Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Road Trip - The Farmer Goes to Cabo

The first stop on our cruise was in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It lies at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. I should have put two and two together - Baja + desert = a desert-like landscape. Somehow I envisioned it to be a lush tropical environment. It's a prehistoric looking landscape with huge rock formations jutting out of the sea.

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The cruise ships anchor in the harbor, which means passengers must be tendered to shore. This can be a tedious process when you have a thousand or more people wanting to go ashore. Here's one of the tenders pulling away from the ship. It was a rocky ride to the pier.

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The harbor was filled with beautiful boats.

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At least one was in the category of the rich and famous.

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Our neighbor who is a boating enthusiast said that this was over 150 feet. It gets 100 yards to the gallon and carries about 15,000 gallons on board. You do the math.

Buildings snake their way along the hillsides.

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These buildings were under construction. Another neighbor said that 90% of what we were seeing has been constructed since the last time she was in Cabo, perhaps 10 years ago.

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This crazy old building was high on a hill overlooking the harbor and the shopping area. The funniest thing was that there was a huge sign just underneath this house that said, "Not for Sale". We called this the Clint Eastwood house.

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This is a bit unnerving the first time you visit Mexico or Central America.

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As Americans we are not accustomed to seeing men walking around the streets with assault weapons. There is alot of military presence each time the ship would enter or leave the port.

My friends and I did a little shopping near the pier while we waited for our excursion boat to arrive. This was the first port and already this stuff all looked the same. I didn't buy a thing, much to the consternation of the shop owners.

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Here's just a peek of what we'll be doing tomorrow as we head out into the Sea of Cortez to look for whales!

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NOTE: Let me know if at any time this begins to feel like watching someone's tedious home movies of their vacation. You know what I'm talking about - Uncle Fred and his 8mm films of the family trip to the Grand Canyon. I'll do my best to spice things up by making up stories about pirates and drunken sailors. (Neither of which we encountered)

14 comments:

Lucy said...

Nooooooo! I've never been to Mexico so I'm loving this. And I live two hours from the border. But I do remember in the sixties when the neighbors came over to see our slides and movies on the screen and they both fell asleep.

Thirkellgirl said...

I think it's all great. I'm living vicariously through your vacation report. :)

lifeinredshoes said...

Isn't the water the most beautiful blue? I wondered, out loud of course, if it was due to raw sewage being dumped into the ocean? Hey, this is Mexico. And I was also disappointed in the shopping, I brought home shells and beach glass. And the military presence, they're on the wrong side of the border.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I've never been on a cruise but I'm with the farmer - when I get to go I want a balcony! blessings, marlene

Louise said...

I can't imagine getting bored with this! I love to see other places, and you are a fantastic tour guide. Though I'm not a shopper, it might have been harder for me to resist buying anything. I LOVE bargaining in Mexico. It's addictive. And the military presence... more Americans need to realize how good we have it.

Vee said...

The colors of sea and sky against those rock formations are glorious. What kinds of things were the vendors selling?

Lisa said...

I am really enjoying your pictures & stories from your trip. You shouldn't stop. We have 3 young children and money is tight. It has been about 5 years since we've been on vacation....so I am living my vacation dreams vicariously through these posts! Plus, seeing these pictures of sunny, beach locations helps when all I see around me is cold, rainy weather!

Texas Gardener said...

Interesting stuff, don't stop. I had no idea the Cabo area looked that way. I also pictured a lush enviroment. Too bad about the shopping. I always hope to come home with a treasure and I rarely do.

bv said...

we have friends who have one of those houses on a hill. the first visit we floated around the pool loving the view of the sea..the second time the view was of the house built in front of us.we watch a zillion labors carry buckets of cement up the hill to build the homes...there is nothing like the seas colors but the area has to much contrast for me . the haves and the have nots. I am loving going on you trip with you-can't wait for tomorrow.
bv

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Daughter and her hubby were down there a few years ago to participate in and photograph the wedding of friends... it really is gorgeous!

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Trish said...

Hee Hee...love your humour...you are amazing as a tour guide...perhaps you might have a whole new career?! Keep it up...don't stop...it is my escape this week...during this rainy dull work week...my coffee breaks are taking me awaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Suzanne said...

Lucy - Are you kidding me? Get thee to Mexico. Not to the border towns, though. OOOOOOOhhh....they're terrible. Go to those spots on the west coast or my personal favorite - Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan.

Thirkellgirl - I've spent many, many an hour living vicariously myself....so enjoy! I'm glad you're along for the trip!

Red Shoes - The water on the pacific side is a very dark blue, unlike the Caribbean. It's beautiful but a bit scary because that stupid Captain Lars had to tell me how stinking deep it was! Damn Swede.

Marlene - Yes, you need a balcony for privacy and relaxation. We had a coffee pot in the room and a mini bar so there was no need to leave the room.

Louise - I need to take you along next time because for some reason I hate to bargain, and they're all about making a deal. The machine guns are unnerving but I think the presence is in response to the great drug trade problems. When we were in the Yuacatan we would see helicopter gun ships running up and down the coast looking for drug smugglers. The NEW pirates, I guess.

Vee - the rock formations were fantastic and so prehistoric looking to my midwest eye. They were selling jewelry, knick knacks, pottery, some clothing. After awhile it all looks alike and you never can tell what real (silver, for example) and what's not. I certainly wasn't going to be buying that $26,000 yellow diamond ring I spotted in one jewelry store.

Lisa - You are ME....25 years ago or so. We were struggling to raise kids after making the decision that I would be a stay at home mom. I literally LIVED on the adventures of others. My best friend (no kids) and her husband literally traveled the globe. I watched Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall, never believing that I would have some adventures of my own. There is life after raising kids! Although that's a pretty good life too!

Texas Gardener - Somehow I just imagined everything south of the U.S. as a tropical paradise. The surprising thing in the Caribbean is that the landscape changes dramatically between each island. The island of Antigua is similar in it's arid atmosphere, although Cabo is very, very desert.

BV - I know what you're talking about. But these areas are not industrialized and machinery would take those jobs away. As unfortunate as their lot looks, they're happy to have the opportunity to have a job. This was explained to me by a local who was our guide later in the trip. It is quite a stark contrast and makes me feel uneasy also.

Blue Ridge Gal - I bet that was beautiful. We didn't get to poke around the town and see the more beautiful properties. I bet there are some luxurious places.

Trish - Humor??? I'm funny??? Don't tell my family, they'll never believe you. Travel and write about it for a living? Sounds like my dream job. The Farmer and I love to travel, both near and far. We can have just as much fun in Hannibal, Missouri as we can in Cabo.

Thanks everyone for visiting with me today. I appreciate the fact that you take time out of your busy day to read my scribblings. Remember, tomorrow we're going to hunt for whales.

-Suzanne

tam said...

LoL Suzanne I love the way you post! Great story telling and wonderful photos too! Thanks for sharing-lucky girl! ~Tam:D

Laura said...

I know what you mean about the soldiers. When I went to Cancun two years ago, there were soldiers in the malls and there were soldiers walking up and down the beach in full gear with AK-47's on their backs. I took a picture of them as they were walking away and later found out that if they had seen me, I could have been arrested. Oopss..
~*~