Monday, May 22, 2000

Baja is amazing from the sea as well as the air. I can't believe all the secluded coastline we passed as we pulled in to La Paz. It's wonderful to see a place so spoilable and yet so unspoiled. We love the La Paz environs - all the coves, beaches, etcetera. The malecon and the city itself are also very attractive, and it is a long way from being a tourist haven. Just a quiet, prosperous city that really isnít near much of anything else.

We took a taxi from the ferry terminal to the malecon in La Paz, and then made perhaps our toughest hike this entire trip from there to the bus station - with our packs. It must have been five miles. The 90-degree heat and the toxic odor from two weeks' worth of used, seawater-soaked socks made it brutal.

We bought tickets just in time for the 11:00 a.m. bus to Todos Santos. It sounded like a cool place to spend the afternoon and night, but we missed the stop - a very brief stop, no terminal, nothing. Todos Santos looked kind of lame anyway, so no big deal. We ended up in Cabo San Lucas about 1:30 p.m. and decided to stay one night there.

Found a room at Hotel Marina. They were asking $58, but they quickly reduced it to $35 as we were walking away. The first room did not lock, which the staff found absolutely hilarious for some reason. The second room was much better and had a fridge - yippee! We are tired of drinking everything hot. There were a couple of geckos living in the closet, but they mostly left us alone. We had an excellent lunch at La Serenata down the street - generous-size New York strip and a big plate of shrimp for less than $10.

Another guest at Hotel Marina

In the afternoon we walked south toward Landís End, but the trail from the beaches is no trail at all. You must cross large, somewhat unstable, unmarked steep terrain. It was about 100 degrees and I was in no mood for that! No wonder everyone takes the water taxi. Instead, we went swimming at Playa Escondida, a beach popular with the locals, along with the little Mexican kids. The kiddie-pool strength waves were just our style. How do we keep finding these great places while all the other gringos are banished across the harbor, crowded too close together and paying way too much for refreshments? Weíre just lucky, I guess.

The locals' beach - Playa Escondida

Took a short siesta and decided to go out bar hopping. We tried to do some shopping, but the aggressive hucksters in Cabo San Lucas never sleep. We quickly tired of the whole hard-sell crap (didnít take long). We stopped in a drug store and saw a couple Americans trying to buy Viagra. The pharmacist was not amused, and proceeded as if she deals with these people a dozen times a day.

Obligatory shooter at the "Giggling Marlin"

After a brief stop at the Giggling Marlin, we finally ended up back at our lunch place, La Serenta. We chose seats where we could observe Sammy Hagarís Cabo Wabo bar, which is right next door. We were on the second floor, so we were able to look down on them literally as well as figuratively. Take note, guys - Cabo Wabo has a very large ratio of women to men. My guess for that night would be about four to one. The place kind of reminded me of a frat house, but with women.

Cabo San Lucas gets pretty loud late at night. Mexico makes us sleepy, though, so we managed to sleep through it.

Continue to day 15.

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