See that boat through the rock arch in today’s picture?
That’s bobbing about in the Pacific Ocean.
Whereas the boat in the foreground is in the Gulf of California – and the arch marks the end of the Baja Peninsula – or Lands End.
The point where a sea, or gulf, meets an ocean is interesting – there’s nearly always a significant change in water conditions.
Here, for example, the waters on the gulf side can be choppy – but on the ocean side can be treacherous.
Just to the right of this picture, there’s a beach … which connects with a beach on the other side of the rocky spit.
The beach on the gulf side is Lovers Beach (Playa Del Amor) – where tourists often throng to swim (until they discover there are no bars, or beach umbrellas – or even bathrooms).
The beach on the ocean side, however, is cheekily named Playa Del Divorcio – here, couples can split up and do their own thing (but not swimming – the currents can be quite treacherous)
And there are rock arches in the spit – notably, this one known locally as El Arco de Cabo.
That’s because it’s an arch (duh) at Cabo San Lucas.
Cabo San Lucas, along with its sister city San Jose del Cabo, are amongst the most popular tourist resorts in Mexico – particularly since a rise in crime in Acapulco made that a much less attractive destination.
The desert meets the Pacific Ocean along this stretch of resorts and it attracts more than two million visitors by plane each year – along with 250 cruise ships, disgorging another half a million day-trippers.
Most are Americans – and the majority of them are Californians. In fact, there are so many gringos visiting each year that US dollars are almost ubiquitous and very little Spanish is needed to get by.
It’s not as popular with American tourists as, say, the Caribbean – but for many, Mexico is a wonderful gateway to the Pacific, and a welcome change from the chilly weather that dominates North America for much of the year.
Of course, Hawaii is the other ‘exotic’ Pacific holiday destination for many Americans – but that’s a story for another day.