Sunday February 10 2008: Cabo....Livin' It Up At The Hotel California
Let me explain
.......I was up on deck early on Sunday, I just wanted to see if we luck out with the whales as it is now prime-time for whale watching. Sure enough, plenty of water spouts and I do mean plenty
of water spouts greeted the arrival of the Elation to Cabo San Lucas and many California Grey whales were to be seen around the ship surfacing and then diving down again. Now the Elation weighs anchor just off Medano Beach.....the Mrs and myself have a quick breakfast, I go for the Egg Substitute (Eggbeaters) ham and mushroom omelette, no oil and the Mrs goes for Kellogg's Special K and fat-free milk. After that we make our way to Deck 3 for the short tender ride ashore. A quick short walk on the main drag in Cabo brings us to Dollar Rent-A-Car. Knowing how expensive cars are to rent in Mexico, I booked online before we left and I booked a compact for $26.00, including insurance and taxes. Dollar's walk-in counter posted rate is $79 for the same group car! Lina did our paperwork quick, she spoke excellent English, much, much better than my Spanish.
And off we go on Highway 1 and then onto Highway 19 heading North out of Cabo towards the town of Todos Santos (All Saints) about 80kms/50miles north of town. It took us about an hour to get there. The Eagles Hotel California album has a picture of the property by the same name and urban legend has it that Don Henley wrote the song while staying there although Henley did officially deny that a few years back.
But the cat was out of the bag and the town now gets plenty of visitors chasing down the legend and sure enough, any guesses as to what they were playing in their restaurant when we got there?
The property was busy with tourists clicking their cameras and their cantina restaurant was doing brisk business. The town is an artists enclave, plenty of art galleries and art stores. Last time we were there was about 3 years ago and it always makes for a nice drive from Cabo. We headed back south towards Cabo and made a couple of stops taking dirt roads from the main road to these beautiful unspoilt beaches to watch the whales. I managed to see one breach about 400 yards from the beach. What majestic creatures they are
We arrived back in Cabo around 3pm, stopping by the Pemex gas station 1 block from Dollar Rent-A-Car to fill her up before returning, again, you just cannot let your guard down at those gas stations. So the guy fills the tank up, I ask him how much it was in US dollars and he points to me to the 20.00 line on the gas pump meter implying it was $20 dollars! I told him "No senor, that's 20 litros" and I pointed to him the line above which reads Pagado 134.50 PESOS, then the son-of-a-gun realized that I don't have STUPID plastered on my forehead and told me "$14 senor" :evil: :evil: :evil:
Anyways, we make our way back to the ship and are back on board by around 4.30pm, we head to the New York Deli for a pastrami and corned beef on rye sandwich. I tell you, those sandwiches are to die for. After that it was the shower and 5.45pm finds us at the Pursers desk from where we were escorted to the bridge. Captain Messina himself greets us and gives us the 25cent tour of the bridge and explained to us in detail what was going on. This was one of the best bridge visits ever for us as we were there at a time when the place was alive with activity and all the officers were there taking orders from the Captain and the 1st Officer. I am not usually at a loss of words but that was one instance when I just kept silent and OBSERVED with intense interest what was going on. The Elation executed something like a 45 degree turn to head out to open water and sooner than you know it, we're on our way to La Paz, located on the Sea Of Cortes INSIDE the Baja California peninsula. We were on the bridge for the better part of 45 minutes, the Captain even showed us the bunch of whales ahead of us (we could see the water spouts) on the radar screen. It was such a surreal experience. I spent some time talking with Captain Messina, I found out he is one of the youngest Captains in Carnival's fleet, he became a Captain at the young age of 40 and now he's still only 46 with a bunch of officers serving under his command that are all youngsters, maybe in their early to late 30's. It would be an understatement if I were to say that I was impressed, no, make that all capitals, IMPRESSED!
What a fantastic team Captain Salvatore Messina is surrounded with!
A huge KUDOS to Carnival on this one. I was sad when it was time to leave the bridge and as I told Captain Messina, as far as I was concerned, that was THE highlight of my cruise.
After the bridge tour, the Mrs wanted to go get some sushi from the Sushi Bar and then we headed to the Mikado Lounge to see Asad Mecci, the Master Of Comedy Hypnosis. At showtime, Lesley Gray, the cruise director announces that the hypnotist was supposed to have flown-in to Cabo that afternoon but because of bad weather where his flight connected, his flight was canceled. The ship's band put on a impromptu performance, the audience's response was that the ship's band ended up playing to a nearly empty theatre! Since we had some time to kill before dinner, the Mrs decided it was time for her to once again leave her contribution at the casino and spent about 45 minutes playing the slots. We went to dinner at 8.00pm, after dinner we decided to call it an early night even though there was a Late Night Blues Show scheduled for 11pm.
Day 4 continues later on..............