We drove from Victoria, BC to the tip of the Baja with no agenda in mind, believing that the trip would be no more than a few weeks. Dave’s good friend, Jose Antonio, welcomed us to San Jose del Cabo. He and Dave worked together back in the 80’s and had developed a close friendship.
Unbeknownst to us, Jose Antonio had arranged for us to stay at an all inclusive hotel, El Presidente, for a week. He’s an incredible photographer and his postcards could be found all over the local towns. What a treat to stay at a lovely resort with pools, lovely rooms, delicious food, and beachfront too!
We decided to stay in the Baja a while longer and looked for accommodation. Roca Vista. Yes, a sweet little apartment complex in the back streets of Cabo, with a pool and just two blocks from town centre.
Each morning we walked to the Swiss bakery across from the Cabo town square for espressos. Plaza Amelia Wilkes is a quaint and beautiful plaza owing its name to Amelia Wilkes Cesena, who gave his life to strengthening Baja’s roots and history. It has lush trees, flowers and places to sit and enjoy the afternoon. Many families spend Sunday afternoons in the shade of the flowering trees and enjoy the festivities that often take place.
Looking across the plaza, we noticed a small resort built into the steep hill, overlooking the marina. Peter, the bakery owner, told us it belonged to a couple from Portland, Oregon. Dave had often noticed it when he lived in Cabo but had never investigated further. Being more adventurous and bolder than me, he suggested we walk in and take a look.
Las Ventanas, (now known as Marina View) which means ‘the windows’ in Spanish, is a compact collection of two bed, two bath villas snuggled into a steep hillside. We walked through the gates and into a courtyard. Finding no one around, Dave noticed a set of stairs and just as we began our ascent, stepping out from behind some of the lush foliage around the villas, was a Mexican man. He introduced himself as Carlos, the resort handyman and he spoke fluent English. He took us to a small office to meet the manager, Ginger, who gave us a grand tour. The villas are connected by a staircase consisting of 132 stone steps which led from bottom to top to each villa via pathways and gardens. The main feature, besides the amazing view, was an almost Olympic sized swimming pool, built on top of the five garages which housed private cars as well as the laundry.
Standing on the balcony of one of the villas, we could see over the town of Cabo to the marina and the Pacific ocean.
Back in the office, Ginger informed us that her husband hated Cabo and wanted to move back to the US. She didn’t know how to tell the owners, Mike & Sherry, that she would no longer be managing the resort and would be leaving shortly. A bit of a pickle for the owners.
Mike & Sherry, were free divers and moored their boat at the Cabo marina. They often took parties of divers out to the Revillagigedo islands which are located over 200 miles southwest of Cabo. Mike had built the villas to accommodate the folks who came down for these trips and housed them at the villas as part of the package. Good management was important because he expected his clients to get good service and clean comfortable accommodation.
What was Ginger to do? She suggested we take on the resort! Dave & I looked at each other and thought, why not? We had no definite plans, we liked the southern Baja and how hard could it be? The management job provided accommodation, and a salary as well. I figured I could manage whatever came my way!
Ginger phoned Mike & Sherry to give them the bad news of her imminent departure. She said that by sheer luck, a couple had just paid a visit to the resort and might be willing to take over. Sherry was alone on the boat and suggested we come down to meet her. Sherry and I immediately hit it off. She phoned Mike and after a good visit we were all in agreement that I would manage the resort.
Mike & Sherry’s boat, the Ambar III, is a beautiful 70 foot yacht, well equipped, with a large dining area, good sized galley, and a number of cabins. The ocean and free diving in the Cabo area have been a huge part of their life.
To see Sherry dive deep into the ocean with fish swirling around her or
to watch her glide with the mantas is an incredible sight.
As we got to know Mike & Sherry we became good friends. Mike had told Dave that he had tried to sell the resort for a number of years but hadn’t found anyone in Cabo who could accomplish it. Dave suggested that, given a year, he would get the sale done. On a handshake, the two men made a deal. Dave got busy finding a buyer while I began to figure out how to communicate with the staff at Las Ventanas, since they spoke only Spanish and I spoke solely English. Thank goodness for Carlos, the handyman!
Onwards and upwards!