I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
BAJA 1000 . . . well 10 at least . . .
One way that we save a bit of money on
our cruise travel is to avoid taking all of the shore excursions.
There are an amazing variety of things you can do at every port, but
they all cost quite a lot. We have got into the habit of looking at them all, and choosing one organized tour on each cruise. People tell
me that if you go ashore and bargain with some of the crowd of locals
who greet you as soon as you get off the boat, you can get a better
tour for a fraction of the money. We have usually stuck with the
tours organized by the ship however, because if something ever
happened, we know the ship would wait for us, where you are on your
own if you go with the independent tours.
Tell us about the Baja 1000
On this cruise, we selected a tour out
of the Mexican port of Cabo San Lucas; a mini 4 X 4 tour of
the Baja region. Actually Regis found it, and thought I would like it
because I would actually get to drive the vehicle. She had read the
reviews and they were almost all very positive. It sounded like fun.
We decided not to book early, because it was a long cruise and we
doubted things would be sold out quickly. Once we were on board we
put in our request, but were a bit disappointed when the original
time was full, but a new tour had been added at 2:00 PM. This wasn't
a serious problem, although since the ship was leaving at 6:00, and
it was a 3.5 hour tour, we were cutting it a bit close. Let's hope
that last tender waits for us . . . .
The tour started at a ranch out in the
country, and each couple were assigned a bright red Honda “Big Red”
two person ATV. After a brief tour, safety drill, and operation
instructions, I chose a shiny red machine, passing up a couple that
were starting to show the fading effects of the hot Mexican sun, so
were probably a bit older. There were seven couples along for the
tour, and one couple were returning, having done it three years ago
(A good sign for sure).
Looking out on the Pacific
Once we set out, the tour proved to be
very well organized and thoughtfully designed. The route was
challenging with narrow sandy trails, tight switchback turns,
gullies, and steep climbs. We had a guide in front, who encouraged
the faster more adventurous of us to keep up with him, while a guide
followed behind to ensure that those who were not as comfortable felt
included and kept on track. This has to be difficult, for a guide; to
go fast enough to satisfy us Baja 1000 wanna-be's as well as keeping
those slower drivers with the group. They really did an excellent
job, blasting ahead on some twisty sections, leading us back and
forth across the road and around the Baja vegetation and allowing the
others to follow the straight but boring roadway. It really made for
a fun ride. The ATV's were powerful enough to make it fun, yet
seemed safe and reliable even in difficult terrain. I had fun.
Bounced off a few berms, clipped a few bushes, kicked up lots of
dust, and slid through a few tight sandy turns.
We stopped twice, once on a hilltop
overlooking the spectacular Baja countryside, and again on a cliff
overlooking the Pacific. I think the three of us asking the guide for
stories about when the Baja 1000 used to run through here encouraged
him to pick up the pace a bit after this stop.
We had a great afternoon, and arrived
back at the port in time to catch the last tender back to the ship.
We were a little tired, and very dusty and dirty, but completely
thrilled with this tour. We did miss our dinner in the dining room,
and had to eat at the Lido buffet though. Shorts, flip-flops, out on
the aft pool deck under the warm setting Mexican sun . . . . . . life