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Journal - 27-Feb-2001, Tuesday, La Paz and Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico
(Trip: Baja California, Whale Watching, Copper Canyon.)

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Click for larger image! Los Cabos. Keywords: backpack,Mexico,baja,california,baja california,travel,overland,los cabos,cabos,cabos san lucas,san lucas,san jose,camping,camp,aguila,bus,autobus,la paz
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Click for larger image! Cabo San Lucas Bay. Keywords: backpack,Mexico,baja,california,baja california,travel,overland,los cabos,cabos,cabos san lucas,san lucas,san jose,camping,camp,aguila,bus,autobus,la paz
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Los Cabos
Cabo San Lucas Bay
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The night on the bus is horribly cold and actually prevents me from sleeping - even though I've managed to nab my own double seat. As the cold subsides, a few hours are caught before we arrive at La Paz at 07:00.

On a arrival we say goodbye to our whaling friends and head off in search of the ferry ticket office. We've decided to take the ferry to Topolobampo (try saying that after a few 'Pacificos' - the local brew). From there we'll travel the short distance to Los Mochis and take the 'Copper Canyon Train' to Chihuahua. The 14 hour train journey through the canyon is supposed to be quite spectacular. The ferry leaves tomorrow night at 22:00. In the meantime we plan to head to beaches of Los Cabos at the southern most point of Baja California.

We find our way to the ferry ticket office by public transport (taxi's are quite expensive here). The office is closed so we look around for some breakfast (and a clean bathroom). A 'naturalist' shop/restaurant a few blocks down looks promising. The menus are in English only but the prices don't seem to extortionate. So far so good.

After ordering, the hot chocolate arrives fairly promptly but there is a 20 minute wait for the eggs. When they finally arrive, I tuck in with vigor. That is, until Monica starts complain about insects in her beans. I think she must be mistaken but the thing she's pointing at sure looks like a small beetle. I check my own beans. Confirmation. We've been served a plate of 'frijóles con bichos' (beans with bugs). We point this out to the waitress who frowns and takes our plates away without saying anything.

A few minutes later our plates are returned with rice replacing the beans. The eggs and potatoes are now lukewarm - appetizing! The breakfasts are charged at full price ($5 each) and no hint of apology is given. I wonder how the same situation would be dealt with on the US side of the border. Probably free breakfasts for life!

The ferry ticket office is now open. While waiting in line, I chat with an American who has driven from Seattle and plans to hit Puerto Vallarta before turning back. Americans sure love to drive. During our trip we've met people who've brought their cars from all over the US.

Next stop is the tourist information office to look up campsites in Los Cabos. Great things tourist information offices. We come away with a list of five possibilities.

By 11:00 we're on the bus to the beach. We're both a bit tired and it shows in our actions. I throw away a 20 peso note (retrieved) and Monica pays for our bus tickets but doesn't bother taking them from the salesperson. We've called ahead to a campsite and it looks like the bus will take us right there.

As I sit on the bus, watching the road ahead, I muse that it's quite liberating to travel like this; with no fixed itinerary and few responsibilities. Now if I could just figure out how to make a living at the same time...! On the prospect of being a penniless, well traveled, bum, I consider that at least I'll have a photo record (thanks to the ton of gear I'm carrying), and this journal (if I keep it up), to show future generations! "See, child, your grandfather wasn't a complete loser...".

Getting to our campsite turns out to be a bit of a trial. First the bus drops us off about 2km too far along the highway. Luckily there's a regular local bus service along road and a kind stranger helps us catch it. Next the place turns out to be a bit of a dump - it looks more like a carpark than anything, with nothing nearby except the main road, 3km outside of town (and the beach). We can't imagine pitching a tent there so we decide to look elsewhere.

Earlier, on the outskirts of Cabos San Lucas, we had seen a 'camping' sign that looked much more promising. It was pointing towards the beach for one thing! So we hop on the bus again till we reach the sign. We walk down a long, straight, sand road towards the sea. The road ends in a 'T' junction where the beach begins. Fancy hotels, recently built or in process, line the beach. Monica asks if we couldn't stay in one. No verbal response is needed - we both know we're trying to stick to a tight budget.

Following another sign, we head left, expecting to fall upon the place any moment. Following yet more signs we make our way along a winding sand lane; roughly parallel to, but out of sight of, the shore.

Eventually, after a trek (in total) of around 2km with full gear, we arrive at the site. Seems to be run by a Canadian couple. We pitch our tent and take a long awaited shower. Gorgeous. The campsite is pretty nice - more a hotel with place to camp. Best of all, because it's really a trailer park, there's a power point right outside our tent! I start charging two sets of batteries, my Palm, and the Digital Wallet.

Both hungry, we decide to head to town to eat. We carry our dirty clothes to be washed too. There's a taxi stand close to the campground. We ask how much to the city center (a few minutes away): "Seis dolares" (six dollars). We walk.

50 meters down the road a 'collectivo' (a mini-bus with a preset route) picks us up for $0.80. We stop at the first laundry we see. A charming lady takes our cloths for $3. A few doors down we stumble on what turns out to be an excellent restaurant. For $9 we enjoy a delicious 3 course meal. We try to force in every morsel!

By the time we walk home, with our beautifully folded laundry, it's started to get dark. We're a bit nervous. By the time we get to the sandy lane to the campsite, our path is illuminated only by moonlight. Now in the country (the site is in a wildlife sanctuary), I relax and comment on how romantic it is. Monica, on the other hand, tenses up and snaps at me when I try to take her hand. A 'city girl, country boy' thing I guess. We trudge along the moonlit path in silence. When we arrive, un-eaten by beach bears, we kiss and make up.

Relaxing in hammocks at the campsite, Monica falls into a deep sleep. Transferring to the tent, I follow suit.

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Cuba - Rotorua, New Zealand - Christ Church, Dublin - Monument Valley, Arizona - Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico - Staffa, Scotland - Huamantla, Tlaxcala, Mexico - Costa Rica - Tule Tree, Oaxaca, Mexico - Fiesta, Mexico City - Making Lacquer, Olinalá, Mexico - Talavera Ceramics, Puebla, Mexico - Mata Ortiz Pottery, Mexico - Lebanon
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