On the south side of the North American continent, there is a huge peninsula in the east and west. Florida on the east is a holiday paradise in the southern United States, while the peninsula on the west is part of Mexico. Many people don’t know much about the latter, it is the Baja California peninsula.
The peninsula is long and narrow, and it is only connected to the North American continent by a narrow land bridge, with the narrowest point being no more than 40 kilometers. The island has a dry climate, and the continuous desert is full of long and narrow land. It is extremely difficult to explore on foot-so it became the “mysterious place” in the mouth of early European explorers.
I have always called myself a geography lover, but I only know the name of the Baja California peninsula. However, an opportunity during a trip gave me the opportunity to start an unexpected journey to “Cabo”.
At that time, the domestic epidemic was serious, and I was trapped on the journey and unable to return home. While wandering on the streets of Vancouver, I met a Mexican boy named Omar. We were about the same age and we soon got acquainted. After two days of playing together, he was about to return home and he strongly invited me to Mexico. At that time, the United States had just introduced a policy to ban Chinese tourists from entering the country. My plan to return from Los Angeles was blocked. I thought that I would not be able to go back anyway, so I readily agreed.
“where is your house?”
“Cabo.” He said, “San José del Cabo.” After talking for a long time, I was still confused, and finally he had to take out the map and pointed to the end of the Baja California peninsula and said, “That’s it.”
Dry seaside city
Two days after he returned home, I bought a ticket, flew from Vancouver to Mexico City, then took a small plane, and finally landed at the cape of the Baja California peninsula in the middle of the night.
Although it is a coastal city, the air here is extremely dry, without the light pollution of big cities, and the stars still shine under the lights of the airport. Omar drove his classic car to pick me up, and the road fell into darkness soon after leaving the airport. We walked along the narrow road on the edge of the city, and soon arrived at his house, which was late at night.
After waking up the next morning, I went out alone and turned around. Omar’s house is probably on the edge of the city. The doorway is a spacious dirt road. Trucks passing by from time to time seem to be very busy. On both sides of the road is a row of bungalows similar to the American suburbs. Everyone’s courtyard walls are of different styles. Some are fitted with iron railings, some are planted with a row of trees, and some have hastily separated the road and the yard with barbed wire. The scenery is unobstructed.
/ Cabo is sunny 350 days a year, like Beijing in October. /
The houses are mostly single-storey, and the courtyard is planted with tropical trees shaped like coconut trees, and some hard-leaf trees that I can’t name, blooming with bright red flower clusters, which are full of vitality. Wooden telephone poles are “planted” along the road, and several wires are pulled messy on the poles, leading to different small courtyards. I wandered on the road until eight or nine o’clock without encountering a few people, probably because the small town woke up later.
There are 350 days of sunny days in Cabo a year, like Beijing in October, with a few cirrus clouds hanging on the blue sky, like the last few strokes of a companion book.
When I get home, Omar’s mother is busy in the kitchen. She is a strong Mexican woman, and when I look at her, I always think of the grandmother in the animation “Dream Travel”. I hurried into the house and gave her a gift I bought in Canada. She was very happy, but she only speaks Spanish. Our communication still depends on Omar’s translation.
Omar works in a massage shop and is the manager of a small shop. The massage shop is located on the edge of the “Côte d’Azur”, the most important scenic spot in the city, where the San Jose River, the largest river in the Baja California peninsula, enters the sea. There are fine sandy beaches stretching for several kilometers along the coast, and the scenery is excellent. There is a row of luxury hotels on the beach, and the main tourists here are Americans-this is also the largest source of income for the town.
The infrastructure of the tourist area is obviously better than that of Omar’s neighborhood, the roads are spacious, and the greenery is much better. The sandy ground in the isolation belt in the middle of the road is full of cacti, and the thick green palms bear red fruits. I asked passers-by and found that this fruit is edible and picked one, but the taste is really not worth trying.
A marathon is being held on the coastal landscape avenue. Participants of different ages and skin colors are running along the road sweating. I bypassed them and crossed the small road of the hotel. A few steps later, the wide sandy beach and blue sea appeared in front of me. This may not be the peak tourist season. There are not many people on the beach, and only a few tourists strolling on the beach or enjoying the sun.
An “authentic” Mexican party
The sky is still clear, the sea and the sky can only be distinguished by the slightest clouds. The wind on the sea is very strong, and the white water splashes on the waves continue to pounce on the shore. However, there is not much moisture in the sea breeze. I have been to many seasides, and the coast always gives me the feeling that it is moist, but it is completely different here, like the desert extends directly to the sea. The nature changes a lot, and even similar landscapes still hide surprises for travelers from afar.
/ It is completely different here, like the desert extends directly to the sea. /
I asked someone to rent a lounge chair, and learned to lie down with leisurely tourists, quietly counting the waves, and feeling the feeling of being wrapped in the sea breeze and sunshine. I don’t know how long it took, Omar sent me a message to go home, saying that there was a party in the evening and I needed to go back to prepare.
In my stereotype, the party is to invite friends of the same age to drink, drink and dance together, and Omar’s special dress up before going out has deepened my expectations. However, as night fell, the handsome Mexican boy did not start his classic car. Instead, he took me to the yard next door. Looking at the barbecue grills set up in the yard, I realized it was a family party.
Relatives and friends came with the old and the young one after another, and there was a lot of laughter in the yard soon. A few dolls chased back and forth, or climbed onto a small trampoline, or turned over a flowerbed full of cactus balls, chattering endlessly. Men sitting around a long table drinking beer and chatting, women carrying dolls to and from the kitchen and yard, constantly serving salads, jelly and some unnamed fried foods.
Pelican on the sea
Omar took me to know many of his relatives one by one, and I realized that the two massage girls I saw in the store during the day were all his cousins. It turned out that the massage shop was also a family business. His father had been doing construction work all his life. By their generation, he had been doing the service business in the city, which was considered an industrial upgrade.
The charcoal on the grill was hot red, as the pieces of beef patties were grilled, the burgers were served on the table, and the party reached its climax. This family probably got together a lot and knew each other too well, so I, an outsider, aroused everyone’s interest. They kept toasting, and I couldn’t beat the wine, and I quickly lost the battle.
After three rounds of wine, the atmosphere at the banquet became more and more heated. With the dynamic music, the young man danced around the table. I followed them for a while, but couldn’t keep up with them. Everyone looked at my clumsy movements and kept laughing, but they were also cheerful. The night in Cabo is really pleasant, dry and not hot, and there is no wind. The fiery heat on the table overcomes the tropical air.
Whale watching at sea
Los Cabo is made up of two small towns, “Cabo San Lucas” and “San José del Cabo”. The townships are only 30 minutes away by car, but the tourism industry in Cabo San Lucas is more prosperous.
Seals playing with tourists
The most famous of Cabo San Lucas is the arch. This is a natural sea-eroded arch bridge. It stands quietly at the southern end of the peninsula and is the dividing point between the Gulf of Baja California and the Pacific Ocean. Renting a small boat to go to the arch bridge to view the scenery is the most common way to visit here. I spent ten dollars, bought a boat ticket, and went to the arch with another Mexican family.
While sailing the boat, the boatman introduced us to the arch bridge and enthusiastically helped everyone take pictures. As the boarding time was a bit early, we did not catch up with the spectacular sunset of the arch, and there were a lot of boats around, so the viewing experience was not good. Just when we were about to go back, the boatman suddenly pointed to the distance and shouted: “Whale!” Looking along his fingers, I saw several boats of different sizes floating in the open sea, obviously I found something.
Before we could respond, the boatman turned the bow and speeded up towards the fleet. I was a little bit bored and excited instantly. I once participated in a whale watching trip in Iceland, but I didn’t even see a big fish during the half-day voyage. At this time, I heard that I had the opportunity to see a whale.
Cabo San Lucas Beach
When I rushed to the side of the fleet, without the guidance of the boatman, I saw the huge monster on the sea at a glance. On the sea hundreds of meters away, there are two gray whales swimming in tandem, a pair of mother and child. My mother was in the quiet road ahead, spouting a few water jets from time to time, while the little guy behind was much more active, jumping out of the sea constantly, as if deliberately teasing the surrounding onlookers.
Our boat is small, so we can get closer to the whales. The boatman took us for a long time with the mother and son. For a moment, I even felt the water sprayed from them hit my face. When the bow turned around, everyone was content.
At an unexpected moment, an unexpected journey started also brought me unexpected gains. A journey, a friendship, an adventure. To this day, I still keep in touch with Omar, and he promised to wait until my next trip to Mexico, and he would take me to the hot party I imagined.