ATV's, ATM'S and the Infamous Water Taxi
Allow me to introduce you to Juan, one of the nice cabana boys who brought us drinks and was generally always about either at our hotel or at the beach club. Because our hotel was located in a packed and bustling marina (we loved that), guests were required to take a free water taxi to a sandy paradise a few minutes away. Said paradise was peopled with browning vacationers, very few children and a number of chaise lounges and umbrellas.
Also of note- the supply of Coronas and quesadillas which were part of our All-Inclusive package. Quite often Juan shared our water taxi and made lively and entertaining conversation for the five minutes we were aboard. We saw him so often that he began calling mom and pop K., 'mama' and 'papa' and of course Ryan and I were then, hermana and hermano, brother and sister. Other vacationers, like the confused guy in the first picture, could not understand the relationship between the white tourists and this mexican kid. But darn it, he was cute and funny and we took him in. He is now Juan K.
The water taxi was a thing to behold, a plain wooden boat with a makeshift canopy. Getting into the taxi was easy, a gentle step down from the boardwalk and into the hands of a good looking driver. This was lost on Dave and Ryan who refused to hold hands with anyone but Eileen and I.
Getting out of the taxi at the beach was another issue altogether, and back in again from the beach club a feat even beyond that. There is no dock at the beach club. Boating enthusiasts and people who are still in their 20's, know that you simply vault yourself over the bow and into the sand below. (Boats are tall when they're not in the water) Getting back in is done essentially the same way for the guys, one hand on the edge of the bow and you vault yourself back in.
Let me tell you, I was pretty impressed with myself when we landed that first time at the beach and I easily cleared the low rim of the bow and landed deftly on the white sand. I wore a little jean skirt over my bathing suit and not one drop of water splashed onto it, so gifted was I at this getting out of the boat thing. Eileen allowed herself to be aided by all the waiting mexican men and was gently lowered to the ground like a true lady. It was when we had spent the afternoon tanning, drinking and swimming and were ready for our return trip that my ego was quickly deflated.
I'll let you in on a little secret, the jean skirt was not a fashion statement, but a concession to the fact that I no longer have a bikini body that can just be flaunted about. It happens to all of us and I hadn't worked out much in recent months. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to get back into a boat that comes up to your chest when wearing a skirt of any kind, let alone one that's a bit, shall we say, snug. And so, my valiant vault from the vessel was disgraced by my inability to get back in. In the end, Eileen and I were both helped by the cabana boys (with only a modicum of laughter on their part) and were eventually able to ROLL OURSELVES into the waiting taxi. Being in your 20's does not help when all anyone can see from their spot on the beach is flailing white legs and a denim covered butt trying helplessly to shimmy into a boat.
We comforted ourselves with the knowledge that we would never see these people again, except of course, for the many other trips we would take over to the beach via water taxi to repeat the whole embarrassing display. But really, who's counting? Eventually I learned that in Mexico, they just want to see your body and they don't care if your a size 6 or a size 16. At first this was very unnerving, the ogling, but I have to say, it does a lot for a persons self-esteem to get a glance occasionally. I prefer to think they were ogling, and not staring at the crazy white girl. Let's just leave it at that.
As I posted last time, eventually we did give in and take a time-share presentation tour. It lasted an hour longer than it was supposed to but did include breakfast and mainly consisted of being shown around a gorgeous resort. The pressure at the end was annoying, but it was quickly nipped in the bud when we explained that we were actually poor. We were given our vouchers for all of our wonderful activities and were escorted out a back gate into a filthy side street. I have a feeling that the folks who signed a lease probably were taken back to their hotels in a private jet.
We were told we could go down to our beach club, which fortunately was at the base of this resort, and wait for the water taxi. UN-fortunately, the water taxi's ran every hour on the hour and it was now exactly 5 minutes past. He'd already been there and gone and we would have to wait 55 minutes for the next one. Clad in nice clothes and not having thought to bring bathing suits (we were told we would be taken back by shuttle, the same way we were picked up), it seemed we were going to be stuck sweltering on the beach. At this point, adventure or not, I am plotting ways to do in the lovely Violet.
Like all good Kendall's, we revolt, and start walking. How far could it be, really? Just up the beach, around the jetty and then it's a quiet stroll through the marina where there's plenty of shopping and restaurants.
*Dave fixing Eileen's shoe on The Long Walk Back*
*Dave fixing Eileen's shoe on The Long Walk Back*
Beaches are funny things. They, for some unknown reason, always look shorter than they are. WE WALKED FOREVER until finally coming to a paved path that led to the marina. Even I was exhausted, but Eileen looked as if she might just sit down and wilt. It was well over 90 degree's and trudging through the sand in nice clothes was just not her cup of tea. We'd left the beach club almost an hour before and were still not even half way back to our resort (marina's look smaller than they are, too). Eileen and Dave find a shady Cantina to sit in and have a drink and we formulate a plan. Ryan and I will go back to the resort, find Violet, give her merry hell, and demand that she send a taxi to pick up the Sr.'s.
45 minutes later, out of breath and exhausted, we reach the front desk at the resort where I use the phone to call hotel management. I am going over the heads of the hostesses. Somehow, the conversation ends with me apologizing and feeling as if they are doing me a great favor, but with the agreement that they will send someone for the parents. At that precise moment, Dave and Eileen come sauntering through the lobby looking refreshed and relaxed. They've hired their own cab and are now on their way to the pool.
"Are you telling me that I just ran more than a mile in flip flops and a skirt in 90 degree heat to SAVE YOUR LIFE and you didn't even need it??????!!!"
" Relax. Let's go eat lunch." Dave shrugs his shoulders in that way he does. The twitch is back, but only momentarily. There's a pina colada upstairs with my name on it.
Later, when we have recovered, we pile our vouchers on Dave and Eileen's bed and look excitedly at one another.
"Ok." says Ryan who is none the worse for wear after the long hike back even though he eats nothing but junk food and never exercises. "What are we going to do first?"
Eileen and I have already paid for a private horseback ride on the beach, so it stands only to schedule our freebee's. ATV's, a glass bottomed boat tour, a dinner cruise and tandem massages for Eileen and I.
"First things first," I tell him. " I notice you haven't been tipping. Why aren't you tipping?"
"I don't have pesos."
"There's a currency exchange downstairs. We can get some money right now."
"There's a problem with that."
"What? What problem??"
"I don't have any dollars either."
"You got $200 in Phoenix, what do you mean you don't have dollars?"
"Well, I didn't exactly get the money in Phoenix."
"You didn't?! What were you doing while I was in the bathroom?"
" I bought a muffin."
This exchange continues for awhile, with us eventually becoming pretty ticked at one another and Ryan going to find an ATM. Easier said than done apparently as it is two hours before he returns. There is no ATM in our hotel lobby and the ATM at the bank across the street is out of order. He has had to speak to several mexican police officers in order to locate another ATM that carries dollars. This ATM is halfway across town. He has had to jog there.
By the time he returns it is almost dinnertime and our entire first day in Cabo has been spent running around town (literally) in the baking sun. I am trying to find a way to pin this whole ATM fiasco on Violet as well, but haven't thought just how to manage that yet, when Ryan arrives. He is exhausted, but now has money and a pretty good mental map of Cabo San Lucas.
And thus our first day in Cabo comes to a close. We eat dinner at the hotel buffet and eventually retire to the Sr.'s room for more pinochle and mini bar beverages. The evening ended well and though this hotel did not boast a farting bed, the view was enough to make up for the lack of it. (I'm including here, a picture from the room at sunrise. If I posted one of sunset- you would see nothing but dark water.)
The Pinochle game is rowdy and peppered with crude humor and personal insults (is there any other way to play??) and we are sure the occupants of other rooms can hear us. They are making enough noise of their own so we don't worry. The sounds of Cabo nightlife mix with those of the sea and the marina and drift up to our balcony. There are about 15 cantina's below our room and we can hear all the conversations at once in a laughing melody of voices. The balcony doors are open and a breeze is moving the sheers.
In spite of the time share issue, the ATM fiasco and the heat- there is really nothing like this place. Tomorrow we will be swimming in the Sea of Cortez and riding horses on the beach at sunset. I look at Ryan and forgive him for buying a muffin when he should have been visiting an ATM. The activity vouchers lay on the dresser and the ATV brochure is on top. I know what the guys are thinking about and decide right then to join them. No way they're having that kind of fun without me... and it all begins tomorrow.
*please stay tuned for next weeks episode of Baja Tuesdays... Horsepower, Horse power and the Secret in the Sand.