Que Pasa in Cabo?

August 7, 2017 Edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

Widows Beach closed to vehicles Also known as Las Viudas Beach in Spanish, it’s the first beach outside of Cabo, past the Cabo del Sol development. Once open to vehicles, the beach now has a wall and a bridge, with a narrow access path underneath for pedestrians dragging along their umbrellas and coolers.

Vehicles can no longer enter the area, and a good chunk of the parking spots have been lost to developments on both sides. The beach is also a favorite spot for camping on the weekend, but those campers are no longer allowed to light up fires on the beach. No more s’mores for them.

But all these changes are for the best, insists Jesus Olvera, head of Zofemat, Mexico’s federal maritime agency, as the beach has earned the prestigious Blue Flag status and must be kept clean at all times. So we favor prestige over fun. Sigh.

The nearby developments built the bridge and will maintain it, along with the bathrooms and showers that are under construction, and the much-needed trash cans that have been set up along the very prestigious beach.

Bump, set, spike Feel like playing some beach volleyball? There will be a beach volleyball tournament this Tuesday, August 15 at 9:00 a.m. in La Ribera, out on the East Cape. There will be almost $1,000 USD in prizes given to the winning teams. The deadline to register is August 14. Call (624) 122-0503 or (612) 140-0905 to sign up.

Waterman's Challenge coming to town The Ultimate Waterman’s Challenge will take place on Monuments Beach, just in front of the Cape Hotel, near the Misiones del Cabo development, from August 24-27. The challenge includes surfing, spear fishing and stand-up paddle boarding competitions.

Highlights of the event will include a surf competition pitting Mexico against the U.S., aerial surf shows and more.

“Celebrity” (we’d be surprised if you know them) participants include world champion stand-up paddle board racer and spear fishing master Fernando Stalla, as well as spear fishing and free diving pro Sarah Ruth. Pro surfers Tim Curran and Rob Machado, along with top surfers Damien Hobgood and Diego Cadena will also be making appearances at the UWC. See, we told you you wouldn't know them.

There will be live music on the beach, and concerts at the Cape's rooftop bar. Attendees will be asked to make a $10 USD donation for the rooftop concert, but all other exhibition events will be free to the public. The UWC will also kick off with a beach cleanup effort, led by volunteers. Be there or be square.

Foreign training for cops A member of the Israeli defense ministry, visiting from their Mexican embassy, came to town last week to meet with Baja California Sur’s head of public safety. The two signed an agreement saying that, in the short term, Israeli cops will be with us training our police forces.

Now we just have to find new cops for them to train. There are hundreds of vacant positions, since nearly 100 of them have been fired for failing anti-doping and confidence tests in the past eight months.

Although Cabo cops are the second-best paid in the country (after Mexico City’s), few have applied for the job in the past months. Many prefer to work in local hotels and restaurants where they make more money and face less danger. Training new candidates takes eight months, so we’ll be playing host to the Israelis for awhile.

Speaking of police... The state’s public safety department’s new tourist police corps will take to the streets of La Paz, Todos Santos and Pescadero starting on September 1st.It’s not a large corps, consisting of only 25 men and women.

According to the head of public safety, they’ve all passed the required tests (well, we would hope so) and half of them speak English. More cops are being currently trained, with the goal of having 50 by the end of the year.

Celebrity sighting Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron and her two children, along with several friends, relatives and bodyguards, came to visit recently.

She couldn’t hide from paparazzi, though; they caught her leaving the airport and getting into her limo, and then again enjoying some pool time.

Swimming with Sea Lions suspended The national commission of protected natural areas, (Conanp), has restricted the swimming with sea lions activity near Espiritu Santo island, and Balandra Bay, both near La Paz.

The reason given is that the colony of sea mammals has grown rapidly in the past five years. This is causing stress among the adult males as they have less territory to protect, because the number of females and kiddy sea lions has grown.

There have been various reports of visitors being bitten by sea lions. Add to that the fact that right now is also mating season, and the male adults become even more aggressive.

Swimming, snorkeling and diving near the islands is now banned until September. Boats touring the area must remain at least 100 feet away without using anchors or buoys.

State economy is good According to stats released by Mexico’s institute of statistics, the economy in BCS grew by 7 percent in the first quarter of this year, which is waaay above the nation’s average. Actually, we’re at the top of the list of Mexico’s 32 states. Way to go, BCS!

We're good According to the Latin American online travel agency, Despegar, San Jose has one of the highest rates of car rentals in Mexico during the summer. We're among the top five cities, along with Mexico City, Cancun, Merida and Chetumal.

Lower taxes! Travelers will get a whopping 47% discount on the use of airport tax (TUA), now through November 30. The discount will be applied on all flights leaving the Los Cabos international airport.

Although it sounds like big saving, it actually only comes out to $17 USD, with the airport tax going from $36 to $19.discount has been approved by GAP, the group that operates the San Jose international airport, in an effort to promote more traveling.