Monday, December 17, 2012

Excursions

Sunday morning found us making a list of all the things we were interested in doing in Los Cabos with family. By the time 10 o’clock came around, we had nice list going for the concierge to investigate for us. Since there was no time to reserve anything for today, we decided that we would head out to Medano Beach near our place and get a ride to Finisterra and el Arco, the typical Los Cabos excursion.

Arriving on the beach, we negotiated a glass bottom boat ride out. The sun was mostly out and it was beautiful day. We saw lots of interesting fish and rock formations. Then strolled across Lover’s and Divorce beaches. James entertained us with acrobatics. While we were waiting for the boat to return to take us back, a young whale surfaced in the bay. Unfortunately we did not see it resurface again to take a picture. Supposedly on occasion an young whale will get lost in the bay and eventually make its way back out to its herd.

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After our Finisterra visit, we went up to Blvd Mijares in San Jose del Cabo to do some shopping. Cyndi picked up a good deal or two before we left. Gotta love the pharmacies there, especially in the tourist sections.

DSC02014 Viagra isn’t a prescription drug in Mexico, so it is a popular purchase when visiting.

We finished the outing with a stop at The Container Bar and Restaurant. It is ranked as #2 restaurant in San Jose del Cabo. While the young waitress didn’t speak much English, we were able to get our orders communicated. Dave and Cyndi picked up the happy hour of deal of 2x1 margaritas, which might have been double shots instead of 2 for the price of one, as they were super strong, or so I was told (me and soft drinks don’t mix, so you can imagine how well alcohol and I mix). Pleasantly surprising, everyone’s food was delicious. They all had a bit more traditional food, including with Cyndi branching out with the chicken mole poblano. I tried it, but I didn’t appreciate it, although well flavored it was too spicy and smoky for mild senses. Jonathan and I split a cheeseburger (we were wanting something a bit different than what we had been having for the past month). I didn’t have much expectations for it, as most often American food is not done well in Mexico, but it was fantastic. The meat patty was freshly made with onions and cilantro (I think) and seasoned well in its sandwich, absolutely one of the best burgers I have had.

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All in all, a good, fun day.

The next day was not so enjoyable, at least for me, so maybe I am not the best person for relating the day. Through our concierge, we booked an excursion with Baja Buggies, with transportation pickup at 8 am on Monday. When the van arrived, it was already full minus four seats and there were five of us. So, one self-sacrificing couple ended up with her sitting on his lap the entire trip. Then, they after paying and getting our gear, they walked through to take pictures with animals (they took the pictures and wanted us to pay for them later), which we weren’t interested in.

Finally, we got to get in the buggies. They were not in the best of conditions… Suspensions were nearly out, boots were broken, steering columns all but unusable, tires of different treads on all wheels with all of different wear. Needless to say, this made for an interesting drive, especially with the huge washboards on the route. But, what made it completely unbearable, at least for me, was the protective gear. My four-point safety belt barely fit, the bandana to keep dust out of my mouth was rough, the goggles and helmet too big, and the goggles had insufficient cushion. I literally had bruises on my face from the goggles when I finally got them tight enough to stay on. For the first part of the trip, I couldn’t get the helmet or the goggles on tight enough and had to hold them on.

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DSC02022 Notice the ridges/marks in the middle of my forehead and the bridge of my nose. This was several hours after the ride.

Because I was holding them on, I couldn’t hold onto my camera, which I had tucked under my shirt. All of a sudden, I realized my camera wasn’t there anymore. I freaked. Jonathan said that sand wouldn’t hurt it, but the issue was not getting it crushed or lost. I didn’t see it anywhere and had no way of knowing where to look for it in the scenery and we were in a caravan that we couldn’t just stop to look for it. Praise God in heaven, when I turned and looked in between our seats, it was caught on the floorboards underneath Jonathan’s seat belt connection. I decided from then on to keep my camera in my pants, using my waistband to keep it from coming out. Awkward, but at least I didn’t lose it from then on out.

Jonathan drove most of the time, but I did take a swing at it. I guess my off-road driving skills aren’t as honed as Jonathan’s. I could hardly keep up with them. I went fast enough to make my helmet fly up and hang behind my head uselessly. Plus, while my feet reached the pedals fine, the steering wheel was too far away. So every time my wheels hit a rock, the steering wheel was jerked from my hands. Plus on the driver’s side, the front wheel had a tendency to spray rocks up into your face. Definitely not a pleasant thing to drive in my opinion.

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Remember my mention that the vehicles were in horrible condition? Well, during one small stop, we shut off our buggy. When we went to start it up again, it wouldn’t. It finally turned over with the mechanic’s help, but we were demoted to the back of the line and warned not to shut off the vehicle again when we stopped. Cyndi and Dave had it worse off then us. When Cyndi took over driving, the gas pedal broke, so they had to switch buggies. Then, later, their tire went completely flat, and they had to switch again. I guess she is a crazy driver with a heavy foot. ;P At our last stop, I noticed our tire had a nice tear in it, but it fortunately wasn’t leaking air yet. James, I think, had no issue. 

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Back at Baja Buggy headquarters, they took one last picture, wheeled us into a room to show off the pictures and try to sell us a CD for $30-$50, and fed us nachos for free but charged for any beverages. Finally, we were allowed to pile into the overfilled van and head back. As you can guess, this wasn’t my favorite excursion. I think I am the one who enjoyed it the least, or at least the most vocal about my discomfort. Maybe everyone else really enjoyed it… As I said, perhaps I am not the best person to relate this adventure.

At least the hot tub at the rental was welcoming. And it only took a couple of days to get rid of my marks.

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Spanish Words of the Day:
Pharmacy: la farmacia
Dune: la duna, el médano

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