Camel riding in Los Cabos
Visiting one of my dream destinations, Los Cabos in Baja California, Mexico, I planned to take it easy, relax, and catch up with travel blogging. But the place is so nice that I just could not miss doing some activities in the area.
My first one was camel riding. I was picked up at Marina Fiesta hotel and taken to the Cabo Dolphins to register. Then we hopped on a bus for some 30 minutes where we swapped into an open-air Cabo Adventures yellow buggie car.
I was finally waking up after another sleepless night. I guess Polo’s jokes and funny English were one of the reasons. Leopoldo, called by many Polo, was our tour guide for the tour. We were actually split into 2 tours, one speaking English, the other one Spanish. I speak both but got into the English one. Maybe better as in the Spanish one there was a super annoying lady 🙂
The car took us through a semi-desertic part of the Sonora desert full of dry trees and cardon cactus, the biggest cactus in the world. The wind was blowing pretty hard that day but as far as we understood, although we were on the Pacific coast, it was not so normal. We could see the ocean when coming closer to Asupmatoma beach.
Once on the paradise white sand beach, we saw a beautiful big white house – the turtle sanctuary where some 116,000 baby turtles were saved in 2012. It’s both Ridley and Leatherback turtles nesting here and it reminded me of observing leatherbacks in Manzanillo Refuge in Costa Rica.
When we got out of the car, with everyone smiling and green tea with mint waiting for us served by Sidi, it was the second when I woke up completely. Yeah, my green tea! A few days without you and I missed you like hell!
”Aw, I love green tea. When I can, I drink it every day” I started the conversation with Sidi.
”Me too! It’s very healthy. Where do you live?”
”Well, I was born in Slovakia but I don’t really have a home. Been traveling around the world for more than 2 years already.”
”Ah, so you are a nomad like me then! I’ve been working here with camels for 2 years but this is the longest I’ve ever stayed at one place. I live a Nomadic life too.” we both smiled and nothing else was needed to understand each other better.
Then I got my first kiss of the day. I was kissed by a camel 🙂
The youngest out of all 8 camels brought here from Texas is still the one who likes TLC and that is not bothered by it. I put my right cheek closer and then also my lips as Powder, how they called him, seemed very quiet. I still kind of expected him to just throw his tongue out all of a sudden and not give me just a French kiss but also lick all of my face. But thankfully, he behaved and I didn’t have to leave with any horror memories updating my Facebook status The day when I was French kissed by a baby camel.
First, it was the turn of the Spanish speaking group to ride the camels. Meantime, I drank 4 cups of green tea, took some photos and chatted to Sidi and Polo. I learned that these camels were the descendants of the camel corps brought to the US during the Civil War to be used as pack animals in the Soutwest US.
It was very windy and my skin is just not the best friend with breeze. Sidi saw my goose bumps and let me use his jacket. His black National Geographic jacket! Yes, Sidi Amar, a Tuareg from the Northern Africa was the fixer, guide and consultant to his friend Peter Gwin who wrote an article for the Nat Geo about the Tuareg in 2012. It felt good to have a Nat Geo logo on me 🙂
We got our blue helmets designed to look like turbans once the Spanish group got back. That annoying lady I mentioned before was complaining ”my ass so hurts” and walked as what I would call in Slovak a man with sanitary napkin in between his legs. She was funny and silly at the same time.
It reminded me of my first camel riding ever. Back in Tunisia in 1998 we rode a camel together with my mum in Sahara desert. The only great memories about that moment were the sunset and the softest sand my skin could ever touch.
But the camel we rode in Tunisia was a bit wild and we had to sit on it with the camel standing up. I’m not sure if you have ever seen it but the camel first goes down the front legs, then the back ones so you stay in a very weird position for a few seconds. Also, we rode the camel for too long in Sahara desert that my butt did hurt. After so many years since then I could still remember the feeling.
But Cabo Adventures make the camel riding as easy as possible. You climb steps and from the wooden platform sit on the camel that is in standing position already. There’s even a seat with handles to make it even more comfortable. As the seat is for two people, James, who was there on his own too, joined me.
James was interested in my travel blogging job and how it all works and me instead in why he was coming back to Los Cabos a few times per year and doing the same activities over and over again. James has done the same camel riding more times already and really enjoyed the company of the people working there. It was unbelievably inspiring to see him having friends at the tour already.
The camel ride was pretty wonderful! No drama and I was not scared at all like my friend Kami was when she rode a camel in Morocco. We rode along a beautiful white sand beach and even though the sun was burning, the breeze was stronger and I had a smile on my face wearing that important Nat Geo jacket.
No butt pain came after 15-minute camel ride and getting off was easier than I thought. A few more photos with Sidi and the camels and we were ready for the shortest hike I’ve ever done.
After a quick drive, we got off the car to get under the skin of the cactus life. Well, not so under the skin but pretty close. Polo showed us some out of the 220 cactus kinds growing in Baja California (it’s more than 600 of them in the whole Mexico). I can maybe recognize 3 different kinds, maximum 4. But hundreds?
Well, pale gray-green waxy skinned cardon was pretty easy to recognize despite being confused by many for saguaro cactus that has only 2 branches. Just next to the dirt road the biggest cardon cactus proudly stood for at least a hundred years. It surprised me to see a lot of birds and flowers in the semi-desert which didn’t see any rain since August 2012.
Learning about the cactus flowers and fruit in cardonales (stands of many tall cacti) made me hungry and it was lunch time indeed. We drove to the lunch stand in the shade, with toilets and photo stand on the side. Yeah, I finally got a typical Mexican lunch – rice, beans, tortillas, chicken with mole sauce and agua de jamaica. I was in heaven! You have no idea how much I missed this meal.
With full stomachs, Polo showed us how they make corn tortillas and explained the differences between silver (”real”) and gold tequila and also mezcal. Some guys from our group were brave enough to taste all of them. I just grabbed a coconut dessert colored like the Mexican flag.
Unfortunately, it was the end of the tour. The buggie took us to the beach entrance where we hopped on the bus back to Cabo Dolphins.
I was walking back to my hotel around all Marina wondering. There are still nomadic people. Nomadic people who live a different life than the one of a digital nomad. Nomadic people who started the ”real” nomadic life. Nomadic people who have lived a simple life in all the humility. And getting rid of as many material things I don’t need since I’ve been on the go did move me closer to them. In a way.
My camel riding in Los Cabos was a press trip done by Cabo Adventures and booked via GetYourGuide as part of Adventure and Spa project. Camel riding was inspiring and interestingly unexpected. I’d definitely recommend the trip.