Friday, November 21, 2014

All the Fantastic Things I Learned in Mexico

The Arch of Cabo San Lucas at Land's End
I went to Mexico and I lived. I mean I almost died but mostly I lived. Right now you're thinking, didn't you go to Mexico like six months ago? All I have to say to you people is, yes. Yes I did. Sometimes, however it takes six months to process a thing. Sometimes a life or death experience is just too painful to talk about right away. Other times you just don't get around to writing about it. 50/50. Anyway, the point is I went to Mexico and I said I would write about all the fantastic things I learned in Mexico. Hence, this blog post. It was my first time out of the country and I put this on my New Years Resolution list this year so I actually got to check off every thing on my list (there is a first time for everything. However it was not this time. The first time I checked off everything on my New Years Resolution List was when I was eight and had one resolution: learn to write properly. I held my pencil with my thumb, my pointer finger and my middle finger instead of just my thumb and pointer finger. Once I conquered this, I realized I could do anything.). Before you question why I have never gone out of the country, let me just say this: I had never been out of BC. Oh wait you were expecting me to defend myself? No.

Pretty much the wave that tried to kill me.
Los Cabos is on the Baja California peninsula, and I went with my good friend Katie at the beginning of June. This is what I learned: waves are dangerous. I don't know if you know this or not (not the waves thing, nobody knows that) you may have heard it on the grapevine, because let's face it, people love stories of life and death, but I almost died in Mexico. A lifeguard saved me. It was a blast. Other than almost dying it was debatably the most fun I had on the entire trip. Unfortunately playing tag with the waves is kind of like playing tag with an axe murderer: you just never know when they are going to take it too far. Here I am having the time of my life, letting the waves wash over me - more like hit me - when all of a sudden a giant wave comes by and things get really competitive. You see, what made it so fun was that every time the waves went out again they tried to pull me back with them and sucked the sand out under my feet like quicksand. In my defence this was not a no-swimming beach. There were many other people playing with the waves and there were people out in the ocean swimming. No, I think the problem came when I decided it would be way more fun to sit down instead of stand. Let me tell you, IT WAS. I was laughing my head off, by myself, while Katie stood safely up on shore questioning my sanity. However, it is very hard to run away - you know that crucial part of the game called "tag" - when you are in fact... sitting down. The first giant wave pulled me too far down the shore, still laughing my head off. Unfortunately when you don't go to the gym you become what they call "a weakling," making it really hard to get up on your feet and run back to shore in quicksand before the next wave comes along. Who would have thought. It was the second giant wave that took me out. I will never forgive that wave. It stole my sunglasses. Anyway, thankfully a lifeguard was actually paying attention because he ran into the water and in between waves managed to pull me onto the shore. I was so shocked I didn't notice that I was pretty much flashing him as well as everyone looking and that my bikini bottoms were so full of sand I looked like I was wearing a diaper. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure Katie was laughing at me. What kind of a terrible person is she? I was still blowing sand out of my nose the next day.

Riu Santa Fe
We stayed at the Rio Santa Fe, which ironically, means the Hotel of Saint Faith. Yeah. That's right. I'm named after a hotel. I mean the hotel is named after me? The hotel was beautiful, it was the perfect temperature and we fell in love with the little town of Los Cabos. We went on three paid adventures: one was dinner and entertainment on a pirate ship, and two adventures with Esperanza Tours including a trip to Land's End with snorkeling at Lover's Beach, and a tour of San Jose. What I learned about these adventures:
  • Pirate ships are not very good at adhering to your strict dietary needs
  • Not everyone is as good at acting as Johnny Depp
  • The Los Cabos area used to be frequented by real pirates. In fact, rumor has it there is a Spanish ship full of treasure at the bottom of the ocean still waiting to be found. P.S. Katie and I didn't find it, or I wouldn't be writing this blog post anymore, I would make my servant (Katie) write it for me
  • Land's End isn't actually land's end
  • Lover's Beach is sweet until you learn that Divorce Beach is on the other side with waves so violent they will kill you
  • Fried bananas with peanut butter and syrup for breakfast are delicious but high-caloried
  • What with my allergies to dairy, chocolate and grains, my vegetarian diet other than seafood, and Katie's allergy to shellfish, between the two of us, Katie and I could literally eat everything at the Riu Santa Fe buffet. Together we are a full human being!
  • Everyone speaks Spanish in Mexico
  • Tourists are stupid
  • Okay so I already knew those last two, but this one I didn't know: because Los Cabos is on the Baja California Sur it's over 1,000 miles from the US/Mexican border. That's roughly the distance between France and Russia which means most of the drug cartels and kidnapping don't happen here. Hence, if you are going to Los Cabos to see a live version of  Kingpin, you will be vastly disappointed
  • San Jose del Cabo, a section of Los Cabos, was founded in the 1700s by Jesuit Missionaries and we got to see one of the still functioning churches from that time, the Mission of San Jose del Cabo Church
  • The place where we snorkeled was in the Sea of Cortez, called "The Aquarium of the World," because of the wide range of fish there
  • Apparently it's perfectly fine to drink the water in most places in Cabos as most hotels and restaurants have filtered water systems. However they like to put little signs up in the bathroom just to freak you out saying "Don't drink," and right beside it, a cup for drinking. That is my only explanation for why there was a cup and a "no drinking" sign in our bathroom at the hotel
  • Cabos has some of the most highly rated hotels in Latin America. We were not in one of them. However, Brangelina were probably staying at one of the super fancy hotels we saw on the hillside on our boat ride (this cannot be confirmed)
Our tour guides/snorkeling instructors at Esperanza Tours were amazing. We became BFFs with them. They came recommended by the Sunwing representative that helped us book our adventures. On the day we toured the city, our tour guide, Marcos, told us that the next day he was visiting his friend, the woman from Sunwing who had recommended them to us. So the day after our fun tour with Marcos we went to go say hi to her at the hotel and ask how her visit was, which both pleased and embarrassed her greatly, and she proceeded to tell us how Marcos thanked her for sending such nice, friendly girls to him! What a guy. Marcos took us on a tequila tasting tour where we tasted fifteen-year-aged tequila and other delicious desert tequilas, as well as a botanical garden tour with more cacti than you thought existed, and showed us around a glass blowing factory where we saw them make a tequila drinking frog (classic) and for the first time in his tour guide career Marcos broke something. You know what they say, you break it, you run... or buy it. So he bought it. It reminded me of that expression, a bull in a china shop. Only I don't think bulls get so embarrassed when they break stuff. They do it for fun. I was just glad and pleasantly surprised that it wasn't me.

On Lover's Beach, probably not long after the peeing incident
We also made friends with our snorkeling instructor Luis. There is a very funny story there that I'm just not sure I can tell. Wait, who am I kidding, it's me we're talking about. When we came onto the shore after snorkeling I had to go pee and I had gotten so cold in the water I didn't want to go back in. So I decided to climb these rocks, see, just behind the beach area but in full view of the shore. Don't worry, I went high enough that I could hide behind a rock and no one could see me. Luis, however, decided it would be a good idea to follow me. Thankfully he was literally like a fish out of water trying to climb those rocks, so he had his head down the whole time. Just as he was about to look up, I finished peeing, and slyly manoeuvred myself a few feet away as if I was just admiring the view. Of course we then continued to have a great conversation about God and life, became good friends, and a few days after I returned home I told him the whole story. Needless to say there were a lot of "jajajaja's" in his response. (I was really worried after the hurricane in Los Cabos in September, named "Hurricane Odile," and was waiting for two weeks for him to get internet service to make sure he was ok. He is, don't worry.)

In Mexico, hippies are called "cactus huggers"
Another funny story, I decided to take my sleep apnea machine with me to Mexico. Poor Katie got a first hand look at what I like to call my "Darth Vader" mask every night. The mask hooks up to a small machine that blows air into my nose and forces me to breath while I sleep, in case, you know, I forget. If I open my mouth the air comes rushing out. One morning she told me how terrified she in the middle of the night when she woke up and felt her bed shaking (we never heard there was an earthquake but there might have been) and then she heard me talking in my sleep. I was thinking, well that's not so scary, unless I said something like "You're pregnant" or "There is a clown puppet in the corner watching you." (I don't know which one is scarier.) I asked what I said and she replied, "I don't know. You were speaking Parseltongue. It's a good thing you didn't say any real words or I think I would have had a heart attack." And it's true, it sounds exactly like the snake language from Harry Potter. So really, Katie almost died in Mexico too.

The End.

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