We head for Alcatraz which is best known for its 29 years 1934-1963 as the site of one of America's most infamous federal penitentiaries. It has a longer history as a prison starting in 1859 when the first 11 military prisoners arrived on the island. Since abandoned in 1972 Alcatraz is now under the care of the National Parks Service. Conditions at the prison were more than harsh as prisoners were there for punishment not rehabilitation.
Our guided audio tour was excellent and on entering "Broadway" the confined cell block area, you could almost feel the anguish, rage, fear and eventual madness the prisoners must have experienced in the confined space. No wonder many tried to escape.
The sun came out as we boarded the bus to take us over the bridge and into the gorgeous town of Sausalito where we had lunch and wandered around the many boutiques showing expensive jewellery, clothes and art. One piece of Lladro about one metre long with a Cleopatra theme was worth $1,5000.000 American dollars. Hideous stuff - where the heck would you put such a thing?? Reluctantly left Sausalito and ended our day at the buzzing Fisherman's Wharf. A cold wind had sprung up as we said goodbye to San Francisco at 9.30pm.
Two days at sea then arrive 8am at Cabo San Lucas. Extremely hot and humid 40º. Tender boat through crystal clear waters into port. We get lured (you can visualise this can't you!) into Diamonds International and quickly realise that our dream of owning a fabulous diamond evaporates - truly gorgeous jewels but way too expensive.
Have time to wander through the typical Mexican shops. Lots of street and footpath construction underway making negotiations tricky. Take some time out to have a 7UP and enjoy (?) a serenade by some old, past his use-by date, Mexican geezer. Of course he kept twanging his guitar, getting louder and louder until Hubbie reluctantly put down his video camera and gave him a tip. Oh what fun!
Our 40 minute boat trip to the world's longest most desolate peninsula, Land's End where the Pacific merges with the Sea of Cortes was very worthwhile. Spectacular arched rock formation and looking landwards you saw unspoilt beaches, little coves and impressive hotels. Once a quiet Baja fishing village now transferred into an international resort. So much activity going on around the area. Glass bottom boats, jet ski's, water taxis, canoes, kayaks, paragliding, you name it. I felt like we were "extras" in a movie. It was rather unreal.
Back to shore, board a taxi - no seatbelts (some passengers start to perform loudly) and the air conditioning doesn't work either but hey! it's Mexico. A bit of a "scenic"!!! drive through a very dry industrial area to a spectacular restaurant "Sunset da Giorgio" located atop a cliff at the far end of the bay. After practically suffocating in the taxi we enjoy a drink and the fantastic views of the anchored Dawn Princess and Land's End.
Back to "home" and enjoy a much needed and refreshing shower, have NZ lamb for dinner then watch a glorious sunset.