California Painter, Photographer, Jewelry Designer, Treasure Hunter, and (above all) Travel Fanatic
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Exploring the Art Community of Todos Santos
Monday morning we began our drive for the last leg of our trip down the length of Baja, driving 131 miles south to La Paz. From Laz Paz, there is a road that circles the tip of the peninsula, from Todos Santos, to Cabo San Lucas, to Jose del Cabo, and then back to La Paz. We stopped at a roadside restaurant when we entered La Paz for a bite to eat. One of the chickens that was outside decided to wander in while we were eating, and took a seat by the window.
After eating some Birria, a type of spicy beef stew. we headed directly for Todos Santos, which was approximately another 50 miles. One thing I noticed immediately on the drive was that the road became wider, and for the first time since Ensenada, the road was four lanes, two in each direction. The terrain was also quite flat, and the drive to Todos Santos smooth and easy.
Todos Santos is a small coastal community of about 5,000 people, located on the Pacific side. Upon arriving in town, we discovered a downtown area filled with charming galleries and restaurants, and an ATM with no line. Happiness! This town is has many ex-pats, and there is a lot of real estate development going on, priced from modest to millions. There are local artists here, as well as artists with studios based in the states that show and sell their work here.
Urban legend suggests that it is also home to the legendary "Hotel California", of Eagles fame. The hotel has been renovated and it is truly beautiful, and I'll leave it up to each dreamer to decide if it's the real one or not! Here I am with the desk clerk at the "Hotel California".
And here's another shot of the lobby.
There is also a beautiful antique church in the town.
We had some delicious food in Todos Santos as well. I'm an enchilada lover, and Monday night I enjoyed a plate of three enchiladas in a red sauce stuffed with shrimp and avocado, while Eduardo had a type of beef soup. To my surprise I found myself putting the local salsa on my enchiladas. The Mexicans take their salsa very seriously, and it's truly an art form. It seems the salsas are always different and delicious! We both had a nice ice cold Pacifico beer on the side. After dinner we wandered through town and found a local restaurant run by a woman from Oaxaca, where we had coffee and empanadas stuffed with cajeta (a type of caramel). She was also selling various other goodies, packaged with green ribbons for Christmas.
Our hotel, while more humble than the Hotel California, had a swimming pool, and the next morning I got to take a nice swim before we started our day. Happiness again!
After swimming we dropped off our two weeks worth of laundry at a lavanderia, and headed back to see our Oaxaca lady for breakfast. We ate omelets Vera Cruz style, along quesadillas filled with local cheese and a delicious spicy peanut salsa on the side.
Small business owners in Mexico frequently have their children and even their grandchildren helping them in the store, and we enjoyed spending time with the beautiful little girls in this restaurant. It was amazing to the me that one of the tiny daughters, who only spoke Spanish, already knew how to operate our IPhones.
After breakfast we went back into town to visit some local craft people selling jewelry, and Eduardo sold them some stones for their work.
By then it was time to go pick up the laundry, which was washed, dried and folded for $100 pesos (under $10.00). What a treat! We left Todos Santos just before sunset and made the drive of about an hour and half to Cabo San Lucas, stopping along the way to catch another stunning Baja sunset.