San Jose Del Cabo
16 December 2013
December 16, 2013
This is where I fall in love with Mexico. After years of dreaming and then planning, and a start and stop moment in Ensenada, after 800 plus miles and days and nights at sea, it has taken me the entire ten days we have spent at San Jose Del Cabo to decompress, and to actually realize how vividly our lives are changing, from port to port.
There is something refreshing about immersing oneself in another culture. And we have barely begun. But what we have found has caused me to feel giddy; like a child with a school-girl crush, I am smitten with the people and the country of Mexico. When, exactly, this happened, I do not know. I am wondering, as I think back...
It might have been when I began to see Mexico through the eyes of artists and architecture. Puerto Los Cabos has a long walkway that runs around the marina. It is beautifully landscaped with cacti and flowers and the paintings and sculptures of the artist, Leonora Carrington. Ms. Carrington was a British woman who resided in Mexico for many years. They call her one of the last women surrealist painters. Her interpretations of life resonate around the macabre, a darker view of our world than I would chose, but interesting, nonetheless. Good art opens new avenues of thought.
Then we met Metin Bereketli, an artist originally from Turkey, who has lived and worked in many places, including our own Los Angeles, and North Carolina. He impressed us with his art, and charmed us with his personality. We spent several afternoons in his gallery, regaled by his life experiences and sharing in his dream for the future. We even discovered we have colleagues in common; working with the same film producers, once, our paths almost crossed.
We wandered into buildings built in the 1700s. Beautiful adobe structures with soft, curved arches and tile floors, interspersed with gardens, relief paintings and wood-beam ceilings. What was once a hacienda is now a restaurant. No longer privately owned, the public can enjoy this structural history that recreates a time gone by.
Or it could have been when we found the beach club drenched in white sand with cool, salty, water lapping onto the shore. We took a swim and a snorkel and a snooze on the chairs.
But probably it was the Ceviche. I love Ceviche! I went taste testing throughout San Jose Del Cabo and the Beach Club won, hands down, with their fresh sea bass, lime, cilantro, Serrano peppers, and cucumber Ceviche. And I tried many; tuna, snapper, shrimp and even octopus.
But then it might have been when our friends, Casey and Diane from sv/Inkatu, drove down from La Paz to take us to the Organic Farmer's Market. We drove through town and then turned onto a dirt road where we traveled for about a mile, closing the windows so the dust wouldn't suffocate us. Eventually, we turned into a dust parking lot and my expectations were low. I turned to the right and was pleasantly surprised. There, in a garden, park-like setting was the farmer's market. Fresh organic vegetables and fruit, organic eggs and cheese made from goat's milk. Art work with the vibrant colors so specific to the Mexican culture. And music. Of course there was music. I'm thinking it was a showcase of some sort as there was a middle-school group with guitars and a ukelele, along with a vocalist. And then there was high school duo with a young man with a guitar and his friend, playing percussion on the body of his friend's guitar. And the best was the harpist. It was a Celtic Harp. I tried to take photos, but how does one capture the atmosphere that is contained within the chemistry and symmetry of whole health, nature, and music combined? You really had to be there.
It might have been when we met Carlos, our waiter at the Beach Club. He was from Chiapas and was very proud of it. In fact, he was protective of his home. When I told him I would love to visit Chiapas, he demanded, "Why?"
"Well, for the history and culture." I responded. "And I have heard it is a very special place." Whew! I think I passed the test.
It probably wasn't the roosters. They insisted it was dawn when I knew it was the middle of the night. I love the country sounds, but really?
Or maybe it was the evening we sat under the stars at The Container visiting with old friends and new friends and listening to an excellent Mexican band. You should have heard the guitar player. He was quite good. The waiters would bring ponchos for the ladies to keep them warm, but I declined. To me the night air was soft against my skin.
It could have been any one of these moments, or all these moments, that made me fall in love with Mexico. But what does it matter? We are here now. Every day is a new beginning.
Every once in awhile, I get a pang of homesickness. I miss our children and grandchildren. I miss our friends. I miss our home in Martha's Vineyard, and I miss our food.
The other day, Jay noticed I was pouting and asked me, "What's wrong?"
"I want barbeque chicken! No tortillas, no beans. Just plain American barbeque chicken."
"Okay. So we will get some chicken and barbeque it."
I smiled. Sometimes I just need a taste of home.