Sailin' the Sea of Cortez - Spring 2008 travel blog

sunset restaurant

surfer beach

tropical view

cactus

San Jose main square

souvenirs for sale


We’ve turned into slugs. Careful introspection causes us to believe that there are two causes. #1. The condo is a very pleasant place to be. We over look the pool, which is also a pleasant place to be and if we get really ambitious, we can stroll down to the restaurant and take in gorgeous views of Land’s End from the edge of the reflecting pool. We could drive to another beach; there are certainly lots of nice ones here, but why bother? The one right here suits us just fine. #2. We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Mexico, especially the last two winters. We like being here, but one town gets to look a lot like another and the restaurants get pretty predictable, the quality of the food corresponding pretty well to the price charged. Cabo has lots of great restaurants in all price ranges, but it can be just as nice to heat a pizza and eat it on the deck. Mexico has lots of great souvenirs and handicrafts. But just how much silver jewelry, T-shirts and colorful ceramic plates does one girl need? Today we did make it to San Jose del Cabo and saw some lacquer boxes that were very artfully made, but we racked out brains - if we bought one, where would we put it? We’re in the downsizing part of life. That lacquer box stayed right where it was in San Jose.

San Jose is about twenty miles northeast of Cabo on what is known as the tourist corridor. Descriptions we had read of this area warned about the horrible overbuilding of hotels and resorts here. Well, after spending the winter in coastal Florida, the tourist corridor was quiet and tasteful indeed. The resorts were spaced far apart and low rise for the most part. They were set well back from the road and beautifully landscaped. The look of real nature here is dry, dusty and full of cactus and scrub. Add a hose and fleet of gardeners, and a profusion of colorful flowers and decorative plants please the eye of the passing motorist. There must be some issues regarding where the water comes from and how much can be spared, but no one seems to be talking about it here. In Mexico all the beaches are open to the public, so anyone is free to swim at the Hyatt or any other bit of beach. A multitude of surfers had gathered in one area looking for that perfect wave. In the time that we watched, they were stuck bobbing in rather placid water.

San Jose itself was a smaller, quieter version of Cabo. We joined tourists from the cruise ship who had traveled there by bus, roaming the main boulevard, looking for souvenirs. It will be a sad commentary on my stage of life, when I pack tomorrow night and conclude that the only thing I’ve really bought here is cheap medicine. Pills and ointments ought to fit nicely in the suitcase.

When we drove a bit east of San Jose and off the tourist corridor, things got much more depressing. Buildings were in horrible states of disrepair and festooned with graffiti. Plastic bags and garbage was thrown every where. We passed a barrio of folks living in shelters assembled from anything they could find in the local dump. We thought about that low income housing sitting empty near out condo and felt sad. An international gathering of politicians was held here a few years go and they all flew in to the airport at San Jose, which is where we will leave. The normal drive to Cabo from the airport would have taken these pols through this barrio ridden area. The solution? Don’t bother to clean up the places where these poor folks live and give them respectable housing. Quickly build a by-pass toll road that no local can afford and make sure their eyes are never sullied by sad reality.

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