Mexico editor Gay Nagle Myers was in Los Cabos to report on the destination's recovery progress since Hurricane Odile whacked the region on Sept. 14. One sign of progress was that the third annual Los Cabos Film Festival took place on schedule, Nov. 12-16. Here is Gay's second dispatch. Click to read her first.
I made a new friend during my recent trip to Los Cabos.
She was a very unlikely, somewhat smelly, yet beguiling, friend, despite her size and ungainly yet regal appearance.
Her name was Shiva, her age was 10 years, her weight was well over 1,000 pounds and she was so tall that even when she was kneeling I needed the help of a wooden step and the guiding hand of Jose to climb aboard for a ride.
Shiva is one of seven Arabian camels that live in the rugged, cactus-filled Wild Canyon, ringed by the Sierra de Laguna Mountains 30 minutes outside of Cabo San Lucas.
The camels arrived in 2007 when Wild Canyon Adventures set up the operation at El Ranchito Ranch, deep in the canyon, reached by a jolting ride on a rutted dirt road off the main highway between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
The company offers a series of adventures, including an eight-line zipline experience, an ATV tour, the Bungee Bombers 300-foot canyon plunge, a scary walk across a 1,082-foot wooden hanging bridge and the Sling Swinger double-harness swing ride over the canyon.
I opted immediately for the Camel Quest, which would keep me earthbound, albeit six feet off the ground.
It proved a great choice and an unforgettable experience.
Shiva was an unflappable lady, not bothered at all by the coyote we spotted in the brush or the jackrabbit that hopped across our trail.
"She is frightened sometimes by butterflies when they fly around her face," Jose told me.
I kept my eyes peeled for the winged creatures, suddenly envisioning being thrown off a bucking camel.
It was very hot, and we stopped at a waterfall. I got off to wade and Jose gave me a bottle of water.
"Doesn't Shiva need a drink?" I asked Jose.
"She had 30 liters this morning. She's good for 10 days," he said.
When the trek was over, Jose asked if I would like a camel kiss.
Well, of course.
He gave me a six-inch-long carrot and told me to hold one end between my teeth and to lean toward Shiva.
I did. The lady knew I had the goods and she moved in for the treat, taking it gently from me and slobbering a bit in the process.
Other than Shiva needing a large dose of mouthwash, it was quite fun.
I looked deep into her very large brown eyes, patted her heartily and hand-fed her three more carrots and a handful of grains in parting.
A great day in Los Cabos.