Cabo San Lucas
(You too can be a proportional owner of the arch)
by Richard Kiser
This is the first of a three-part series on a cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.
It’s about 6AM and we are approaching our first port –Cabo San Lucas. I was sleepless
and found myself walking the deck and soaking in the view when it happened. The
sky was clear and the ocean motionless. I was facing east just as the sun was rising.
I’m sure you all have heard of the green flash; here is a new one for you, the yellow
burst. Just as the tip of the sun appeared, it seemed to me I had just witnessed one of
the most amazing sights in my life. A small flicker of yellow and then the birth of a new
We take a ship tender to the marina with no thought as to what we are going to do
ashore. There was some discussion the previous sea day involving a rent-a car that I
strongly objected to. My idea of a vacation in Mexico has nothing to do with driving,
driving while drinking and bribe money or Mexican hospitals. Laura was not pleased,
but the point is made clear later.
Bouncing along the marina we are approached by every vendor, boat trip, jewelry
sales person known to man. I was wishing for a can of Raid. We decided to head to the
office of a friend of mine who sells yachts. As we approach David’s office we meet
Ernesto, nice smile, great English and a deal we can’t refuse, a paid shore excursion.
This is what we were promised for a 90 minute time share presentation: $100 in pesos,
2 tee shirts, a bottle of tequila, lunch, drinks and roundtrip transportation in writing.
Our taxi driver is great! Along the way to the resort he points out places of interest, celebrity homes, and general pleasantry’s. Suddenly I feel Laura’s fingernails digging into
my knee. I look at her and her face is displaying a bit of alarm. She points forward to
the road and whispers “The road arrows for traffic are pointing at us”. About the same
time our driver points out the traffic accidents where fatalities took place the day before
and that they were rental cars with Americans involved. I did my best not be smug face
I have a question for you. If you know you are going to be lied to is it OK to lie back?
The resort is beautiful. Our paperwork is handed off and check-in begins. Usual stuff.
Are you married? Yes. Why are your address’ different? Laura, you really need to do
something about that. Where is your wedding ring? As I answer with “I left all jewelry on
board for safety”, Laura is removing her ring and putting it on her ring finger. Good job!
After the tour it is time for the closer. I don’t remember his name but he did have a nice
watch. The price starts out at $49,500. It drops to $24,500. We decline. Enter closer
#2. A nice woman who drops the price to $10,000. Closer #3 arrives and the final offer
is $2995. Let’s get our goodies. Of course they try and leave out the lunch and drinks
but Laura stands pat. Lunch was great and I bought the drinks –whatever. Back to the
marina. Taxi time. We get dropped off at the office –home of topless strippers and baracho y loco.
The Office is located about 3 miles walking distance from David’s office so we had a
pleasant stroll along the beach and marina boardwalk. Arriving at David’s office I realize
he has moved—crap! Time for a drink. We sit in the front corner and order an adult
beverage. Within 5 minutes I hear a familiar voice– it’s David. He has been selling yachts in Cabo for the past several years and has attained duel citizenship. He explains to us the whole concept of proportional ownership (new name for time share). This is mind boggling. He points out a development on the hillside and explains that the total cost of construction is 40 million. It is all pre-sold and the total revenue generated is 640 million—almost all proportional ownership.
The watch: David shares a story about his visit to the local pawn shop. He asks to see
the watch collection. The owner opens the safe and displays thousands of dollars in
worth of watches. The owner explains that they all belonged to time share salesmen.
The first thing they do upon arriving and being successful is to purchase an expensive
watch. When the economy, life, or anything else goes south they use the watch as get-
out-of-town money. The other tidbit David dropped on us was how to put down the can of Raid and just use your index finger for the same result. When approached by a vendor just raise your index finger and wag it back and forth –just the finger and not the wrist without making eye contact. This worked like a charm for all future stops.
Our last tour of Cabo was of million dollar yachts. I am guessing it was Laura’s first
time really looking at one and her comment was “I could do this for a couple of weeks”.
Nothing like a vision. Hmmm, I wonder what’s for dinner? Home.