Continuing southwards on Baja California. Beautiful beaches – at least to look at them. La Paz and the very special case of Los Cabos and getting ready to fly back to Swizzyland. Que lastima!
The last evening in Loreto. A great experience. Now we know not Americans invented the greatest burger on earth; no it’s definitely this Mexican at the Buena Vida – a small eatery serving the towns best ceviche and tacos de camarones. After that, we discover the greatest overlanding vehicle ever – an original 2CV. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find their owners. And finally, we enjoy a great IPA at Loreto’s plaza. Here we chat with an elderly guy telling us, that he doesn’t need any holiday at all. He’s just here in Loreto for his dog’s holiday. The poor dog gets depressive if it has to stay at home the whole year. Whatever.
La Paz, 10th May
The next morning goodbye to Fanny’n’Steve of the nice Iguana GH – and we’re on the road to La Paz. Some 350km. Initially along the Sea of Cortez, then over Baja’s Sierra to continue in the flat land. Cactuses on the left, cactuses on the right. Road straight for some 100 km. Not a single bend.
In the afternoon we arrive in La Paz. The proud capital of Baja California Sur. And the town with the nicest Malecon in Mexico.
The Malecon – A street lined with small beaches on 1 side and numerous eateries’n’watering holes on the other. And 1000s of people sneaking around. All in search of the ultimate place at the beach, a boat trip, a beer, a taco or simply nothing.
It’s also the place of occasional events – today Durga McBroom’s tribute to Pink Floyd.
La Paz is not a town with too many tourists – at least at this time of the year. And the few Gringos sneaking around mainly concentrate on the Malecon.
The backstreets rather remain the domain of Mexicans.
Downtown got a considerable facelift in recent years. Remain just a few historic buildings.
Nevertheless, there are some corners rather reminding us to Kinshasa than a Mexican town
Should you be searching for some investment in La Paz – there are still some offers with a huge potential for creative’n’innovative people.
Of course, La Paz is also a town blessed with street art – great murals everywhere. Many slightly fishy.
Finally, La Paz is also the place where we’ll leave Prado for its summer holiday for the time we’re back in Swizzyland. At the airport, there’s La Paz Mini Storage. For 60 bucks a month they offer shaded parking for Prado. Well protected from the sun, fierce temperatures, tornados, and hurricanes.
Cabos de San Lucas, 12th May
We decide to drive on to Todos Santos. Well, slightly unhappy. Where else in the Baja could we find such a lively town.
On the way a look at nearby Cerritos Beach. The water: a surfer’s paradise; the beach: a construction site.
Todos Santos, a small town renowned for having 1 of the best preserved old towns on the Baja. Thus must be a wonderful place.
Most houses renovated. The guys seem to not to spare any effort to please its American clientele.
Sneaking thru the streets quickly we have the feeling of a pretty deserted place. Nobody else admiring whatever might be admired, most shops closed, just a few empty eateries have opened their door – probably still optimistic that someone will pass by. Maybe it’s just that the esteemed customers are not really pleased that even the simplest munchery asks the triple of La Paz’ restaurant prizes. Who knows.
Maybe it’s the wrong time of the day or the year. Well, most tourists from the north have gone back to their icy homes in the north and the locals probably have moved quite some time ago to more affordable areas.
Finally, can you imagine – when we wanted to go for some bites in the evening – at 7pm most places had already closed. Time to move on as quickly as possible.
So we do the next day. To Cabo San Lucas. The place everybody warned us to visit.
The road mostly follows the seashore. Probably you’d think a great opportunity to go for a swim, to catch a fish for dinner or just to tan in the sand.
Far wrong. The whole area is solidly fenced off and equipped with signboards. Of course not to prevent innocent tourists to snatch a fish from the brave local fishermen.
No, some clever businessmen bought the whole land along the shore. Hoping for an even more clever investor to build another completely overprized hotel for their American customers escaping the harsh winters in the north. Great idea to make some pocket money – maybe we’re wrong. The investment could just be a laundry for some guys.
Los Cabos – a cluster of huge tourist centers along Baja’s southern coast.
Probably for many US and Canadian citizens the absolute dream destination. Comparable to Mallorca’s Ballermann for Germans, Rimini for Italians, some Greek Islands for British, Jeffrey Bay for South Africans and Ugii Nuur for Mongolians.
The ultimate place for beach partying, early-morning-to-late-evening-drinking, hangovers and the possibility not to remember anything the next morning. So far – great. And probably there’s much more.
It’s also the ultimate place for some Mexican or American companies to earn some desperately needed cash or to convert cash of 1 kind of money into the other kind.
Supposedly nowhere else are customers so willing to pay whatever they’re asked for. And probably nowhere else it’s so easy to move money from 1 pocket to the other and consequently nowhere else in Mexico is a region booming like Los Cabos.
Of course, the landscape still looks pretty nice. Especially in Cabos San Lucas – if you ignore all these sensations happening around you. If you close your ears, don’t listen to some of the most dump animation programs ever, don’t perceive the 5000 other people around you and if you have the rare competency to handle some 200 dealers offering you whatever you would even not dare to present to your ex-girlfriend.
Of course, if you’re tired of beach life with all these beauties hanging around you have the unique opportunity to go shopping in 1 of the exquisite malls. Get your gift for auntie Jane. She’ll definitely appreciate your small handbag of this famous brand – even if suspicious eyes might realize that the leather looks a little like Chinese made plastic.
And should you be bored with all this stuff, go fishing. There are a few boats for rent. A few guys hanging around at the harbor will surely make you an exclusive offer.
After all this – need a bite? No problem, 100s of restaurants offer you all kind of delicacies. Mainly to satisfy American taste. Eg some flank steaks for 50$ (US$ not Mexican Peso), or a beautiful rib eye for 80$. Of course , this prize range only applies to ordinary street side muncheries. Should you need something more exquisite go to 1 of the gourmet restaurants in a beach front hotel. Please respect their dress code – very smart casual, but not black tie.
Or go to a Taceria. To eat simple Tacos.
La Paz, 16th May
In desperate need of an alternative to Cabo San Lucas we drive on. Along the coast. To San Jose de Cabos. The hotels along the coast remind us to Spain’s Costa Brava in the 70ies. These hotels that soon later converted into ghettos for drunken British youngsters on their 1st holiday without mom’n’dad. Well, maybe in the Baja it develops differently.
San Juan de Cabos. Still 1 of the Cabos. Visibly still largely oriented to their American tourists. Nevertheless, they also have a pretty nice downtown. And contrary to the other Cabos there are even a few Mexicans sneaking around.
Then we’re on the way to Los Barriles. A village further north at the Sea of Cortez.
On the way we pass the Tropic of Capricorn. For all those who never had the chance to experience crossing a tropic we can ensure south and north of this important geographical line look pretty the same. It’s more about the position of the sun above you on 21st June.
A side trip to Cabo Pulmo National Park. Mainly a marine park with the biggest coral reef in the Cortez Sea. Thus a snorkeling paradise. And that’s what we have to explore.
The road to reach the place: a little bumpy, but ok. Hopefully prevents tour busses from Los Cabos to drive here.
We arrive at the beach. Definitely looks wonderful. White sand, blue- turquoise water, you can see the reef not far out. We’re ready for the snorkeling trip of our life. To see the most colorful corals ever, millions of fish glittering in all imaginable colors, maybe even some seals or turtles to swim with. We sneak to the water, just ready to put on our masks’n’snorkels when a very friendly American tells us the story about today’s jellyfish invasion. She even knows somebody who ignored all warnings – now on the way to a pharmacy to buy a considerable load of painkillers.
Incredulously we stare at her. Then she shows us these 1000s of small stranded animals along the beach. All jellyfish. What a pain in the ass.
Remains a walk along the beach.
Instead of exploring 1 of Mexico’s most spectacular coral reef, we head on to Los Barriles.
Some guys highly recommended a visit to this small coastal town. Unfortunately we don’t remember for what reason. At least for us the place is pretty boring. True, there’s a beach – filled with fishing boats. And …
… after some searching we find a place to have a few bites. Not really a sociable place. Some elderly American men hanging around, pretty silent, not much else. Well, there’s 1 advantage: they sell IPA.
The next morning we drive back to La Paz. On the way a visit to the village of El Triunfo. No idea what to see, we just got curious because you see their adds everywhere in Baja Sur. Well, a small village definitely worth a stop. You’ll feel they put the hell a lot of energy into attracting tourists. And they have some nice houses to admire.
There’s a former silver mine to visit. Unfortunately no longer that easy to enter since some clever businessmen charge an entrance fee without thinking of somebody who opens the gate.
A little later we arrive in La Paz. Time to get Prado ready for its summer holiday.
Nevertheless, before that we have to visit Baja’s most beautiful’n’famous beach: Playa Balandra. Just a few km outside town.
The next morning we leave for this beach, …
… a last glimpse of La Paz and soon later we arrive at the beach.
Definitely the most beautiful beach. No need to describe, just look at the pics.
Back to La Paz. Prado desperately cries for a spa. The very 1st 1 since we left Las Vegas more than 2 months ago. Of course, we cannot send it to its holiday home dirty as it is.
Then back to the town center. Time for a sundowner at Mexico’s nicest Malecon, …
… to watch the sunset over Cortez Sea and …
… to finally munch oysters at Mariscos Bismarkcito’s.
Lucerne, 18th May
Remains saying goodbye to Prado at its luxury summer residence at the airport and …
… the incredible trip back home starts. La Paz to Ciudad de Mexico to Cancun.
Spending a night at 1 of Cancun’s awesome airport hotels. Sipping some Pacifico from the nearby 7-Eleven to sweeten up our time.
Then on to Zurich. Of course Condor – few affordable alternatives to this chicken transporter flying directly to Europe. Thus avoiding transiting the US and consequently waiting many hours for the friendly interrogation of a friendly American immigration officer.
A beautiful night at Grand Hotel Condor. The usual gourmet dinner – Double Cooked Pasta al Tomate con Chile. Already now we miss this delight. Dear Condor, please send us your receipt.
Finally the hop to Zurich …
… and soon later we can enjoy rainy weather in Luzern.
Hey guys, that’s it for now.
In a few days we’ll start our Spanish lessons in Spain.
And we’ll be back on the road in October. Further to the south.