Destination: Todos Santos! Today, we explored the small coastside city of Todos Santos. It was a quick drive, only about an hour north from Cabo San Lucas, driving slowly and carefully. The highway between Cabo and Todos Santos is well-maintained and seems relatively safe. Make sure you fill your tank and get some bottled water in your car before you go, though, we didn't see any obvious places to stop between the two cities. The long strip of Pacific coast between Cabo and Todos Santos reminded us so much of Highway 1 in California--the way it looked 20-30 years ago.
Unspoiled, undeveloped, and with almost no houses or any hotels dotting the landscape. The Pacific breeze followed us up the highway as we made the drive, and the smell of the ocean air was clean and fresh.
The downtown area of Todos Santos is beautiful, and filled with lots of quaint little shops, art galleries, shoe stores, and leather goods. Jewelry, artwork, and handmade Mexican pottery is sold everywhere. There are several surf shops and a beautiful mission/church that is open all day for people to explore and take pictures.
We stopped at a little downtown restaurant/cafe called Cafelix with wonderful coffee and guacamole. A delightful "Day of the Dead" skeleton greeted us outside. The inside of the cafe was air conditioned and comfortable. They also offered free wi-fi and free parking behind the restaurant. The waitress told us that we could park there all day if we wanted to, which we thought was very nice, since finding parking on the main street was rather difficult.
After exploring the town, we went down to the beach. Now this is where the trip got... weird. At that point, we felt that we were entering the Twilight Zone. Thee are tons of dirt roads that lead down to the beaches, and all of them seem to be in some state of disrepair.
There are literally dozens upon dozens of dead-end dirt streets that lead to very expensive homes that are abandoned, partially built, or empty. And the weirdest part of it all is that there is still a lot of active construction taking place EVERYWHERE. It was common for us to see an abandoned foundation or partially-built home, and then a luxury villa in the process of being built, right next to it. We counted dozens of "for sale" and "se renta" signs. There were abandoned cars and RVs parked in front of many of the homes. We also saw a lot of small trash heaps (mostly bottles and cans) near the water, but no trash cans for public use.
Labor is so cheap in Mexico, couldn't the town of Todos Santos afford to pay someone to pick up the trash on the beaches so they are at least more attractive to tourists?
We took several pictures of the homes near the beach, they are mostly spread-out. The beaches are pretty, but not swimmable, and the waves were very rough and the water was cold, even in July. The city itself has a huge amount of potential, and I can see all these residential areas being gorgeous when they are developed properly. Maybe in another 5 years or so, Todos Santos will be a tourist mecca just outside of Cabo, but with a more eco-flair, similar to the way that the city of Tulum developed in Quintana Roo.
Tomorrow, we visit La Paz, the capital of Baja California!
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Just a middle-class dad and mom with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
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