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Cruising around La Paz

We chose our hotel Posada LunaSol because of three main factors.  
1) It was affordable.
2) They owners ran a tour company for day trips around Baja.
3) It was close to the Malecon, or the main waterfront of La Paz.
The Malecon was a short 5-10 minute walk down the road.  Everyday we walked down the malecon which stretched a couple miles on the beach.  There were several places to sit and people watch - which I enjoy immensely. My experiences in Mexico prior to our vacation had consisted of mission trips to the poor and more rural areas.  It was surprising to see a similar scene to a beach in Miami or Los Angeles (on a much smaller scale). 
Panorama of the Malecon in La Paz
Panorama of the Malecon in La Paz (Lynessa Nelson)

One thing we noticed the first day in La Paz was the large number of military, police, and security forces out and about.  We would be sipping cappuccinos along a serene coastal setting while families walked their poodles down the Malecon.  All of a sudden you'd see an military truck drive by with a giant bazooka mounted in the bed and soldiers armed to the gills. It was unsettling at first until Matt explained that a large "show of force" might deflect any drug cartels from thinking they could hop across the Sea of Cortez and mess with the gringos on vacation. 
Mexican security forces
Mexican security forces (Lynessa Nelson)

We rented bikes from our hotel for the day - about $5-$10 a piece depending on the type.  The morning was the best for running or biking down the malecon. In the afternoon it felt like you could fry an egg on the sideway.  So we took advantage of one beautiful morning to see how far down we could make it.  It only took about fifteen minutes or so before we ran out of sidewalk and were funneled into the four lane traffic.  It was at this point that we were able to stop and walk down the pier.  We stashed our bikes in a safe spot (next to a security guard at the old waterpark) and walked down to the beach.  We spent a little time splashing in the water and watching some of the local high schoolers play a diving game to spot different fish hanging out around the pier.  After a short time of relaxing and cooling off in the water we headed back down the malecon on our bikes.
Biking along the Malecon
Biking along the Malecon (Lynessa Nelson)

One of the things I enjoyed the most about La Paz was the "walkability" of the Malecon district.  We only needed our car for driving outside the city and down the coasts.  Every night we would walk to dinner and enjoy the lights along the waterfront.  About half the time, we chose restaurants right on the malecon. They were a little more expensive but we could watch the nightlife and people as they passed by.  One of our favorite restaurants for people watching and fish tacos was the Rancho Viejo.  We sat upstairs on the balcony and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Mexico. 
Dinner on the Malecon in La Paz
Dinner on the Malecon in La Paz (Lynessa Nelson)

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