Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cabo San Lucas

There is just so much to share from our cruise, I'm going to focus on specific days in port and the canal first and then come back with stories from around the ship. This goes against my chronological nature but will probably be a more interesting read. I would appreciate your comments on what you would like to see!

Our first port stop was Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on August 19. Our goal was to get up early and beat the heat by getting one of the first tenders into town. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery of El Arco (the arch) at Lands End as we ate breakfast on the ship. Could you ask for a better view from a restaurant?
This is the only port stop we had to take a tender in, and the process was quick and smooth. Our idea of "beating the heat" was laughable though. As soon as we got on shore at 9am we were sweating like crazy! Cabo is in a desert region, very dry and arid, and it is summer. HOT!!
The marina was just getting started for the day, and there were lots of boatmen trying to get us to go out for a glass-bottom boat ride to the beach or to El Arco. "$15 for adults and kids are free!" they kept telling us. We weren't quite ready for that yet.

We walked up past the marina and into the town trying to find the "town square" to start the walking tour. The town was just waking up, with the tourist shops starting to open up. It seemed that every street, even the side streets and out-of-the-way back streets, were filled with tourist shops selling embroidered shirts and dresses, t-shirts, blankets and sunglasses. If nothing else, it was colorful.

After getting a bit lost and overshooting our destination, we finally found the small little "town square" park where we visited the Museo de las Californias, a small museum of history of the area. It was all in Spanish, but we enjoyed wandering through and viewing the exhibits, mainly for the air conditioning!

At this point, we realized it was way too hot to just wander around and all Brandon wanted to do was go to the beach. So we stopped for a drink to cool off at the famous Cabo Wabo (owned by Sammy Hagar) and then caught a taxi to Medano Beach. We were dropped off at the north end of the beach and didn’t walk too far before we found a place to camp at The Office – we got some drinks, slathered up on sunscreen, and took turns playing in the heavenly water with Brandon.

One of use would go and play, then we would come back for a drink or a snack – good chips and steak tacos – and then swap for a bit. We were bombared with people trying to sell name bracelets, henna tattoos, blankets, shell necklaces. Even Brandon learned to say “No thank you” to get them to go away. They listened to him better than to us!

It was just the ticket to cool us off and enjoy the day. We aren't typically water people, so we didn't think we would want to spend time at the beach while in the ports, but we realized that with the heat we would encounter the water would be our savior. We had not planned ahead well for a beach visit in this port stop, but things would be different in the next ones! Towels, beach shoes, swimsuits would be on our list of standard port items.

After spending a couple of hours at the beach we caught a glass bottomed boat for a ride out to El Arco and to take us back to the marina. These boat guys are everywhere - $10 per person and kids free for our own personal tour. It was a nice ride out to the snorkeling area, we got to see a lot of fish through the glass bottom. A quick jaunt past Lover’s Beach and then out to see El Arco from both sides the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific. There were pelicans and sea lions all around, very beautiful and neat to see.

The water is a gorgeous green color in close and blue farther away. With the blue sky and green water the tan rocks were a gorgeous contrast. It was a nice break to be out on the water with the breeze, definitely a good use of our time and a “don’t miss” in Cabo.

We were dropped off at the marina for a last little bit of wandering through the Mercado before boarding a tender back to the ship. I loved all of the colors of the merchandise and took several photos.

Even though it was hot and we hadn't really planned well, we had a great time in Cabo San Lucas. The beautiful green-blue water, the boat ride and cooling off with drinks at the beach were highlights of our day. We were back on the boat for a beautiful "sail away" from Cabo in the evening sun.
One final story of the day... As we were getting ready to leave The Office, Brandon had is little toy Disney Magic ship out to play. One of the guys who worked there saw it and wanted to buy it off of him for his kids. Brandon said he'd sell it to him for $3 since we could get another one on the ship, so the guy scrambled around with his friends to get a hold of 3 US Dollars to buy the toy ship. So, after a day of being incessantly asked to buy something from vendors on the beach, we never bought anything but Brandon sold something!

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