We had planned to head back to Vieques, our special little island in the Caribbean, but the trifecta of hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria killed those plans. Instead we decided we would give Mexico a try, specifically Cabo San Lucas. For some reason we have never ventured south of the border for a holiday. There was always somewhere else on our travel radar that trumped our southern neighbor. That and the reports of rising levels of violence. Shortly after making our reservations we read the following State Department posting for the Cabo area:
Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. According to the Baja California State Secretariat for Public Security, the state experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents.
But we were assured from our contacts in Cabo that tourists were safe so, with a little trepidation, onto our plane we did board. When leaving out of Seattle, tradition has it I always grab a Seattle Times to read on board…..bad choice this time. There in black and white was an article describing six people hung from highway overpasses just out of the San Cabo airport the day before we left. Should I show Heidi or not???? Too late…she saw. Trepidation is building to consternation. But wait….it gets worse.
The next day we decide to drive to the Walmart in Cabo to grab some groceries and supplies. On the way we cross a bridge spanning a dry riverbed and there to our right was a body just lying in the sand. “Don’t look”, I say. Of course, Heidi looks, and being the positive person she is, she assumes he is just passed out drunk, sleeping it off. But why was there a small battalion of police walking about? About an hour later, shopping completed, we cross the arroyo on our return trip….and there, in the same spot, still uncovered, was the body. Definitely asleep, like forever asleep. So what is beyond consternation? Alarm? Worriment? Jitters? Horror? Angst? Dread?…..all would fit our feelings.
We had rented a cute little casita with a pool mid-way between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. As we both came down with terrible colds, we decided to just hunker down, enjoy the warmth and sun, read our books and try to erase the vision of the dead body from our minds.
A couple days later, feeling a bit better, we ventured out to explore the area. First day into Cabo San Lucas…a bit touristy for us…seems to cater to the younger crowd, but we did find some amazing tacos. Another day into San Jose del Cabo…home to the airport and more laid back than Cabo. Thursday night is Art Night in San Jose del Cabo. The roads are all closed to traffic, the galleries open their doors, singers, dancers and entertainers take to the streets, and food smells from all the restaurants hang in the air. We just roamed from street to street taking in the sights and smells. Fun time.
Left early one day for a road trip up the Pacific coast to Todos Santos. Todos Santos is a little art community, home to an enclave of ex-pats. Cobblestone streets, art galleries, little cafes….our kind of place. Ate at Tequila Sunrise Cafe across the street from the Hotel California. The Hotel actually has nothing to do with the Eagle’s song, but you find yourself humming the tune all the same. At Tequila Sunrise we had probably the very best margarita known to mankind and served to us by Mr. Margarita himself…worth the trip just for the beverage.(recipe at end of blog) We also grabbed a cute little piece of pottery and, a must for us, a piece of artwork to frame when we return home.
Once we got over the dead bodies, we actually enjoyed our time in Cabo. The sunsets and sunrises were spectacular. The people we met were kind and friendly. The food….well, the food was amazing. We found a little hole-in-the-wall place in Cabo named Gardenias that served the absolute best tacos for just a couple bucks and occasionally we splurged on high end restaurants. Cabo is definitely growing with many a new hotel being built. Across the highway from us was the Grand Velas Resort. Rooms here go for $900.00+ a night and they have a taco that sells for $25,000.00. Really, $25,000.00….filled with Kobe beef, Beluga Caviar, civet coffee and even some gold flakes.
We’ve always been foodies and we got our fill here in Cabo.
We are glad we decided to visit Cabo…it was close and somewhat inexpensive. The scenery was spectacular and nothing but sun and warmth in the middle of winter. Nice place to escape the cold and snow in Washington state.
Recipe for Margarita served at Tequila Sunrise Cafe in Todos Santos
Wet the rim of a Margarita glass using a slice of key lime (do not use water!)
Salt the rim of the glass
Fill glass 3/4 full with large ice cubes (about 3 oz of ice)
Add 3 oz of quality blanco/silver/plata tequila from 100% de agave. The El Capricho tequila is what is used in Todos Santos.
Add 1 oz of Cointreau
Add 1 oz of Damiana liqeuer
Squeeze 4 key limes into the drink, add a lime slice to the rim and “stir slowly” with a straw.