I along with my tres viejos amigas (three old friends) were headed to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, the fall of 2008. It was a pleasant flight with no turbulence and a perfect three point landing. The captain entertained us with his funny nonsense all the way to the terminal. The hot 98 degree day greeted us as we walked down the ramp stairs to the Tarmac along with the 70 other people that had been on board. On our walk to the terminal, we were welcomed by a receiving line of uniforms. In retrospect, I believe they were making sure everyone went inside instead of allowing them to wander off. I noticed right off that the airport had changed from my previous visit of three years before. When we arrived in 2005, it had been after dark with very little exterior light to guide our way to the terminal. Our baggage had been unloaded directly on the Tarmac, where we walked over to the haphazard pile with our 20 fellow passengers. I and the other women waited patiently as the men passengers elbowed one another in order to pick their bags from the pile. Comparing that last trip of 2005 to my 2008 trip, we continued our walk inside without our baggage where we were herded into switchback lines waiting with about 300 people to go through customs. Once we made it through the end of the line still with no baggage in hand, we handed over our paperwork, declared the amount of cash that we were bringing into Mexico, questioned as to where we had come from, where we were staying and for how long we expected our stay to be. We were then handed a tourist I.D. that we were to carry with us throughout our stay. Only then were we allowed to retrieve our luggage from the new automatic baggage carousel and exit at a slow rate through the airport ex-ray screening. The new advances seemed to have changed the pace of the workers to a more harried and stressful working environment.
Off to the shuttle and a ride that was fast and jerky. The streets were narrow and full of construction. The traffic was chaotic with jaywalkers everywhere. What looked to be a two-lane street suddenly turned into four lanes of traffic with mere inches between the fast moving vehicles of various sizes an models. It was amazing to witness this order in chaos with absolutely no markings to indicate the added lanes of traffic. I was very confused at this point, but I found it all very entertaining, as drivers honked and yelled at one another, pushing this way and that to get where they needed to be. I just held on for dear life until I saw the sign directing us to our destination, and boy, did I let out a big sigh of relief as we stopped at the gated entrance. When the crossing gate arm went up the difference in traffic was like the difference in night and day. It seemed we were in the middle of nowhere, and we were completely alone. As we wound our way up the mountain, I caught my first sight of the Pacific Ocean. How can one forget the beauty and grandness of the ocean until faced with it again? Emerson said it best, “If eyes were made for seeing, then beauty is it’s own excuse for being.”