Cabo, San Lucas Mexico: Part 2

So, following up from where I left off last time

We wanted to stay pretty active during our vacation, so after we went ATV riding, a few of us went scuba diving (including me) and a few went golfing.

Now, one of the pieces of advice I give and almost always follow is ALWAYS BRING YOUR CAMERA IF YOU WANT TO GET “THE SHOT”. But of course, that day I didn’t listen to my own advice. I thought, “Hey, we’re just going to go scuba diving. I can’t take my camera in the water and there will be nothing to see”. I had conveniently forgotten that there’s a BOAT where you can store your camera, and I bought a waterproof camera bag so that in case the bag gets splashed, the contents are still good. AND I had conveniently forgotten that we were going to travel by boat past the famous El Arco to get to our scuba spot.

Long story short, we sailed right past some pretty incredible sights, including a group of sea lions laying out near the arches and a single sea lion right next to our boat on a lonesome rock. Missed both shots. Good work, Navin. The whole time I kept muttering to the guys on the boat: “We need to come back here we need to come back here”. Not only because the sights were really gorgeous, but because I didn’t bring my camera!!

Thank my lucky stars, we went back the next day. This time, not for scuba diving, but to visit two famous beaches near the Arch: Lover’s Beach and Divorce Beach, which are on opposite ends of a thin strip of sand and mountain. Lover’s beach is the side on the Gulf of Mexico, and has generally calm and beautiful water… suitable for lovers. Divorce beach is on the side of the Pacific Ocean, and generally has fierce currents and waves… and is as rocky as a spoiled marriage. Clever huh? In the middle of the two beaches are huge rock formations that take very interesting shapes.

Enough description… here are some pics:

El Arco, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
El Arco del Cabo (click for larger version or purchase)

El Arco, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
El Arco del Cabo (click for larger version or purchase)

One thing about Cabo is that there are pelicans everywhere. You’ll notice them if you look very closely into the distance in the shots further down in this post. I’ll point them out too :). Pelicans are quite graceful birds; long, formidable, and agile. I didn’t get a single REALLY NICE shot with a pelican, but here are a couple to note. The second one might take you a half second :):

Pelicans in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Pelicans in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Pelicans in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Pelicans in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

After our really scenic boat ride, we arrived at Lover’s beach. This was by far my favorite spot and favorite time of the entire trip. This beach was so beautiful. The sight in the distance was Neptune’s finger (a famous rock formation) within warm, crystal clear, turquoise and blue water. The beach was surrounded by towering rocks that formed a cove that provided shade to beachgoers. Also up the beach, towards the city were several amazing rock formations. See for yourself:

Neptune's Finger from Lover's Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Neptune’s Finger from Lover’s Beach (click for larger version or purchase)

Neptune's Finger from Lover's Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Neptune’s Finger from Lover’s Beach (click for larger version or purchase)

In this next photo, you can see how the rocks, formed like a cove, provide shade from the sun:

Neptune's Finger from Lover's Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Neptune’s Finger from Lover’s Beach (click for larger version or purchase)

So many times when I try to get a shot, I really get aggressive and try to get in the element of the environment I’m shooting in. For example, if I’m shooting a tiny bug or frog, I’ll get way down on the floor with my cheek on the mud. Sound like fun? Well in this case, I kept getting closer and closer to the waves, trying to get the perfect shot. Because this was “Lover’s Beach”, I thought that the waves were pretty calm and I would be fine. Needless to say, the water almost took me and my camera out. Check the evidence here:

Lover's Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Uhhh CLOSE CALL!!

When the wave crashed, I backed up and nailed my heel on a rock, falling backwards. I and the cam survived though! But a funny thing happened: a couple people saw me almost die. I brushed myself up off of the sand after and yelled out to them “I’m OK don’t worry!”, to which a lady responded, “Who cares about you, how’s your camera!”. Great minds think alike, lady.

I thought that was a good time to take a break and take some shots of the guys. Oh Nana, thanks for the bunny ears. I look much more attractive this way.

Lover's Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Lover’s Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Lover's Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Lover’s Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

After that, I wandered around the area between Lover’s and Divorce beach and found a bunch of interesting rock formations:

Rock formations on Lover's Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Rock formations on Lover’s Beach (click for larger version or purchase)

This next one was in a quarry (for lack of a better word), right in the middle of the two beaches. The scale of these rocks is really what struck me:

Rock formations between beaches in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Rock formations between beaches

After I finished exploring that area, I wandered over to Divorce Beach. It was much different than Lover’s Beach in that the water was much darker and rougher, and there was less to see except for the openness in space. Not to worry, I still found a couple subjects to photograph:

Rock formations on Divorce Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Rock formations on Divorce Beach (click for larger version or purchase)

This next shot was completely unexpected. As I was shooting the open space, I noticed a lone woman walking down from Lover’s beach into Divorce beach. For some reason I had missed her as she had walked the (pretty far) distance. But I was able to catch her in motion right before she faded over the horizon of sand. Luckily, she was wearing a color that provided good contrast against the blue sky:

Lone woman on Divorce Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Lone woman on Divorce Beach (click for larger version or purchase)

Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much time at Lover’s and Divorce beach as I wanted. I barely got enough time to take these pics and play a couple games of catch with a football we brought. We had to get back on the boat and back to the hotel to get ready for a sunset cruise we haggled for (along with everything else in Cabo) and thought would be cool for our last night.

The sunset cruise did not disappoint. We sailed around Land’s End, El Arco, and Neptune’s Finger while the sun sank and painted the each site with dusk hues. I like this next shot because of its hues and also the way I feel my eyes lead through the cascade of subjects from Neptune’s finger to Divorce Beach. A bit more contrast (though quite hard if not impossible) might have helped to make the cascade a bit more dramatic, though:

Neptune's Finger, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Neptune’s Finger, cascading towards Divorce beach (click for larger version or purchase)

Like I mentioned, we sailed past El Arco and I got as close as I could with my lens to the sea lions that are perpetually lazing there. They’re still really hard to make out — good thing now I got my 200mm lens to reach a little further next time:

Sea lions Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Sea Lions around El Arco

Now we weren’t the only show in town who thought of a sunset cruise amongst these beautiful subjects. At first, I thought these boats would be a nuisance when I was trying to set up my shots, but they actually made for somewhat compelling complements. I got one of El Arco without any boats but then decided to use the boats to help make some of the other shots:

El Arco, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
El Arco (click for larger version or purchase)

El Arco, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
El Arco (click for larger version or purchase)

Surrounding mountains in Land's End, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Surrounding mountains in Land’s End (click for larger version or purchase)

Surrounding mountains in Land's End, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Surrounding mountains in Land’s End (click for larger version or purchase)

I thought this one was cool because it showed a little pathway from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean:

Surrounding mountains in Land's End, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
View to the Pacific (click for larger version or purchase)

A similar one with no boats. I like the varied depths of the subjects and how the shadows and light presented them:

Surrounding mountains in Land's End, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Another view to the Pacific (click for larger version or purchase)

Now, from the beach, the mountains around us looked big, but not extremely large. But as we crept away from Land’s End, the venue from the boat told a completely different story. Each of the mountains we saw was massive and scattered in different places the Land’s End. This was a very dramatic scene, especially against the setting sun. The last two pics are some of my favorite from the trip; I’d recommend clicking both and viewing them at their largest (X3) size to view all their details.

In this first one, you can see just how massive these mountains are by finding the two pelicans flying to the left of the mountain and into the distance, and the other pelican above the third mountain I like this shot because of the sheer scale of the subjects, the mist in the distance in the bottom left that tells you there’s another set of huge mountains there too, the way the mountains cascade down in size, and the reflections on the water from the sun behind the mountains. Whew. Still, it was a better scene in person.

Mountains in Land's End, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Mountains in Land’s End (click for larger version or purchase)

This last one MAY just be my favorite. Similar to the last shot, what strikes me is the scale of these mountains. If you look closely to the right and left of the peeking sun, you can see a couple pelicans which will help you reference the mountains size. The next thing I like about the shot is the peeking sun. I was lucky to get the shot right at the moment the sun broke away from behind the mountains and into my lens. I like how the sun created a more dramatic silhouette of mountains and very light, but visible, reflections on the water, which help to draw scale. The last thing I like about this shot is the boats on the right. Again, I think capturing these complements helps with scale but also provides another area of interest in the photograph.

Mountains in Land's End, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Silhouette of mountains in Land’s End (click for larger version or purchase)

After I got these shots, the sun went down and it was time for good old fashion ‘drinking and eating in another country’. Cabo was a hell of a time and I really would like to go back sometime… Since this time we went for Mani’s bachelor’s party, maybe next time we’ll go to celebrate Mani having his first kid. Seems like he likes that idea… 🙂

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

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