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Villa Del Palmar

CABO SAN LUCAS TRIP REPORT

January 25 - 28, 2007


THURSDAY:

We arrived 11:30 a.m. Thursday.  Customs was quick since it was Thursday versus Saturday.  Baja Ground Services was waiting (turn right out the last door after retrieving your luggage, turning left doesn’t work) and picked us up ($34.75 ea. round trip) and took us into Cabo.  We have had excellent service from BGS. We talked the driver into stopping for 12 Pacificos which he iced down in a box and then stopping at Gordo Lele's for our first taco fix . We bought the driver lunch and it was great as always. Then he delivered us to the Mar de Cortez.  We negotiated with the Baja driver for a Saturday trip to Todos Santos. He got us a driver on his day off and a new Baja van for $100 plus gas and $40 for the driver for our 9:30 a.m. start.  We picked the Mar de Cortez since it's walking distance to most of downtown Cabo,

One purpose of the trip was to investigate Cabo Villas for a resale timeshare I found on the internet. So Randy who had been on our July trip went with me.  The hotel was fine for our purpose.  It's like a Motel 6 with the same frills and a nice pool.  We walked the town Thursday afternoon and spent most of the time at the Crazy Lobster for 2 for 1 drinks 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  In the evening we did find a super street no name taco stand one block north of the Love Shack and a half block east.  We noticed a large crowd of locals so we stopped.  We now rank this our number one taco stand with Gordo Lele going to #2.


FRIDAY:

Friday morning we had an early breakfast at Spencer's in the hotel which was good and reasonably priced.  Then we walked to Pancho's to look at their menu.  We talked to Jose, one of the bartenders who was there early and quizzed him on a locals' spot that he would recommend.  His favorite is Lolita's on the corner of Ninoes Heroes & Matamoros, which is one block north of the Corner Cafe.  Lolita’s was like a block and a half away from the Mar de Cortez.  We then walked over to the Crazy Lobster again for the 8:05 a.m. Bloody Mary's (2 for 1 for $4.40).  We both agreed with many on Trip Advisor; they are the best in Cabo.  I usually have to have a bartender (Luiz ) adjust my Bloody Mary's a little, but there was no adjusting these.  Later we meandered to the Corner Cafe to do some e-mails and reasonably priced phone calls.  We had a few palomas and margaritas here and just took pictures of the world's largest margarita.  We also had one fish taco which was very good.

Then it was off to our new find, Lolita's which was one block north.  We split one order of beef burritos (3 LARGE), refried beans on the side and freshly made guacamole and Pacificos.  This place was a great find.  It is small with probably 10-12 tables, mostly open air with a roof.  Both times we were there we only saw locals.  The menu also has caldo de res and pozole, very reasonably priced which we would try Sunday.

We took a cab from the hotel to Cabo Villas.  We spent the afternoon all over the resort, talking to several management and reservation people and taking pictures of everything imaginable.  From the Sunset Grille on the top, to the rooms, to the pool, and Baja Cantina bar on the bottom.  The afternoon shade I'd read about is there, but it's not a negative to us, it's a positive.  The dirt road to the entrance is there also, but that's just Cabo.  For us, this resort will work just fine.

I have been browsing the internet timeshare resale market ever since our July 2006 trip on twenty some plus websites. I finally found one week on MyResortNetwork.com that met all of my goals.  My wife just wanted to make sure we were close to downtown.  It is a 2 br, 2 bath, under $5000, maint. fee under $600, RTU with at least 25 years, open weeks 1-50, and can also be exchanged or rented at Cabo Villas.  I am now in escrow on the unit with Title Outlet, Inc. Ocoee, Florida and will pay $200 transfer fee and $250 escrow costs.  With this purchase we will be able to go to Cabo for three weeks with my two Marriott exchange weeks.

Then it was a cab back to Pancho's where Katuey and Jose introduced us to a drink called Vampiro.  It is a spicy paloma.  They added some homemade sangrita (not sangria) and a dash of grenadine to it.  Sangrita is mixture of orange, lime, and tomato juices, and Tabasco.  The drink is red like vampire's blood and spicy.  Next it was back to the Crazy Lobster.  Now we weren't paying attention to time and their happy hour was over.  They up their average real quick after 6 p.m.  We had appetizers, steak, and lobster and it was not that good and very pricey.  We decided later to keep Crazy Lobster on our breakfasts and drinks only list from 8-6!!!  Some kids put on a fire and dance act in the street before we left which was good.  We had a nightcap in a new place about three blocks north across from the park, that was a real nice place (Miguel Loco’s I think, I can't remember the exact name).  Then 1/2 block north and one block east back to the hotel.


SATURDAY:

7:00 a.m. Saturday morning it was back to Pancho's for breakfast.  I got my chilequilas fix. They will make it with chicken or beef and either red or green sauce.  Although tomatillos are not my favorite, I tried two eggs sunny side up on a bed of beef chilequilas with green sauce and fresh hot flour tortillas.  It was wonderful and I couldn't finish it all.  We had an excellent waiter, Sly (for Sylvester).  He has a spicy seafood sauce named after him at the restaurant where he worked previously.  It is a mixture of soy sauce, wasabi, and mustard.  I haven't tried it yet but will.  Randy had a bowl of pozole.  He said it was excellent.  8:00 am to the Crazy Lobster for Bloody Mary's, then to the hotel for our trip to Todos Santos.

Renting a van and driver for our first trip was probably the best decision we made.  While a little pricey, having a local who knows Todos Santos do the driving eliminated the rental diving worry.  This guy was a good safe driver and makes about 40 trips a year and knows Todos Santos well.  He brought a cooler so we iced down a case of Pacificos for the trip just north of town.  A little over an hour our first stop as we were coming into town was a small and very busy carnitas spot on the left (Carnitas Bara, I think).  Our driver said they have the best carnitas in Todos Santos. He was right.  We had several and bought his lunch.

We took a brief tour of downtown and stopped at the Hotel California for pictures.  Due to an owner spat and split one of the two owners got the rights to the "Hotel California" bar and merchandise.  He moved both directly across the street in the mid 90's according to Emanuel the owner’s son and the main bartender.  Emanuel is known as "Mr. Margarita " as he has won the best margarita competition in Miami Beach the last five years and is one of the five finalists for 2006, according to him.  I don't doubt him as they were excellent and don't seem to have the acid reflux most margaritas do.  He freely gives his recipe which is as follows:

wet rim of glass with key lime slice (not water)
salt rim
fill glass 3/4 with chunky ice
3 oz. El Capricho tequila
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Damiana
4 key limes squeeze into mix (cut top off and use lime squeezer)
serve with slice of key lime on rim with straw
then say "Stir Slowly" because the drink should be full to the rim!!

He also explained the chemistry of the drink.  El Capricho is very, very smooth, and agave based.  I don't know the grade, but probably an Anejo.  We bought a bottle from him.  We can't find it in the states anywhere.  But, I saw it in the liquor store just down the street from Cabo Wabo when I was buying my Damiana (which is available in the states and they have a website).  I can't explain the taste of Damiana you'd just have to try it.  And Cointreau puts the sweet in the drink. 

Approx. three hours later after many of these award winners and lots of pictures we leave Mr. Margarita with t-shirts and hats.  During this session we hear about a small hotel on the water.  It is supposed to be beautiful.  So we have our driver take us to "Posada la Poza".  It probably is, but after a jarring liver banging ride even at five mph to the hotel we're ready to get back to a real road and we're hungry again.  So, we have him take us back to the carnitas stop. After many more super pork carnitas we start back.  Now it's time to experience "Art and Beer" on the road to Cabo (mm #69).

"Art and Beer" is definitely unique.  We only had one drink here.  That's all we needed was another drink.  The bathroom is also an experience.  The owner was sitting next to us and he told us how he ended up with this place.  Then he did give us the free beer for the road that everyone talks about.  Our next stop was at a large new development 10 miles north of Cabo.  We had seen the signs on the way out.  They are selling deeded acreage on very large lots from eighty five thousand up.  It is right on the Pacific with only a few homes so far, but many of the lots are sold.  It is called Rolling Hills Estates and they have a US phone number, 480 626 7838, and a website, http://www.caborollinghills.com.  If I were younger and had lots of money this would be an interesting investment.  We closed this day when we got back to the hotel.


SUNDAY:

Sunday, it was back to Pancho's for breakfast.  I had beef (carne asada ) chilequilas with red sauce and two eggs again and Randy had eggs ranchero.  Bloody Mary's at Pancho's; Crazy Lobster doesn't open until noon on Sunday.  We made a 6 p.m. reservation for a table right next to the open mesquite grill, so we could watch the chef at Pancho's for our final meal. 

Then the Corner Cafe for e-mails and phone calls and on to shopping.  I was looking for Peter Mussfelt resort wear that one of the Trip Advisor local experts has mentioned, but couldn't find it anywhere.  The places mentioned have either closed or quit handling the line.  We made some purchases at the Tommy Bahama store in the mall.  They told us this was the only all Tommy Bahama store in Mexico.  We stopped and viewed all the goodies at Senor Sweets in the mall, and took a break at the Nowhere Bar and Cabo Wabo.  We bought some items at Cabo Wabo.  I found a couple of great resort button down shirts hidden at the bottom of their t-shirt display.

Then to Lolita's again for lunch.  I had the caldo de res and Randy had the pozole, also the fresh guacamole and hot flour tortillas with cold Pacificos.  Once again, excellent food, reasonably priced.  We had massages scheduled for mid afternoon.  We made that and took a break at the hotel bar.  We talked to a Chicago Bears fan and his wife.  He had driven all the way from Chicago to Cabo.  He had some interesting stories.  They were going to drive to San Diego to watch the Super Bowl with some friends (1200 more miles).

At Pancho's we had some drinks at the bar with the Chicago couple, then they left to view the photography exhibit at the Tesoro Hotel.  We moved to our ringside grill table for dinner.  I had the mesquite grilled ribs (costillas de puerco) with an excellent spicy BBQ sauce on the side for dipping ( a mixture of Cornelius extra hot and their regular BBQ sauce - Cornelius is the current chef), and Randy had the mesquite grilled red snapper (huachinango) with a red chile pepper sauce.  Both meals were excellent.  After dinner we had a last drink with Luiz (bartender) at the Crazy Lobster and then closed out the trip at the hotel bar. 

Baja Ground Services was right on schedule the next morning at 5:30 a.m. for the return trip to the airport.  Obviously, Pancho's, Lolita's, Crazy Lobster, and Cabo Villas will see us again.  Mr. Margarita, and the carnitas spot in Todos Santos also.
 

Updated 02/24/07