no sense either when you wake up.  It might make you feel better for a bit but it will only temporarily return you to your happy place.  The hangover is still coming.

          Many us us grew up grabbing an aspirin or ibuprofen before hitting the rack for the night or first thing the morning-after.  It makes sense. 

          Grab a pain reliever from the medicine cabinet. 

          However, doctors say that ultimately, pain relievers can add more acidic irritation to your stomach and guts that you already punished with alcohol. 

          So, what do you do?

          Again, water and food are your best friends on the backside of your evening bender.

Water helps re-hydrate. 

         If you’ve been vomiting in addition to being dehydrated, it really helps to replace lost electrolytes with Gatorade (lots of sugar) or the milder Pedialyte which is often given to babies.

          At our bar in La Paz, we keep a good stock of both but also have found packets or tablets of straight electrolytes dissolved in a bottle of water work wonders without the added sugar.

          Frankly, they’re great anytime someone is feeling dehydrated.

          As far as food, skip the greasy lumberjack special or the taco special combination in the morning.  Be kind to your stomach.

          Good carbs such as toast or crackers will make you feel a lot better. Weak chicken broth with some rice or bananas also help the situation.

          Then get back to sleep.

And promise yourself “Never ever again will I…”

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________ 

Jonathan Roldan’s

Tailhunter International

Website: 

www.tailhunter-international.com

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942

Phones: 

from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLvdHL_p4-OAu3HfiVzW0g

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

PARTY LIKE IT’s 2019

WELCOME NEW ARRIVALS! ENJOY YOUR VACATION!

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

Originally Published the Week of Jan. 26, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

          Well…check any source and you’ll find that the number one travel destination since covid started is (drumroll)…MEXICO!

         This is not just for Americans.  It’s apparently the top spot for the whole world.

         It’s pretty easy to get to, especially for Americans. There’s lots of flights. Or you can drive or jump a cruise ship.

          It’s pretty economic.  Foreign currency against the Mexican peso is pretty strong.  For Americans, the dollar is huge.  It’s 20 pesos to the U.S. dollar.  International money goes a lot further than in many other countries.

          It’s easy to come home. That’s pretty important.  When you’re ready to come home…you come home!

           Your chances of getting stranded there are pretty slim because of Covid.  Your own country might put the pinch on you, but not Mexico.  

          In fact, there have been some new changes in Mexican restrictions.

          As of this month, Mexico has completely dropped all entry requirements.  Gone!  Deleted! You are welcomed with open arms.

          You can argue whether that is good or bad, but it is what it is. I make no judgements.  Don’t kill the messenger.

          However, borders are now open.  In fact, many would ventur that they were never really closed at all. It was pretty leaky.

          You also no longer have to fill out either the paper or digital health-care form to enter Mexico. This was the form asking thing like whether you had been in contact with a Covid person or whether you had Covid. 

          I always thought it was silly.  I mean…who is going to answer “yes” on the way to their vacation?  Who wants to get told they have to go in the little back room for secondary questioning when the tour bus to the hotel is waiting outside and your luggage is spinning mindlessly on the carousel?

          Additionally, Mexican President Obrador has said he doesn’t plan to ever ask for proof of vaccinations. 

But, there’s a small caveat. 

LCA-COVID-Safety-Banner-min

          Individual states, areas or businesses like restaurants, bars and casinos might ask for your vax card.  However, according to sources, it’s just like many places in the U.S. with masks.  It only applies if the rule is enforced and no one seems to really enforce it.

          In lieu of that, proof of a negative covid test within 48 hours will also work. Jalisco is one of the states that recently implemented the rule about showing a vax card.

          So, basically, it’s time travel.  Mexico is back to pre-covid 2019 in terms of travel.

          As of right now, the only real bump in your travel road is coming BACK to the U.S. or entering the U.S. if you’re a foreign national.

          The U.S. requires that within 24 hours of your flight back to the U.S. you need to take a rapid Covid test.  And, of course, it has to come back negative. 

          The test takes 15 minutes and you get your results usually within the hour on your cellphone.  The airports all have facilities as do many hotels. Or the hotels will have someone come to the hotel.

          There are also a plethora of labs that sprang up all over the place understandably.

          This applies whether you are vaccinated or not.

          If you are a foreign traveler headed to the U.S., the new rules mandate that you must show proof of vaccination now.

          Stay tuned.  The picture changes all the time!

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

 

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

 

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

 

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

 

_____________

 

 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

 

Website:

 

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

 

 

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
 
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

 

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

 

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

 

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

DESERT GHOSTS

Someone had a dream at one time…or at least a good idea!

DESERT GHOSTS

Originally Published the Week of Jan. 12, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

           I’ve always had this weird (not creepy) thing about looking at (and into) people’s houses. 

         At the time I’m writing this, we’re driving across country to the fishing and hunting shows in various cities around the western U.S.  We’ve exhibited at these shows from January to April for almost 30 years to talk to folks about fishing with our company in La Paz.

         We have our booth packed up and are on our way to the Wild Sheep Foundation Show in Reno, NV.  Over the past 3 days, we’ve driven across Texas, New Mexico and Nevada.

         My wife Jill is driving and I’m tapping out on my laptop.

         And looking at people’s houses. 

        I like to guess what they do.  I’m intrigued by their story.

Why they happened to plant themselves in this particular area near that particular town.

         Or in the middle of nowhere.

         I look at what’s in the yard.  Kid’s toys?  A rusty swing? A bunch of old cars?  An RV?  Five later model cars and a mini-van?  Or 5 cars on concrete blocks?

         Is the yard done?  Is there even a yard or just tumbleweeds and a cotton field in the back. 

         There’s a washing machine on the front porch of a single-wide modular.  Or is there a swimming pool out back?

         You can tell a lot.

         Driving up and down Baja, I have that same fascination.

         But, it’s not the occupied homes that I focus on. 

         It’s the empty houses.

        Empty buildings have a story as well.  And sometimes they talk.

        These are the abandoned homes and  buildings standing ( or leaning) in the middle of the Baja landscape.  You find them built on the side of a hillside.  Or they are tucked onto the bank of an arroyo or still standing observant by the side of the highway.

Baja - Mision San Fernando Velicata - Ruin - Shack

         Dilapidated.  Wind, sun-baked and weather torn.  Collapsing roofs and leaning walls.  Warped and sandblasted wood.  Maybe some leftover traces of color or paint.

         The Baja is not kind to old buildings left unattended.

         Fascinating head-scratchers.  I wonder about those stories.

         Why here?  It’s the only house for miles.  What were they thinking?

        No obvious source of water.  No towns or communities nearby to drive to…or if the house is that old… nothing nearby to walk to…or ride a cart or burro to.

Is this as far as the got?  Is this where the donkey cart finally busted an axle?

         Maybe the few small tree trunks stuck in the ground at crazy angles are evidence of an old corral.

         Stone, bricks and adobe are handy. 

         How did the even get the wood to build?  It’s not like Baja has a lot of treeworthy lumber around.  Did the haul it here?  From where?   

          Baja isn’t exactly known for its forests.

         Occasionally, you find a small cluster of buildings.  Or what’s left of them.

         Perhaps an extended family.  Again, why here? And what happened to them.

         Maybe as often happens, parents settle.  Raise kids in the hardscrabble environment.  Kids move on as they grow up.  Parents pass. 

         Or the parents pass and the dream of living in the middle of nowhere is not the dream of their progeny.  They move on.

         Buildings are abandoned.

         I’ve never trespassed, but if it looks like it doesn’t matter, I like to stop.  Normally, it’s not like anyone cares.  There’s no one around for miles and I doubt the tumbleweeds or jackrabbits care.

         But, poking around old buildings…they sometimes talk to you if you look.

         A blackened brick outdoor firepit.  A sign that there was probably no electricity when these folks lived there.  They cooked outside.

         No signs of plumbing of any kind.

         Rough carpentry.  Uneven door and window frames.  No signs that glass ever filled those windows.  

         Old uneven hammered rusty nails protrude from splintering dried wood.  These didn’t come from Home Depot.  They look like tiny sharpened spikes…handmade.  Probably pretty precious back in the days.

         In fact, there are signs that furniture and parts of the buildings may have been bound together with what remains of rope or old leather strips.

         I find an old bent spoon in what would have been a dirt floor.

         I have found an old coin or almost rubbed smooth and largely unidentifiable.

         There are dark patches along walls where perhaps candles or old fuel lanterns once burned. 

 I found lots bleached fish bones around the back of one building.  They ate fish?  We were 10 miles from any body of water.

         I once found two old crosses and a weathered upright stone marker side-by-side. They were in the shade of an old scrub tree back behind what may have been an old shed or barn.

 Nearby the remains of a cracked clay vase that long ago may have held desert flowers.  A family cemetery?

         Whoever lived in these places are long gone and forgotten.  But, there was a story here at one time.

         I think in some sense, moving through these old living spaces makes them somewhat more real.  A reminder that real people and families once lived here.  Had dreams here. 

         And moved on.  While the desert moves back to reclaim everything.

images

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

 
Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

 

END GAME

END GAME

Originally Published the Week of Jan. 3, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

Back in the day when I lived close to the somewhat remote East Cape area of Baja, I loved getting invited to someone’s house for dinner.  It was a special treat.

         First and foremost, it sure beat the one-pan meals I would usually cook for myself.  The food at these gatherings would be simple, but they were always the best-of-the-best spread they had to offer and tremendously delicious.

         I remember barbecued meat or fried fresh fish.  Often it was something they had caught or one of their own animals.

         I was a grateful beneficiary to the sharing of the largesse.

Of course handmade tortillas, beans and rice and maybe grilled vegetables or fresh cheese!  Dang.  I secretly always hoped there would be that fresh farm cheese.

         Plates and cups never matched. Lots of well-used plastic. The cups seemed to be those indestructible plastic/ acrylic things we all had in our cupboards back in the day.  Free with a fill-up of gas (or a steak knife) or were bought from the neighbor’s kid raising money for school.

         Somehow, those same cups magically migrated to Mexico!

 Silverware was burnished and scratched.  No big thing.  Lots of paper napkins.  No matter. 

These folks might not have much, but everything was always spic-and-span  and pridefully clean in the home.

         It was not only a treat, but an honor to be invited to the family home.

         Often, there might be another family or two… or extended family member at the table as well.  A few cousins.  A tio or tia (uncle or auntie).  Maybe some neighbors.

         Again, sharing the wealth.

         It was typically a pot-luck kind of affair from what I could tell.

         Cousin Jose and his family might bring some fresh ceviche.  The neighbors ferried over a Tupperware of salsa fresca. 

         It seemed the uncles would ALWAYS bring beer.  Always welcome and they seemed to drink the majority of it!

         After dinner there was always talk.

         Just fun and interesting conversation and b.s. directly dependent upon the level of beer consumption taking place.

         My Spanish at that point wasn’t full-speed, but it was enough to participate and I often became the center of the chit-chat.  It was usually something of an enjoyable question-and-answer session.

         Parents…well, the moms asked about food and markets and clothes.  Dads would talk about fishing or travel. 

Politics were big.  So were sports.  The New York “Yonkeys” and the Los Angeles “Doyers.” Andale!

         Recently, I was thinking about some of the great conversations with the kids. 

The younger girls would ask about celebrities, fashion and movie stars. 

         Did I really see movie stars all the time and every day?

         What is Hollywood like and tell them about a shopping mall.

         The boys naturally wanted to know about American cars.  American music.  Of course…American girls.

         Remember, these were the days before the internet was rampant and everyone had a cell phone. Often folks didn’t even have TV’s back then out there.

         I was sort of the welcomed travelling bard.  Folks were anxious to hear what was going on “out there.”  Tell us some news.  Tell us a story.

         With the kids…

         Often, we’d get into the typical, “What do you want to do when you get older?”

         At the time, it was just fun conversation, but looking back, the responses were really eye-opening.

         American kids talk …doctors…lawyers…executives…business owners…teachers…travel…own a ranch…own a sportscar…be a firefighter…engineer…computers…be a rockstar…attend a great university…be a pilot…marry a rich doctor…lawyer…blah blah blah!

         For these, mostly rural Mexican kids, the bar wasn’t quite so high.

         Most wouldn’t get past the mandatory 6th grade.  So, like all kids, many were eager to “get outta school” to go to work.

         Not so much to be independent like American kids…move out…have a car…get an apartment.

         These Mexican kids were eager to work so they could help the family.

         The aspirations weren’t so lofty.

         “I will help my father catch fish for the market.”

         “I will go to work at the farm picking vegetables.”

         “I would like to move to the city.  Maybe work at a restaurant or a hotel.  Maybe clean rooms or wash dishes.  I can stay with relatives.”

         “I have a boyfriend and we will get married and have kids.  He has a good job driving a truck for the market.”

         The ambitions were much more tempered.  Perhaps much more pragmatic in the big picture.  

 

         The big difference is that these are somewhat the kind of jobs American kids might do “on their way” to do something else.  Like while they are in school.

         Or a summer job.

         Or for some pocket money.

         For these Mexican kids, they are not jobs before they move onto something else. These are their CAREERS.

         This is what they will most likely do for the rest of their working lives.

         Forty or fifty years from now, it’s very likely, many will still be washing dishes or cleaning someone’s hotel room.  Some will still be trying to catch enough fish to sell to the market and feed the family.

         That fruit or vegetable farm still needs laborers.

         That girl wanting to be married has raised another generation herself.

         These “occupations” are the end game.  There is no “glass ceiling” because there is no glass. That solid ceiling they see is the height of ambition and opportunity.

         I’m trying to imagine some of the summer or school jobs I took in younger days.  Could I have worked in a warehouse the rest of my life?  Or driven a taxi? Or sold vacuum cleaners door-to-door? 

         Nothing wrong with good honest labor. 

         For Americans, we have the ability to envision better things.  We can hope that around the corner our ship will come in.  We have that ability to dream.  It may never happen, but we can strive and hope.

         Our end game has continuum.

         For these youngsters, their aspirations are limited to immediate and restricted finite opportunities.  The end game is for life.

         Do not pass GO.  Stay in the same square.  Repeat.

 

That’s my story

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYES

THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR! FEEL THE BURN…OR NOT!

DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYES!

Originally Published the Week of Dec. 27, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

          I’m a chips and salsa guy. 

         I go into a Mexican restaurant and I look forward to ruining the rest of my meal filling up on the chips and salsa that get plopped in front of me. 

In fact, I judge the restaurant based on their chips and salsa.

         It’s the opening round.  First impressions are everything.  Usually, the chips and salsa are a pretty good reflection on the rest of the meal-yet-to-come.

         The problem is that in most Mexican restaurants in Mexico, you don’t get chips unless it’s a tourist place or you ask for the chips.  And, even then, chances are you definitely don’t get the typical big basket.

         You get a little bowl.  Like a peace offering of chips!   

         But, there’s still the salsas.  And every place worth it’s chili peppers makes their own. 

I’m not talking about stuff you pour out’ve a bottle like Tabasco, Cholula, etc.  Those are hot sauces, not technically salsas. 

         That’s for a different column.  If the salsa comes out’ve a bottle or jar, move along. Those places don’t last anyway. 

         I have a rule or two when I hit a new place and try their salsas.

         First, just because it looks mild doesn’t mean anything.  Conversely, a very tasty benign salsa could appear like Satan’s own brew.  

         Even at a regular place that you visit often. 

         Their homemade salsa can change from day-to-day.   That’s because the quality and flavor of the ingredients can change.

         For example in our restaurant in La Paz, we would make green salsa verde from green tomatillo tomatoes.  One day the salsa would be sweet and mild. 

        The next day, it could be very bitter and we would have to adjust the recipe.  That’s because the quality and taste of the tomatoes would change from our delivery guy.

        All tomatoes are not created equally.  Nor or chilis or onions.

         So, as a rule, no matter what the salsa looks like, I put a little dab on the tip of my little finger and taste it.  Or on the edge of my plate. 

         Knowledge is power and better to know up-front before I slather my taco with a sauce that I won’t like or will cause me physical damage!

         There are several main salsas to keep an eye-out for.  They’re the standards at most any restaurant or taco cart you visit in Mexico. 

Salsa-1170x617

         SALSA FRESCA/ PICO de GALLO – Usually pretty mild and can surely vary from place-to-place.  Usually bright red and green.

Typically consists of chopped red tomatoes, onions, salt, cilantro and fresh jalapeno or serrano chilis.  This is the universal salsa.  Stuff it in a taco.  Divebomb it with chips.  Spoon it over your huevos rancheros, fish or steak.

         SALSA VERDE/ TOMATILLO SAUCE – Made from green tomatillo tomatoes, this can range from tart to sweet and savory.  If the tomatoes are first grilled, roasted or boiled, then blended with the other ingredients such as the chilis and onions, you get a bolder full-bodied salsa.  In fact, all of the ingredients are sometimes cooked then blended together.

Using uncooked ingredients produces a salsa on the tart side.  Not necessarily a bad thing.  Just deliciously different.

         AGUACATE – This is avocado salsa.  My personal favorite. 

I can put this on everything in sight.  Remember, the “taquitos” they sold at your little league games as a kid and the green sauce that came out’ve a plastic jug?  Aguacate is a 5-star creamy upgrade.

It’s got the coolness of avocado blended with cilantro, a bit of lime, salt, onion and garlic contrasted with the serrano peppers.  It also has tomatillos in it very often. 

Guacamole…another favorite for other reasons…isn’t so creamy and is primarily avocados without the tomatoes and has a thicker consistency.

       SALSA ROJA – This is often the signature sauce at any local dining spot.  I’ve encountered places that guard “grandma’s recipe” like Colonel Sanders safeguarded his finger-lickin’ good chicken recipe.  

The main thing is roasted or boiled chili arbol.  It’s got more kick than other salsa chilis and cooking brings out spicy smokey flavors and deep red colors.  It’s then blended with the onions, garlic and other ingredients and can be served hot or cold.

This is definitely one you should taste ahead of time before spooning it on your food.  Sometimes, a little goes a long way.

Everyone makes their salsas differently and part of the fun of eating in Mexico is sampling all the different types.

 That’s my story!

Jonathan

 

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

    

IT’S OK TO BREATHE THIS AIR

Originally Published the Week of Dec. 13, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

Christmas time in Baja.

         Specifically, here in La Paz where we live and have our businesses.  

         On so many levels, the air is definitely different this year.  And, on so many levels, it’s easier to breathe.

         It’s palpable

         Practically speaking, masks are pretty much down.  Exhale.  Inhale.  Exhale again.  It’s been awhile. 

You can probably relate. Feels pretty good not to talk through a piece of cloth.  Or trying to figure out what you were saying to me!

I have a hard enough time understanding Spanish or trying to make sure my Spanish was correct.  Let alone trying to do it through a mask!

And hey!  That’s a smile under there.  I was tired of just looking at your eyes!

The pandemic hit Mexico especially hard.  It whacked Baja really hard, especially for an economy that depends so heavily on tourism.

Seventy percent of the population lives hand-to-mouth.  It’s a cash economy. No one is on anyone’s books. 

If you have a job, most get paid in cash or what you can sell.  Conversely you pay cash as well. 

Cash.  No checks.  No credit card.  No bank account .

What’s in your pocket at the end of the day is how you feed yourself and your family. And back home, that could be a lot of folks living in a small space.

No school.  No computers.  No Netflix.  Beaches closed.  Stores closed.  Restaurants closed.  Curfews enforced.  Entire areas completely off-limits.

Sit and stare at the rest of your family for days-on-end.

If you were actually on someone’s payroll and that business closed it’s doors during pandemic, that was just tough luck.

No feel-good stimulus checks.  No unemployment checks.  It doesn’t work like that in Mexico.

No money . No food . Simple as that.

Last Christmas, there wasn’t a lot of hoo-haaa. 

So much lingering uncertainty . Many places and events still closed.  Even churches were closed. 

Fast forward to Christmas 2021.

This year, most of Mexico is now in the green level.  It’s been a long transition from being in the red. 

In our city of La Paz, I’ve heard it’s got one of the highest levels of vaccination.  Something like 85% of the population has their shots.

Tourists are flocking to Mexico, in general, and Baja, in particular.  It’s a quick hop from the U.S.  No need to quarantine or prove you’re vaccinated to enter. 

The dollar is strong.  Mexico wants you.  Mexico needs you.  There are deals to be had.  The world is figuring out Mexico is a good value as well. 

The border is “officially” open now.  Technically, it’s been closed since early 2020 although it was easy enough to drive across.  But, it deterred many visitors from…well…visiting!

So, there’s a reason for optimism in the air.

You can just tell walking around town.

It’s good to see decorations and lights again.  It’s good to see people in the stores and restaurants. 

There are actually real live people hanging out on the beaches again.  Not just police shooing people away or giving out tickets.

Even Mexicans are travelling.  It’s OK this year to go see family and friends. 

The surest sign of hope and optimism…I saw a wedding and a baptism at our local cathedral. 

And that’s the difference.  There’s a subtle sense of joy in locals and visitors alike.  They’re enjoying themselves!   Not looking over their shoulders or over masks.

Yes, people are gathering. 

We may have this virus with us for a long time.  Things will probably never be like it was, but there’s an actual air of hope. 

You can feel it.  You can breathe it.

It probably makes the health officials cringe.  And government officials cautiously tippie-toe on eggshells hoping the other shoe doesn’t drop on the merriment or economy.

But, for now, it’s a good time to enjoy the smiles. 

A good time to appreciate the moment.  A time not to be taken for granted.  A time to appreciate each other again and how precious simple freedom is to each of us. 

It can be fleeting.  As we saw only a year ago.  Poof…gone!

I’m not talking about political freedom.

It’s even more basic. 

The simplicity of walking where we want to walk.  Taking a big unhindered breath.  Going where you want to go.   Shake a hand.  Give a hug.  Eat dinner with the family.

Hold a child.

This is the precious air you can gratefully breathe this Christmas. 

May it wrap and surround you and yours.

Revel in it. Amen.

 

That’s my story!  May you and yours be blessed this holidays and Christmas. 

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

A BETTER MARGARITA

A BETTER MARGARITA

Originally Published the Week of Nov. 5, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

         As the owners of our own restaurant in La Paz for over a decade and then living in Baja for almost 30 years, we’ve seen a lot of margaritas made and consumed.

         It’s interesting to note that most of the locals won’t touch tequila or margaritas.  When I’ve offered it to them at our restaurant, they (perhaps wisely) wag their fingers at me and smile.  “No, gracias!”

         I think they know better and I also think they enjoy watching the gringos go at it.  I mean, if you’re going to Mexico, it’s your “go-to” drink.  

         Seemingly, as soon as folks walk off the plane, vacation has not started until they have one of those high-priced margaritas served in a plastic cup at the bar just outside the terminal.  Am I right?

         “Whoo-hooo, Honey! We’re in Mexico.  Hot dang!”

         I’d estimate that at our restaurant, 95% of the margaritas are ordered by tourists.  Personally, I think we make a pretty good margarita.

         We cut our own limes.  We make our own lime juice (no bottled mix).  Our tequila does not come from a plastic jug behind the bar.  We cut our own fruits and make our own syrups.

         Just like anything else, good fresh ingredients result in a better product.

         But, in the spirit of “research and development”, not to mention it’s a great way to actually write-off the cost of drinking margaritas, my wife and I have gone to numerous places to “test drive” margaritas. 

         Here’s the deal.  We go to someplace that’s known for their margaritas and as a tourist destination…Cabo San Lucas…Puerta Vallarta…Maui…San Diego…San Antonio Texas…and others.

         All in the name of “research and development,” as mentioned.

         We do our own version of a margarita crawl. 

         The purpose is not get drunk and buzzed.  However, I will admit it is sometimes a happy by-product of our in-depth research!  We go from bar-to bar at supposedly the places with the best margarita reputation.

         We ask for their house margarita. 

         We take a sip or two.  If we don’t like it, we pay for it and walk away without finishing it.  Move onto the next place. 

         And so-forth-and-so on.

         Spoiler alert.  Here it comes.

It is amazing that some of the places that are known to be great margarita-makers literally serve absolute JUNK!  Most places, we honestly can’t finish them.

         But tourists don’t know any better. 

         They buy margaritas the size of birdbaths or chug them with their chips and that’s pretty much the extent of it. Or it’s what happens to be in their hands sitting at the pool bar all afternoon.

         Admittedly, there are a few places where Jill and I take a sip and then look at each other.  And another sip to make sure.  Surprise!  OK…not bad at all.  There’s some decent stuff out there.

         But, again as mentioned before, it starts with the ingredients.

         If volume selling to tourists or catering to the “buy-one-get-the-2nd margarita- free” crowd is the intent, the customers aren’t going to be very discriminating. 

993553-drinking-a-yard-of-beer-each-at-a-bar--merida-mexico-0

         They have no idea nor do they really care that they’re drinking a mix or that the tequila comes from a jug.  It’s got ice.  It’s got salt.  We are having a large fun time!

         “Let’s party, Baby.  Afterwards let’s go buy a sombrero and one of those sarape blankets and a hammock to bring back to Montana.”

         Honestly, nothing wrong with that.  Vacation fun is vacation fun.  Good on them!  But, you get the idea.

         If you really want a better margarita, here’s a few tips. 

          Yes, it will cost a tad more.  So figure that.

         For one,  ask for real lime juice.  Not “Jose’s Fiesta Lime Juice” in a bottle or jug.  Get the real stuff if at all possible.  It will make a tremendous difference.

         Ask what kind of tequila they’re making your margarita with.  In fact, ask to see the bottle! 

         There are 3 kinds of tequilas. 

         Silver (Plata) is clear.  It has not been aged or not more than 2 months.

         Resposada is slightly amber.  Reposada means “rested” and it has been aged in a barrel up to one year. 

         Anejo means “old.” This tequila has been sitting for awhile aging for more than a year and is much darker.

         The older the tequila, the richer and more full-bodied the taste.

         That doesn’t mean it’s the best for tequila.

          Personally, we feel that the Silver/ Clear plata tequila is best for mixing cocktails.  It’s got a clean flavor that blends nicely with other ingredients.

         I like the Reposada and Anejo in a shot glass or snifter.  It’s meant to be sipped or I especially like it with a cigar at sunset!

         While checking out the bottle, make sure it’s REAL tequila!  The real stuff must be from the blue agave plant and, by law, may ONLY be produced in the regions of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.

         I’m not being snobby here. 

         Good tequila does NOT have to be expensive to make a good margarita.  Like wines or beers there are so many great and inexpensive brands. 

         A fancy bottle does not necessarily mean a good tequila.  Conversely a good tequila doesn’t have to be in a fancy bottle either.

         However, like most liquors, the more expensive sipping tequilas do taste better and smoother.  But, that’s OK because I’m not using the good stuff to do slammers or shots with buddies!

         Life’s too short for bad margaritas!  So are vacations.

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

JUST IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY TRAVEL

Originally Published the Week of Nov. 22, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

No one likes surprises when they travel.  Travel can be pretty stressful as it is.  Even moreso, travel during the holidays is also high anxiety time.

         As luck would have it, I got to fly back to Texas from our home in La Paz to spend Thanksgiving with my wife and family.  After not having a day off pretty much since last April, I couldn’t wait to jump on a plane.

         As usual, I went to obtain my covid test within 72 hours of my flight. 

         In case you missed it or haven’t traveled internationally, since January, anyone entering the U.S. on an international flight MUST show a negative Covid test result within 72 hours of the flight.

         No biggie.

         Quick swab of my schnoz takes a few minutes and results pop up on your cellphone within the hour. 

We’ve had hundreds of fishing clients for our Tailhunter Fleet in La Paz over the past season. It’s a little inconvenient, but just part of travelling these days along with so many other protocols we live with.

         Everyone gets one then goes happily on their way back to the U.S.

         So, I was all set.  I had my passport, ticket, and my covid results for travel the next day. 

         I went to check in online and get my boarding pass and get a notice that curled my toes!

         The CDC has implemented NEW RULES as of Nov. 8 for international  travelers entering the U.S.

         Basically, if you have been vaccinated, you still need to show a negative covid test result within 72 hour of your flight home.  The problem is if you have NOT been vaccinated.

         I have not been vaccinated.  In fact, I’m getting it THIS week in Texas.  There was no rush. 

I had Covid bad last year.  I’ve tested positive for the anti-bodies. I didn’t want to get vaccinated in Mexico.  I’ve been there solid for 8 months. 

Understandably, I’d much rather get any shots or vaccinations in the U.S. with my own doctors.

Well, the new rule requires that ALL UN-VACCINATED persons MUST show a negative covid test within 24 HOURS of the flight.  Further, I had to attest that upon arrival, I would self-quarantine for a few days.  Plus, I had to promise that I would get the vaccination within 60 days of arrival.

Yikes!

So, I had to run back to the testing lab in La Paz and get a 2nd negative covid test.  I know the staff there and they were surprised that I returned for the 2nd time in 2 days.

They were surprised at the explanation and had no knowledge of the new rules.  However, they graciously expedited my results.

The other bump in the road is that the online check-in does not work if you have not been vaccinated.  Therefore, instead of TWO  hours checking in before your international flight, it requires you check in FOUR hours before your flight to show your paperwork.

My flight was at 11:00 a.m. from Cabo. 

Normally, I would arrive about 9 a.m. for a flight like that.  Since it’s 3 hours drive from La Paz, that means leaving about 6 a.m. to head to the airport.

With the new regulations, I had to leave at 4 a.m. to get to the airport by 7 a.m.

Grrrrrr….talk about adding stress to a travel day.

Once I was there, it was easy.  The folks at the airport were more than helpful and since the early days of the pandemic have tried to alleviate all the confusion and stress.  

There are assistants everywhere directing travelers to the correct places or helping with forms and documents.  Everyone I’ve ever run into speak English.

I’m glad I got there early, even if it was a pain.  I’m glad I knew about the new rules BEFORE I got to the airport or there was a good chance I would have been denied travel.

So, bottom line is this:

If you have not been vaccinated, you must obtain a negative covid test with 24-hours of your flight for an INTERNATIONAL flight.

You must check in at least 4 hours ahead of your flight.

Plan ahead and hopefully, you’ll have a smoother easier travel day.

By the way, after more than a year-and-a-half, the border is now open as long as you can show proof of vaccination. 

That’s my story!

Jonathan

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Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

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Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

 
Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”