March 07, 2009 GMT
La Paz

La Paz was only a couple of hours ride from San Carlos, so we had a lazy lie in , followed by a leisurely breakfast before hitting the road. La Paz, the main city of Baja, came into view after an uneventful journey along the MX1. First we hit the topes, then the traffic lights, the first we had seen in Mexico, then the traffic strted to pile up. We negotiated our way through the cars, trucks and busses and headed down towards the sea. With a little help from our GPS, we found the Pension California, recommended to us by just about everyone who had been to La Paz, sorted out a room, and went out to explore.
La Paz was thankfully devoid of Americanisation, and although a big town, almost a city , even, had a relaxed and friendly vibe. We made friends with a few travellers in the Pension, and that night, a group of about 8 of us headed into town for the Luche Libre.
This was without doubt the best experience so far in Mexico. I had spotted the sign for the Mexican wrestling on the way into town and we all thought it would be fun, however we had no idea exactly how much fun it would be. We got to the arena early and got ourselves ringside seats, hot dogs, beers and doughnuts. An hour or so after the wrestling was supposed to start , the first of the fighters came out to the ring, the crowd, mainly families and young kids, went wild!
The fights got better and better, most of the action outside of the ring. There were one on one bouts, double and even triple tag teams. The outfits, the moves, and the showmanship got better as we got drunker, and at one point, we narrowly avoided being landed on my a big fat Mexican throwing himself off the ropes onto a downed opponent who was standing dazed in front of us after being thrown out of the ring by his nemesis. We were all in tears of laughter as the wrestlers chased each other round the outside of the ring, being heckled by the crowds, whacking each other with steel chairs, and shouting abuse at the crowds and at their opponents.
None of us had an idea who had won, but for 100pesos ( about 5 or $7) we had a superb and unforgettable night out.
We spent a couple of days in the Pension California, during which time we rode out to a couple of beaches and chilled out, gorged ourselves on cheap tacos, and smoked, heavily!

Posted by Dan Shell at March 07, 2009 05:54 AM GMT

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