Puerto Los Cabos (The marina in San Jose del Cabo) was a great place to spend time meeting up with friends, however it wasn’t long before they all left us once again to move onto new and exiting destinations. Where are you headed? and What are your plans? are popular questions repeated among cruisers. Some of our friends were headed to La Paz, and others were crossing the sea heading towards the mainland. Us? We were staying put because we are a rare breed of Midwesterners that found a way to make this cruising thing work while keeping our jobs. Blessed or cursed some would argue, all we need to make it into the office is a reliable Internet connection. Working pretty much regular hours during the week via the Internet from our boat, is sometimes hectic until you take a moment to pop your head out of the companion way and drink in the view. It’s way better than any cubicle view I’ve ever had, and the commute? Nothing beats the commute! The incentives to finish up at work constantly surround us, giving us that extra bit of motivation to get the job done, so we can get out there and explore whatever new place we’ve landed!
The Puerto Los Cabos marina is fairly new to the marina scene. The trails surrounding the marina are neatly manicured and sprinkled with artwork from local artist Leonora Carrington. Everyday we’d take time out to contemplate one of the 15 bronze sculptures and series of paintings that surrounded us, making up stories for what exactly they meant.
The bronze sculpture cross that over looks Puerto Los Cabos Marina, was designed and built by Gabriel Macoetel one of Mexico’s most distinguished sculptors. It has become a landmark for San Jose del Cabo. The cross honors area missionary history and signifies a bold step toward the future.
Some of our evenings included spending time at the Marina restaurant called The Container. The restaurant got its name because it was creatively made out of a shipping container. They featured a live band every Wednesday that played a variety of American and Latin music. Their menu even offered the service to clean and cook any freshly caught fish you brought to them! We met very interesting people in the bar, including a few captains and crew aboard the next group of rally boats to make their way down to Baja. The Fubar Rally, another rally similar to the Baja Ha Ha with many less boats (30). One minor detail, none of the boats are sailboats. They are all powerboats of the semi-large variety, starting in San Diego (like the Baja Ha Ha) and ending in La Paz. San Jose del Cabo was just one more stop to fuel up, and spend a few days before continuing onto La Paz.
As a lover of farmer’s markets I found out Puerto Los Cabos had its own! The question was, how to get there? I randomly choose to ask a person on the dock. “Sabe usd. dónde está esto?” (do you know where this is?) I said, pointing specifically to an icon on the map that said Farmers Market. I thought I’d curb any long walking excursions this time by pointing to the exact streets on the map while asking for directions. “Yes!” was the reply. Our new friend spoke a bit of English. “I can give you a ride if you want, I’m going to pass right by there.” Normally, I’m not about accepting rides from strangers, but he looked pretty harmless. “Ok, let me grab my husband and we’ll be right there!”
Grant and I returned and we both hopped into the front of a two person truck. During our ride, our friend explained he and his friends recently purchased a catamaran and were doing free snorkeling tours every night. (Another floating disco.) We turned down some pretty dusty roads, even passed a Mexican cow, then our friend stopped the car. “Oh Dear,” was all he said. Looking ahead we saw the sand on the road had been pretty well kicked up, but without too much more hesitation he gunned it, and there we sat, sand-locked at an angle in the middle of the road.
There was no one around, we looked like we were in the dessert and there was ankle deep sand everywhere! In one quick moment a few thoughts flashed before our minds. Is this some sort of setup? Are the crazies going to jump out now? But, our friends expression was clearly one of distress, we put away our imaginations, and started assessing the situation. Look, we were originally from Iowa. I’ve gotten stuck in the snow with my car millions of times. How could this really be that much different? Turns out it was way different! We tried putting the floor mats under the wheels, we also got a bunch of sticks and rocks (we were in the desert for crying out loud!), perhaps we could make a sturdy trail for some traction? But, we were getting nowhere. Digging in the sand does not miraculously uncover concrete! His rear wheel drive truck would move slightly forward by what seemed like only few centimeters before getting stuck all over again! Spinning your wheels in the sand just digs bigger holes!
Our driver seemed to have an idea, and started deflating some of the air out of the rear wheels. We weren’t sure that would help, but didn’t question his method. I ended up finding a random guy walking by picking up garbage and I recruited him to help. He reluctantly came over. As Grant, and the random reluctant garbage man, pushed the truck backwards, I was instructed to jump up and down in the back of the truck bed, while our driver friend gunned it in reverse. Slowly but surely this method worked! We ended up going back the entire way we came until we were on much better ground. Of course a bicyclist showed up off the beaten path just after we had unstuck ourselves. Maybe this area wasn’t as remote as we thought. Our friend apologized, took another route and dropped us right in front of the farmers market. We thanked him mucho!
Later Grant and I laughed about the situation, and we continued exploring downtown San Jose del Cabo. I was in heaven with this quaint picturesque town and all of it’s art galleries. Thursday nights featured an Art Walk where you could go around and visit all of the galleries and meet the local artists. However, this was Saturday so we did our own version of the Art Walk. We walked into quite a few and observed the variety of styles and subject matters.
We passed by the Misión de San José del Cabo Añuiti in the morning and observed many activities for school children happening in and around the area. Ice cream and balloon vendors rang little bells while waiting outside for the children to be dismissed. We passed the Misión again in the afternoon and observed a different scene from the plaza across the street.
The misión has an interesting history displayed in its entry way. It was started by Jesuit missionaries who came from the North working their way down into Baja. Father Nicolás Tamral founded the misión and tried to convert the local indigenous groups with zero success. While the misión was able to ease turmoil for ships traveling long Pacific voyages, by providing water and fruits , the local indigenous groups started a rebellion. During the rebellion Father Nicolás was brutally killed. The region was eventually pacified and over the next decades and the misión fell into complete decline. The Jesuits left and the indigenous groups became extinct from European diseases. New groups moved into the area and helped form today the misión and church that is now part of the Mexican Nation.
In front of the church was the main plaza and some government buildings that hoisted the largest Mexican flag I had ever seen!
The best part of the entire Los Cabos area, besides how cute the town is, was the food! While we didn’t really need a whole lot of groceries, (we still had food left from San Diego) we spent some time sampling the local area food. Lots of organic restaurants sprinkle the area. At one point we treated ourselves to delicious, fish tacos from my favorite place, El Marinaro Borracho (The Drunken Sailor). Downtown we tried the pizza’s (my favorite!), salads, lasagnas, Spanish tapas and cappuccinos!
But no matter how good the food is, Grant would argue, “Nothing beats the candy shops!” (Spoken like a true candyholic.) Sometimes, I have to agree!