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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Vagabonding Deserted Villas

Views from the East Cape Road

The drive down the coast was stunning. On the left, the Sierra de Laguna Mountains stretched skyward; on the right we passed sand dunes, wide open stretches of the Pacific and massive resorts. Out in the water we spotted whale after whale. Grey and humpback whales blew CO2 into the sky after long dives. Occasionally the whales showed us their flukes before a deep dive. The first time it happened I almost did not believe it. 

 Brian exclaimed, “IT JUMPED. IT JUMPED!!”

He had seen a humpback fly out of the water and land. A few minutes later, I did not believe my eyes, watched as a massive creature hurtled out of the azure Pacific and came plummeting down. The splash, at least a mile distant, looked as if a bus or yaht had just crashed into the water with white froth spraying wide.
Arriving in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo felt like having an ice bucket of water dumped down my neck. Row after row of ridiculously sized houses, hotels, and condos lined every buildable inch. Walmarts, Home Depots, and Office Maxs showed up. Mega, Soriano, and Telcel superstores, the Mexican analogs to Big Box X, Y, and Z in the US stole the remaining spaces.

In the sprawl of Cabo we neglected to make the right turn and eventually realized we were eight kilometers north of our desired exit. We turned around and began our slow search for the East Cape Road that Suzy had recommended. The dearth of signage made navigating the roads tough and we ended up on a gravel road heading the wrong direction. Luckily we spotted some construction and as per our usual routine, I jumped out to ask for directions. After a brief conference they pointed us in the right direction and we promptly followed a road to some sort of private resort area; the guard adamantly insisted that four filthy young men could not go on this road. With one more set of instructions we finally found our bumpy, rocky, and holey road. 

While Suzy said the East Cape Road was in good shape, we forgot that the recent intense hurricane had a big impact on Southern Baja. Thus much of the road was washed out and destroyed, making driving intense. It is safe to say we each lost a couple layers of enamel from our teeth. Despite the road’s rough condition, the scenery was the opposite; granite sand beaches with rocky basalt outcroppings filled the coastline.
A few kilometers down the road The Beast died! The choke light came on and Brian started the car up but I heard a strange buzzing noise

First real breakdown

Finished product
“Wait, wait, let’s look under the hood” I implored. As we stepped out and opened the hood, what we saw shocked us. Our air intake unit had entirely bounced off. Luckily the unit fell away from our main fan where it would have been obliterated. Wowza, we dodged a bullet. Pulling out the duct tape and some zip ties we cinched the air intake hose to the housing and attached the filter unit on tightly to its platform. 

 A few kilometers after Villa Zapatos we jangled past a deserted villa. We had to check it out. Sure enough, the two story, round walled, bleach white villa with blue tiled swimming pools and hot tubs was completely deserted. The windows and sliding glass doors had all been blown out, we assumed in the last hurricane. Someone stripped all of the copper wiring from the place, but on the whole the building was in good shape. Easy choice we agreed, we are staying here. Folks in fancy cars periodically stopped to gawk at our car as we set up camp.

Our deserted villa
Thus our true Cabo experience began. We drank margaritas in the [empty] pool on the second story overlooking the vast Pacific. We played danced to loud music and ate fresh, fancy seafood dishes. We had it all. Poorman’s Cabo that is; margaritas fashioned with cheap Country Time Lemonade mix, music flowing from our Altec portable speaker, acoustics of the building a lucky accident of architecture, dancing performed by four ragtag smelly dudes, and fresh, fancy seafood dish provided by ourselves, Josh and Brian, braving rough waves to snag a rockfish that James and I made into a tomato based seafood stew with noodles. We had no complaints after the beautiful night.
Our cooking, dancing, and sleeping quarters

The fancy bar

Dinner over the hot-tub
Sad to leave our villa

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