The three year old camel that my sister and I are riding is a gentle giant. With a slight lilt, he gracefully and slowly walks through the sand with ease. The camel often nuzzles up to the face of the trainer that leads him. Referring to the camel as ‘his friend’ the trainer guides the camel along the edge of the sea. At a certain point, with the wind blowing in my face, there is only pale gold sand below me and azure sea before me. I had never thought of camel riding in Mexico and in my mind’s eye I can see this lonely caravan, a strangely discordant sight, if only because the sea ends the repetition of sand so abruptly. We had met our driver at the Cabo Dolphins centre along Bldv. Paseo de la Marina in Cabo San Lucas. On the twenty-five minute drive to Rancho San Cristobal, the cars on the road become sparser and the landscape dwindles from a hub of activity to barren land – nothing but sea, sand and cacti. We ease onto a dirt road, to “the Baja outback” where we meet David Alba, from Cabo Adventures, an athletic man with a raspy voice and exuberant energy. Our adventure guide for the afternoon, Alba, a native of Chihuhua Mexico, is rife with knowledge, pointing out a 200 year old cactus, dried out and darkened with the heat of the sun, estimated to weigh six to ten tons. Besides his anecdotes about the environment, Alba charms us with his numerous loud requests to the driver to go this way or that summarily ending with “por fa”, a colloquialism for the more formal (and longer) thank you. In our bright yellow former military unimog, we drive throughout the ranch eventually meeting Sidi Mamane, a tall man who wears a long bubu (a flowing wide sleeved robe) and Keffiyeh or head scarf. Originally from Niger, Mamane is an affable guide who assures us that we will have a good time on the camel. Afterward, we ceremoniously drink a cup of sweet Moroccan mint tea before taking in a selection of award winning tequila- from silver to anejo. We also sample fresh tortillas, handmade and pressed in front of our eyes and a selection of mole, rice, frijoles and picadillo. The entire excursion has been marvelous and memorable – suitably adapted to this unique landscape.
Cabo Adventures/Cabo Dolphins Centre
Snorkeling, scuba diving, zip lining, whale watching (during the
season) and camel tours also available. Blvd. Paseo
de la Marina, Cabo San Lucas Marina, Cabo San
Read more in the Fall 2012 issue of City Style and Living Magazine