Writen by León Vargas
Photography: Ana Laura Vargas | León Vargas
A cloudy day. A longing, and the hope that it might rain. It didn’t. I really wanted it to rain, that would’ve made this the perfect trip. I like that soft breeze and I like that smell. It rained; It might rain again. This thought took to me as soon as we arrived at the Hostel where well spend our nights of Todos Santos. That smell and that breeze always get’s me. What can I say?
Do you know the smell of grandmas closet? That smell, “the smell of stories”. That’s what I imagine Todos Santos smells like. Why can does a place remind me of a smell? I see edifices from the revolution, houses that go on for the whole block, they remind of haciendas, in fact, I think they were.
To me, Todos Santos is the place you imagine when you’re tired of malls, public transportation and civilization as a whole. Wanna be a hermit? Ill see you at Todos Santos.
Before I began to speak of a trip, I planned.
Before the adventure I took on the task of researching places of interest we could visit during our stay, restau-rants, beaches, bars, and even turtle shelters. Now I’m sure it’ll be an interesting trip.
Cameras ready, my clothes are well packed and our backpacks are in the truck. Ready. We went to Dario’s house for a couple of surfboards. You shouldn’t spend a few days in Todos Santos without a surfboard, Cerritos is 8 minutes away. Why wouldn’t you? Because you don’t know how to surf? Us either.
We set off, and went through the obligatory roadtrip ritual: a full inventory of equipment, a full tank of gas, buy and aux cord at the gas station and don’t forget to buy snacks for the road. Finally, were on our way.
It was a very pleasant drive. Three souls longing for an adventure, a perfectly planned adventure. I had our itinerary in hand. The first activity not on the itinerary happened before we arrived at Todos Santos: We took a detour towards Cerritos, the car must have taken to life and chose to drive off. That’s what adventures are about they tell me. Note to self: First lesson.
After a while enjoying that beautiful beach, and dreaming of the pictures I would take, we reincorporated in to the planned stream of events. Fifteen minutes after, we arrived at our abode, Todos Santos Hostal.
We decided we’d spend our first day at Cerritos, we’ll leave Todos Santos for the last day. Because it “smells old”.
After a long day of photos and waves, we had to go buy our rations for breakfast. When you see Todos Santos at twilight its almost as if it looked back at you. That sounds a little spooky, but its not. Or is it? its not. It’s something you feel in your heart, this place is starting to get to me. The streets seem frozen in time, the public lighting, the light poles seem stolen out of a movie set, set in the 1860s, there’s a soothing breeze strolling about. That’s when I understood that my list of places to visit was useless. You’re not supposed to plan for a place like this. Note to self: Second lesson.
Dark blue, starfilled sky. You can even see the milky way.
“Tell me, what secrets you hide far from my sight? Is there someone out there for me? Does my love think of me as I do now? Is there life on other planets? I think im hungry” Or whatever you think about when you see a sky as beautiful as the one i get tonight. Theres no such thing as Luminous pollution in Todos Santos, it doesn’t exist. And if there is, its unbeknownst to all of us. The place with “the smell of stories” in fact had some magical stories to tell. It’s decided! I want to get to know this place.
Todays the day we chose to explore this Magical Town. Dario made his Legendary dish for everyone: Hashbrown & Sunny side up Eggs. Im sure I can ask for a smily face layout, but no. I must keep my head in the game. A little ketchup will suffice.
The mandatory visits: Benito Juarez Street or as locals know it the “highway” Todos Santos/La Paz. This is the street Hotel California is on. There are banks, plazas, restaurants, cafeterias, a sort of flee market where youll find artisans, silver jewelry, clothes, hats and a quaint, modern bar at the end of the tunnel formed of vendors and canvas shadding. Santo Remedio Bar & Tacos. Why didnt anyone tell me there were Tacos? How did it take me so long to find out?
The warm colors invite you to stay a little longer, Magical artifacts? you mean like swords and daggers made out of the skull of a sword fish? Yeah, you’ll find that too.
And then right out on to the street, namely Manuel Marquez de Leon street, to your left you’ll see Paroquia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Todos Santos famous Parish. In the Parish’s court yard, the large letters sculpted of steel sheet that read “Todos Santos”. Another mandatory photo op. When you’re here, look at the letter O in the word “Santos” Whats depicted on it? A coven? Im glad this place is called “All of the Saints”.
Behind the letters, Todos Santos’s “Mirador”, a balcony of sorts, looking over the whole town, a large portait of the sky and cityline, shifting as the sun makes it way through the day in to an impresive sunset. Remember to strike a pose for yet another obligatory photo op, or instead simply enjoy the moment with your loved ones.
This old “San Juan” is full of stories, you can see them at every corner. They speak of how time has passed, and how its been reluctant to leave, much like my self. This trips made it clear to me. This is definitly the place to go when youre tired of shopping malls, city noise and people. If you want to be lost for a while, Todos Santos, the place that looks like it smells like stories, would be the perfect place for the weekend.
Ill see you soon, Todos Santos.