Baja California Sur (South)
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
As we continue south down Baja California the landscape and climate are noticeably moving in the tropical direction. The humidity is slowly increasing, making us and every surface we come in contact with permanently stiky. The ocean is also getting a lot warmer and now feels close to bath temperature, being in or out of the water makes no difference. Palm trees and mangroves surrounding white sand beaches are becoming more and more common.
Every night we are treated to an amazing display of stars, in numbers I have not seen since leaving Australia. My camera is limited to a maximum 30 second exposure, which I sadly discover is not nearly long enough to capture anything worth keeping.
We roll into La Paz in the early afternoon and immediately find ourselves at a WalMart / Sams Club / Home Depot shopping centre, a novelty we can’t pass up.
We’ve just spent a week driving through an amazingly harsh desert, complete with enormous dust clouds, heavily rutted roads & people literally living in tin sheds and now we step into a WalMart Supercenter. I can’t believe my eyes when I realize the store is identical to every one I have seen across Canada and the US – every brand, every product, even the layout has been meticulously preserved.
The disorientation is complete when I hear jingles from American TV playing loudly over the store radio. I get turned around in the thousands of Christmas decorations and am disappointed when “I’m dreaming of a white christmas” does not get air time.
Do Mexicans even celebrate Christmas? (I think so)
Do they do it by buying a ton of crap they don’t actually need? (I highly doubt it)
I can’t believe how solidly American culture is begin slammed on the Mexicans and I am left wondering what the average Mexican thinks of this.
La Paz itself is a beautiful, friendly beach side city and we walk around for the afternoon getting the low down on our ferry crossing coming up in a few days.
The following day we roll into Cabo San Lucas and are again awe-struck.
We’ve been warned how American the city is and we are still not ready for what we see. Everything that is excessive about Las Vegas is duplicated here, with the added attraction of a beautiful white sand beach with thousands of people partying hard, even on a Thursday. We wander around for a few hours checking out hotels and find The Cabo Inn, a cosy hostel just a block from the main action for $22USD each. After again hitting up the beach for the afternoon sun we wind up back at the hostel chatting and laughing with travelers from all over the world.
A common theme continually comes up in all the conversations I can hear – everyone absolutely loves Mexico and have met nothing but kind, generous & friendly people everywhere they have been including Mexico City and other places I have been sternly warned to stay away from. It’s fantastic to hear about the kind of people I will meet and the sights I will see further down the road.
I really like Mexico
The next day we start making out way back to La Paz, through San José Del Cabo to the Tropic of Cancer. It was not long ago I passed signs alerting me to my 45 degree latitude and now I find myself at 23° 27′ – I’m closing in on the Equator every day.