In Search of an Alternate Alternator

Before Jamie got a chance to reunite with his other lover we had one more stop to make. If you remember, we got the 4runner working just enough to get us to Loreto where we would then have to find a new alternator and a mechanic to put it in.

Monday morning rolled around and we took our time packing the car and eating breakfast before heading to Loreto. Normally we would wake at the crack of dawn to head out to our next destination but today we took it easy and man did that feel good.

Before the 4runner broke down we hadn’t really planned on stopping in Loreto. Some friends of ours had mentioned something about a nice hotel there and also how cool the town is but we were still unsure. We really wanted to push on to get to Scorpion Bay, Jamie for the waves and myself to setup camp and stay in one place for longer than a couple nights. I was itchin to camp and Jamie was itchin to surf, so we had grand ideas of getting to Loreto, getting the car fixed and then getting to Scorpion Bay all in one day.

Unfortunately by the time we reached Loreto we knew that we would not be making it to Scorpion Bay that day. It was noon; we still had to find an Auto Parts store that would hopefully have a new alternator and then a mechanic.

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Using past experience we were able to locate an Auto Parts store fairly quickly. A glance into our dictionary for “alternator” in Spanish (alternador- incase you’re wondering) and Jamie was off into the tiny little shop. He was only able to secure a refurbished alternator. Daniel, the mechanic in Mulege, had tried two refurbished alternators when we were there that failed, so we were a little worried that this would have the same outcome. But we decided to give it a shot, plus the owner of the store told us that we could take it to a mechanic to see if it would work before paying. He also happened to know of a mechanic fairly close, his friend that rode up on his bike just before we pulled up offered to show us the way.

We pulled up to Marcos’ shop and before we could even start explaining what we needed he took one look at the alternator in Jamie’s hands and said that it wouldn’t fit. We were crestfallen, as you can imagine. We had just driven all the way to Loreto for this alternator and it isn’t even the right one. Marcos told us that we would have to drive to La Paz to get a brand new alternator. Ugh. Not what we wanted to hear.

Before we sulked off Jamie asked Marcos if he could charge our battery. Little did we know that this minor request would open up the floodgates of help from Marcos. Once he started charging the battery he decided to take our alternator out to take a look at it. And by look at it I mean, take apart, and clean it before reaching into his freezer and removing a new part that needed replacing. Once he had done what needed doing we checked the charge on the battery and it was charging at 14 volts, which apparently is the sweet spot. Hooray!

We left Marcos’ with wonderful feelings of gratitude towards Marcos, who had stopped what he was doing to help us, and accomplishment for getting the Burro fixed with limited Spanish between the two of us. After dropping the alternator off at the Auto Parts store we moved on to finding a place to stay for the night. The hotel that our friend had mentioned was a little too swanky for our taste so we meandered on down the Malecon in search of something a little more our speed.

Mountains and Malecon

Mountains and Malecon

Our search brought us to The Oasis. It was an awesome rustic hotel with major charm and direct access to the beach. Another great perk was that it was located at the end of the Malecon which meant that we could take Reina out to the water and let her run free without bothering anyone. Once we moved into our room it was time for errands, aka, finding a lavanderia.

On our way back from running errands I asked Jamie to drop me off in town so that I could explore. Let me just say that I am smitten with Loreto. Loreto was the first Spanish Colonial settlement and the capital of Baja for 80 yrs. It is also home to the first mission in Baja, Mision de Nuestra Senora de Loreto Concho. I spent the afternoon strolling the main street, popping in shops and ended up at a little café to enjoy an iced latte. It was perfect.

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Dinner that night was fish fajitas and the most delicious tortilla soup we had ever had, followed by an evening stroll along the malecon while the moon rose over the water. Again, perfect. I can’t wait to stop in Loreto on our way back north.

Next stop, Scorpion Bay! Hooray!!

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