Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Report #129 Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Mexico May 8, 2017 Monday Partly cloudy & 76 degrees Part #1 Of 3 88 Pictures

Honestly?  76 degrees?  In Cabo  San Lucas?  Yep, that was the high of the day, which was the first ever for us.  The Amsterdam sailed into the San Lucas Bay early this morning around 8am, under partly cloudy skies.  There was a fresh breeze blowing across the decks, promising us a most pleasant day.  It has been so hot and steamy since we left Ft. Lauderdale, that we were not complaining. 

 

Cabo is located in the state of Baja California Sur and has somewhere around 65,000 residents.  Once a haven for pirates such as Sir Francis Drake (he sure did get around) and Thomas Cavendish, it is now a place of swanky new hotels and condos.  Sport fishing put Cabo on the map, followed by many times shares, where folks can enjoy year-round temps in the 80's. 

 

Also famous here is El Arco, or the big hole in the rocks.  You can find sea lions all around this area, and right into the marina where they feed on the numerous schools of fish.  Snorkelers and scuba divers, as well as water sports draw the young crowds here, especially during spring break.

 

There were 16 tours offered here today.  They ran from 1 hour to 5 ¼ hours.  They were priced from $38 to $220.  Among them were boat tours, coastal highlights, swimming tours, and a pirate ship ride.   For the more adventurous, they had zip-lining, parasailing, horseback riding, and a cooking class taught by a dancing chef.  You could learn to make salsa and mix margaritas.  The snacks and drinks were included as was learning how to dance the salsa.  Later in the day, we learned that due to the rough seas and cool weather, most of the swimming tours had been cancelled.  Not too sure about the deep sea fishing adventure either, since the sea conditions may have caused the folks to get seasick…..about the worst way to spend 5 hours for $220 each. 

 

As for us, we had a light breakfast, before heading off to the tender boat.  This was the one and only tendering port of this 15 day trip, and we had been granted priority tender service.  So we did go to the front desk, where Grazela escorted us down the secret door and down the elevator to deck A.  We waited there to board the next boat, which arrived in 5 minutes.  We discovered that Cabo was using their tender transfer boats as well, which was a great way to get the folks ashore quicker.

 

The ride was short, but also fun to see the pelicans and sea lions as they follow the boats into the marina.  It has been at least two or more years since we have been here, and we were surprised to see how much progress has taken place since then. 

 

We walked to the older part of town to Cabo Wabo, which was just opening up.  Too early for lunch, we got a new t-shirt, then went to check out the Hard Rock Café.  Guess what?  It was closed up tight….gone.  Abandoned.  Don't know when that happened, but we could not find it anywhere else, thinking they may have moved elsewhere.  That is the second one gone from Mexico….the other one used to be in Puerto Vallarta.

 

We continued to Puerto Paraiso, the nice modern mall located right off the marina.  Diamonds International happens to be located inside this mall, and where the shopping guide on the ship had a shuttle for the guests to take there this morning.  They offered a free raffle, margaritas, a charm bracelet, a free charm, and more gifts with a purchase.  Bet she had a bus-load of customers.  An upscale Luxury Avenue ties into Puerto Paraiso with the "swanky" boutiques and the very high end stores.  It also comes with extreme security with guards armed with uzis.

 

Continuing our walk around the marina,  we came to a section that used to be time share shops.  Now these have been converted to mostly cafes and bars, because a new and huge resort has finally been completed.  It is called Breathless, and fits its name well.  Where we used to leave the paved sidewalk and follow a sandy path to the beach, it is all now paved all the way to the end of the harbor.  Where we used to take off our shoes to walk the surf, there is a bar and grill with chairs and tables on the beach.  Really civilized now, and much more crowded. 

 

The water must have been really cold, since there were few folks braving the surf this morning.  We did not even see the usual jet skis or banana boat rides along this long stretch of beach.  Too cool and windy, we guess. However, if you wanted warm and a fresh-water pool, there was always the hotel and resort at Breathless, which is located on the roof of the second level, overlooking the bay.  They may sell a day pass there.

 

Guess what we saw "parked" next to the Amsterdam?  A large Carnival ship, the Miracle.  We have no stats on the vessel, except to report they have 18 lifeboats, holding well over 2500 passengers.  Denise and Howie's family have sailed on it, saying it was set up nicely for their young kids.  Cabo's tender boats were assisting in the transfers to shore for them also.

 

Too chilly to walk the surf, we back-tracked to the Baja Brewing Co. for beers and pizza.  Usually, we sit outside in the patio area, but today we chose to go inside.  Denise and Howie were already there, so we took the table next to them, with the high stools.  Ordering the mesquite-wood fired margarita pizza was the best move of the day….. it was so delicious (extremely thin and crispy crust), that we ordered a second.  Figured it was a good way to end our final port of this long 126 day cruise. 

 

Window-shopping was all we did on the way back to the tender landing.  We heard "two for one", almost free, free?, best deal of the day, it's real silver for $1.  There were fewer street vendors, but more police present.  More than we have ever seen in fact.

 

At the last big Mercado artisanal market, we searched for woven napkins to match the new tablecloth we picked up in Huatulco.  No luck though.  Some vendors suggested for us to buy another tablecloth and made our own napkins, however, their prices were twice as high as the one we bought.  So we got nothing.

 

There was a boat landing outside the market, where some locals were selling fish to feed the humongous sea lions.  Their barking echoed through the whole marina as they begged.  Always fun to watch these animals close up.  Even the pelicans were looking for a share, even trying to steal it from the seals.

 

All aboard was 3:30pm, so we headed back to the ship by 3pm.  We could see the choppy waters outside the bay were getting rougher, so we knew we might have an interesting sail away.

 

We got to the aft deck, wearing sweatshirts, to find the Mexican Ambassadors already singing and dancing up a storm by the Seaview Bar.  They drew a big crowd to say "adios" to Cabo and Mexico, although the music was really loud, it was nice to have the music back.  We all really miss the fun sail away parties we have always had on past cruises.  

 

And once the ship rounded the corner, we got the best views of El Arco and the rocky outcropping Cabo is so famous for.  The winds were the worst we have ever experienced, so holding the camera was a challenge.  Lounges, towels, chairs, and tables had to be secured before they became projectiles.  Most everyone had to hold on to the railing to get back under shelter, since the water in the pool was raining across the fake teak decking….very slippery. 

 

Of course, we took the rest of the afternoon to work on photos and the final port report.  Dinnertime was in the dining room, where we enjoyed Dutch pea soup and coq au vin and a traditional leg of lamb meal.  Both were excellent, as was the dessert of ice cream and a light cake.

 

The entertainer this evening was a rerun show from the world cruise by Juan Pablo, a virtuoso pianist, and very talented.  Also a rerun, the movie in the Wajang was The Boat Builder, also a good movie.

 

We have two days at sea to get to our final destination of San Francisco. 

 

Bill & Mary Ann


 

The Bay of San Lucas

 

A growing town

 

Dry, arid lands

 

Famous outcroppings

 

Limestone

 

Los Arco is in the middle

 

Hillside resorts

 

Partly cloudy skies this morning

 

Local tender boat

 

Local tender from Cabo assists in the transfers

 

Easy boarding

 

Our boat in the water

 

Breezy today….almost cool

 

Missed this port last year

 

Sheltered bay

 

Tender boat ride to the marina

 

Looking for the sea lions

 

Very close to shore

 

Heading towards the marina

 

Condos and time shares

 

Just about solid resorts now

 

Nice place to vacation, especially for the snow bunnies

 

Popular with the Canadians

 

Anchored right in the bay

 

The new resort and spa is finally built

 

Situated at the marina's entrance

 

Top level is all pool and lounging area

 

The new Breathless Resort and Spa

 

Dinner boat tours

 

Pirate ship tours

 

Really fun tours

 

Usually include some rum

 

Some sweet yachts in this marina

 

Big bucks here

 

Two of our favorite waiters

 

Easy to get ashore

 

3:30pm….last tender for passengers

 

The start of the shops and bars

 

Tender landing

 

Senor Frog's….a popular tourist spot

 

Small and large vessels

 

A pelican hitchhikes

 

A juvenile pelican

 

One of the prettiest marinas

 

Very built up since our first stop here in the 70's

 

Local cacti

 

Cabo Dolphins….a fairly new complex

 

Government building, not opened yet, but well-guarded

 

View of the marina

 

Two-for-one beers here

 

And lots of fish entrees

 

Cabo is famous for marlin sport fishing

 

Town is clean as a whistle

 

Nice…..no traffic this early

 

Easy to cross the street

 

Heading towards Cabo Wabo Restaurant and Bar

 

We know it is up one of these streets

 

Mexican folk art

 

Cut-up license plates for sale

 

Need a hat or two?

 

A bicycle taxi had a hard time getting up the hill

 

A nice place to eat

 

Nothing was opened yet

 

A few souvenir shops were opened

 

Older hillside condos

 

A local museum

 

A fruit stand

 

Free tequila….shot glass rental: 20,000 pesos……very funny

 

Famous Cabo Wabo Cantina

 

Iconic tower

 

Sammy Hagar, the singer, founded Cabo Wabo

 

Used to sell the best burgers in town

 

Can't miss it

 

Quiet streets this AM

 

More traffic

 

Treasures for sale

 

Shops behind Cabo Wabo

 

Giggling Marlin Bar

 

Build it, and the people will come

 

So many boats

 

Looks the best we have ever seen it

 

More restaurants than anything

 

Italian too

 

Squid Roe, another icon

 

Paraiso Paridiso

 

Bouganvilla grows like weeds

 

Fountain marks the mall

 

Most colorful

 

 


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