After 1,200 plus hard off-road miles, Cabo is a well deserved rest. Thanks to the help of my Sister-in-law we’d managed to get a room at one of the swanky resorts where the the guest are driven around the complex in little golf carts, the beach is cleaned and manicured each night, the pool cabanas scream relaxation and the fragrance of lush, beautiful flowers fill the air. Yes, this resort has a Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico address but it does not feel like Baja. In fact it feels a little like the geriatric ward.
At this resort we are the young Turks, clashing with the white belt and blue hair crowd shuffling between the pool, spa and bar. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to be said living the life style of the rich and famous. It’s just not us on this adventure.
We grabbed a cab and headed into town, believing we would have more fun wandering the streets rather than sitting on a beach where Juan the pool boy was poised to bring fruity cocktail drinks with little umbrellas in them to any guest at the first sign of an empty glass and a tip.
Quick side note: if you are new to this blog, you may have noticed it is filled with miss spellings, incorrect word usage (their / there), and constantly changing, miss matched sentence tense. I deeply regret if that distracts you. But it is what you signed up for when you started going down this Jimmy Buffet, Caribbean rock and roll, mid-life crisis with us… Dyslexic untie.
If you want to find the best places to eat, ask the locals where they eat, not where they take the tourists. Our cab driver was a wealth of information on the places to eat and see that were off the beaten path. Up until now breakfast had been coffee and a snack bar on our way out of town driving down the trail. Today we were enjoying a real sit down breakfast of huevos ranchero with chorizo sausage, espresso americano and warm, buttered tortillas. Being off the radar of most tourists we had the place mostly to ourselves with a view of the locals heading to their shops.
These days Cabo is a major cruise ship destination. Everything and everyone is catering to the big ships and the thousands of tourist who venture off the boat to explore the shopping district. We walked all over, poking our heads into t-shirt stands, jewelry stores and tequila shops.
Walk into any tequila shop and you will be amazed at the varieties available. There were bottles of ten year old sipping tequila that is smooth as a Ken doll, next to the vanilla, pomegranate and Jalapeño infused tequila as well as the basic slam them back and shake your head varieties of shooter tequila. You don’t actually have to buy a $100 bottle to enjoy it. Just ask for a taste shot. 20 minutes in the tequila shop and three shots later we were back strolling peer.
Anything you want seems to be the mantra in Cabo San Lucas. Walking along the docks, locals would ask if we needed, weed, girls, fishing boat (apparently everyone has a cousin with a fishing boat in Cabo), Cuban cigars… Anything you want. Just don’t pay retail.
I love negotiating and the vendors in Cabo have raised it to an art form. Like Mexican traffic signs, prices are simply a suggested starting point. $20 t-shirts (amigo these are the good local T’s not the cheap Chinese ones at the other shops) quickly drop to $15 and than $10 as you imply your willingness to look around at the other shops selling the exact same thing. And if you want a plastic bag (Mexican suitcase) to put the shirt in, that will be an extra dollar.
Baja is famous for fish tacos. Along the route down we’d stuck with more traditional chile relleno, sopa tortilla and burritos. Fully intending to grab a couple of fish tacos we aimed back to the little eateries located by our breakfast cafe. The lobster and shrimp enchiladas smothered in cheese and guacamole won out over the fish tacos in the end.
While we watched the guy fix out dinner we talked about the day: the near death experience at the pedicure spa (just a little blood when Brad’s toe got sliced, twice, as the woman snipped away at his cuticle), which tequila was best and if we’d gotten a good deal on the souvenirs. We still can’t believe we made here in one piece.
Cabo’s focus on the cruise ships means you can find all the comforts from back home, including Margaritaville, the Hard Rock and Starbucks. Hanging out at a table sipping our coffee on the street we watched the sun go down and the night clubs begin to light up. By now the cruise ships had rolled up the gang planks with all the sun birds safely back on board. The streets were taking on a more local flare. Clearly this time of year Cabo is not filled with college students on spring break but you wouldn’t know it by the guys out front of the clubs shouting to everyone who walked by trying to entice them inside. Some things are universal and the streets this night were filling up with local boys showing off their cars and girls smiling at them on their way into the clubs.
Cabo may be a tourist mecca these days but it turns out that relaxing, wandering the docks, shopping, and doing nothing all day was exactly what we needed. We even felt a little sad that we’d be leaving in the morning. But for now it was back to the resort in order to cap off the night with our ritualistic cigar and bourbon that has been our closing signature to a great day throughout this adventure.