Tacos n cervezas, cacti n dust, cervezas n tacos......
28/02/2009 28 °C
WOW! Mexico! Although we may have missed a few things by not driving, we got some great views of the Sea of Cortez and the Baja peninsular during our flight from San Diego to Los Cabos (the Cabos, which are San Jose Del Cabo & Cabo San Lucas). The flight enabled us to see all the huge mountain ranges and delta systems in between, loads of islands on both coasts, and numerous windy roads weaving through the ranges. Stepping off the plane we shed layers of clothing that are no longer required. The sun is as warm as the dust is dry.
Customs¿?¿, what customs, olah y adios, too easy and in no time we found ourselves just walking along the side of the road in search of a bus station. We find a road worker near the airport exit and Steve has a first crack at spanish "Disculpe senor, donde esta una autobus el stacion San Jose Del Cabo". Woohoo yeah smashed it! The response from senor was anyones guess but luckily for us he threw in a few hand guestures and we figured it was somewhere over a thataway!!?!?!?! Siga? A la deracha? Izquierda?
About 2km, a few carcases, and hundreds of cacti later we arrive to what looked like a bus stop. Sweet. Now we just need the right bus and to hand over the right money. Everyone was a bit nervous slash excited slash exhausted from the walk.
We finally get ourselves into San Jose and walk around with lonely planet open searching for street names which would lead us to accom. Bugger, not many street names available. Unable to find the hotel recommended by the lonely planet and with bags and boards getting heavy and Steves hip injury flaring up (did we mention that steve did his hip showing off doing stretches drunk in Hawaii??) we stumble across una hotel Posada Terranova. This will do! The bags are quickly dumped and we stroll the streets down to the closest beach as the sun sets over the ocean.
TACOS and CERVEZAS!!!!!!!! we have our first Mexican dinner in a restaurant overlooking the main street next to the town square, it was a celebration we´d made it to mexico, and it was much much warmer than california!
San Jose was a nice quiet little town but we decided to move on to Cabo San Lucas - a larger town with more infrastructure and resorts spilling out onto the beach. Gringos, and gringas, are everywhere! Again the bus ride was too easy as we met more locals happy to help out by getting us off at the right bus stop. Muchos Gracias Amigos, Adios!
This time we find accom as recommended by the Lonely Planet - una Hotel Olas. We are greated by the friendly grandfatherly owner, Senor Carlos, who had a wealth of information about the Baja and spoke some english. He is 85yro but looks like and gets around like he is 70. The big purple sedan beastie car out the front just had to be his. What a dude!
Once settled in Cabo we just cruised on the beach, had a fish taco here, a swim over there, talked up surf breaks with locals and yeah the vibe of being on holidays kicked into another gear. But it was totally weird seeing this massive, and I mean MASSIVE cruiser in the bay next to the headland of the beach we were swimming, looked like someone had photo shopped the moment. The bay must have been deep as the next day there were two cruisers....
Time to explore, we decide to rent a car, a chrysler voyager van from thrifty. The next couple of days we did day trips to Playa Cerritos and Playa Pelican Pt. Well that is what we called this little beach after sharing it with a lone Pelican who was very interested in us to say the least. While the boys scored their fare share of waves and frothed over the warm water, Jess put Anita through some training on the beach. No one seemed to exercise here and the girls got some classic looks - wtf are they doing???
In the Cabo we ate at ultra cheap taco joints e.g. $1AUD (10 peso) tacos and cervezas at Vernados, and also at nice mid range restaurants like Mariscos Mocambo which served up an assortment of delicious pescado dishes for $11AUD. The equivilant at home would have been something in the order of $30-35. And to top it off we had the coolest Mariachis do their favourite number for us! They carved it up and I think they put a little extra into it to impress the girls....
Time to move on again, we say our farewells to Grandfather Carlos and head norte to Todos Santos. SHITE STEVE´S POCKET KNIFE NOT AGAIN YOU IDIOT! Nearly lost it in Hawaii going through customs and now he has left it back at Hotel Olas. He cops a grilling from everyone, especially the miss´s, and we drive back to get it, along with the cervezas and limes we also left behind (160km round trip!).
Todos Santos saw us stay at Hotel Guluarte WHICH HAD A POOL hahaha you should have seen the girls faces light up and in no time the bikinis were flying around the room and we were just doin what you do on holidays - pool side beers in the sunset. Holidays just keep getting better and better and our beer guts keep on getting bigger and bigger....
We meet Mick and Amy poolside. Mick is a trippy lookin solar power guru from the states, and Amy, well she could have been his daughter, and we wereñt really sure where she fitted into the scheme but apparently they were travelling together and working on solar power systems in the area.
Whilst in Todos we visit Playa San Pedritos and San Pedro. San Pedritos has this classic right hand reef set up. Scored it fun 2-3ft but on the last day it was firing 3-4ft.
Jess overcomes her bout with a cold which has lasted since Hawaii. Steve also overcomes his slightly less severe cold but still has a severly sore hip. Anita is struck down with the runs and Chris looks like coming down with the plague. Yep we have all had our fair share of it! Nonetheless cheap tacos and poolside cervezas are still on the menu and its one sunny day after another. Since turning up into Mexico every day seems the same. What day is it?? Sunny. Dusty. Light to no wind. Coolish nights and warm to hot days. Not like home where the temp and winds vary nearly every day.
Wait for it, hows this feed we have one night - 19 tacos and 4 drinks for 200 peso (yep 20 bucks) and these tacos were loaded!!
After a few days of reasonably good surf, cruising the local art/jewellry/gift shops, and munching tacos a unanimous decision was made. Todos was the nicest place to date, and as sad as it was to leave, we were keen to keep on choogalin onto La Paz where La Carnaval was taking place.
Apparently a 2hr drive we arrive to La Paz in 50 mins. How fast were you driving Steve?? No one knew as for nearly the whole trip everyone was asleep neck titled, mouths wide open, drible down their cheeks...... The HWY between Todos and La Paz had some very long really straight sections. Entering La Paz from the south you cruise through an industrial area and you get the feel that this is the biggest city we have come across. Loads of cars. Somehow again we navigate through the grid and find our way to the Pension California. WOW what a cheapie with heaps of character. Chris has got a fever so we opt for seperate rooms this time. A tiny bit more expensive but worth it to avoid the plague. He looked in a bit of pain.
La Paz was a bit crazier than the previous locations. Yep heaps of cars, and HEAPS of people at the La Paz Carnaval which was on the main drag habourside. While in La Paz we did la Carnaval of a night and explored during the day.
Playa Balandra was mind blowingly beautiful. The beach wrapped around an expansive tidal bay of turquise azure waters and was flanked by typical Baja landscape - undulating desert hills covered with cacti. The tour to Isla de Espiritu was also mind blowing and highly recommended. We paid $55 AUD each for a day trip which saw us snorkle with a sea lion colony, not to mention a very diverse range of fish species aswell, visit isolated beaches of cultural indigenous indian significance, cruise through rock arcs and past surreal formations. One formation resembled a masked face and was rumoured to whistle (scream) when the wind blew a certain way.. It was totally worth every peso. The company is Punta Baja, our tour guide was an 18yro called Migueal, and you leave from Playa Pichillingue which is the next beach around from the Ferry. Words cant explain the beauty we experienced that day, hopefully the fotos do!
We bump into Micheal and Amy again and share a 750ml bottle a Biccardi which I might add cost just $8AUD. The last night of the Carnaval was absolutely crazy and nearly out of hand when a local was not so friendly this time and tried to pick a fight with Steve. Steve´s ninja aquatic merecat skills had this guy bamboozled and in all sorts of trouble i.e. he kept asking for a fight and Steve ignored him and he walked way.
So, with the sea lion snorkle, Playa Balandra beauty and craziness of La Paz Carnaval under our belts, it was time to move on. We hand the voyager back into thrifty, oops sorry about the scratches aahhh insurance will cover that sweet as, and hop onto TMC Ferrys, destination Mazatlan.