January 26, 2010


I wanted to add a little culture to my life and an artwalk through an old Mexican town complete with samples of wine and tequila sounded like just the right combination. The tour company offered a guided visit to San Jose del Cabo a few miles up the coast of the Sea of Cortez from where we were staying and after a few moments to charge my credit card, it was set. Rico picked us up at the front entrance of our hotel and informed us that we were the only participants tonight. We didn't hop, so much as climbed into the back seat of the silver Hummer and were introduced to the driver and started on our way. It was 4:00, the sun was still shining and our guide was talkative. He was 71 years old and an amateur historian which gave credence to some of the information he shared on our 20 minute ride. We learned about pirates, whaling (he was researching a book on the subject - another writer!), the Canadian enclave, timeshares, dessert conditions, water and agriculture along with why the animals have adapted to local conditions and are smaller on the California peninsula.
We arrived at our first gallery and were greeted by the owner who knew our guide and we all enjoyed a shot of tequila - a nice way to start the evening. I'm not a fan of the bright primary colours used in tropically inspired art but I did enjoy the various examples of pottery and carvings if not the paintings. The gallery owner was very polite and informative and had been a lifelong resident in Cabo. I got the impression that he enjoyed my attempts to speak Spanish. We made our way through a dozen or more galleries including some very high priced offerings for the wealthy property owners in the area. I was surprised at the number of ex pats who worked in the area.  We had started about 5 PM and enjoyed several liquid offerings from the retailers but all the walking and humidity kept any Cabo wobble symptoms at bay. By 7:00 it was time to enjoy dinner at La Panga Antigua near the cathedral but still on the main art walk. An old building that has been restored with intimate tables set indoors and out, they lived up to their billing as one of the area's better restaurants. We had a "special" coffee after dinner and invited our guide, Rico to join us, whereupon he continued to regale us with stories about his family and experiences in America, Hawaii and Mexico. The obligatory pictures were snapped, a short tour of the building itself and appropriate tip left behind and we walked down the street to a jewelry store we had spied earlier. A few gifts for the girls at home and we were ready to climb back in the Hummer for the return trip. A pleasant ride with pleasant company, surroundings and locals. It is an easy decision to recommend San Jose del Cabo on a Thursday night - I wish I was going this Thursday.

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