Cool Camel Ride On Pacific Side Beach

No bites, no spits, and no stinks. Pretty good day
BY: CARRIE DUNCAN

Cabo Adventures, which brings us two of our three local dolphin centers, has also got camels for our amusement.

There are about 15 camels that live in a corral on 2,000 acres of leased land about a 20 minute bus ride out of town on the road to Todos Santos.

When we arrive at the ranch they kick us off the nice comfy bus and hoist us up into a World War ll vintage troop transport shined up and painted a very fun bumble bee yellow. We have overhead straps to hang on to but we’re sitting, so we’re good. A cooler in the middle of the floor looks promising, but nope, there’s only bottles of water in it. First the camel ride, then we’re allowed at the beer.

camel again.jpgThe guides do a good job of making this light, fun, friendly, and informative. All of Cabo Adventure’s people are extremely well trained, speaking great English and obviously are well coached. They are better than guides with other companies and worlds better than any waiter in Baja. I felt bad that we were in a truck full of Canadians who didn’t tip. The guys didn’t deserve that.

It’s a four hour deal, but you’re only on the camel for about 20 minutes. If we had known that schedule, we might have bailed, but good thing we didn’t, because we had a lot of fun just petting the camels, taking kisses from them, and learning about them. Actually, we only interacted so intimately with one, Luis, who was no doubt trained as intensively as the guides, and meticulously groomed. Luis was wearing a festive bridle, and he smelled like he had just stepped out of the shower. He kissed on command, and we even got some vocals out of him on command. We saw none of the famous anti social behavior of biting, spitting, or stinking we’ve heard of.  I feel like I now have a good friend in the camel world. Maybe camels have a bad rap or maybe Luis is the best of the breed, but the camels we later rode were also docile and well behaved. That made it fun.

Camels have been called the ships of the desert for the way they bob and weave down the sand with their distinctive gait, but we were very comfortable with the saddle provided. We boarded from a high platform because the vet that takes care of them doesn’t think it advisable to ask them to continually get up and down from their knees the way the way they did for Omar Sharif in the movies.

There’s another fun part of this adventure: The guides dress up in Middle Eastern clothes, minus the suicide bomb vests, and we are given flowing Arab style towels to put on our heads. That was actually a clever way of getting helmets on us, as a hard plastic helmet was hidden in the gear. But we all loved our stuff and of course made stupid jokes about being mad bombers. It was part of the fun. Yeah, we made rude remarks about Muslims, so what?

It’s a pretty tame ride as we’re lead down the beach by a guide who has a grip on the rope, but still it was fun being up so high and bobbing around up there. It was kind of like our first pony ride where the guy at the fair lead the pony around in tight circles. We did not go in circles, we got to go along the coast and could see whales jumping around out there. Pretty cool.

After the ride we went into the mess hall for lunch. OK, it was a palapa with picnic tables and benches like in Shakey’s Pizza joints, but the kitchen and food was very authentic. We had some of the best Mexican food we’ve had in Cabo. We were told the difference between this mess hall and restaurants is here two little old ladies were cooking just like they do at home, instead of fancy pants chefs who are always pushing boundaries trying to come up with something new and different. Our Gringo Gazette cooking column lady was along, and even she pronounced the food authentic and she’s very snooty about authenticity of Mexican cuisine

Then we got to the tequila tasting. Again, well done: informative and still fun. We learned what makes some tequila clear and some colored and what to watch for in buying and in consuming. We learned how to drink it without looking like a rookie, and why the tradition of the lime and salt and even how to do that properly. We learned it’s important to breathe correctly while downing shots, and we even learned where it all comes from. We learned why all tequila is made in Mexico or if not, Mexico has legal recourse to shut down the operation of fake tequila. And, we learned only certain mezcals, usually from the state of Oaxaca, are ever sold con gusano (with worm). They are added as a marketing gimmick and are not traditional. Well, the marketing works on us, because we like the little worms. We’re pretty sure the alcohol kills the germs on any worm poop left behind.

And that’s about it. We are given a chance to buy pictures of ourselves on the camels and in our cool Arab dress up clothes but they are far from pushy about it.

It’s then back on the bus, Gus, and back to Cabo and the serious beach time.

There’s a website but it’s not very helpful. www.cabo-adventures.com. They make it difficult to get prices, but you can get a decent overview of all their adventures including the zip line, the whale watching, snorkeling, diving, sailing, flyboarding, and mountain biking. Oh, and the dolphin thing, that’s what they’re most known for and they do that well, we know because when we’re not camel hugging we’re dolphin hugging. For any of these adventures they will pick you up at your hotel.

Their main HQ is downtown Cabo, marina front. Swing by, get the whole scoop and eat lunch there under the palm trees and in the sand. You can watch the dolphins swim by without paying for the whole experience. Or call them. Geeze, they don’t even have a local phone number on their website. Needs an overhaul, guys! Get a new webmaster! Outback & Camel Safari

costs dults 12 years and up $109 U.S. Kids 5 to 11 years $79, leave the babies at home. Locals get 50% off.  Email info@cabo-adventures.com.  Cell 624 157 0260.