Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cabo Two

Here's Chapter One if you missed it.

Part I
Day two we decided to have breakfast and walk the beach to San Lucas.  It was a nice day.  Every day in Cabo was low of about 65 F and a high around 87 F (clear blue skies).

Friday was no different.  The backs of my legs got burnt on the way to San Lucas.  Our hotel was on a "no swimming recommended" beach.  This is both good and bad.  You don't have a lot of kids out screaming in the water so the beach is relatively nice and quiet.  But, on the downside, you also don't want to go jumping in the ocean.  I suspect the tide would have been most unpleasant in its attempt to suck you into the cold depths of the Pacific.

The walk from our hotel to San Lucas went past several stretches of beach which were "swim friendly".  It also goes past lots of hawking salesmen who are attempting to sell you anything from hats to jewelry to Cuban cigars to weed.  It turned into kind of a game as do all things in my twisted sense of adventure.

I started trying to remember names so I could yell at them on the way back.  They'd come greet me as if I was a long lost friend and I'd return in kind, shaking their hand warmly and asking how they'd been doing.  Soon I had a list of names who wanted me to sit at their table at their restaurant on the way back to the hotel.  We didn't walk back.  More on that later.

Once we made it to the pier leading into town, we met Carlos.  Carlos and his wife/girlfriend/business partner had an umbrella where he hawked various "tours".  I gave him the same routine as I'd given the last 100 or so guys just like him, but his English was better than most and he had a very friendly nature and a good sense of humor (i.e., he kept me entertained).  He told us about Pancho, the 800 pound sea lion who likes to ride on the back of boats.  He told us for $10 each he would get us a tour of the island where the sea lions live, the arch, lover's beach and a ride back to our hotel.  "Excellent!" says I as I scratch my now beginning to burn calves, "We'll come back after we've explored the town!"

Off we went to explore San Lucas.  Remember when I said I lack common sense?  I'm about to hit my first one.  I went souvenir shopping and bought two shirts.  We ate at a place called "No Worries".  I chose "No Worries" because the girl standing out front was cute.  I have no method behind my madness.  I see something I like and I just spontaneously head that direction.  "No Worries" was a good choice.  I liked their appetizer menu enough that I took a picture of it.  I particularly liked the Nacho's.  Not the food, but the way it was presented on the menu.  I can't even remember what I ate.

After this, I determined it was time to get more cash.  I immediately saw an ATM which read, "ATM Dispenses American Dollars".  In my non-common sense mind this was handy.  I could get out too much and not have to worry about exchanging it later.  All the vendors seemed to enjoy American money just as much as they did pesos.

Getting American money from an ATM in a foreign country is a VERY bad idea.  And here's why.  In hindsight, I should have thought of this, but for some reason I did not.  ATM's charge a fee.  This one charged 44 pesos or about $4 USD.  They also make up their own conversion rate.  When you get USD in a foreign country they make up their own conversion rate going both directions and they don't tell you what it is.  All the signs I saw said the current rate was 11.  Or 11 pesos per USD.  Put on your math hats.  I didn't discover this until I got home, but this little ATM charged me about 14 pesos per USD coming and going.  I requested $100 USD.  It converted that to 1444 peso.  My bank quietly converts the 1444 peso to about $130 and withdraws it from my account.  The ATM does another magical conversion to convert the 1400 peso to USD and spits out $100.  I've now been legally robbed.  The funny thing is I did it again on Sunday.

It wasn't quite as embarrassing as diving into a trashcan and the hurt was more emotional than physical, but it hurt anyway.

We went to the Gigglin' Marlin.  We went to the Cabo Wabo Cantina (owned by Sammy Hagar).  I found an adult entertainment bar called Amnesia.  I thought this was a wonderful name for such a bar, but we didn't go in.

Finally we walked back to the pier.  I changed into my swim shorts en route.  I was anticipating a wet ride on Carlos's $10 glass bottomed taxi.

The thing I remember about Carlos were the tattoo's.  He had angry looking tattoo's.  The kind you'd expect to see on some drug cartel hit-man from any one of a slew of Hollywood action dramas.  My favorite was the one on the side of his neck which read, "F*ck haters."  He made me proud and a little nervous all at the same time.

He accosted us on the way down the pier and asked if we were ready for our tour.  I whipped out one of my newly acquired $20's and handed it over.  He had to arrange for a boat and a driver so we conversed with him while he did.  His English was very good and I said as much.  He finally admitted to being born in Phoenix, AZ.  I suspect he was a reformed drug runner hiding in Mexico from the Arizona law enforcement officials.

That was the best $20 I ever spent.  It turned into about a 30 minute boat ride for just us.  It was a little fishing boat run by a Mexican who spoke almost no English, but he was very friendly about it.  He even made a joke about not seeing Pancho, but Pancho's "panchos".  He motioned for us to put on the life vests.  One of us didn't like life vests and refused.  He smiled and took off.  We made it to the sea lions and he had us stand at the front of the boat while he took pictures.  I put my life vest on the ground so I wasn't wearing it for the pictures.

As he wheeled the boat around the Federali boat was coming up quick.  He half-frantically, half-casually motioned for us to put on our vests.  Mine was on in a heartbeat.  The Federalis pulled up beside us and started yelling at the poor boat captain in Spanish.  I couldn't keep up, but I think he made some excuse about pictures.  They didn't look happy and trailed us for a bit, but we finally got away.

Our captain deposited us about 5 minutes down the beach from our hotel.  The waves were too high on our hotel beach for a safe debarkation.  Being that it was about a 45 minute walk from our hotel to downtown San Lucas I was happy with this result and we were able to debark without getting wet, but also without getting to visit with all my new friends along the beach.

I maybe should have done Cabo Two as Part One and Part Deus because it's only 4 PM by this time and I haven't gotten to the exciting part.  I just added "Parts", but didn't feel like removing this random blurb.  Instead I added to it like a moron.

Part II

When we got back (about 4), we went back to one of the pools with the "swim up" bars, had dinner (at a buffet), and decided to go and see what the evening at the hotel had in store.  They had karaoke for prizes!

We decided to hang at the hotel and see what kind of insanity awaited.  I was immediately accosted by Niel who shall from this moment forward be called Syndrome.  It only makes sense if you are familiar with "The Incredibles".  He was loud, but not too loud.  He was subtly and not so subtly obnoxious.  And he was from Canada.  And he may have suffered from a small case of only child syndrome.

When he first came at me with his accent, I accused him of faking some twisted Irish accent.  He laughed and asked where I was from.  I told him Texas and he accused me of being a gun toting cowboy.  I told him I had three, but they were all concealed and would remain that way as long as he behaved.

Soon a woman who sadly admitted to being his wife appeared and introduced herself.  I don't remember her name.  I suspect Syndrome purposefully interfered with this endeavor with one of his ongoing attempts to retain 100% of the attention.  She said something about having to put her laptop back in the room and she'd be back in a few.  I should have charged a $10 babysitting fee.  Little did I know that she was wife, caretaker and mom to little Syndrome.  As soon as she left I regretted it.

Not long after she left, my ears were accosted with two more twisted Irish sounding accents which I immediately recognized as Canadians.  I believe one was Kevin and for some reason I can't remember the other guy's name.  Maybe Steve.  For the purpose of this story we'll call them "Chuck and Larry".  If you've ever seen the movie, you'll understand why.  They were Canadian scuba divers staying at a resort hotel and trying to hide their sexuality.

Chuck was apparently married, but his wife didn't like going on vacation with him.  Larry thought I was an egotistical jerk.  I think it was his way of saying he'd hope I would ditch the bitch and make the switch.  Larry was very flamboyant when he drank.  When Chuck witnessed this flamboyancy he'd come over and offer up some anecdote about having to get room service to quit pushing their beds together.  It was funny and charming all at the same time.

Which is why I decided to escape the fun and go put my hat in the ring for some karaoke fun.  It was crazy chaos.  There was no line (I've decided that Mexico is much like Italy in that regard).  The rudest person with the most elbows gets to go first.  It was while standing in this mob that my pump buzzed me.  I picked it up and there was a nasty error code on the screen.  It read something like, "Pump Error E-0045.  Please call for technical support".  This completely ruined my evening.  I managed to get it to work for about 15 minutes longer while I tried to call support from my mobile.

Support told me that this was a fatal error and I should quit using the pump (even if it pretended to briefly function).  I started using the insulin pump four years ago and this is the first trip I had ever taken without a backup supply of long lasting insulin, syringes and a backup pump.  I travel a lot and I get tired of packing all the extra crap for the "just in case".  This time I had decided (purposefully) to throw caution to the wind.  I've been on 4 cruises, been to Italy a few times, Germany a few times and France.  I've always gone through the trouble of getting a loaner backup pump and taking syringes and insulin.  Always.  This is the first time I decided it wasn't worth it.  I hate Murphy.

It was about 10 PM by this time, but I went up to the front desk hoping that maybe there was a 24 hour pharmacy with supplies.  They made me talk to a hotel doctor and he informed me that the pharmacy wouldn't open again until 7 AM the following morning.  Friday night sucked.  I went to bed and had dreams of random people rescuing me with syringes of insulin.

No comments:

Post a Comment