'Nilla's Birthday!

Trip Start Dec 22, 2006
Trip End Feb 10, 2008

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Friday, February 2, 2007

After spending a relaxing afternoon in the sun and staying the night at Los Cerritos we decided to get up early and hike the cliffs along the shore of the Pacific Ocean. Mike was up early and was able to catch the moon setting at the same time as the sunrise. There were a few clouds in the sky that reflected the orange and yellow sunrise over to the moon setting. The sky in between was pale blue and calming. What a sight! I looked as if the moon was on fire as it disappeared on the horizon.

Once the sun warmed up the campsite and dried the dampness on the ground, we had a hearty breakfast and headed for the cliffs at the end of the beach. The views were spectacular. Unfortunately, there is tons of real estate development and lots for sale everywhere around Los Cerritos. It won't be long before hiking the cliffs for free will no longer be available. The lot owners, mainly Americans and Canadians are setting up chain link and barbwire perimeter fencing everywhere. On more than one occasion we had to hike around, over or through a fenced area to walk from one beach to the next. We heard from some return campers that the free beach area is scheduled to be taken over by a large tourist hotel/resort that is in the preliminary stages of being constructed. Sad to see. The cliffs are quite sketchy as we found during our hike. What appears to be rock is generally slightly solidified sand that crumbles underfoot. We treaded carefully. After this nice workout, we headed to camp to clean up before making our way back to Todos Santos for a self-guided tour.

Todos Santos is a very artsy and eclectic town with galleries everywhere. The majority of shop owners were American, however the locals do have their share of shops with the usual t-shirts, sombreros, hammocks, blankets and of course silver jewellery. We walked the main strip a number of times, however nothing really stood out or grabbed our attention. Of note was the steep prices in Todos Santos. Everything from food to internet café prices doubled from La Paz to Todos Santos. Not surprising really, since the main street was lined with tourists. A must see was Hotel California....everyone should now be singing a few words from the famous Eagles song or a least humming the tune. We grabbed a local news rag that had a story about a Calgary Businessman, John Stewart, that had purchased the hotel and revamped the entire place top to bottom and inside out. The hotel was classy, yet funky. We did not have the opportunity to see the hotel before the changes, but are able to say that it is quite swanky now. It certainly fit's the vibe in Todos Santos.

Attempting to get away from the mass of tourists, we ventured off main street. The side streets are also filled with shops, boutiques and art galleries, however there is local Mexican flare in between. Taco shops were plentiful in Todos Santos once we got off the main drag. Again, the main problem was that prices were off the charts...for our budget anyway. We were able to find a local shop to get purified water to replenish our nearly depleted supply and return a few empty bottles and collect our measly 6 pesos per bottle. Every bit helps and we are recycling to boot. There is really a lack of recycling in Mexico and glass and plastic bottles are everywhere.

We found the main attraction of Todos Santos to be the theatre. The theatre was entirely different from anything we have ever seen. The seating and layout was similar to home with a main floor and balcony, however the building was concrete block with decorative brick work and wall murals painted on the inside. The front of the theatre was a stage which had a drop down screen to show the latest Hollywood movies. There were open windows along the top level and open arched doorways along the main floor. Covering the doorways were long dark red curtains that were blowing in the cool breeze. There were small bathrooms installed at the front of the balcony and the windows of each looked out to immaculately kept gardens surrounding the theatre area. A few Federales came in as we were looking around, which made us a bit uneasy. They didn't say much, but did stare at us quite a bit. We quickly left to avoid any problems.

We left Todos Santos and ventured back to Los Cerritos to find a campsite for the night. We wanted to get set up in a different spot from the night before as there were too many bugs. We parked higher up on the land leading toward the beach and had a view of the ocean. The site was a little breezy, but we were successful in having less bugs to contend with.

Today (February 1st) was a special day for our little 'Nilla. Our girl is growing up nicely....she turned 28 years young today. We'd love to say she's 'old', however she's still the youngest of the three of us, so we can't say too much. We surprised 'Nilla with a birthday party, which we're sure she enjoyed immensely. We'd purchased a sweet bread (pan dulce), some candles and a small gift at the store yesterday and we were both excited for the party to get underway. We fashioned party hats out of random hats, purses, and even a colourful swimming suit. Then we strung Christmas lights around the van to add a festive flare.

Once the candles were lit and on the sweet bread, we sang happy birthday and placed the 'cake' in front of 'Nilla's vents so she could blow them out. No matter how much she tried, she could not blow them out, so Geraldine offered to help. Unfortunately Geraldine could not blow them out either, so Michael stepped in to take care of the task. He did manage to blow them out....however they mysteriously re-lit themselves seconds later. This little game went on until our fire alarm went off and we had to take the candles outside and extinguish them with our fingers. Our Spanish is not good enough to understand the packaging, but we think we may have purchased trick candles. Getting back into the van was a challenge on it's own. We opened the doors and plumes of smoke came cascading out. Poor 'Nilla got hot boxed on her birthday. Once we had aired her out, 'Nilla got to open her gift. A lovely new container of Gas Line Water Remover. She did not say too much, but we think that is because she was choking back tears of gratitude. What a magical day it was!

Photos attached in the following link.
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5440 on

El Diablo
I wonder what people think when they see the two, excuse me, 3 (with Nilla) coming. I like the horny pictures. G, your scary face is better than Miker G's.
The b-day party for the van...aye carumba
Keep on keepin' on.
Be safe in Mexico

Spence & crew

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