• Feb

    The Cabo San Lucas Costco Miss-adventure


    Last weekend, we had the bright idea of going down to Todos Santos (all saints), referred to as a magical town about one hour south from here (or so I was told). Last time it took close to two hours, partly because I was on a bus that made a gazillion stops and also because the road was under construction, which slowed us down quite a bit.

    There were sections where the road was quite literally dirt, sand and a bit of gravel which would raise huge clouds of dust as we went by.

    This time was different for two reasons; I had a car and the road, as we later found out, was complete. Going down there was a breeze and really relaxing drive. It also helped that we had almost the entire highway to ourselves. It took us about an hour from our apartment in northern La Paz.

    One of the things about this area is that La Paz is sitting in an area of desert, which you’ll clearly see as you look at the outlying sections of town. Not so in Todos Santos, which has a lot of water. When you come into town, you’ll see wide expanses of palm trees and lush vegetation all over the place.

    When we arrived, we showed up in the middle of an arts festival, so the place was packed to the rafters. While we cruised around for a bit, it became obvious that it was nearly too crowded to breathe and we found it claustrophobic.

    We quickly made the decision to continue our journey, to the mythical Costco in the Cabo San Lucas area. Leaving town, we went through several small developments, one of these being El Pescadero. We both liked it very much and I can easily see us moving there in the near future.

    There were also some opportunities to buy art, but off the beaten track. We both felt we’d get a much better deal here. I’ll discuss this in an upcoming post.

    After that, we made our way down to Cabo San Lucas, in search of the Costco. Getting down there, the roads weren’t as bad as I’d thought, though they were quite busy. What I saw of Cabo, from the highway, was disappointing.

    Cabo San Lucas struck me as another big city with lots of highways, moderate traffic and zillions of hotels all lined up on the beach. From what I could tell, few, if any houses existed here. It reminded me of the Hotel zone in Puerto Vallarta, which was a real turnoff.

    Getting to Costco turned out to be a bust. Laura told me that you could see it from the highway, but that was not to be. Also, it seemed that the location had changed. Add to that, Laura hadn’t been there in 5 years and the place had become really built up in that time.

    We got close to it when we saw the Home Depot, and even followed a sign that indicated Costco, only to get nowhere. It seemed like the place didn’t exist and we never even saw a Costco sign. Eventually, we gave up and decided to head to San Jose del Cabo.

    This took us along the famed corridor I’d heard about. I thought it would be a simple road and that San Jose would be a quaint Mexican town. Boy was I wrong. The highway was a 4 lane affair and eventually converted to two lanes.

    San Jose was a disappointment, as well. A large city, with a lot of hotels on the beach and what appeared to be townhouses on the hillsides.

    Going out of town, it reverted to what I refer to as old Mexico. Slab concrete or brick structures, haphazard, crumbling in places and a general rundown look. It was a stark contrast to the newer areas in San Jose.

    Once we finally got onto the two lane highway out of San Jose, I began to feel better. The feel of Cabo and San Jose was too much like some of the bigger cities I know in Canada and the US and really stressed me out. At one time I loved that, but now as I’m getting older I find myself becoming a small town kind of guy.

    Driving back was another kind of adventure. The road was pretty good for awhile, but as we turned inland, it became really tedious to drive, since there were a lot of curves.

    We had to keep slowing down and it took us a lot longer to get back to La Paz than I’d thought (don’t drive this road if you’re tired – it will drain your energy in a hurry). Eventually, this road joins the highway and it’s smooth sailing for about 15 minutes. Then you’ll be back in La Paz.

    Note: On this road we encountered some of the most dangerous drivers that I’d ever seen, one reason why one of my friends made the comment about: “taking your life in your hands.” This guy was in a pickup truck and rocketed by us at roughly twice the speed limit, or as much as 110mph.

    It was terrifying. He pulled into the lane in front of us, just in time to avoid being smashed to bits by a large semi truck coming our way. Had he mistimed it, there’s a good chance we’d all be dead. Chances are, not too far in the future, there will be a roadside memorial with his name on it.

    And speaking of that, there are huge number of roadside memorials on the highways, many in the form of crosses, adorned with flowers and other decorations. I estimate we saw hundreds of them on the way down.

    One was an enormous shrine and several of these memorials were little houses with candles and figurines inside. It was impossible to know if each one was for a single person, or for groups. One day I’ll find out and write about it in another post.

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