Start: November 24, Cabo San Lucas
Finish: December 4, Pichilingue
Days Spent in Fancy Resort: 7
Songs Performed by Mariachis: 2
Forbidden Fish Caught and Eaten: 1
Number of Tents Replaced: 1
We broke the mold this week. Instead of camping on sand, cooking on tiny backpacking stoves and living out of our car we enjoyed a sunny week at Club Cascadas de Baja in sunny Cabo San Lucas.
We also had family visit, Mom flew down from Seattle to spend Thanksgiving with the three of us. We dined on tacos and frequented the swim-up bar for mango margaritas. Not your typical turkey day, but no one's complaining.
The resort was awesome, right on the beach and a 15 minute walk from Cabo center. It is smaller, not at all like a typical mega resort. It has a couple dozen circular buildings divided up into several suites so it didn't feel like we were staying in a hotel.
With Mom came a half of a suitcase full of new supplies. The biggest item was a new tent for Jessica and Kobus. Their five year old much-traveled Kelty tent was slowly disintegrating.
The swim up bar quickly became a daily ritual. How can you go wrong with two for one mango margaritas?
This shot looks down towards the marina from our resort. When we weren't at the pool or sitting around our suite we were soaking up some sun and waving off the beach vendors.
After a couple days of doing pretty much nothing we decided to take a little trip out to Land's End to see the arch. Kobus got us a good deal on a glass bottom boat tour, and we spent the morning snorkeling, fishing and laying on the beach.
One of the attractions we passed on the boat tour was the window to the Pacific. You can see both the Sea of Cortez in the foreground and the Pacific Ocean through the gap in the rocks.
Mom and Jess are enjoying the boat ride. We take a loop around Land's End from the Sea of Cortez into the Pacific and then back to the gulf side. The captain tells us that the rock in the background is called Neptune's Finger. I thought he said middle finger...
The captain drops us off at Lover's Beach. You can walk through the rocks to the Pacific side to another sandy stretch called Divorce Beach. Jess and Mom go snorkeling, and the boys head out to catch some dinner. Why go to the fish when you can bring them to you?
We each catch a few, mostly small tunas. Kobus lands a dinner-sized fish that we keep, only to find out later that Land's End is a protected area and we technically aren't allowed to keep any fish (despite the four locals we saw with buckets full). Mmmm forbidden fish.
The next morning the plan was to go shopping, mom needs to buy some Christmas presents. Unfortunately a few cruise ships pulled up in the morning meaning downtown was pretty much packed with tourists.
If you've ever been to a tourist city in Mexico, you know what it's like to go shopping for gifts. It's pretty much all the same stuff, and most of it is junk. You can't look at anything without being hassled by the vendor and haggling is required unless you want to pay three times as much as you should. Fortunately we have Kobus for the haggling, and Mom brought a list of what she wanted, so it was straight to business and we were done in no time.
We stopped for lunch at a cafe on the corner near the wharf. Kobus and I had tortilla soup, I also had a chicken tamale with mole sauce. It was the best lunch I've had in Mexico.
That night Mom bought us dinner. We shared a couple huge plates of food that included filet mignon, lobster, sea bass, flank steak, prawns, chicken and of course, frijoles. After dinner the mariachis made their rounds and we felt inclined to give Mom a bit more of an "authentic" experience since it was her first time in Mexico.
After a week in the resort we said goodbye to Mom and to Cabo and headed back up the bumpy trail to Todos Santos. This time the trail was extra dusty, under construction for 10 or 15 miles with constant detours through gravel and dirt. A one hour drive turned into two and a half.
We arrived in Todos Santos late in the afternoon, with enough time to setup camp and make dinner before dark. We are back to camping on sand and cooking on tiny stoves! It would have been nice to spend another night in Todos Santos to explore the town, but we had to get to La Paz to book our ferry passage to the mainland.
After exploring La Paz a bit, buying ferry tickets, and finding all of the RV parks in town closed, we headed north of town to our last option - beach camping at Playa El Tecolote. Turns out that was an awesome decision. Not only was the beach perfect and camping free, there was also a friendly bar and several restaurants. The first night we had fish tacos and spent a couple hours at the bar amidst a spontaneous birthday party.
Our second day in Tecolote gave us the opportunity to build up some road karma. A fellow staying at the beach got his minivan stuck in the sand. Luckily we were well prepared to help, and had the opportunity to use our our tow strap and recovery hardware for the first time. All before breakfast!
Up next: a 16 hour ferry ride to Mazatlan, a long drive to Guadalajara and on to the Monarch Butterfly Reserve in the mountains of central Mexico.