Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014 – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – Mostly Sunny – 85F

A sunny warm day in Baja California…

The Azamara Quest is anchored very close to the city and to the “Land’s End” rock formation best known for “El Arco”, a natural arch carved out of the rocks.

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Land’s End – Cabo San Lucas

It is great to have a full day in Cabo (most ships we’ve been on leave about 3 PM on the same day).

Breakfast via room service – getting to be a nice habit – he did come a bit early today at 6:20 AM but who’s counting.  The oatmeal, pancakes, and eggs were hot and good.  Maybe, we will do this for the whole cruise.

We are both on tour today – I am on “The Art and Culture of San Jose del Cabo” and Ellen is on “Coastal Highlights Tour”.   Ellen’s tour is running about an hour ahead of mine.  The tender ride into town is smooth and quick and the bus pickup location is very close to the tender pier (FYI – this is not the same tender pier we used yesterday for our evening event).

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Tender ride into Cabo San Lucas

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Azamara Quest from Tender Pier

My tour guide is the ever chatting but charming, Diana.  Her English is good, the bus is comfortable, and the passengers are fans.  A perfect combination in spite of my sleep deprived condition.

My tour takes us 18 miles east (about a 30 minute ride) around the tip of Baja California to the sleepy (compared to Cabo) town of San Jose (the two cities make up “Los Cabos”).  Along the route, we passed beautiful beaches, resort hotels, golf courses, and large private homes.

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Above Series – on the road to San Jose (the bottom picture contains surfers taking advantage of the great waves)

While Cabo is known for its night life, San Jose del Cabo is a quieter town complete with arts and crafts shops.  

We stopped at the town square and then to the Government Building,

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Courtyard – Government Building

From the Government Building, the tour walked to the Mission San Jose, which was built in 1730.  It clearly has been renovated and a church now occupies the site.

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Mission San Jose from Central Square

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Mission San Jose

Mexico seems to have the biggest flags in the world and the one in San Jose del Cabo is no exception.  A good view of the Flag “Grande” from the Mission entrance.

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Another big Mexican Flag

We had a little free time to find facilities and to check out the shops around the central square.  I found some washrooms at a bar; I also hooked into a WiFi system near the bar and was able to scan my e-mails before the group headed to the Arts District.

Led by Diana, the tour group stopped at three or four artisan shops.  I generally stayed outside catching the sun and checking out some of the adjoining stores. 

Our final stop was the Baja Brewery – an eatery known for pizza and site-produced beers and ales.  We each got to try three local brews (they were warm so it was hard to tell how they tasted); the pizza was pepperoni so I asked the manager if they had any cheese pizza.  He whipped up two steaming hot slices for me – honestly, the best pizza I have tasted in a foreign port. 

After the pizza and beer, we had about twenty minutes of free time so I went back to where I had found WiFi.  It was still there and I checked e-mail and posted on FB.  After the free time, the group walked together to the bus pickup spot at the end of the main square.  I gathered up a few stragglers and escorted them to the bus stop.  In a few minutes, the bus arrived and we were on our way back to the tender pier at Cabo San Lucas.

Ellen’s Tour of “Coastal Highlights” went to many of the same locations – she was in San Jose del Cabo at the same time I was.  Her other stop included the Mona Lisa Restaurant on a beach on the other side of Cabo Bay (you can see El Arco and the Quest in the distance).  Soft drinks were had by all.

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View from Mona Lisa Restaurant

The spelling on the sign below may be a bit off, but the importance is very apparent to those who have to go “pipi”.

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The bus ride back to the pier took about 30 minutes or so and I met Ellen near the bus drop.  We walked around Cabo for a while then went to the Pier Building (free WiFi but very slow WiFi so many e-mails remained in the Outbox).  Afterwards, we caught the tender back to the Quest.

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Returning to the Azamara Quest via Tender

Before dinner, we ordered some cocktails – Ellen had a Mai Tai and I asked them to make me a Mojito (not on the list).  The Mojito was absolutely terrific and may become my drink of choice.

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Ellen and her Mai Tai

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Me and my Mojito

We opted to try a table for two in the back of the Dining Room tonight because we are anchored and there are no vibrations coming from the screws (otherwise it is really shaky back there).  On the menu tonight, Arctic Char on Gnocchi (Ellen had Salmon on her Gnocchi).  I have been asking for a standard green salad with tomatoes, onions, and croutons and they have been great (along with Ranch Dressing – made especially for me tonight).  While the table location is a bit noisier than our usual table, the views are terrific.

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View from our Dining Room Table

We listened to a little bit of Max DiFaz’s set before going to the Cabaret Lounge for the first Production Show.  Showtime tonight is “Who Wrote the Songs” performed by the Quest Production Company.  The show featured songs written by Barry Manilow, Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Elton John, and others. 

The show utilized the high tech video set up to back up the singing and dancing.  The music was live and provided by the Quest Orchestra seated to the left and right of the stage. 

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Katy Knudsen (now a brunette) has a solo

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Of course, we know who wrote the songs and we were waiting for the Barry Manilow segment. 

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Barry gets his proper respect

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The Female Quest Dancers (Taylor and Olga)


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The show ran only about 40 minutes but it was full of energy and some snappy dancing.  The real standouts are Taylor and Olga, who simply fly around the stage with boundless energy.

It was still very warm outside so I ventured onto the open deck to capture a picture of Cabo San Lucas at night.

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Cabo at night

The clocks go forward again tonight, putting us on Central Time.

Seas are smooth…

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