Day 013 17th Feb.2010 Cabo San Lucas

Another Mexican city. Today a little different as we had to go ashore by tender. Really a  life-boat in disguise.
The disembarkation was handled in an organized manner and we made the first  tender  with about twenty other eager to be hassled passengers. Those hoping the touts will get tired stayed till  later.
The little sandy beaches were nestled between craggy outcrops of steep sharp rocks looking sinister in the pre sunrise light. Sun was still rubbing her eyes but  would soon make her grand appearance and raise the humidity somewhat  higher than the present pleasant  conditions.
As our tender approached the wharf our eyes couldn’t open wide enough to take in the sights of so many large yachts and motor cruisers; in particular, one dark blue, two masted yacht  nearly as long as our ship. She gleamed in the early morning waters, her dark blue hull reflecting and contrasting with the aqua green waters, her upper decks glistening so brightly in the early light  that  polaroids couldn’t cut  the glare.  Nearby, two equally shiny black hull, former America Cup training boats from New Zealand wait patiently for their wave of would be sailors. Huge white plastic motor boats are loading the gear and bait ready for their high paying guests who will fish the plentiful waters of the coast for yellowfin. Pelicans,those large grey coloured feathered elegant waterbirds, use the decks as observation posts for the small fishing boats that would soon be returning with their morning catch; an easy,quick,take-a-way breakfast.
We made it past the touts and walked along the foreshore of the marina. Boats of all size line the walk. On the other side,signs and touts advertise their services. Glass bottom boats,water taxi, sport-fishing, whale watching, see the sea lions, seals or just sail to Los Arcos, the famous rock archway of  Cabo San Lucas.
Nothing opens in the commercial district till 9:30 so we have ample time to observe and photograph early seashore life again.
“Hey Signor, wan a go to rock, my boat  she good and very cheap, cost  nearly nutting” no thanks.“but Signor, you enjoy day” Five yards further on and another Signor repeats his spiel.  All a bit of fun as we didn’t come half way round the world to see what is on our home doorstep. We came to observe the different culture, to experience what makes Mexico.  Cactus gardens, restaurants that will cook the fish you have caught, coffee shops and margarita bars line the path as we head to downtown.
Found of all places an American chain coffee shop amongst the many closed establishments.  Eventually the entire area crawled out from under canvas covers and behind the shutters. People were erecting awnings, and using a long stick with hook attached, they hung their products high for viewing. Brightly coloured striped blankets, ponchos, sombreros and cotton dresses and tee shirts of all sizes and colours. The Mexicans never missing an opportunity for a sale, invite you to ‘just  have a look at my shop’ before the door is even completely open.
Fascinating, colourful, totally impractical, or just downright  crass everything is on display.
The jewellery stores are on the other hand a sight to be seen. On entering the air-conditioned store one immediately experiences a more expensive air. The stirling silver-work in particular is stunning. Exquisite designs, stone and gem settings all with prices that one still needs to use the Visa card magic. Native to Mexico are pink and red coral, turquoise, malachite, azurite, black onyx to name a few. All are cut and set  to enhance the natural wonders of the stone. Of course there are the diamonds and other precious gems but  to me they are the show pieces and not the cultural and native. Beautiful to look at but very impractical.
Found a market  plaza with many tiny, in the wall, shops under canvas. This was an adventure. Who could out barter the other. One storekeeper trying to out shout the other for your attention. All with the same banter -“Signora, you just look, no need to buy, very cheap, not from Cheena”. Quaint,but after a few streets and more alleys its quaintness looses appeal. Little mexican trinkets caught the eye. Highly colourful, highly glazed ceramic- ware platters were outstanding and worthy of any house and garden show. Again the Mexicans are quick to read the body language and offer exactly what you had been trying to see but not look at.
Arrived at Captain Tony’s, “you hook it, we cook it” restaurant for a smoothie of banana, pineapple and apricot. No tequila sir? asked the waiter. I don’t  think they have non drinkers in Mexico especially at 8.30am.
Our drink arrived in a mug sized glass, freezing cold but just what was needed in the hot  humid air of Cabo San Lucas. Finished our drink and headed back to Maasdam for a late but complimentary lunch, and last photo opportunity of the beach and boats.
On board,deck 10,enjoying a cool drink while listening to the Hellcats play more Caribbean upbeat music,while surveying the beautiful landscape as we glided out past the rock cliffs, Los Arcos, the famous rock archway came into view. Tide lapping at its feet, sun low in the sky and us on our way to dinner in the Rotterdam and San Diego tomorrow.