Monday, March 29, 2010

Road trip - south Baja loop

We rented a car to drive our friends to the Los Cabos airport for their flight home. With the boat safely tucked into a marina, we had an excuse for a short road trip. Conveniently the route between La Paz and the airport can be covered as a loop.

We started down the eastern side of the loop, which is shorter but more winding. We slowed down to see the old mining town of El Triunfo, and took a breakfast stop further on. The "check engine" light came on in the rented Dodge Attitude, but it turned out to be a non-issue. We dropped Karen and David off with plenty of time to spare, then headed south to San José del Cabo.

Our first stop was the recently-opened Los Cabos marina. It was a bit hard to find because the road leading to it is still under construction. It was filled mostly with sportfishers and large power yachts, but we made our way to the one dock with a few cruising sailboats tied up to it. We were surprised to find that you can stay here for only about $1/foot/night if you don't mind going without electricity. This is only a third of the cost of the other slips in the marina, and we had given the place a miss in December because we didn't know about the low-cost alternative. We spoke briefly with the crew of Orca, whose southbound trip had sadly been delayed when they were struck by another sailboat in Newport, Oregon, and had to sort out the damage before continuing.

After we left the marina, we headed into town. The center of most Mexican towns is the church, and we arrived at San José's church just as the Palm Sunday service was winding up.

Outside the church, a number of vendors had created a myriad of palm-based sculptures and ornaments for worshippers.

A block away, we discovered a really nice French bakery. The confections were amazing, and the prices weren't too bad.

From San José, we drove along the "gut" of tourist development that has almost completely obscured views of the coastline all the way to Cabo San Lucas. And still there is more development planned.

We didn't bother to stop in Cabo, having seen enough during our 3 days there in December. We were longing to see the natural scenery, which came into view again a few miles outside of town. Unfortunately, non-existent shoulders and heavy traffic made it impossible to stop and take any pictures. We carried on to Todos Santos, where we planned to spend the night.

Todos Santos has a long history of its own, and only recently has it started developing as a tourist destination. It was easy to see why people like it. It looks a bit like an oasis in the desert, with farms and nurseries on the outskirts of town. It has a number of beautiful beaches nearby, popular with surfers (but rather dangerous for swimmers). And it has a district of old buildings that makes it seem more like a town on the mainland of Mexico than a tourist hangout. But real estate development is in full swing here, and we found the restaurants here to be pricier than almost anywhere we had been in the last several months. We did find a good deal on a motel room, and we enjoyed our typical street taco lunch even more than the "Asian fusion" dinner.

The last section of highway leading from Todos Santos back to La Paz was the most modern, and strangely, the least crowded, of our short trip. Still, we were glad to get the rental car safely returned, and to get back on the water (even if we are still in the marina).

1 comment:

jules said...

Sounds like fun! I'm sorry I missed your call over the weekend. Love you guys!