Thursday, February 5, 2015

Todos Santos .. The Mexican Dream

I want to blame travel magazines, tourist shops and souvenirs that I have received from Mexico before I actually got there for showing me a different Mexico. So blame me for thinking Mexico is Colourful buildings with bougainvilleas dropping low, almost touching the ground. Or I wasn’t wrong while dreaming of houses with cactus growing and women wearing very colourful clothes while knitting in their verandas. Of course I knew mariachi’s won’t be singing while I waltz hand in hand with my husband .. We first landed in Cancun – where I saw American tourists. You can’t count the Mexican imposters sitting in traditional clothes on the way to Cichen Itza ofcourse. Then in Mexico City – which much like Mumbai was abuzz with life, trade and commerce thriving on its streets and Malls filled with the noveau rich buying the American dream. Then to Los Cabos – which is a luxury beach va-cay with bikini tops and flip flopped men and women enjoying way too many margaritas. So where was this picture perfect Mexico from my coffee table book ?

It was not until I reached Todos Santos  that I realized,Much of my Mexican Dream was right here !

 Having read a handed down version of Lonely Planet –Mexico from many years ago and I quote “the once treacherous road from Cabo San Lucas, about 45 miles away, has been paved, making the town too accessible to day tourists.” And it’s true. The beautiful Transpeninsula Highway takes about an hour of straight driving before you get Todos Santos. A map was handed to us by our hotel concierge. But no sooner had we entered this town we realized how really SMALL it was. We passed two landmark buildings on the map in less than 30 secs on one street. The entire town was a 3 street by 3 street affair.When we parked in one corner of the tourist-town, I say Tourist-Town because I only include that part of town which was on a Tourist-Map .. rest all I am assuming is Residential.


We walked down the Benito Juarez - the main street. Garish villas are starting to mar the pristine landscape. It looked like developers are going to take over these ranches soon enough for boutique hotels.  Just like the few chic, small hotels in town, like the Todos Santos Inn as well as the Hotelito, a modernist-looking property that I read are run by EXPATS.Another thing that makes this town famous is the Todos Santos Music Festival, which was started by R.E.M.’s former guitarist Peter Buck who is a part-time resident of this quaint town. Our first stop was to go see the Legendary Hotel California – rememeber that song you all ? It is debateable, I understand .. But the property boasts Hotel California was made there … AMEN !






We then sat right across the hotel in Restaurant Tequilla Sunrise. Like people will tell you, Todos Santos is still small enough that if you’re looking for someone you can simply go to the handful of Cafes and Souvenir shops that line the 3 main streets there and find them. And if you dont just have a Damiana. Tequilla Sunrise introduced us to Damianas. Damiana Liqueur is a light liqueur made with the damiana herb that grows wild in Baja California, Mexico – that’s what the waiter will tell you… What it actually is, it is a mocking down tequila version of a margarita- very popular indeed.



























What I loved about this little town were the restored adobe building in the center of town, which serve as various resurants, cafĂ© and arts centers. Mexican arts, crafts, bookstores, restaurants, realtors and galleries are worth a visit, Leather goods, 100% cotton dresses, shirts and pants, Mexican woven blankets, furnishings and carpets are among the many things to choose from all thriving in this 3x3 matrix !





Tour the Galleries I would recommend .. As an artist town, Todos Santos has many galleries full of everything from paintings to handmade copper work and ceramics.. There are many resident Artists who sit there every Thursday sketching painting and in their element.  

Ofcourse TODOS SANTOS is really known for its SURFFING... We didnt end up doing it.. but definately the blue waters were a sight to see. No wonder poeple call this the dreamy town of TODOS SANTOS.

 Done with our tour, no place is complete without its food. We all turned towards Vira, who throughout our journey has pulled out gems from her Google Search and restraunt reviews. We stopped at Rumi Gardens.. the food is organic, fresh, healthy and prepared with love and gratitude. The price is just right too. We enjoyed the indoor ambiance with water fountain and Rumi affirmations that made this place very spiritual. Something like a yoga retreat but only with fresh basil vietnamese rolls ! 



Afterward, as you stroll home, you can still hear the sound of distant roosters and old, sputtering pick-up trucks blaring scratchy ranchero music... this is Todos Santos ! 

1 comment:

  1. That view with the sea as the backdrop is wonderful.
    Suddenly I feel like having a Margarita :-)

    ReplyDelete

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