Wednesday, January 19, 2011
"Perhaps my favorite...vacationy-type experience in Baja Sur"...
I had so much fun writing this as a reply to a question that Woo asked ~ of our recent "reconnoitering" trip to Baja which included much chill time with Arlene and Brian (and a brief but welcome cameo by Miles in the very beginning) ~ that I felt like sharing it here. We stayed in a couple of yurts in Buena Vista for a few days, then headed to Cabo Pulmo ~ at the end of a long, windy, bumpy dirt road, and a large tract of wildlife preserve, it's a village that includes a neighborhood of sweet rental casitas and a handful of rustic restaurants and one tiny mercado/tourist shop. Local population of about 300, Cabo Pulmo mainly attracts scuba divers as visitors. Our little casita was a few minutes' walk to the stone-and-sand beach and aqua blue Sea of Cortez.
Was the second evening we stayed at Cabo Pulmo, we walked through a (well-travelled) little hole in the fence next door to "Nancy’s" restaurant. On a bare-dirt farmish piece of property, it is a classic old-looking building with arched windows and thick thick stone walls, largely open-air, with a couple fireplaces. For the last couple days, I had noticed a paper plate clothespinned to the gate, which said in handwritten English "For Pizza and cinnamon rolls come to Nancy's house." (I was intrigued by having homemade cinnamon rolls at Nancy's house, but no one else wanted to take her up on it with me.. I suspected the place might not be open when we approached, thanks to those paper plate signs..) We found the whole place lit only by candles, and totally empty, save the cook in the (totally open) kitchen, Nancy (I assume)~ a friendly white woman with shoulder-length white hair probably in her 60's ~ and her adult daughter who were snuggled by the fire with their hands wrapped around warm mugs and their sandaled feet propped up on the hearth, talking intimately. Nancy greeted us warmly and turned back to her conversation. The cook lit the stove and switched on his tiny quiet radio, and handed us the menu ~ handwritten on a small notepad. We ordered and he got to work cooking us three different entrees with sides all by himself. Anjali dropped off to sleep in my lap and provided me with some nice relaxed adult time. The wind (it was very windy) howled outside, but inside these walls ~ which didn't even have glassed windows ~ it was cozy. The low light and quiet already present made it so that we felt like whispering too. The meal was warm and fresh and satisfying ~ veggies and fish, with a basket of piping hot tortillas nestled in a napkin. For dessert he flambeed bananas in cinnamoned rum for us. Wow. As we licked our forks, the cook was cleaning the last of the dishes, and Nancy and daughter were putting their jackets on to head to the house. The meal was definitely priced for gringos ~ but still not as expensive as the Bay Area places we love. I couldn't help but think that our dinner was the only one cooked that night, and that I was glad to pay for such a rich experience.
(oh geez how i hate the technical aspects of blogger that i don't know how to control!)