Day 14 Miles: 90
We started Day 14 by crossing The Tropic of Cancer, which felt fortuitous because Cancer is my astrological sign. It also happens to be The Year of the Monkey – my Chinese Zodiac sign, so 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year for this Tramp.
The Baja rewards you for driving its backbone to land’s end and Los Cabos. “Cabo” means “cape” or “end,” and both are apropos here. “Los Cabos” includes the gallery town of San Jose Del Cabo, the resort town of Cabo San Lucas, and the corridor in-between.
We are staying at Villa Serena, one of the few remaining RV parks in Los Cabos; all that valuable real estate is being eaten up by posh resorts. Villa Serena isn’t as serena as it used to be, with four lanes of traffic and a Home Depot right outside its gates, but it has a lovely restaurant, lots of flowers and palm trees, Wi-Fi, and hot, strong showers.
Day 14: Glass & Eccentric Characters
On our first day in Cabo we toured a glass factory. I must admit to being a bit spoiled by Dale Chiluly in Seattle and the artisans on the island of Murano in Italy; I much prefer Mexican pottery to Mexican glass. One of our group summed it up nicely when she said, “It is more impressive as a whole than one piece at a time.”
We were “treated” to a glass-blowing demonstration, which in the heat was not much of a treat. The men made a Tortuga, or turtle, in a sombrero, drinking a bottle of tequila. No stereotypes there!
It took about five minutes to make the turtle. I thought I might buy one as a gift for a friend back home, but the price tag was $22.50 US. Here’s a photo demonstrating how quickly they’re moving the inventory at the glass factory:
I call that one, “The lone duster.”
That evening we had dinner at JP’s Trailer Park Restaurant, whose description on the back of the menu speaks for itself. Los Cabos attracts a special type of rugged individualism.
Day 15: An Artist Community, Tequila, & No Bad Days in Gringoville
We kicked off our first full day in Los Cabos with a trip to San Jose Del Cabo, an artist community with a town square, a mission, and several boutiques and shops with clothing and jewelry.
I headed out on my own via taxi to Cabo San Lucas when our tour returned to the campground, as I was on a mission: Buy Tequila at The Giggling Marlin.
In keeping with its eccentric character vibe, Cabo is the home of the Giggling Marlin, a tongue-in-fischeeks bar that is now selling its own brand of tequila.
Currently the tequila is available only in Cabo and not in the United States. I sampled the Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo, settling on the middle variety Reposado, which tasted peppery, not unlike Herradura.
For dinner our group was off to Latitude 22, known for its “No Bad Days” slogan.
The place is over-decorated and over-stimulated a la Red Robin, with the focus on fishing. The margaritas were way too sweet and the menu was strictly white-bread, with pot roast, hamburgers, and chicken fingers.
Which leads me to an observation: Cabo San Lucas is a white person’s haven. The whole place caters to those with snow white tans. If I was a local, I would be so resentful of the daily influx of tourists that even my gratitude for having a job would not prevail. There are haves and have-nots in this town, and it’s only getting worse as RV parks and timeshares cede to luxury resorts.
Day 16: Pleasant Rip-Offs
While some of our group went snorkeling this morning, I was part of a splinter group seeking a glass-bottomed boat tour of The Arches and other rock formations off Cabo’s shores, together with Lover’s Beach and Divorced Beach.
Negotiations for the tour were fast and furious, resulting in the agreed price of $11 US per person
for one hour. Ten minutes of that time was spent getting gasoline. After approximately 20 minutes out on the water, we headed back to the marina. Several of us in the group grumbled, which led to a probably-staged “argument” between the barker and the captain, but did not result in the $5 per person refund that we requested. Given the circumstances it was time to dust off that Gringo phrase, “No Bad Days,” as we recalled the beautiful scenery and photos we captured in our short time. It was 11 bucks, after all.
The fleece job continued at Cabo Wabo, Van Halen front man Sammy Hagar’s place, opened in 1990. A Mojito was US $10. Teeshirts were almost $40. I don’t think Sammy needs the money as much as our small boat captain did.
Our trip to Los Cabos has been pleasant enough, and I have enjoyed the stimulation of a big city. But, I cannot avert my eyes from the urban sprawl, the poverty, and the price-gouging. Adios, Los Cabos.