About 9 hours after leaving Tucson we arrived at the San Carlos Plaza Hotel, our home for the next 3 nights. We took a long walk on the beautiful sandy beach before dinner.
The next morning we went to the Mirador Lookout which had some wonderful views of the marina, Sea of Cortez, and Tetawaki Hill.
A few miles away on the other side of the harbor, we visited the Institute of Monterrey's pearl farm. There was a very informative discussion on the methods of pearl cultivation and the history of Mexican pearls. Until the discovery of silver and gold, there was no bigger export to the Old World than Mexican pearls. It was the rare nobleman or royal personage whose jewelry trove did not include rainbow-colored specimens from the Sea of Cortez. Across Europe, the west was known as "the lands where pearls come hither." The Institute offers a program in commercial pearl cultivation.
In the afternoon we cruised around the harbor and beautiful Bahia de San Carlos -- home to an incredible 650 species of animals, birds, and marine life. We had a chance to swim from the boat while anchored by one of the islands. John was in the water the whole time.
The evening was spent at a Mexican Fiesta complete with a wide selection of local and national foods, strolling musicians and a wonderful stage show. What a great way to celebrate our first full day in Mexico.
Since nothing was scheduled for the next day (a day of rest), we took a local bus from San Carlos to Guaymas, Mexico's seventh-largest port. We wondered around the Plaza de los Tres Presidentes, the 19th-century Cathederal de San Fernando, the harbor and downtown area. While waiting at the bus stop in San Carlos for a shuttle bus back to the hotel, we talked to a few U.S. citizens going into the local bank. Then while still waiting, our tour guide and bus driver picked us up in a private car they borrowed from a friend. They were kind enough to take us back to the hotel.
This evening we went to a local restaurant, the El Bronco. This had to be the worst meal of the entire trip. Even the tour guide and bus driver complained about the food. A few people actually got sick after the meal.
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