Thursday, November 6, 2008

The (very) Expensive Side of Baja

One of the pleasant parts about traveling through Baja is how a little bit of money goes a very long way. That is, until I reached Cabo San Lucas. I went through San Juan los Cabos, which is a cheaper little brother of Cabo San Lucas. It was also less, well, touchy-feely than what I was assuming Cabo to be. 

This shot is actually on the way out of Cabo (up the west coast of Baja). It used to be that people would put cars on cinder blocks. This is entirely too much effort for a busted up old Mustang!
Instead of staying in San Lucas, I went to Cabo because I wanted to take photos of the Arch that is at the tip of Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. For some reason that thought took over all reasonable thoughts of exploring this little burg. C'est la vie.

As I neared Cabo I started feeling regret. There was just too much traffic. There were just too many large scale resorts. There was just too much, too much... too much of what I consider "ick-factor". Over exploitation of an area for greed irks me, but it didn't stop me from staying at one of those fine upscale resorts living off room service and swimming pool beers. 

There is just something about chilling out, doing nothing, ordering room service, sitting on a balcony overlooking a beach and watching waves curl and crash on the shoreline. Unfortunately, along this stretch of coastline, you cannot do so without forking over a shitload of cash. In fact, one place wouldn't even let me in their gates until I pulled my helmet off, asked for the manager and sat outside waiting. When the guy got there, we talked, he let me through and I got to reception and was told that the lowest priced room was $735 per night. There wasn't gold plating on the toilets in the lobby, so I can't figure out why it was so much in the off-season. The rooms, from the outside, appeared common.

Further down the road, I found another place for $635 and yet another for $500. WTF-O!? What is it about trying to find a room with a view of the ocean? Is that asking for too much? I did find a place that didn't make me vomit when I was told the cost, and oddly enough, it was at the Sheraton. Trust me, it wasn't cheap, but it wasn't "take out a mortgage" expensive.
Sure, hotels are expensive in Cabo. We expect that, but we didn't expect to pay 350 pesos for a cerveza. That is almost as expensive as New York City. Food, which has been cheap everywhere else in Baja is as expensive as it is in California, Seattle or NYC. Once again, I have to ask, "why"? The food here is the worst on the peninsula and everywhere I went, except when I ate in neighborhoods of locals, it was as if they all took Chili's recipes. I didn't eat at the Cabo Wabo's or Shrimp Bucket type places. I ate at what appeared to be local and the prices were still inflated. 
Pretty sad that on top of a $3.50 beer, they make you tote this guitar sized key to use the urinal... Makes you wonder how many people have peed on the key when they were drunk... (even sober people do stupid things).
The one redeeming feature of Cabo was the sunset cruise around the Arch and past Lover's Beach. What a great night!
I can't tell you my favorite place on my trip so far, but I can now isolate my least favorite...

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