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Day Eight

Sleeping in

After all of the travel, we took a bit of a break at Marina Sol, enjoying the pool-side restaurant and plush condo amenities. Thanks to Ron Whiting we are able to get a room during semana santa.

Room 601, with all the frills
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Energized and rested, we set out to wash and repackage the rigs
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The Comunidad Biblica de San Jose Del Cabo

At a major junction where the road to La Paz interects with the road to San Jose del Cabo, there is a huge three-story tall building named, in English, the Golden Palace.

The Golden Palace
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On the third floor of the Golden Palace Building are two large rooms that house the Communidad Biblica de San Jose del Cabo. The Church was chosen as the last stop and donation of the final two vehicles due to their outreach program they have in place, assisting those with great needs in the rural rancho's and villages. One room is outfitted with folding chairs occupied by several dozen well-dressed Mexicans. The room next door is a play and activities space. It’s 10:30 and the first words of a nearly 4 hour-long service begin. The Baja3000 team members are scattered throughout the room. The service starts with several songs, readings from the Bible, announcements. Then there are more readings.

As it’s Palm Sunday, the children are hustled out of the church and into the next room to prepare for a procession. Dressed all in white, a dozen or so children file back into the church singing and waving palm fronds.

Do You Believe in Miracles?

After the last guitar chord is strummed and the palm fronds put in the trash, the minister gets up ad addresses the congregation, working the crowd with a Southern Baptist-style call-and-response:

“Do you believe in miracles?”
“Si,” comes the tepid response from the parishioners
“DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? He pushes.
“Siiiiii!” The crowd is starting to come alive.

They sense something, but they have no idea about what will happen next.

“Today a miracle has come to the church. Today these 8 Norteamericanos have come to us with an amazing gift….”

Working the crowd like a master showman, the minister holds off on naming the gift. Instead, he asks each of us to stand and introduce ourselves.

“These gifts are something the church needs very much,” the minister says. “Our friends here have brought us two cars and many supplies we will be able to use for all our programs. The cars are a Chevrolet Suburban and a Toyota 4-Runner”

The Rigs
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An audible gasp throughout the church sucks the air out of the room. As a gift of thanks the minister then presents our group a beautiful token of thanks, a scroll and shirt depicting an Aztec Warrior playing "Pok Ja Pok", a game between gods and men, suddenly a sincere round of applause echo's the room. A few minutes later, dozens of parishioners are inspecting the cars, bouncing in the seats, and posing for photos in the “miracles” parked in the lot out front. They inspect the sleeping bags and camping supplies, their youth group will be heading to the La Paz area shortly on a spring trip.

“These will be perfect for our camping trip to La Paz next week,” one church member exalts as he holds a sleeping bag aloft for all to see. One of the Deacon's wife, Stephanie, who spoke perfect english, explained that these gifts are from God which will be cherished and used in Gods name to help others in need.

The presentation
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Baja3000 donated $1,650 in cash for the title transfers on the cars
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Palm Sunday dresses
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Thirty minutes later, we file over to the minister’s home to drop off the cars. Until these cars are registered in Mexico, Mexican citizens are forbidden to drive them.

These church members play by the rules.

Signing over the rigs, Bob is too legit to quit
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The minister’s wife invites me into their neat single-story concrete block home. It’s got the usual comfy middle-class furniture, framed photos, and plush carpet. She’s also got a nice collection of baseball-sized geodes, the rocks with quartz crystals inside when you break them open. I admire a striking purple one. She tells me she found it in the desert and insists that I take it.

“I couldn’t,” I stammer. But she insists. To refuse further would offend her. I take her beautiful gift and will put it in a special spot in my garden.

Hunting For Surf, and a Lesson in Real Estate

The East Cape beckons. From anywhere in Cabo San Lucas, you can see the huge sloping point that stands like a gateway to the Sea of Cortez.

The decision is made: we’re going for it!

We surfed the East Cape together back in 1996, and it was close to perfection. Back then, a single strand of dirt road threaded together a series of unpopulated points, bays and beaches. Eager to rediscover the Cape, we wish the minister and his family buena suerte and pile into a rented truck and Team Westside’s Suburban.

Million-Dollar Homes and a Billion-Dollar Marina

A half-hour later, we are in San Jose del Cabo, scurrying back and forth on unfamiliar roads like mice trying to escape a maze. Million-dollar homes stand in rows along desert ridges. Colorful real estate pennants snap in the breeze.

Then we bump into the marina, and it’s huge and new and raw. Except for perhaps 15 boats, it is completely empty. The Mexican government just finished digging this massive desert ditch as part of a larger plan to create a string of marinas every 200 miles along the coast of Baja. They’re turning the desert into yachts. Hotels. Tourists. Dollars.

Lunch at the new marina
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Enormous ships
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We stop for lunch at a simple but delicious waterfront restaurant, then re-ignite our frantic, lead-footed search to get outta this damned place and find some surf!

But nothing, nothing, nothing at all is familiar. I’ve never seen such a complete makeover of an area in such a short time. In places, we might as well be in Orange County, with its cul-de-sacs and sidewalks. At last we claw onto a likely-looking road and start looking for Las Palmas or Nine Palms.

New development
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Twelve years ago we camped and surfed at Las Palmas, a fine right point break. Today we can’t see the beach because homes block the view to the water. Our only indication that we are in the right spot: one home has a huge gate with wrought-iron palm tree designs.

Baja sunset
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We’re racing the setting sun, and losing badly. The wind is chopping the tiny surf into whitecapped lumps. No one, except Mike Sullivan, has the slightest desire to get wet. At dusk we turn back to town.

Comments (2)

marco khalil:

I found your blog commented upon in another blog on Gadling.com.. read with interest and admiration, great trip idea that I hope inspires others.
I'm also pleased to note that I make a cameo appearence, a mere walk on role: Day 8, Enormous ships photo.. thats me and our engineer of the Canadian ship "Nautilus Explorer" reprovisioning for another 9 day dive charter to the offshore islands.

cheers,
Marco

Rob Author Profile Page:

Marco,

How funny is that! We have high resolution shots from the trip if you'd like it. Thanks for the comment and see you next time!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 15, 2008 6:03 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Day Seven.

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