Wednesday Febuary 20 – Catching that big bird home – The plan for today is to walk down to the bus stop on Lazaro Cardenas street a bit East of Puerto Paraiso Mall and catch one of those white buses with a green stripe (not a Colectivo bus), and take it to the Airport for my flight home.
I had my usual oatmeal with cinnamon for breakfast and then after browsing the web a bit I packed up my bags the rest of the way and left a huge pile of stuff on the counter here that I don’t see any sense in taking home. Items such as sugar, cereal, oatmeal, fruit, microfiber towels (which I have tons of at home) and etc. I also left a M$100 for the maid as well as let her have my key deposit.
In any case I got checked out and said my goodbyes to those still at the Cabo Inn. I then rolled my suitcase and other bags over to the bus stop on Lazaro Cardenas (I’ll never listen to people again who say just take a carry-on bag. 9/10 of my trouble on this trip is because I listened to them, and always had to carry another bag on the side in the end. I will bring my midsize bag which will hold my stuff and have no need of another bag on the side. Ill take just my midsize suitcase in which everything fits and my carry-on Computer Bag.)
I caught the white bus with the green stripe that had Aeropuerto written at the top of its list and when I got on I told the driver “Aeropuerto”. He acknowledged my request and started off. As the bus was full except for one empty seat next to a Young Mexican woman who had put a bag on the seat next to her I had her pick up the bag and move over so I could sit down. She certainly wasn’t going to do it unless I told her to.
The ride to the airport took about an hour and 15 minutes with lots of stops along the way. Because of agreements between cab companies and the government the bus doesn’t take you to the terminal but to a graveled area about 100 yards down the hill from Terminal 1. If my flight had been leaving from terminal 1 I would have just walked up the hill and through a gap in the fence of the parking lot and across the parking lot up to Terminal 1. As it turned out my flight on American Airlines departed from Terminal 2 and so when I got to the fence I looked left and could see Terminal 2 and so made my way there. So if you take the bus to the airport allow time for this. The walk is quite a bit. As it turned out I flagged down a car rental shuttle and offered them a tip to take me to Terminal 2. They did and I tipped them 50 Pesos. Well worth it.
So I got to Terminal 2 at last and got checked in and through security without much hassle and saw they had a Carl’s Jr. Hamburger restaurant and I treated myself to one with French fries and a drink. It tasted great. I had the small drink because I was well aware that I would be getting on an airplane for 3 hours with about 300 people and only 2 bathrooms in the rear of the plane. I always request an aisle seat because I don’t think anyone would appreciate having to let me out 3 or 4 times during the flight. It’s not always about wanting to use the bathroom. Sometimes I just want to get out of that cramped seat and move around a bit.
The flight back to Texas was OK, but getting back through customs was a bit unnerving for me. They had a dog sniffing people’s bags while they waited in this long, long, long and curving line to get through customs. In my usual carefree manner as I don’t do any drugs or have anything to do with anyone who does I stuck my “extra” bag over by the dog and told him “ok doggie have a good sniff” : )
The dog got very excited and started trying to get into my bag. I thought “OH S_ _ _ !!! I couldn’t imagine why the dog had “alarmed” on my bag. The guy with the dog said “come over here…we need to talk”. When he said that the people behind me backed away as if I was some international terrorist or something.
I went over next to him with visions of a very unpleasant drug search in my head and he asked me “Do you have any fruit in that bag”. I told him no. He said was I sure or had I had fruit in the bag before. I told him I didn’t have any fruit in there now but I had fruit in there before. Once again he asked if I was sure there was none in there now and I told him I was sure there wasn’t any fruit in there now. He said OK Sir and started moving down the line with the dog checking out other people’s stuff.
After getting through customs (or I guess this was the immigration part of the “making America safe” BS). I had to get my bags from the baggage place downstairs and come back upstairs to go through Customs again. Then I had to take my bag over to another area where it was checked back in for the rest of my flight to College Station, Texas (No doubt a hotbed of terroristic activity and smuggling).
Now that the pleasantries of getting back into my own country were finally over there remained just the trauma of having to go through the BS of “security” for continuing on my flight complete with a full body scan performed by a female attendant (I won’t call them officers).
Finally haven proven that I am not a College Station, Texas Aggie terrorist I was allowed to proceed to the terminals for my flight.
Maybe I seem a bit overjudgemental here but the fact is that freedom is not possible without a reasonable acceptance of risk. I just don’t believe in trading off all our freedoms for the illusion of security. That is a very poor trade indeed. The first thing any one does whether they are a boyfriend, an employer, or a government does when they want to control you is to say they are only concerned with your “safety”.
I can see now why there is a 4 hour layover in D/FW airport when returning from a trip to a foreign country. It is needed to get through customs and security with a hope of catching your connecting flight.
In any case after hanging around the airport for a bit and eating again more out of boredom than anything else at TGI Fridays I caught my flight home.
This trip to Mexico was something of an icebreaker for me as it was the first time I had been to Mexico except for border town visits years ago (before the current drug war madness). There is a lot said about travel in Mexico and as 98% of news reporting by the American news media about the US is negative the same holds true about their reporting about Mexico. But I must say that after a 3 week stay in Mexico I never felt more at risk or in danger that I did on the streets of any US city.
Being used to Tex Mex I found the food in Mexico to be rather bland but not near as “hot” as Tex Mex dishes.
Our hotel like most hotels in Cabo had filtered water to drink and after purchasing a couple of 1.5L bottles I just refilled them as I went along for drinking water, my tea, and brushing my teeth. I brought an extra pair of pants but would have been better served by bringing an extra pair of shorts and my lounging pants. The days in Cabo are warm to hot but the nights in Cabo get cool and I can’t say I stayed anywhere that had heat. But I like to sleep in a bit cold room anyway. When I wore my shorts the mosquitoes bit my feet and legs in the evenings. They must be small because I didn’t get any bites through my pants or socks.
There is a Supermarket of a sort on Lazaro Cardenas street where it intersects with Marina Blvd. Wal Mart is cheaper but not in town. There is a bigger Wal Mart with much better produce in San Jose del Cabo.
I actually drank a few beers in Cabo and found Pacifico to be pretty good. And it is cheap as well.
Some of the best maps of Cabo and etc. are the ones in the Los Cabos magazine. They are all over and free so get an extra or two and tear the maps out to use while finding your way around. The ones given out by the “information center” are nothing but ad sheets.
It is my hope that my blogs on Cabo will prove useful to someone planning a trip there.