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Jonathan Roldan – BAJA BEAT

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Thursday, October 25, 2018
When bigger isn’t better


As it should be
This is my favorite time of year. Late September to mid-December is what I call down time here in Baja.

Most of the crowds are gone. Kids are back in school. Families have other things in mind and nothing on the calendar until Thanksgiving.


Recognizing that, there are some great bargains to be had if you work around that holiday. Airlines consider this “off- season” and have some great rates. Hotels are often well below capacity, so they offer great discounts or can be negotiable if you dial direct.


Free breakfast? Sure.


Spa time? We’ll add that in too.


Tickets to the buffet? Not a problem.


How about we throw in a discount for the booze cruise? Done deal! And an ocean-facing room too!


It’s also a pretty time to be down here.


Lots of sunshine, but 20 degrees cooler than the summer with much less humidity. How­ever, waters still retain much of the summer warmth. It can be breezy or even windy, but most times it’s postcard perfect.


In fact, we call it “non-weather.” It’s so agreeable, you never even think about the weather.


And many oft-crowded places are often empty. Beaches pretty much all to yourself. Restaurant staff falling all over you with service. No reservations needed. Stores willing to “listen to your best offer.”


For fishing, it can be spectacular. If you can avoid some of the major tournaments going on (or join in and have some fun!), often the waters are uncrowded with sportfishing traffic.


In fact, if you check out some of the lessor-visited destinations in Baja and Mexico, there’s very little fishing going on except for you! However, keep an eye out for the winds and try to pick your fishing days when the forecast calls for diminished winds.


Personally, especially as you get into late October and November, there’s just less hustle and bustle. Things slow down. There are fewer tourists around, so I think the whole place collectively just takes it down a notch.


You take slow walks. You ride a bike. You linger over your meals. You sip instead of gulp. You watch sunsets. You stop to chat instead of a quick, “Comos estas?” and then keep going to the next thing.


There’s no place you have to be right now.


The shadows are longer. The palm trees rustle in the breeze. There’s a sparkle on the ocean.


Someone is barbecuing carne asada down the street. Some­where there’s the lone mariachi trumpet wafting a familiar old Spanish tune you can’t quite place.


A young couple walks by in the distance. Barefoot in the sand. She giggles. He affectionately punches her in the shoulder. She giggles, tries to kick him back. They hold hands.


That was you so many years ago.


You put your feet up. You hold your cold bottle of beer up to the setting sun and let it shine through the amber glass. A sip of the icy golden effervescence refreshingly burns the back of your throat. Ahhhhh…


You wonder what the rest of the world is doing — or not.


You start to take a selfie — to send to the folks back at the office or post on Facebook. Look where I am!


Nah.


That takes too much energy. Phone off and slipped back into the pocket of your cargo shorts. Another long draw off the long-neck. Living the dream.


No reason to move. At some point, you might have to explore where someone is cooking up that yummy carne asada. But not just yet.


There’s more important things to attend to. Like ordering another cold cerveza.


For just a little while, it feels like old Mexico again. And the world is as it should be.


* * *

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