A Travellerspoint blog

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

sunny 80 °F

February 17, 2009, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Yes, the trip is already over, and I'm quite delinquent in posting information on our last port before concluding the voyage in Los Angeles. So, here it is, to complete the story of our trip. Letty and I had different plans for the first part of the day. I went deep sea fishing while she browsed around the town with friends. One of our group, Don Anderson from Huntington Beach, Ca., had arranged the fishing excursion for 17 of us. Up to 3 of us were on a boat, each with a captain. We were out seeking marlin, tuna, and mahi/mahi. Catching a marlin would have been really nice, but not in the cards for any of us. We were out to sea fishing by 8 a.m., to return by 12 noon, so we didn't have that much time. The plan was for turning the fish we caught over to a restaurant, who would clean and cook the fish for us and our wives (and others who were invited). Success varied by boat. One boat caught 13 (yellowfin tuna and mackeral), another 2 caught three each, my boat only caught one yellowfin, and 2 boats did not get anything. Despite not hooking a fish, I had lots of fun. We saw whale, and lots of dolphins. A school of dolphins numbering about 30 to 40 were around our boat for about 15 minutes, many leaping out of the water right next to our boat. A little excitement returning to shore; our boat's engine decided to act up (actually the fuel line). The captain was able to fix the problem, a good thing, as we were too far away to swim or anything else. The ensuing meal was tremendous; nothing is better than really fresh fish, prepared in three different Mexican styles. Back to the ship to sail to Los Angeles. Leaving Cabo, we encountered a few humpback whales, one of which breached (what a sight). This was a good end of the journey; one more day sailing at sea, and on Feb. 19, to dock in San Pedro, the port of Los Angeles.

Posted by Len Reeser 20:18 Archived in Mexico Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Acapulco, Mexico

sunny 95 °F

February 15, 2009, Acapulco, Mexico. Whew, another hot day, and humid. We had no organized tour here today. Letty and I, and a friend, Daryl, rented a taxi for a few hours and went around the city. We wanted to get a few things, so we spent time at an open air arts and crafts market. We asked our driver to take us to a unique restaurant for lunch. We did, at the Acapulco Flamingo Hotel, a beautiful and exquisite place in the old part of town. It overlooked the ocean from a cliff. Our view was tremendous, and better yet, the food was wonderful, very authentic Mexican, which was our request. To our table was brought an appetiser tray of cheese covered tortilla chips, along with some good spicy Mexican salsa. I had a carne asada dish while letty had a seafood salad. This hotel was the one frequented by the movie stars of yesteryear, like John Wayne, Clark Gable, etc. The decor and grounds were beautiful, and we were told rooms go for only 60 dollars a night. That's because its not in the new modern part of town. After lunch, our driver took us to see some of the unique things that tourists generally don't see, for example, a street on which the wall on one side was made up in mozaic art. It was very colorful and the drawings told a story, which our driver told us. Too long to say it here. We visited the old Casablanca hotel, also overlooking the city, bay, and ocean from a cliff. Acapulco is very hilly, even more so than San Francisco. We had a good time here. Our next stop is Cabo San Lucas, the last stop before Los Angeles, boohoo. Len.

Posted by Len Reeser 13:40 Archived in Mexico Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Costa Rica

sunny 95 °F

Punta Arenas, Costa Rica, February 12, 2009. Time to catch up on my writing. I'm writing this in an internet cafe in Acapulco, Mexico. In Costa Rica, Letty had organized a custom tour. There were 64 of us, 3 busloads. We first went to a place in the jungle where monkeys abound. Being a 'tourist' spot, the monkeys were friendly and accustomed to people. There was food available for us to feed them. This was actually a fun place to be. We then went to a planatation where we ate fresh pinapple, mango, and watermelon. Then the big part of the tour. We went to the river containing the world's third largest concentration of crocodiles. On a boat, we were on this river for about an hour and a half. A crew person, actually a daredevil, got out of the boat up to his knees in mud and called the crocodiles to him by flapping a dead chicken on the water. A crocodile approaches him, raises himself out of the water and snatches the chicken having just been dropped by this guy. What a sight, he did this 3 times with different crocs. I have good pictures of this for the whole sequence. After the river tour, we went to a local restaurant for lunch. Very good food, and was native costa rican fare. After lunch, it was to shopping places for souvenirs. We got back to the ship right before sunset, which itself was quite a sight this day. Costa Rica is a very nice beautiful country, a place to return to stay for awhile. Len.

Posted by Len Reeser 13:10 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

Lima, Peru

sunny 90 °F

February 8, 2009, Lima, Peru. Lima is a huge and fascinating city. The city center is modern and building architecture is very European in design. Unfortunately, much poverty exists resulting in a shanty town appearance in much of the countryside. We were also warned to be careful here, as thieves and pickpockets abound. Stories are told of having cameras and jewelry ripped from people, or taken at knive-point. Eight of us from the ship contracted a local van operator to take us for the day to the places we wanted to go. So, in a van that could hold up to 10 people, we first went to see Inca ruins, where we spent the morning. I took lots of pictures, words can't really describe what we saw, other than building remains of a lost civilization. A shanty-town is built on a hill next to the ruins. They think there are more ruins to be excavated under that town. They stopped any more building there and are pondering what to do at this point. We then went to a restaurant in a suburb of Lima, along the coast. The food was great. I had a shrimp and scallops dish and Letty a shrimp dish, both prepared Peruvian style; Letty's with vegetables and sauces, and mine with rice, sauces, and some unknown ingredients. After lunch we went to an Incan Market, an arts and crafts emporium. Then we went into the center of Lima, where we walked around. Most places were closed to tourists as the day was Sunday. All in all, it was a good day, we saw and learned much, but unlike Chile, Letty and I haven't any strong desire to ever return here. So, we returned to the ship to sail to our next port in Costa Rica. Len

Posted by Len Reeser 09:33 Archived in Peru Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Arica, Chile

sunny 95 °F

February 6, 2009, Arica, Chile. Arica, the dryest city in the world. The average annual rainfall is measured at .03 inches. That doesn't mean it rains .03 inches every year; they can (and do) go 20 or more years without any rain, and then when it does, it can be a half inch. Despite the dry climate, agriculture abounds here. A couple of rivers travel through the valleys from the Andes Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Not much water actually reaches the Pacific as about all is siphoned off for irrigation and human consumption. Stark contrast exists between the green valleys and the surrounding mountains and hillsides. Off the valley floor, the ground is absolutely void of life. It appears as lifeless as the surface of the moon - no insects or animals, and absolutely no grass or any vegetation. The area has a long history. Museums display mummies and artifacts of over 8000 years in age. There was a civilization of the 1500 B.C. timeframe that drew pictures on the mountain sides, using dark rocks to create figures of llamas, people, birds, etc. These are call geoglyphs and appear to range in size from 10 yards to 100 yards or more. It is interesting that all these figures face to the direction of the Pacific. Letty and I took a custom tour (in an 8 passenger van) that began by going to the top of a huge hill next to the city; the view was phenomenal. We then went along the coast to the main inland road leading to Bolivia. After stopping at several scenic and touristy places along the way, we ended at a goat farm, where our driver and guide set up a snack table of fresh goat cheese, crackers, olives, roasted corn, and a few unrecognizable, but tasty, morsels. From there we travelled into the mountains, seeing many geoglyphs, crossing into the valley whose terminus is Arica. The mountain road was something else; narrow to where 2 vehicles would have difficulty passing, and no guard rails, and with cliffs dropping off to over a thousand feet at places. Letty kept her eyes closed mostly; I enjoyed the ride. In the next valley, we had lunch in a restaurant. Several tours groups were apparently coordinated to meet here at this time. The food was excellent, and we were treated to music from a local group, playing native instruments which can best be described a similar to guitars and wood instuments. A local women's group also entertained with traditional ethnic dances. We then went to see more geoglyphs. Arriving back in Arica, we went to the vegetable and fruit market of the city. The place was massive, more than a whole city block. The produce was the best we see anywhere in the world, fresh, ripe, and varied. And cheap; e.g. tomatoes were being sold for (converting from Chilean pesos) 15 cents a pound. We ended the tour in the city square, which is adjacent to the port harboring our ship. There were arts and crafts vendors there, making it nice for getting souvenirs. We were also treated to a local parade. This evening was the beginning of their Carnaval celebration. Bands and dance groups from Peru, Bolivia, and northern Chile paraded, all performing in their ethnic costumes. It was a great day in Arica, truly a unique place in the world. Back to the ship, to leave for our next port of call, Lima, Peru. Len.

Posted by Len Reeser 09:28 Archived in Chile Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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