As my wheels were spinning in the soft sand of a forgettable beach, not really making me move forward at all, and I was looking at an upwards trail that would have made any 4×4 take pause, I made Saint Christopher a promise. Get me out of here and I will make you an offering of your choice. Turns out Saint Christopher wanted a blog post.
Following the thrill of swimming with a whale shark, we were pretty pumped about scuba diving in La Paz. After talking to the very pleasant Cécile at the front desk, we booked with Phocéa Mexico, a large (three shops in Mexico), well staffed and well equipped shop, that had been recommended by another diver (gotta love diver word of mouth). No mental alarms going off here. Yes I left a sticker.
As we headed to BCS, which is how all the hip kids call Baja California Sur (I’m pretty certain they don’t), we actually had a shopping list of underwater creatures we wanted to see, and there was supposed to be a tattoo at the outset if we saw all of them. Spoilers: we didn’t, so no tattoo. The list was composed of whale sharks, sea lions and hammerhead sharks.
I found myself in the dead of night on a plane headed to Mexico, but this time we were headed to the Pacific coast, specifically La Paz, close to the southern tip of Baja California Sur, which, thanks to a pocket dictionary (and not the interwebs) I found out imply means Baja California South, and is usually (on licence plates, businesses and such) abbreviated BCS. Next to me were two other founding members of the D&C. This was going to be a savant mix of road-trip and diving. From La Paz we would take the back roads (I assumed St Christopher would be rather busy) all the way to Cabo Pulmo and then to the Cabos, Los Cerritos (a surfing spot), Todos Santos (where the original Hotel California can still be found) and finally back to La Paz. Our layover in Mexico City was short, we would be in La Paz for breakfast. It did not work out that way.
If you manage to leave the waterfront and the main touristy strip, San Miguel de Cozumel drops its Hard Rock Café, cruise ships and expensive watches façade, and reverts to a real town. Nice and not so nice, clean and not so clean, but real, screw the amusement park.