Go Take A Hike

And here’s a good suggestion for a good hike
BY: RON LAFFERTY

Have you ever been told to go take a hike?  That was Jr. high school speak for go away, but that’s not what this is about. I’m suggesting you take a  hike for your health and well being, for fun, and to see the area around you from a different angle.

I want to share with you the reason I have found it meaningful to walk daily when I can. I founded a company in my mid 30’s and owned and managed it for 38 years. I loved the business I was in, I was a workaholic, and I ate and drank all the wrong things. I’m 5 feet 11 and weighed 252 lbs. I loved the food and enjoyed the drinks, but it was time for a change.

gecko.jpgWith the help and support of my wife Cheryl, we got very serious about me losing this excess weight. I tried several different crash diets, but with no success. So, my eating habits changed, my drinking habits changed, and I started walking. For 15 months I walked morning and night for 30 minutes and at the end of the 15 months I weighed 196 lbs, a loss of 56 lbs. My weight fluctuates 2 to 4 lbs, but I feel great, and I still do my best to walk everyday for 45 minutes to an hour. Not only does it help maintain the weight I’m comfortable at, it rejuvenates my mind, my body and even my soul.

What is the difference between walking or hiking? If you would ask six different people you would probably get six different answers. I Goggled it, and didn’t get a clear explanation of the difference. Both hiking and walking are all about putting one foot in front of the other many, many times. Whether you want to call it hiking or walking, it really makes no difference. As Nike says, just do it.

Here’s a good local hike/walk that I enjoy very much. It’s level, not a real big physical challenge, and there are plenty of rest stops along the way. Only problem is, there are also plenty of eating/drinking stops also. Be careful, be strong.

The Cabo marina is one of my favorite walks in the early morning. The reason you want to start by 7 or 7:30 is the marina is just beginning to come alive. You are not pestered by the damn venders. I don’t want to have to fend these guys off because this is my time and my zone.

You will be among many other walkers and joggers enjoying this morning time as well. As you walk around the marina on the concrete boardwalk called the melecon in Spanish, you can check out the restaurants that are just waking up, you can choose one to go back to for a coffee or breakfast when you’re finished - wait until you’re finished, I want at least a half an hour out of you!

I start at the south end of the marina, near the new Breathless building that just opened. That’s the kind of boring part, since they haven’t rented any of their retail spaces yet, and they are all boarded up. Good opportunity to turn your head the other way and look at the boats.

 Following the malecon around the marina, you will pass the grand entrance to the mall, and can enjoy the fountains and lagoon. Steady here, don’t give in to Johnny Rocket’s hamburgers and milkshakes.

Next you will pass the offices of the marina, a couple more restaurants/bars, and then the boat ramp. Have to detour around that, but maybe you will get to watch as all the Jet Ski companies back their huge trailers into the water and the 12 or so Jet Skis are pushed off the trailer and driven around to Medano beach, there to wait for people to rent them. Then you must walk the through Restaurant Row. It will be a pleasure at this time of the day but later it will be painful to run the gauntlet of  rude and pushy restaurant barkers trying to get you in to their “very special” restaurant. Without them there you can actually look at the restaurants instead of hurrying by, afraid to show the slightest flicker of interest in any of them.

Then you turn the corner, as you glance out on the main street of Cabo and check out the taxi vans that are always lurking at that corner. That’s a taxi stand for one of the companies. They all have different lurking areas defined by different colors of their vans.

Now you’re walking along beside Plaza El Ghosto, that multi story gray hulk of an unfinished building. It was caught in the peso devaluation back in the 90’s, went broke, became bank owned, and all these years the bank and the union representing the construction guys who were not paid have been fighting in court over it. Finally the union gained control, and it’s for sale. We might see something happening there in a Mexican soon, as people are kicking tires on it.  

Next you go by a bunch of restaurants, mostly pretty successful and with no barkers here.  I wonder why this side of the marina is so much more civilized? At the corner you will see the statue of the whale. Or is it a shark? A dolphin? Some kind of fish, and it’s big. Look to your right, look up to the second floor, over the top of Capt. Tony’s restaurant and you will see the Gringo Gazette’s world wide locally famous company offices. Is that the publisher on her terrace flying her drone over the marina? Probably not, 7:30 is not her finest hour. Expect that to start happening about 10.

Next you will be passing a few stands, thankfully empty at this time, that sell all kinds of activities. You will also see the mostly empty parking lot that the marina workers won’t use because the city charges about 80 cents an hour. Instead they park all over downtown, and because they arrive at work at the crack of dawn, they take up all the parking in town. Your city at work for you-not.

Next you will see the big gray building that’s supposed to look like a ship. If you squint, you can make it out as a ship. That’s the dolphin center. Later in the day it will be open to the public, and for free you can look through an underwater port hole and see a fish eye’s view of the frolicking dolphin. During the shows, if you’re standing on the malecon, you can see the dolphins leaping. Inside is a wonderfl oasis restaruant with quick walk up service, good sandwitches and palm trees grown out of the sand. Take off your shoes and eat. Whoops, no, you will have to come back later in the day.

Turn another corner and you will come to the pier where the cruise ship shuttle boats disgorge their passengers. Security is tight, because the American Homeland Security folks worry that an attack on Americans while they are overseas would be easy. And let’s face it, we are certainly a target, as we seem to have pissed off nearly everyone. 

When you reach the end of the malecon, this boat ramp is where the returning fishermen will be cleaning their fish when they return, starting around 2 pm. It’s a good place to buy the freshet fish available. But it is stinky business, and pushy birds abound. Still, fun to watch.

Now you’re at the end. Turn around and trace your steps back to where you started. Or, get off the marina front and walk back through the town. 

My walk statistics:

2.45 miles - 42 minutes - pace of 17:50/mile - burning 269 calories.