Sunday, December 30, 2012

Two Very Different Cabos…Cabo San Lucas & San José del Cabo

Approaching Cabo San Lucas with Los Arcos
and Land's End in the background.
It may sound weird, but it was good to leave Cabo San Lucas.  The marina we were staying at was right smack dab in the middle of the tourist district and the traffic, noise, and constant presence of souvenir hawkers was a bit much to take.  The bars and restaurants that line the marina basin blasted music until late at night, and at the risk of sounding “old”, it was a bit much, even for me.

The marina at Cabo San Lucas.
The marina basin is filled with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, upscale shopping centers and souvenir shops and things get going pretty early.  We were docked a bit away from the “front edge” of the basin so we at least had that in our favor; though in reality, like I said previously, it was like our boat backed right up to the tequila stands/discos.  I know, many of you are thinking that this would be awesome.  Well, let me tell you succinctly: It isn’t!  This part of Mexico, Cabo San Lucas specifically, is actually like being in America.  There were as many American chain restaurants in the marina area as there were Mexican restaurants and all the restaurants listed prices first in US dollars then in Mexican pesos.

Beautiful beaches in Cabo San Lucas.
Not to be disenchanted, Richard and I did some research and discovered if you walk a few blocks out of the tourist area, you can actually find some relatively authentic Mexican restaurants; places where English isn’t a requirement and prices are listed in pesos.  We ventured out each night we were in Cabo in search of these places, taking the adventure along with the dining experience as part of our time in Mexico.

Flying the asymmetrical on our way to San José del Cabo.
After a few days in Cabo, we decided to head to Puerto Los Cabos Marina in San José del Cabo for the night in order to shorten our passage down to Bahia Los Frailes.  The marina at Puerto Los Cabos is fairly new and rather large; large in terms of getting from our slip to the office and showers.  But the walk is along the edge of the bay so it is pleasant.  As soon as we tied up, I headed out in search of the playa as it had been a long, hot day on the water.  By the time I reached the playa, the sun had gone down and the air temperature was rather chilly.  I had passed a small, boutique-ish looking hotel that had an open-air restaurant and decided to stop in to check things out.  As it was Monday, the special of the day was bbq pork ribs so I quickly went back to the boat and informed Richard of where I wanted to have dinner.  We were not disappointed.

San José del Cabo.
The next day, Richard decided to join me on my morning walk and we walked from the marina to the small town of San José del Cabo.  It was very charming and not in a touristy kind of way.  The center of town had a large plaza that was lined by small shops, restaurants, a church and boutique hotels along a tree-lined boulevard.  We walked around the arts districts and then decided to have breakfast at a small hotel restaurant.  It was really pleasant to be sitting outside for breakfast watching the small town start to come alive on a regular weekday morning.  Had we known that San José del Cabo was going to be this nice, we probably wouldn’t have spent so much time in Cabo San Lucas, and would have enjoyed this part of Baja California Sur more.

Incidentally, Richard was the one who suggested that we walk to town, claiming that it looked like it was only about a mile away.  In reality, it was much further than that, and the “mile” Richard sort of remembered…that was the length of the bridge we had to cross to get to town, and then cross again on our way back to the marina.  Oh well, it was definitely worth it.

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