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Posts Tagged ‘fishing report’

BAJA SMORGASBORD

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SIX DIFFERENT GOOD-EATING SPECIES ON ONE DAY and OTHERS RELEASED! (Pargo mulatto…red snapper…yellowfin tuna…yellowtail…cabrilla…white bonito)

BAJA SMORGASBORD

Originally Published the Week of April 24 in Western Outdoor Publications

I was on the beach a few days ago waiting for our fishing fleet pangas to come back that afternoon.  I could see them slowly making their way towards me maybe 10 or so minutes out.

 

I had my toes scrunched in that fine warm Baja sand, having kicked off my flip-flops and my drivers and fish cleaners were all waiting to see what showed up.

 

Dang, that sun felt warm on my shoulders.  Not too hot. No humidity.  Just a slight off-shore breeze.  My legs sure need some color.  Too many days in long pants.

 

Just one of those awesome spring days in Mexico.

 

I think spring-time is my favorite time to be here.  It’s the “tweener” time between the end of March and the beginning of June.  It’s not quite winter.  Not quite summer.

 

It’s always sunny.  Temps in the low to mid-80’s.  Nights, you still use a blanket.  Good to have a sweatshirt or light windbreaker in the morning for fishing.  It comes off quick enough!

 

There can still be some strong bouts of wind, current and swells as winter doesn’t always slide out easily.  But, much of the time, it’s just something I call “non-weather,”  It’s so pleasant you don’t even think about it.

 

Conversations don’t center around how hot or cold it is. No one talks about how cloudy or rainy it will be.  You just know the sun is up and then it goes down and in between, it’s mighty pleasant.

 

After Easter and before the summer vacation, it’s also a slower easy time.  The big summer crowds aren’t here yet.  A lot of visitors are refugees from wherever they spend their colder wet winters like Canada, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. If even for just a few days.  Or so it seems.  I can’t blame them.

 

When they arrive, they tell me about snow on the ground or not having seen the sun “back home” for several weeks.  They just want to see the big warm yellow “orb” in the sky.  They often don’t even care if the fish are biting or what’s biting!

 

And that’s one of the really special things about fishing during this time.  I thought about that as I continued to revel in the warm sun on my back waiting for the boats.

 

You honestly just don’t know what you’re going to catch.

 

There’s a lot of anglers who will argue that the hotter warmer months are their favorites.  That’s when the “glamor” fish like tuna, wahoo, billfish and dorado are centerstage.  And rightly so.

 

But during the springtime, there seems to be a lot of variety.

 

The cooler water fish are still around like yellowtail, amberjack, several varieties of pargo and snapper . You can find cabrilla as well as triggerfish and sierra.

 

There are some fish much more specific to this spring-time bite like roosterfish, pompano and palometta  as well.

 

Additonally, as the waters warm or you find the patches of warmer currents, you’ll also get shots at the aforementioned bluewater species like the sailfish, marlin, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dorado.

 

Then, there are always the seemingly ever-present fish like bonito, jack crevalle, bullet tuna and others.

 

I’ve had our fleet come back with as many as a dozen species in a single day scattered among the various boats.  You might not catch a lot of any one species, but you might get some of these…two of those…3 of these and another of that!

 

And the next day might be completely different.  Even two boats next to each other might have completely different catches.

 

Several years ago, I had one Outdoor TV crew that wanted to see how many different species they could catch in a single day.  By the end, we tallied 16 different species of fish!

 

By the same token, anglers can return to a “hot spot” from the day before and find completely different fish have taken over the area the next day.  Or what was biting one day has completely changed depending on conditions.

 

This offers some incredible challenges to anglers.

 

It’s a super time to check off some fish on the bucket list, but also presents new twists on fishing.  Does one use light tackle or heavy tackle?  Spinning gear of conventional gear?  Maybe a flyrod if the winds are down?

 

Are you fishing the warmer water where conditions are blue and clear or will you be fishing the cloudier colder waters?  What about depths?  With both warm and colder waters mixing it up, there will be different temperature thermoclines holding different layers of fish.  Should you use weights? Jigs? Plastics?  Will the fishing be offshore or closer to shore?

 

Or geographically, where are you fishing?  The Pacific side of Baja or the Sea of Cortez?  Also what’s happening in Cabo San Lucas is probably way different than what’s biting in Mulege or San Quintin!

 

Many times during the year when fishing Baja you can get away with one or two rigs and be good for 90% of the targeted species.  But during the spring, you just never know.

 

It does make for some interesting decision making and trips to the tackle store.  Next time, consider a trip in the spring.  It’s a pretty fine time.

 

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature

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-international.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:

“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.”

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STAY FOR DINNER! SPANISH FOOD ON THE MENU!

 

Stay for Dinner!  We Have Spanish Food on the Menu! 

Originally Published the Week of April 10, 2018 in Western Outdoor Publications

A couple of columns back I had written about some history I found in an old book detailing the issues the Spanish had in colonizing the area around La Paz where we live.  Getting the especially belligerent tribes to submit took more than a century longer than other areas of Baja.

 

In that particular report, I had written how the tribesman had “gifted” the Spanish loaves of papaya bread.  It was nothing  like your Aunt Mary gives you for Christmas.

 

The papaya was made from crushed papaya seeds AFTER the tribes had eaten the seeds;  digested them; gathered up the droppings;  THEN baked them up for the conquistadores and padres.  Initially the naïve colonists accepted and ate them with glee.

 

Well…then, the masters found out!  Gag!  Choke! Spit!

 

Remember those Cub Scout cupcake sales as a kid?  Ex-laxing those confections?

 

Well…Whether it was a genuine gift or simply the Indians pranking the Spaniards we’ll never know.  The Europeans’ taste buds and culinary sensibilities were not amused in the slightest.  They retaliated with violence against those dastardly locals.  Complete buzz kill.

 

Recently, I again found myself pouring over some old Baja books in my collection.  One was copy of  the book written by my venerable predecessor at Western Outdoor News, Ray Cannon.  You never know when a gem might pop up.

 

His 1966 book published by Sunset entitled “The Sea of Cortez” is required reading for any Baja aficionado.  If you can get your hands on a copy it’s what Genesis is to the Bible for Baja fans.

 

Just looking at the black and white photos will give you a sense of what Baja was before it was really discovered.  Indeed, many a Baja fan got their fires first kindled reading Ray Cannon’s book as well as his historic columns in Western Outdoor News.

 

Regretfully, I ashamedly have never read the entire edition, but I keep it handy in my library and it’s one of those books I pull down from time-to-time and always find a treasure.

 

Like my previous article  food comes into focus.  But, in a different way this time.

 

One of Ray’s chapters is about the Midriff Islands appropriately located about half-way down the Sea of Cortez.  It’s the narrowest part of the Sea and “Midriff” somewhat describes how the ocean is pinched like a woman’s waist in that area.  The Midriff Islands somewhat form irregular stepping stones between the Baja Peninsula and the mainland of Mexico.

 

On the far eastern edge lies the large island of Tiburon aka “Shark Island.”  It sounds like the name of another reality show.  It’s the largest island in the Sea of Cortez and encapsulates about 450 square miles.

 

Cannon described his earliest visit to the island then inhabited by the nomadic Seri Indians.  They put to shore in a small skiff off their larger vessel. Cannon remembers as they neared shore about a dozen fierce men and women ran out to meet them.  The were brandishing “deadly looking shark spears.”  Ray and his companions quickly reversed course and paddled back.

 

It was later he was told by his Mexican crew why they did not want to accompany Cannon to visit the island.

 

Apparently, people had been disappearing on mysterious “Shark Island” for centuries.   And “not just into thin air” as Cannon recounted.  They disappeared into the soup pot.  Or staked to the barbecue.

 

This included sailors, explorers, gold miners and others.  Never heard from again although bits of pieces of people had been recovered over the years.

 

The Seri Indians never admitted it.  Who me?  Nah!  Must be some other guys.  Would never do that!  Never saw the gringos you’re looking for.

 

But…The Spanish explorers had kept logs of it.  Dating back to the Spanish days, shipwrecked sailors had washed up and found refuge on Tiburon’s rocky shores.

 

The forlorn sailors were grateful to be taken in kindly by the Seri inhabitants.  They were treated and fed well.  Like one of the family. They got fat and sassy.  Living the dream on an island!

 

Until it came time for the big fiesta and finding out the Seri tribespeople were really into Spanish food.  In fact, Spanish dishes were the main course.

 

Over the years, more mysterious “disappearances” fed the stories.

 

History reports that up until the late 50’s the Mexican government allowed the Seri to remain on Tuburon Island. By this time, the tribe, once estimated as large as 5,000 had been reduced to a handful by the usual culprits.   Most notably, they fell victim to European disease.

 

The government had one caveat.  No more cannibalism.   Change your diet! Find a different source of protein.

 

Then some Mexican fishermen went missing.

 

This caused the government to ship the whole tribe of several hundred to the Mainland.

 

Today, the Tiburon Island is operated as a wildlife refuge and very few Seri remain where they are known for artistic basket weaving and those dark ironwood sculptures.

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature

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-international.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:

“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.”

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NO BAD QUESTIONS?

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No Bad Questions?

Originally Published the Week of March 27, 2018 in Western Outdoor Publicastions

As I’m writing this, we’re just about to do our last shows of the season.  Since December, Jill and I have been on the road appearing in our booth at some of the largest fishing/ hunting/ outdoor expositions in the Western U.S.  We’ve been out promoting our fishing operation in La Paz but generally just talking it up about visiting Baja.

 

It’s always fun.  After more than 30 years of standing in booths fielding questions and chatting with thousands of folks, I’d like to share with you some of questions you should ask a prospective outfitter or guide.

 

This applies to whether you meet face-to-face or, as happens in most cases these days, you make an inquiry online or over-the-phone.  At least, give it some thought.

 

Many times, their literature or social media already has it.  But…It’s YOUR vacation.

 

Better to have too much information and being prepared than getting surprised later on.  This is especially true when you might be coming to Mexico or a location in Mexico or Baja for the first time and even moreso, if you don’t speak the language.

 

This is no particular order, but should come up in the conversation somewhere.

 

CREDIBILITY – How long have they been in business?  What’s their background?  I know lots of guys that were truck drivers then one day just decided they were going to be “guides” or “outfitters” with no real background.   Everyone wants to “live the dream” but it’s an entirely different thing to actually turn a hobby into a paying profession.

 

It helps if they have a track record of advertisements or are recommended by someone you know or their social media presence.  It takes something to stay in business in this field.  It’s not everything, but it helps.

 

What do other say about them?  Check places like Trip Advisor and Google which is very regulatory when it comes to posting comments.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY – Is the person you’re talking to going to be there when you are there for your vacation?  Is the person you’re talking to just an agent that you’ll never see or hear from again once you’re booked?  Does the person even live there?

 

Who will actually be delivering the services?

 

Who’s going to be the captain, guide, driver, etc.?   The person you’re talking to might be totally reputable and we know many fine agents, but posing the question doesn’t hurt.  At least you’re expectations will not be misplaced.

 

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING – You wouldn’t buy a car or a house without having things in writing.  Most outfitters we know that have had any longevity in the hospitality business know their stuff.

 

But, over the course of a conversation things get lost outright or lost in translation.  This is especially true  at shows where so much gets said or on social media where a zillion e-mails or texts might shoot back and forth.  It’s best to have some record of what you’re getting and not getting.

 

Nothing like showing up then finding out there were extra charges for bait, transportation, food, gear, etc.  Major buzz kill having to reach into your pocket unexpectedly.  Or that that hotel “close to the beach” was really 2 blocks away with a view only if you’re on your tippy-toes standing on the roof.

 

PRICE ISN’T EVERYTHING – Like most things in life, you really DO get what you pay for.  If you’re “budget shopping” chances are you’ll get a budget vacation too.

 

It surely doesn’t hurt to ask a prospective outfitter if there’s any discounts, but honestly, I wouldn’t push it.  Maybe if it’s a different time of year.  Maybe a saving if you bring more people.

 

Most outfitters working these days live on a tight budget themselves.  If they are at shows, they are probably already offering discounted trips.

 

But that “discounted trip” might mean you’re now going to be in the room with a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling and sharing a bathroom with two other rooms.

 

I do know some that will get offended if you push too hard.

 

As one outfitter told me, “I know what my services are worth. I work hard.   One guy pushed and pushed for discounts.  So, I asked him, ‘You work hard for your paycheck right? If your boss asked you to take a 20% paycut would you work as hard or as diligently for him?’ The guy shut up. “ Point taken.

 

Another example I have seen numerous times.  One charter operation is $100 less than another.  The less expensive guy might be a little more hesitant to burn extra gas to go where the fish are biting in order to save money. He has to make a living too.

 

Think about it.  Simple economics.  Get the best you can afford.  Not the most you can get away with.  Vacations are too special to cut corners if you don’t have to.

 

There’s also some questions you can ask that will get a raised eyebrow from some outfitters and guides.

 

I have heard people ask me or ask other outfitters:

 

Will you guarantee that I will catch fish? (I’ve never met an outfitter that will!)

 

If I pay more will I catch more fish? (You’re always welcome to pay us more!)

 

If I don’t have a good time, will you refund my money? (I can’t hear you)

 

How many fish will I catch in a day? (I don’t know.  Are you any good?)

 

Can you promise me the sun will be out when I fish? (Sure…let me wave my magic wand!)

 

Will it be too hot for me when I come on vacation? (What’s “too hot” mean?)

 

How can I make it so I only catch smaller fish?  Big fish are too strong for me. (You will love catching bait!)

 

How hard are the beds / pillows at the hotel we will stay at? (Compared to what?)

 

How deep is the ocean? (About that deep!)

 

What if I stop breathing when I SCUBA dive?  (Stay with the snorkel trip!)

 

I heard Baja is primitive. How much toilet paper should I bring? (So “primitive! You better fill a suitcase with it!)

 

We hear them all. And just when you think you’ve heard the all, you get another.

 

“If I have to go ‘number two’ in the middle of the ocean and can’t hold it, what will happen?”

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature

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-international.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:

“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.”

 

 

 

 

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Like any job, sometimes things get lost in the hustle an bustle and you can't see the forest for the trees...even when running a fishing business.  But, every now and then, life sends little reminders that open your eyes.

Like any job, sometimes things get lost in the hustle an bustle and you can’t see the forest for the trees…even when running a fishing business. But, every now and then, life sends little reminders that open your eyes.

LIFE’S POST-IT NOTES

Originally Published the Week of January 17, 2013 in Western Outdoor News

STORIES

At a recent fishing and hunting expo we were in our booth “meeting and greeting” the public and talking about fishing in La Paz with our fleet.

Two of our long-time clients, Rick and Harvey walked up to talk about their upcoming trip.  They quietly mentioned that Larry, one of the regulars in the fishing group had suddenly passed away the previous month.

“He was already not feeling quite right and had a biopsy just before the trip to La Paz.  The doctors told him he probably shouldn’t go on the trip,” said Rick.

“We didn’t know anything about it,” said Harvey.  “But in hindsight we think he must’ve known something  was  really bad and decided to make the trip anyway. Boy, he sure had fun and enjoyed himself fishing with you guys.”

“Sadly, it was his last trip,” reflected Rick. “None of us knew…”

________________

At another public appearance, I was approached by 3 gentleman.  One was obviously, much older than the others.  He was walking slightly bent, but had a firm handshake and a ready smile!  He also had a small oxygen tank attached.  His name was Paul.

“I’m 98 years old!” he proudly announced to me with a grin.  “Do you know why I still love to fish at 98 years old?”

“Why? we said in unison.

“For the Hal-i-but!” he laughed aloud tickled to have caught us in his playfulness.

“Wanna see my big fish?” he said opening his wallet.

“Sure,”  I said warily.  Half-thinking here-we-go.  This is gonna be a long-winded fish story.

Paul proceeds to pull out a photo of a big 125 -pound yellowfin tuna being held up by a struggling fisherman.

“Caught that in La Paz when I was ONLY 89-years old!” he beamed.  I could have sworn he pushed out his chest when he said that obviously pleased at the attention of the small crowd that had gathered.

One of his friends leaned over to me and whispered, “That’s the only photo he carries in his wallet.  He’s a war vet.  He’s been all over the world.   No photos of wife.  Or kids.  Or grandkids.  Or travel.  Only that tuna photo.  And he’ll show it off anytime he gets a chance. “

________________

Son, Ron, did a knuckle-bump with me as he hoisted himself into our shuttle van to take he and dad back to the airport.  Big smiles.  “Great time!” said Ron. “What a blast.  Best fishing ever!”

I helped toss in some of the smaller luggage in to the back.

Bob, the dad, grasped my hand in his big paw.  A two-handed handshake.  “Can’t tell ya how much this trip meant.  Thanks again.”

He handed me a note as the van pulled away from the hotel and I watched it nose out of the driveway and out onto the highway.

I opened the note handwritten on some of the hotel stationery.

“Jonathan…just wanted to tell you and your wife, what a great time we had.  I never did mention to you how important this trip was for me.  My son, Ron, is actually in the military and has just been notified he’s headed to Iraq.  You and your staff made this a trip to remember and hold onto. Thanks for everything.  Bob”

_________________

I had been guiding that day and sharing a panga with Greg and Annie, a young couple from Washington.  We had a fun day.  Got some fish. Saw whales and dolphin.  Lots of laughs and “Kodak moments” all the way around.

It was fun to watch these two.  They shined. They really enjoyed each other’s company.  It was obvious that Annie was the apple of Greg’s eye.  It was just fun to be around them.

Towards the end of the day, another dorado came aboard.

“This is the last one!” laughed Greg. “No more!  We’ve got our limits and it’s getting late. Let me just get the hook out’ve this fish.”

As I watched from the stern, Greg reached into the fish’s mouth with his pliers.  Annie wasn’t paying much attention.

“What’s this?” I heard Greg say with a laugh.

Removing his hand from the fish, he produced…a ring…a tiny shiny gold ring !

Annie and I both looked on.  Astonished yet not quite sure what Greg had found.  The little diamond gleamed in the sun.

Greg took a knee to the deck in front of Annie as the sun started to set behind him.  He held out the ring.

“Annie…I love you.  Would you like to live happily ever after?”

_______________

I’m often told that I’m “living the dream” down here working in Baja.  But often times, it’s a job like any job, no matter how much I love it.

Especially when the season is in full swing.  It can be a blur of customers and friends.  Sunshine and fish.  Luggage and equipment.  One day sometimes seems like the 10 others before it.  Frantic at times.  Boring and routine at others. Stressful and mundane and then panic and tension in a wink.

But, every now and then, an unexpected bit of reality smacks you in the head and heart.  There are amazing moments of clarity when someone says or does something and I realize how truly blessed to be able to do what we do.

We are witness to the special moments in the lives of our customers and friends.  Every day.

It’s the biggest fish.  It’s the great laughs.  It’s the family times.  It’s the first time.  It’s the only time.

It’s the last time.

Sometimes life drops these little reality checks on those of us who get to do jobs like this. And it reminds us that we truly are privileged and honored to be asked to spend this time with you “livin’ the dream.”

That’s our 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-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

______________

Jonathan Roldan’s

Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO

 

Website: www.tailhunter-international.com

U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745

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

Phones:

from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:

http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate

“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.”

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Prevention is always the best medicine but sometimes stuff happens! What to do!

“HURTS and HAS A TEMPERATURE”

Originally Published the Week of June 11, 2012 in Western Outdoor News

You’re on your Mexican vacation and you hit a crisis.  You get sick, or worse, injured. Nothing quite brings a trip to a screeching halt like something that might require medical attention.  Not just for you, but often for your buddies, family or traveling companions.

You’re obviously far from home.  Seemingly no one speaks English. Even for something as simple as a nasty hangover or a Montezuma’s Revenge, it’s not like you can run down to the local Walgreens or other familiar pharmacy.

But wait, actually, if you know what’s wrong, most tourist destinations actually DO have familiar places like Walmart and other large stores that have pharmacies.  Small local pharmacies are on every street corner.  Believe me, most understand your “Spanglish” explanation of a headache or “the runs.” You are hardly the first person who’s come into the store with those kinds of complaints…especially in someplace for example like Cabo.

Certainly, your first option should be to report to the front desk at your hotel.  Not only do most have things like aspirin, ant-acids and other first aid items, but many have doctors on call or, can recommend you to a local doctor, hospital or emergency care facility. Or point you to a pharmacy if you just need some medicinal aid that they don’t have.

Don’t panic.  Most things, actually pass quickly.  Some of the worst-feeling things, you personally could have prevented or know how to deal with if pointed in the right direction.

Prevention, of course, is the best medicine of all.

Of the thousands of client’s we have hosted here in La Paz, there have fortunately been only a handful of injuries or sickness.  I would venture to say that the majority of them started with the line…

“We decided to do some shots of tequila…”

Or

“The guys dared me to do it…”

OK, right.  Pilot error.  Alcohol is often the culprit in the hands of someone who forgot to take it easy.  Either drinking too much…mixing poisons (“I started with tequila and went to rum then to vodka!”)  or  mixing medications (“I forgot the doctor told me not to drink whiskey with my heart medications!”)

I think almost all the broken bones or tricked knees or head bumps or the busted teeth were the result of someone not being more careful and under the influence.

Or, not drinking enough!  Or forgetting that the sun is not always your friend.

Our biggest enemy is people not drinking enough water and getting heat-stroked which can  have symptoms that resemble food poisoning, the flu, hangovers, diarrhea, etc.  Simple avoidance means drinking enough water (beer and tequila do not count) and trying to minimize exposure to the sun.

In worst case scenarios, heat stroke can easily land you in the hospital or worse.   Same for sunburn too.  C’mon…common sense.  You live in Michigan all year long and you miss sunshine.  This is NOT a reason to “go lobster” and burn your back and  man-boobs. Keep your shirt on, amigo! Sunburn hurts like the devil and can have long term effects.

But what if you’ve got a problem that can’t be solved with a few pills; more water; abstinence; or a night’s rest?

My first choice, if you are in a tourist area and staying at one of the more tourist-oriented hotels is to contact hotel management.   I’d contact the front desk. As mentioned, often, they have a doctor on call or can refer you to a health care facility or provider.  Believe me, you are not the first person ever to have a medical problem.

If it’s a traumatic injury, again, get a referral from the hotel; the local tour operator; or someone who knows where to go.  Speed can often be of the essence and in the tourist areas and even some of the outlying areas, there are excellent first-responders who can get out to you in an ambulance or emergency vehicle.

The last two times we’ve had a problem here in La Paz, the EMT’s that showed up had been trained in Chicago and Seattle!  One of the EMT’s riding along, in fact, was a young man from Denver who was working a few months in Mexico to work on his Spanish at the same time.

If you do end up in a hospital, they might not often accept your insurance, but I have yet to run into a health care facility that did not perk up when you showed them your credit card.  They might not accept Blue Cross, but everyone knows VISA!

One caveat, many of the major tourist areas, have upscale hospitals that cater more towards tourists and the middle and upper class locals.   That’s where you want to ask to go if you have a choice.  Often, they have many English-speaking employees and doctors.  And care, is a notch above too.  Certainly, it’s great for 99% of the types of injuries that befall tourists and if it’s more serious, can stabilize the situation so you can get home and see your own doctor.

But, again…the best thing is not to get hurt or sick in the first place, especially if it’s something you could have prevented by being more careful or prudent!

That’s our story!

Jonathan

 ________________________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

_________________________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO


 
Website: www.tailhunter-international.com
U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

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

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate


“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.”

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CHOICES...CHOICES...on the Baja road trip!

It may not look fancy, but sometimes the rougher the road, the prettier the "gem" at the end of the trail!

You'll probably never see this on Trip Advisor, but it doesn't mean it's not a great stay! It doesn't say "hot water." It says "running water!" Oh...and the also "weld!"

FIVE STAR AS IT GETS!

Originally Published in Western Outdoor News the Week of Oct. 20, 2011

Don’t get me wrong.  I like being pampered as much as the next guy when I go on vacation and stay at a hotel.  There’s nothing wrong with room service; a great restaurant; a spa; fluffy robes and a (OK…I admit it)…a mint on my pillow and cookies! 

 

Surely, I’ve stayed in some of the best in Baja…Hotel Cabo San Lucas, The Finesterra, Plaza Las Glorias, Palmas de Cortez, Spa Buenavista among so many great resort properties and enjoyed them all tremendously.

 

But that’s not usually how I roll.  I WISH we could do that all the time, but that’s just not very economical.

 

But, especially in  pre-internet days 15 or 20 years ago. . .  In the days before all those sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp and other websites arose to  dissect every aspect of every resort from the size of the pool to the softness of the toilet paper and the fragrance of the shampoo; there weren’t many resources to finding a place to lay your head.  

 

There was always  the  dog-eared  dusty copy of  dad’s Auto Club guide in the glove box or under the seat and that was about it if you were road-tripping down the Baja.

In  those early days when I would routinely drive up and down the often-lonely-always-bumpy Baja several times a year, some of those were the best stays I ever had.

 

There were three kinds of nights.

 

Sleep in the car or truck on the side of the road curled up under the steering wheel.

 

Pull over in the dark.  Camp on the side of the road or beach. Never quite sure where you pitched your tent until you woke up the next day.

 

Or…

 

Really  “splurge” and find some road sign as the sun goes down.  Take a chance that “Clean rooms. Cheap Rooms  Hot Showers.  Comida Rica” (good food) really meant what it said.

 

Cheap rooms sometimes meant “economical.”  Sometimes, it meant exactly what it said…CHEAP!  Single light bulb hanging from the ceiling with a pull-chain.  Threadbare towels the size of a dishtowel. . Worn mattress on top of a concrete slab and a TV with rabbit ears made of a clothes hangar. 

 

But those were the exception. More often than not, off the road and to the left meant finding a little Baja gem.  They still exist.  The scenario didn’t differ.

 

Sun going low.  Too many hours driving in the shimmering dessert heat with the Jimmy Buffet cassette tape getting pretty old. Junk food wrappers on the floor.  Reading the road signs for miles. Rusty, sun-baked, poorly-lettered or hand-lettered attempts to look attractive nailed onto any fence post, tree, or any vertical piece of wood.

 

Casa Maria Palapa and Campground 5 km.

El Sol Beach Hotel 3 km.

Hotel Bahia Hernan Cortez 1.5 km.

 

 

 

Perhaps not grammatically correct but lots of credit for effort.

 

“Hot Chowers and Gude Fud”

 

I would eventually be forced to make a choice prompted by tired eyes and diminishing light.  Down the road and to the left.  Often down a dirt or gravel washboard.  Sometimes parting a herd of goats or rousting the lazy dog.

 

And the trees would open and there it would be. 

 

Often on the beach. Often only one or two other cars and a well-used hotel pick up truck in the parking lot and lit by yellow bug lights illuminating concrete walls, terra cotta tiles,  and a palapa roof. 

 

Lots of tangled  bouganvillia vines climbing the old columns and up the terraces. Maybe an old fountain in the brick courtyard.  Maybe not.  But the  savory smell of grilling corn tortillas and searing meat coming from somewhere. The faint sound of an old mariachi tune off an 8-track or the sound of a TV playing a soccer team carries over the early evening air.

 

Family owned and happy to see you with big smiles.  As you check in, family pictures on the walls.  A cheap Baja calendar over the check-in desk.  Mama happily checks you in. 

 

Lo siento, Senor!  No credit cards, but rooms are $15 U.S.  Will that be OK?

 

It’s a deal.  Papa comes in “Bienvenidos, Amigo! (Welcome!) and helps with your luggage to a clean little room . Daughter brings fresh towels again with a shy welcoming smile.  This will do. There’s a fuschia-colored flower in a glass on the nightstand.  Nice touch.

 

I follow that wonderful aroma that caught me as I came in.  Down to the little 3-table -cafe on the concrete slab overlooking the beach. Pacifico Beer poster on the wall next to a faded picture of a bullfight.

 

 In the soft  yellow bug lights, there’s a dry-yellowed dorado taxidermied on the wall and some shark jaws dangling from a decorative old fishing net tacked nearby.  The soccer game flickers from an old black and white TV.    

 

The plastic Corona Beer tables match, but the silverware and plates don’t.  Grandma in the back frying something good.  She sees you and smiles.

 

There’s no menus.  Grandson comes out and tells you what they are serving that night.  And treats you like you’re a guest in their home. Which you are!

 

Tomato salad (from their own garden)

Homemade Rice and beans

Grandmas corn tortillas and green tomatillo salsa

Grilled Lobster tail (proudly caught by their cousin that morning on the reef who doubles as the gardner)

Flan

 

…for eight dollars.

 

Is that OK, he asks awkwardly as if he regrets charging a house guest.  “Es bueno?”

 

“Claro” (Of course) I smile back.

 

He brightens and eagerly heads to the kitchen.

 

A Baja feast.  And of course, ice cold beer.  Heaven.    Smiling grandson brings the beer.

 

I lean back in the chair kick off my flip-flops and let my feet rest on the cool concrete. Beer so cold the icy liquid burns the road dust at the back of my throat. Sigh. Slow exhale.  Inhale the salty beach air.  Ahhhhh… And watch the sun go down on the Sea of Cortez.

 

It’s as Five Star as any person ever needs.

 

That’s my story!

Jonathan

_________________________________________

 

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!           

 

 

 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO

 
Website: www.tailhunter-international.com
U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

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

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate


“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.”

Read Full Post »