The name of this blog promises you travel and travel you shall get! While I’ve been reporting from SF for a more than a month now, it is time for some real travel. Last week, the bf and I flew to Cabo for the long, holiday weekend. It was my first time in Mexico and I was super excited to take in the beautiful landscapes, explore some desert terrain and feast on authentic local food. It turns out Cabo is probably not the best place for an authentic Mexican experience, but is absolutely incredible nonetheless.
We stayed at a spectacular, but tranquil, resort located in the “corridor” between San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. Set against stunning white sands, with both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean in its backyard, Las Ventanas’ sprawling property includes several infinity pools, a luxurious spa and four award-winning restaurants. The beautiful open air Sea Grill serves delicious meats and fresh seafoods prepared in a wood-burning grill and clay oven. A fantastic lunch here woo-ed us back for independence day dinner and the breathtaking location provided us with an up-close view of some beautiful fireworks.
Mi Casa, a restaurant in central Cabo San Lucas, is another place we enjoyed. Decorated with hundreds of wall hangings, quirky tequila bottles and traditional folklore, the restaurant’s entryway will fascinate and mesmerize, a highly desirable effect in case you are waiting for a table. The place definitely has a touristy vibe with an entertaining mix of glamourous party-goers as well as the occasional mariachi or flower-seller. The menu, though not super creative, is easily likable and the portions, quite large. The service occurs at a leisurely pace but is extremely friendly; our waiter insisted on not charging us for our little touched ceviche (it was too tomato-ey).
A big limitation of Cabo is that you cannot really swim in the ocean. Not only is the Baja California Pacific choppy and cold, it is dominated by powerful undercurrents and a rocky coastline, making it extremely dangerous. Keen for some snorkelling, we decided to join the Cabo Escape Cruise and head out to the calmer waters of Chileno Bay. However, a hurricane from a few days earlier had brought cool weather to Cabo and as our ship set sail, we quickly realized it was going to be even cooler in the ocean breeze. An hour and a few pina coladas later, we arrived at our destination. The crew had handed out snorkelling gear and life jackets and now, ready to explore the famous reef, we stood in line to jump in. The water was FREEZING. Not cold like tap water, but cold like ice water – what a shock! It’s hard to breathe when your body is submerged in an ice bath but we somehow recovered and fought the current (yes, it was as strong as ever) to swim out to the “reef area”. Hmmm… ten minutes later, we still weren’t seeing any fish. I looked around and the few people who’d made it as far out as us also looked puzzled, searching earnestly for some sign of sea life. The water was not only freezing and incredibly rough, it was murky and completely devoid of fish. We swam back to the boat and climbed aboard only to learn that the hurricane had driven the fish out to warmer waters. Hah! The one group that had spotted a fish had been so elated that they’d started chasing it, busting out the waterproof cameras to capture this rare life form we’d all gone to so much trouble to see. Hopefully this wasn’t an eerie glimpse into the post-BP future…
Snorkelling misadventures aside, Cabo really is fantastic. After our cruise, we ended up having lunch at a wonderful lobster shack where we got talking with a Canadian couple who’d retired in Cabo 5 years ago. The husband’s deep sea fishing trips supply them with an abundance of fresh marlin and they’d had their latest catch prepared by the restaurant as ceviche – a happy retired life indeed. We spent the next day driving ATVs through the desert and exploring hidden beaches along the (calmer) Sea of Cortez; it more than compensated for the choppy Pacific. So, if you’re looking for white sands, beautiful resorts, dramatic landscapes and fantastic food, consider Cabo. Just hope that you get there before a cold-weather hurricane.