Que Pasa in Cabo?

BY: DAVID FLORES

Spiffy new road. The long-awaited Cabo bypass is actually finished, and drivable – with caution, as some early birds are out there bumper carring around helter skelter all over both lanes and you may end up in a head-to-head. The ribbon on the road hasn’t been officially snipped because the ejido landowners, whose properties the road barges through,  haven’t been paid for their land by the federal government. They’re out there staging protests, and closing the road at times. Hopefully, the check will arrive soon, and drivers will save time commuting between Todos Santos or La Paz and San Jose. The road starts near the airport toll road and parallels the fourlane but up the hill a few miles, coming in to the road to Todos Santos just north of Cabo,

Major fo paw. After fighting a fire that erupted in one of the rooms of The Mexican Inn in downtown Cabo, firefighters were asked to strip off their uniforms, as the person in charge of the hotel was afraid they might have stolen some stuff from a room.

The embarrassed and pissed off firemen did as they were told, at the request of their comandante, who wanted to assure the hotel guests they were not robbers.

Someone took a video of this procedure, (don’t they always?) and posted it online, (don’t they always?) and it went viral, national and international within hours. The hotel got cranky phone calls while other buttinskies posted cranky comments on the hotel’s Trip Advisor page. Then some Einstien threw rocks at somebody’s car parked outside the building. I’m sure that was helpful.

The hotel owner and her manager quickly jammed down to the fire house to suck up to the fire fighters and,the owner blamed the whole bru ha ha on the manager, who then fell on her sword, taking the entire rap. Turns out the man who thought he was robbed is a recent stroke victim and isn’t right in the head. Apologies were accepted, the comandante posted photos of  everyone in happy-happy poses, posted them online, and asked their faithful followers to stop the cranky calls.

So, show of hands, who believes the firemen, who sell their T shirts at the station and online, and have a cult following in the States, sent the video of the strip down to their followers and asked them to holler bloody murder? What it is, is murder by social media. These days everyone’s a judge and jury.

Los Cabos #unstoppable.  That’s our twitter handle dreamed up by our marketing peeps. And they want us to know that the Virtuoso travel network has nominated the tourism board of Los Cabos for the Virtuoso Tourism Board of the Year. We will find out if we won during Virtuoso Travel Week, to be held in Las Vegas August 9 to 13 this year. Stay tuned and light a candle!

And there’s more. The Palmilla Resort in San Jose was named among the top five contestants for Virtuoso Hotel of the Year. Whatever that means.

Speaking of hotels Here’s the latest update on hotel reopenings post hurricane: The Hilton Los Cabos is finally open, the Hyatt Place Los Cabos at the entrance to San Jose opens July 15, and sometime this month, the 95 room Hampton Inn & Suites on the fourlane will open. That hotel is in cahoots with the new hospital, which takes the cake for the slowest construction ever, and now the slowest launch ever. We shall see if the hotel attached to it like a Siamese twin can pull their act together quicker. I

Also opening soon, August, actually,  the Bel Air at La Jolla in San Jose adds 75 more rooms.

Just last week, the Solaz Los Cabos hotel by Starwood Hotels broke ground amid the presence of the owner partners – who also own the Sheraton Hacienda Los Cabos.  Solaz will be Starwood’s first so called luxury collection hotel in Los Cabos and the brand’s seventh hotel in Mexico, following the recent acquisition of Las Alcobas in Mexico City. “This marks a milestone year for the luxury collection, as the brand continues to grow globally, open marquee conversion hotels, and invest in landmark renovations,” gushed Hoyt H. Harper II, global brand wrangler. “As we break ground on Solaz, we look forward to introducing a new level of luxury to the extraordinary beaches of Los Cabos,” and a bunch of more gushy words. Hey, he’s a brand guy, he talks in brand talk. Far, far, away from normal speak.

But wait, there’s more! The LeBlanc Los Cabos adults only all-inclusive hotel will feature 400 rooms, five restaurants, a full-service spa, two swimming pools, and meeting facilities for 600 people. The LeBlanc is being developed by the same people who brought us the Villa Neptuno, Casa Mexicana and Puerta de Hierro residential communities, and is located on the beach at Km 18, next to the Melia Cabo Real resort.

Blue beaches again, again. Mayor Tony Agundez received three Blue Flags from the Clean Beaches Coalition for cleanliness for the Chileno, Palmilla and Santa María beaches. This guy is fixated on getting tourist beaches to qualify for the damn flag and totally ignores any distress inflicted on foreigners by his administration.  The blue flag people set standards for public beaches, giving certification to those beaches meeting their specifications for cleanliness and water quality. And bathrooms. We now have the Taj Mahal of beach bathrooms. And wheel chair boardwalks. Gotta have those.

Watch where you’re walking!  It’s turtle hatchling season. As you’re walking down the beaches, keep your eyes open for sea turtle tracks in the sand. You can report new nests or mama turtle sightings to Enedino or ProFaunaBaja@gmail.com with the coordinates/location. Keep your ATVa and cars off the beach or dunes, do not let Fido roam the beach unattended, and do not handle sea turtles. If you live in the area or plan to stay for a while, you can apply for fun volunteer opportunities with Stephanie Rousso, Stephanie@profaunabaja.org, http://www.ProFaunaBaja.org, Ph. 612 150 6667.

Salsa anyone? We mean the dance, not the taco sauce. The first Salsa Congress to take place in Los Cabos will be at the Barcelo Grand Faro Los Cabos in San Jose, and will feature workshops, shows and dance competitions. It will be held August 14-16 and there will be salsa dancers from various countries. For more information, and to acquire tickets, call 624 165 9703.

No olvidar! That’s don’t forget in Mex speak. This Saturday, July 18, the Van Wormer Resorts in Los Barriles at the East Cape – about an hour north of San Jose – will hold its annual East Cape Dorado Shoot Out fishing tournament. So far, 130 teams have signed up, and more are expected. They will compete for a cash prize and a brand new Toyota Tacoma 4x4 pickup truck. For more information look up: www.doradoshootout.com.

Got mangoes? The magic town of Todos Santos, located 40 minutes north of Cabo on the fourlane to La Paz, will hold its annual mango festival from July 31 to August 2. Held in an area surrounded by plenty of mango trees, the festival features food tastings, artistic, religious and cultural and sporting activities. During this celebration, visitors can take part in tasting dishes, desserts, and drinks that feature the succulent mango, a popular fruit of the region. Additionally, there will be other local produce and products made by artists living in this magical town. Drive to Todos Santos and follow the mango aroma!

More fishing tourneys. Bisbee’s East Cape OffShore, the second largest fishing tournament in the state, will be taking place from August 4 to August 8, and will have a combined jackpot of $600,000 dollars. The competition is visited by fishing aficionados and fans of the sport, as it is very important in the towns of Buenavista and La Ribera. For information visit online: bisbees.com

Baja Sur has talent! David Liles, originally from La Paz but reared in Los Cabos, is the first native of Southern Baja who is part of the movie industry. He is involved in the production Indigo, and the short film, Jarwie, both productions that were featured at the Cannes Court Metrage film festival last May. A playwright and filmmaker, Liles worked with director Diego Lomelin, and producer Jimena Cuaron on Indigo, which chronicled the artist Picasso’s Blue Period. The international premiere took place during the 2015 Film Festival. Liles also is part of the organizing committee of the Los Cabos International film festival that will take place again in Cabo San Lucas this November, showing films from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

 Expedia pow wows. The online travel web site associated with a network of 150 travel sites in 70 countries, held its partner’s summit at the Marquis Los Cabos last month, where they taught local hotel developers and managers ways to capitalize on Expedia. The event ended with a cocktail party at the recently opened Cape hotel – A Thompson Hotel, located next to Misiones condos and  Sunset Da Mona Lisa restaurant.

Celebrities are just like us, aren’t they? They love to go to the beach. But, where is the best spot to meet a celebrity? A recent report by Travel Pulse, an online travel and tourism site, revealed that the Los Cabos beaches of Palmilla, Medano and the Pedregal are among the most popular for celebrity sightings and weddings. Hey, Julia Roberts and her hubby and kids were here just last week! You didn’t see them? You must have been negotiating high finance with the Chicklet kid or the turn-your-finger-green jewelry hawkers.

Starts who’ve stayed in Los Cabos recently include Jennifer Anniston, Guiliana Rancic, Rosario Dawson, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Cuoco, Tiger Woods, Christina Aguilera and Cameron Diaz. For those stars who surf, like Liev Schreiber, Acapulquito Beach is popular, while those looking for a quieter scene make their way to the East Cape.

New flight to La Paz. The regional TAR Airline (Transportes Aereos Regionales) is now flying from Guadalajara to La Paz five times a week, pausing briefly in Mazatlan enroute. Only a year old, the airline uses 50-passenger Embraer jets. While We’re sure flight starved La Paz is grateful for any flights, but hows about some flights from the West Coast of the USA? Well, Mexican tourists are important too.

Move it or lose it.  La Paz city government is calling on all owners of vehicles that appear to be abandoned, please remove them from the street, or they will be impounded. City cops are going around town warning vehicle owners to disappear these eyesores in the next 48 hours or it will be tow truck time.