Gary Graham – ROAD TREKKER

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019
ICAST – a field of dreams
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
“We are the Champions!”*

Baja whines and whispers
It’s been quite a while since I’ve flown into the Los Cabos Airport, as I have been flying into Loreto and using CBX for most of my trips the past year. Tuesday morning before I departed, in a last-minute conversation with Mark Rayor of JenWren Sportfishing, he had shared that one of his clients reported that there were Global Entry machines now located along the back wall in the immense room where immigration cleared arriving passengers in the Los Cabos Airport.

My Alaska flight from San Diego was a piece of cake, and smugly I marched at a fast pace to the hall, ignoring the line and headed toward the far wall where the Global Entry machines awaited. As I neared the machines, a uniformed agent waved me off. Thinking he believed I didn’t have the proper credentials, I waved my passport and Sentri card in his face.

IT SEEMS AS though some of the palapa roofs at Rancho Buena Vista Hotel had been replaced and one of the locals in the bar confirmed that the dining room had been reopened and had an excellent menu.

“Sorry, these machines are only for families with children to use,” he snarled, while pointing me back to the long line that snaked back and forth across the huge room.

Slowly, the long line melted and 45 minutes later I snatched my checked bag and headed for the next room where the melted line from the other room had reformed, only this time bearing their baggage. Each group paused at the counter, handed over their importation form, showed their passport and were directed to push the red button which in turn activated either a green (go) or red (go to secondary or x-ray).

So much for Global Entry machines …

Still with me? Everyone was directed to put their bags on a conveyor belt. Except for the fellow in front of me, who was directed to place his suitcases on the table; and I was instructed to do the same with my backpack.

Inside his bags, he had a drone and two cameras. The agent asked him the value of the drone, to which he responded $200. He was informed he would have to pay taxes on it. Then the agent turned to my bag and asked the same question. Apparently, since I possessed only two cameras and lenses which were legal, I went through with no additional taxes. Finally, I made it to my shuttle.

The shuttle driver – my friend Eduardo – quickly loaded my bags, and we headed for East Cape.

Quite chatty as always, he pointed out how dry the countryside was, adding there had been very little rain this summer. That is, until the past week, when it had poured around Miraflores. It showed as we approached the area; the brush along the road was already turning green.

When we passed the turnoff to La Ribera, Eduardo commented that the new Four Seasons Resort  was nearly finished, along with the golf course that Gary Barnes-Webb, the former manager at Rancho Leonero Hotel, was now supervising full time.

His next bombshell was that the Punta Colorado property had been sold to the former Governor of Baja Sur. He didn’t seem to have many details. However, when I mentioned the conversation to Mark Rayor later that evening, he confirmed that he had heard the same rumor, but wasn’t certain it was true.

Eduardo had still more. Did I know that they were remodeling Rancho Buena Vista?

Sixty rooms, he thought, adding that the dining room had also been reopened recently.

The next morning I checked in at Buena Vista Beach Resort, host for the Bisbee East Cape Offshore tournament later this week. I ran into Axel Valdez, owner/operator of the hotel and he explained how the event had been reduced to the same format as the Bisbee Los Cabos Offshore – it would now be two days of fishing on Friday and Saturday with the awards dinner on Sunday night. This would allow Cabo boats to fish the shortened event without having to fuel at East Cape — plus the schedule would be easier for the East Cape locals who would not require the entire week to be able to participate

Next, I headed to Rancho Buena Vista to confirm Eduardo’s information about the remodeling. It seems as though some of the palapa roofs had been replaced and one of the locals in the bar confirmed that the dining room had been reopened and had an excellent menu. The bartender added that there were now 43 rooms being rented on the weekends to Mexican families visiting from La Paz and Cabo San Lucas. It was often sold out.

I plan to track down more information between registration, weigh-ins, and awards at the ECO later this week.

* * *

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