Los Cabos
by Jim Foreman


            "That was a white man driving that car that nearly hit us," Joe Bob told LuAnn as he skidded his pickup in a tire smoking turn into the Pemex pumps. "He drives like a damn Meskin."

            He dropped to the ground and said to the attendant, "Fill 'er up, buddy. Where's the can?"

            "Can of what, Senior?" asked the attendant.

            "The Can, The John, El Crapperoo; or whatever you call toilets down here," replied Joe Bob. "I gotta take a leak something awful."

            "I'm sorry, Senior, it is not usable. Gringos have stopped up the excusado with toilet paper," replied the man who was pumping gas into the pickup.

            "Is this here place Los Cabos?" asked Joe Bob.

            "No, Senior, this city is called San Jose del Cabo, but everywhere around here is called Los Cabos."

            "That's stupid," said Joe Bob. "I'm looking for the place that is called Los Cabos. Does anyone here speak 'Merican?"

            A well dressed Mexican man, who was standing beside a black diesel Mercedes sedan which was being filled from the red pump said, "Sir, I speak all the languages of The Americas; French, Spanish, English, Portuguese and even Texan, like yourself."

            "Well, shoot damn, put 'er there pardner," said Joe Bob as he stuck out his hand, without ever understanding the inference of the statement. Joe Bob handed the man the magazine and pointed to the advertisement. "How do I get to this here place called Los Cabos place?"

            "The whole southern tip of Baja is known as Los Cabos, which means the capes. The two main cities are this place, San Jose del Cabo, and Cabo San Lucas which is about twenty miles west of here. This photo was taken of the famous rock formations at Cabo San Lucas. Turn left at the intersection and follow that road and it will take you to Cabo San Lucas, which is the place I'm sure that you are looking for. It is much more tourist oriented than this city and I'm sure that you will be more comfortable there," replied the man.

            Joe Bob paid for the gas and as he pulled from the station, the man said in Spanish to the attendant, "Another Ugly American tourist, but Baja must have them to survive."

            The road to Cabo San Lucas follows the rolling hills along the coast, past several modern RV parks, a dozen or more large hotels and hundreds of small camps where people can pitch a tent or park their RV. As they made the left turn at the intersection, LuAnn shouted, "Look! That's Ginger in that van. You know, that cute girl who we met at the pig roast."

            "They sure get around a lot, wonder what they are doing all the way down here," said Joe Bob as he passed an old bus which was chugging along in a cloud of oil smoke. It was stuffed with so many people that some were hanging out the door. The roof was stacked high with various boxes, bales and even a couple goats with their feet tied together. "Boy, that is what I would call going native," he said.

            Within a couple miles they came to a large RV Park. It had lots of palm trees, a swimming pool and was located next to a nice beach. "This looks like a nice place for us to stop. Wonder if they have tent spaces," he said as he turned into the driveway.

            "Yes, Sir," the manager told him. "In addition to more than a hundred RV spaces, we have 20 tent sites, but we are completely full right now. There are several more RV parks between here and Cabo San Lucas or you can always find a spot to camp at a place called Shipwreck Cove. It is located at Kilometer 9. However, finding a place to pitch a tent is no problem because you can camp anywhere you like on the beaches. All beaches in Baja are public except for the few places right in front of big hotels."

            They came over a small hill and ahead was a stalled car with some people who appeared to be working on it. As they got closer, they could see that all four wheels were missing and the men appeared to be removing the engine. "Looks like a new VW Rabbit, but this is sure an odd place to be pulling out the engine," said Joe Bob. "Oh well, you never know what a Meskin is liable to do."

            "Look," said LuAnn. "There is a road turning off toward that beach down there. It looks like a nice place to camp. The man at the RV Park said that all the beaches were public, so let's drive down and look it over."

            Just before they reached the beach, the road turned toward a small grove of palm trees with a pickup truck and a camper parked under them. Joe Bob wheeled to a stop and slid down from the cab. Just as his feet hit the ground, a big, black dog jumped up from where he had been snoozing in the shade and came running toward him. The dog was showing his teeth and growling. Joe Bob quickly climbed back into the pickup.

            "How about calling off your dog," he shouted to the two men who were sitting in the shade of the thatched cover attached to the camper.

            "Just stay where you are for a minute," shouted the one who looked like a hippie. "Let Blackie look you over. He will either decide that you are OK and come back down here or else stay there and take your leg off if you get out again."

            "Talk about your odd couple," Joe Bob said to LuAnn. "Just have a look at that pair. One of them looks like Joe College and the other looks like something that the dog drug up."

            A few seconds later, Blackie turned and trotted back to his spot in the shade. The hippie said, "Blackie says that it is OK, so you can come down now if you like."

            Joe Bob and LuAnn climbed from the pickup and walked to where the two men were sitting under the palapa. "Howdy, Joe Bob Puckett is my name and football is my game. How much do you charge to let us camp on your beach tonight?"

            "It's a public beach. Camp anywhere you like just as long as you do it out of my sight and hearing," replied the hippie.

            "You sure ain't a very friendly sort for a fellow 'Merican," said Joe Bob. "You think that you could find it in you to be a bit more sociable if I offered you some cold beer or a shot of Jose Cuervo? I got plenty of both in the pickup."

            "I'm Travis Taylor," said the man dressed in the expensive cloths as he rose and extended his hand. He looked totally out of place in the company of the hippie. "He seems to be a pretty nice fellow but I haven't gotten his name yet. He's sort of like his dog, doesn't care much for people who come on too strong. But it that offer of a drink still stands, I'm sure that he'd take you up on it, especially if you have ice to put in it."

            "Please excuse me if I don't get up," said the hippie as he extended his hand. "My feet aren't the best in the world. My name is Tom Davis, sorry that I failed to introduce myself earlier."

            "LuAnn, honey. Would you be a nice little lady and drag old Jose away from his friends behind the seat while I bring that ice chest full of beer down here. These here are OK people and I feel a party coming on!"

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