Friday, March 3, 2017

Los Cabos - Mexico 2017

The winter hasn't been as nice this year as the previous two years so quite spontaneously we decided to take off for a week to Mexico.  We found this all inclusive vacation package and booked it with the help of my friend Darin, whose "fun" retirement job is travel agent.  He's the best!

We've talked about going to Los Cabos before - it's well known for whale watching.  But it often seems that the weather there is not as nice as further south in Mexico.  Joe checked the weather, and the forecast was good, so "check".  Whales, "check".  We'd heard that swimming at the beaches in most places is discouraged due to undertow.  However, the resort had a little roped off area behind a man-made breakwater that was safe, although in the end I didn't use it.  More on that in a bit.  But I did get my snorkel time in so it's all good.

The resort is Paradisus Los Cabos, which has a 4.3 rating.  We would give it a 5 but then what do we know?  The story is that it was virtually destroyed by the hurricane that went through the area in 2014.  The property was sold and the new owners gutted the place and totally rebuilt it so it's brand new.  The resort only reopened about 2 months ago (around Christmas).  We were a bit concerned when we got off the plane and the Sunwing ground staff were not sure which bus to put us on, but it became apparent that this was because we were the only ones on our plane going to that particular resort and they needed to figure out which bus was going by and could drop us off.  

When we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by extremely pleasant hotel staff and told that our room wasn't quite ready, and as we were handed a glass of wine we were asked if we would like a tour of the resort?  Of course!  So off we went with a very nice lady who showed us around.  It was about noon.  We didn't see any other guests!  This could be a bit alarming!  We soon learned that there were about 20 guests in the 350 room resort.  The flow of guests was being carefully controlled because they were getting the place up and running.  The staff, many of them new, were being trained, and I imagine all the processes from laundry to food prep to whatever the heck else they need to do to keep a resort running were also being tested.  We loved having the place to ourselves!  It's the first time I've ever been able to swim up to the swim up bar!  Usually they are three or four deep and not worth the effort to me.  

Some pix of the manicured beach.  The beach looked great!  But in fact, it was sort of weird.  What we learned is that the hurricane also did a lot of damage to the beaches, which I assume must mean that a lot of the sand went missing because all that sand you see has been trucked in from the surrounding "mountains".  It is not "real" sand and as a consequence, it is very difficult to walk on, even with shoes.  We did get out a few times to go for a walk, but it was challenging because it seemed much more "slippery" than "real sand".  I couldn't walk on it without shoes - it really hurt my feet because the sand grains were not rounded like "real sand" that has been rolling around on the ocean floor for eons.  This sand was gabillions of jagged little grains and more like walking on really course sandpaper.  Right at the water it wasn't so bad, but even that wasn't great.  And that is why I skipped swimming in the ocean at the resort - I would have had to walk across a few hundred feet of sand just to get to the swimming beach area,   So I did most of my swimming in the pool, which wasn't so bad, since I mostly had it to myself anyway!  

I never saw anyone actually sit in one of these hanging pod chairs.  I tried one and they'd be OK if you wanted to curl up with a book or something - and I imagine kids would love playing in them.

We were told that the beach was built out quite a way after the hurricane - that the beach used to go almost up to the edge of that retaining wall in the pix above.

Here is Joe (above) taking pix of the shore birds.  He got some fabulous shots and if you want to see them, click here.

It is possible to go on a horse ride along the beach.  We didn't do this, but we saw them every day.

Sunset - note the pelican patrol (above).

Above - a little tidal pool - you can see the teeny, tiny urchins - they are the blackish dots on the rocks.  There were other things, but nothing that shows up in this pix.

The pool.

Crab - above (pix by Joe - and by the way, he took quite a few of the other pix here - a joint effort).

Sunrise from our balcony.

Our room.

We were presented with this by our favourite waiter.  He was so cute!  He seemed so young but told us he has been married for a couple of years has a baby daughter. 

Above - hotel lobby.

We did a little whale watching tour so here are a few pix of that.

Most of the boats are tour boats of some sort - above - a "pirate ship"  I'm pretty sure there are absolutely no functional sails on the thing, but whatever!  💀💀💀

The one above had a big pix of an orca on the side.  I was wondering if it's really a good idea to have a boat that wants to see grey and humpback whales with a big pix of one of the only things that actually hunts and eats them!

Seals on the rocks.

We saw some humpback whales.  We had wanted to see grey whales, but apparently they hang out further north.  But it was still a great day, as you can see!  😎

Cabo San Lucas harbour.

Pix are not necessarily in order - above is the pirate ship before it sailed.

After whale watching, we walked around the town of Cabo San Lucas.  We found "the" church and the whale skeleton - or at least what's left of it after the hurricane.  

And no tropical vacation is complete for me without some snorkeling.  So we hired a guy to take us to "the" snorkel beach where Joe went off to find birds and other local flora and fauna, while I snorkeled around the bay.  While I was there, at least two boats came along with a bunch of other snorkel tourists so I had lots of company (which I didn't mind - it's not a good idea to be out alone).  I have to say that the snorkeling here is not as good as in Hawaii or other places in Mexico where I have been, but still fun!

The two boats were loaded with snorkelers.

"Our" umbrella is down there somewhere - near the "front" of the pix.

Back at the hotel.  My fancy drink.  Yum!!!

Joe hired a guy to go to the local bird watching place.  I didn't go with him - opting instead to be lazy by the pool.  But these are the pix he took on that little outing.

And a few pix of the hotel grounds.  Our room is the one with the purple towel hanging off the balcony - peeking out from the palm tree two windows in from the left on the second floor.

Finally - they did fireworks for us!!!  😎🎆🎆🎆