Que Pasa in Cabo?

BY: DAVID FLORES

Cape Hotel opens. We think. It’s hard to tell for sure. Cape, a Thompson Hotel, as they like to be called, is on the water next to Sunset de Mona Lisa right outside of Cabo, and in our opinion has taken the title Mona had as the best view in Los Cabos.

It still looks unfinished from the highway because the outside concrete is a rather unattractive black. And, when we tried to get into the 161 room facility to look around and maybe have a drink or some food, we were told it was private and not for our type. Well!

But we snuck in a few days later as guests at a private party and the place really is spectacular. If it does become open to the public, the sixth floor rooftop will quickly become everyone’s favorite happy hour spot. The large open air space with two bars, many couches, high top tables, and a few fireplaces, all overlooking the Sea of Cortez and the arch, is nothing short of spectacular.

Watch whatca doing!  So far this year, traffic police in La Paz have issued fines to 1,685 drivers, including public bus drivers, for using their cell phones while driving. The fine can be up to $130 bucks. No! No! No! Do not pay the cop 20 bucks to “fix it” . That is not fixing anything. You would not give food to a cat you’re trying to get off your porch would you? Same thing. You would not stick gum you’re trying to get rid of on the bottom of your shoe, would you? Same thing.

The traffic police have been conducting seminars about the use of cell phones in vehicles to bus and taxi drivers as well as at high schools and universities. The classes include cautions on the dangers of texting, calling, and bad behavior like parking in handicapped areas and driving without license plates. Driving with no placas seems to be the national past time. For any number of reasons, all them  nefarious.

Reality TV hits Baja Sur. Sort of. “Destination Baja Sur” is a new TV series launching next January that will air on NBC Sports Pursuit Channel; World Fishing Network; Wild TV Africa, a new South African outdoor television network; and through Apple TV digital devices. The show could potentially reach 128 million households in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Central America and Africa. Operative word here being potentially. Someone would have to be interested in fishing to tune in.

Hosted and produced by fisherman and promoter Bill Boyce, the show has received the support of several hotels and entrepreneurs in Los Cabos. Billed as a travel and fishing reality series, the show will feature various sport fishing destinations in our Southern Baja state as well as lodging and culinary experiences of the anglers. (Essentially restaurant commercials, but fun to watch). The first few episodes were filmed on the penninsula north of here from Turtle Bay to Cabo San Lucas, and will continue to be filmed in coming weeks. Brian Solomon of Solomon’s Landing restaurant would like everyone to know he’s behind this, he is fishing for more sponsors, and he is now the assistant producer to Bill Boyce. To become a sponsor contact Bill Boyce, executive producer: bill@anglersdigest.tv or look up www.anglersdigest.tv Phone: (661) 202-0080.

Fore! The Chileno Bay golf course officially opened again last week, hosting the 20th annual Association of Tourism Developments of Los Cabos, where more than 70 people played the long anticipated course. Tom Fazio designed the 18 hole, par 72 golf course at a cost of $23 million, which is about what it’s going to cost to keep it fluffy and green. . The course suffered damage by hurricane Odile last year, postponing its opening, and it’s been just sitting there for several years while the tangled ownership of the adjacent resort got sorted out. But now it is in perfect shape. As in, perfect. It’s a beautiful carpet of velvet green. See you at the 19th hole. Whoops! There is no clubhouse built yet. It’s BYO for the beer.

Couple on the lamb. Brittany Nunn and her husband Peter Barr were captured in Cabo San Lucas last week, ending a seven month search for two Colorado children. Nunn had lost custody of her biological daughters, 4 and 6, to their fathers, but she took a powder when the exchange was supposed to happen last December. She fled with her new husband and the kids to here. The search came to an end after authorities tracked the ip address of the kid nappers’ Spotify music account to Cabo San Lucas. Wow, that’s pretty smart for cops.

Nunn and Barr were arrested in Cabo and flown back to Denver to face felony charges and the girls have been reunited with their father. With help from a private investigator, the FBI, and the U.S. State Department, a plan was developed over several months to bring the children home. So, what have we learned here, folks? If you’re on the lamb, get a VPN, they’re free and they hide your ip address. And you can get American Netflix and Hulu.

Just in time for the next hurricane. The city’s department of public works is currently installing more than 800 new streetlights to replace those lost to hurricane Odile last September. Most have been replaced in areas close to schools, hospitals, businesses, the tourist zone, and parks.

In addition, the city is deploying smart stoplights at key crossroads, like that at the hump at the entrance to Cabo. What, you haven’t noticed? They’re real different than our old stoplights, and they come equipped with surveillance cameras that tell the light when someone is waiting. Maybe they can install some in the restaurants and they can tell the waiters we’re waiting for our food.

Ready for Big Blue? No, Xerox is not coming.  The inaugural international freediving competition called Big Blue will take place November 1 through 9 this year in Baja California Sur. (That’s our state, Bunkie). Event organizer and Mexican national record holder Estrella Navarro will provide athletes from around the world an opportunity to test their freediving limits in the warm, deep waters off of Isla Espíritu Santo island which is three miles off the coast of La Paz. 

Big Blue will feature five days of competition, one day of swimming with whale sharks, and a conference to promote ocean conservation.

This sport is all about divers going down as deep as they can, (and returning), with no scuba gear. The ability to hold one’s breath is a plus.

Back in the 1990’s, freediving champion Francisco “Pipin” Ferreras dove several times in Cabo Bay, establishing a new world record. In 2000, Pipin logged a record freedive reaching a depth of 531 ft.  In 1996, he met French-born Mexican Audrey Mestre who was also a freediver. They married in 1999, and quickly the two became a regular record breaking couple in the sport of freediving, dividing men and women’s records between them. In an example of a breath too far, Mestre died in 2002 attempting to dive to 545 feet.

For additional information on The Big Blue competition, look up: http://www.bigblue.com.mx

Stand-up paddle extravaganza. Slater Trout, one of the world’s top stand up paddle board racers, and an avid surfer and swimmer, will lead a five day all inclusive wellness retreat at Costa Baja in La Paz October 15-19. Trout is the 2014 U.S. SUP Tour Racing champion, and this year took first place while breaking records in the men’s SUP division for South Africa’s Dusi Marathon.

Five days and four nights of clinics and workshops start at $2,000 but that includes your meals and an open bar. So, who’s going to have time for those silly workshops if there’s an open bar in the next room?

Well, it’s about damn time.  The star crossed Boleo mine in Santa Rosalia half way up the Baja has finally produced some copper.  They just shipped the first 2,000 tons of copper since the troubled mine finally began production last January, after years of strife.

El Boleo is a copper-cobalt-zinc-manganese deposit. First exploited in 1885, the mine produced rich ore within a decade. By 1900 Santa Rosalia had become a world class copper producer, but deposits eventually petered out. The mine closed in 1954 and the smelter shut down in 1985. Now, the mine is being re worked with new technology. A Canadian firm took a shot at it, finally bailing out, and now the majority owner is a consortium of Korean companies led by Korea Resources. They finally got the thing started again last January. They hope to cash in for the next 23 years, taking 2,000 metric tons of cobalt, 25,000 tons of zinc sulfate, and 50,000 tons of copper. Copper, like gold, has recently shot up in value.

Santa Rosalia is a cool town, all built with wood, like no other town in all of Baja. The wood was brought down here when the mine was first worked, more than 100 years ago. It was used as ballast in the empty ships that returned full of copper. How that town has stood all these years is a miracle, as one careless match and poof! The whole town will go up in smoke.

There is a very cool wooden hotel that was built in the late 1800’s by a Frenchie. It’s still in service and is fun to stay in, note the fire escapes before retiring.  It’s on the tippy top of the only hill, you can’t miss it. Up there, too, is a famous bakery, the best in Baja.

Jot this down. Peace art festival is the 9th International Art and Culture for Peace (Festival por La Paz) September 17 to 21 in La Paz. The festival commemorates the United Nation’s International Peace Day. There is more info on Facebook: paxforlapaz.

Las Estrellas de Todos Santos Theater Company presents “Slice of Life,” an evening of one act plays featuring their new ensemble on December 3 & 4 at the Hotel Casa Tota at 7:00 pm. Ticket price $15 USD or 200 pesos. Go to www.facebook.com/LasEstrellasDeTodosSantos for details. Oh yeah, like anyone’s going to remember some play five months from now.

Baja Shakespeare. Some Shakespeare play opens its 16th season at the Buena Vista Beach Resort’s Convention Center on the East Cape March 11, 12, 13, 17, 18 and 19. Oh come on! Our calendar doesn’t even go that far!

Can’t anyone around here send out a timely press release? We especially like the ones we get the day of the event.