Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 3 Cabo San Lucas

Day 3

October 28, 2008
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

I picked up today’s Sudoku puzzle on the way to the stateroom after breakfast in the dining room. Breakfast was open seating and we met some nice people. I cannot remember any of the names however because we were all carrying on various conversations and did not really introduce ourselves properly. That’s what tends to happen at open seatings. I just remember there was a lady from Germany eating solo, a couple from Ottawa Canada, a couple from Minnesota wearing McCain-Palin buttons. I can’t remember anyone else’s hometowns. I dropped off my Sudoku puzzle sheet and Mom and went to the Colony Club room to get a tender ticket to go ashore early. The tenders are reserved for passengers taking tours, then general tendering begins at 1 pm.

My number was 10 and I was able to leave the ship and tender to Cabo San Lucas at 11:30 am, not bad. Tendering is always an experience. I was balancing precariously on the last seat in a row hoping to stay seated as we dipped through the waves and back wash from the speed boats and jet skiers flying around us. Anywho I reached Cabo safely and left the pier with a crowd of other cruisers. There were three other RCCL ships in Cabo the same time we arrived. We were immediately bombarded by cabbies and private boat and tour operators. There were lots and lots of women and children selling silver jewelry, whistles, dolls, dresses, etc. I just kept walking past all of them. Not interested. The first stand that caught my eye, at which I immediately stopped was the snake handler. Yep, there was a young woman who was offering to take pictures with her 8 foot long python named Syd. I took two pictures with Syd. She was not charging for taking the pictures, she just had a basket in her stand that said tips welcome. I dropped a couple of bucks in her basket. There were also who women had iguanas and lizards, but they just weren’t as interesting as Syd.

I proceeded from there to town where the shopping area was. I stopped at the Tesoro Hotel to mop my face and cool off. It was about 3,000 degrees in Cabo. I drank some water then moved on. Oh I almost forgot, I saw the biggest Roach I have ever seen in my life - including the flying ones I saw in St. Thomas. It’s legs were about two inches high and it was at least six inches long. It walked across the sidewalk in front of me. I could not get my camera out in time to take a photo, but I will never forget that puppy. Moving on.

I finally made it to Diamonds International. I must have looked pretty pathetic, they got me a chair and Kleenex and a soft drink. It also could have been the VIP card I presented them with thanks to Shannon. Then we started working on my dream earrings and ring. The earrings were easy. I got a pair of studs totaling .84 karats and they will be just lovely in my second holes. Then the real fun started. I told them I was interested in a chocolate diamond, they had none in stock but they had some other rare colored diamonds. Of course she brought me an outrageously gorgeous 2 karat brilliant diamond that was about $10K over my budget. We looked at many diamonds and I ended up purchasing a beautiful canary yellow diamond with a very high Egl rating because it is naturally colored not treated. It is just under a karat .99 and I LOVE IT. I picked a simple gold setting and they made me a perfect ring. Shannon picks up all of the jewelry for the ship and I did not have to wait two hours for it in the 5,000 degree heat.
I found a souvenir store a few doors down. I purchased a few things and met a really nice family. The owner started speaking to me in rapid fire Spanish. I was like, whoa - mas despacio por favor. He said in English, your Spanish is so good, Mexicali Spanish I thought you were fluent. I was very pleased to hear that - kudos to Rosetta Stone South American lessons. Yay!!
That was all I could take I headed back to the tender station. Said Gracias, No another 500 times and made it to the pier just as a tender for our ship was about to leave. Thank goodness, it was 8,000 degrees by then. I got back to the stateroom stripped and jumped in the shower. I even had to wash my hair. Only the couple from Calgary, Shannon and Kim made it to dinner. I set the safe combination and put my earrings away. All in all I enjoyed our first port of call.

RCCL Spotlight on Cabo San Lucas
Location - Los Cabos located on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula is the the nickname for the two neighboring "capes" of San Jose del Cabo and the cruise ship destination, Cabo San Lucas.
Population 41,000 people.
Languages Spanish and English.
Currencies are pesos, US dollars, travelers checks and credit cards.
Time Zone Mountain Standard Time.
For centuries the Baja peninsula was an isolated area inhabited by Cochimi Indians. In the 16th century, lured by rumors of Aztec gold, the Spanish explorer Hernan Cortez sent ships to explore the area. The first ships landed at what is now La Paz, where many crew members were slain by the Cochimis. Though the survivors found no gold, they did discover a bounty in pearls. Aside from the pearl trade, the Baja Peninsula held no wealth for the Spaniards. In the 17th century, the Jesuits arrived and founded the first mission at Loreto in 1697. In all, 30 missions were founded by Jesuits and later by Franciscans and Dominicans. By the 1850s, as disease depopulated the peninsula, all were abandoned.

In 1834, US President James Polk sided with Texans who were tired of paying taxes to Mexican generals. Troops marched on La Paz and San Jose del Cabo. At the bargaining table, Americans conceded they didn't need any more desert than they already had. Baja was thus left to the Mexicans. Today, Cabo San Lucas is unspoiled and is one of the world's best fishing areas. It remains Los Cabos' primary tourist attraction with beautiful white sand beaches, great shopping and a large American retiree population.

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