Hollywood Mexico

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Hotel Guluarte

Flag of Mexico  , Baja California,
Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hardly off the bus we made a sweet new friend, Angela, from Santa Cruz, Calif. But alas, she was waiting for her bus out of town. We exchanged details and went hunting for the "motel opposite Hotel California" that Angela's buddy recommended. That's exactly where we ended up staying...

It was also recommended by our new wheeling-dealing amigo, Manuel. After passing his shop for a second time like overgrown snails carrying our homes on our backs, he came out with a big beaming smile and offered his help. He led us through a curio shop and into Hotel Guluarte where he initiated the convo with the owners. It's a somewhat hidden, relatively cheap, central option with big, clean rooms including cable TV and aircon but no wi-fi. Not a problem though since our new amigo seemed to know everyone and everything, including the code to connect to Hotel California!

His recommendation for the best tacos and papas rellenos in town were a hit too. Carnitas Barajas is a 10 minute walk from the centre but oh-so-worth it. We returned the next day! Just goes to show, it's not WHAT you know! Take that, Lonely Planet!

Todos Santos is the closest we've come in 2 months to the Mexico we know and love, as per the Hollywood image implanted in our minds. Hills, cacti, deserts, colourful sunsets, dusty roads, wandering dogs. Only the 3 main roads are paved with expensive hotels (up to 2000 pesos a night?!), art galleries and a multitude of North Americans residents.

After the first sunset we could see the appeal. It was like an artist had stroked a giant paintbrush back and forth across the sky with amazing pink and blue hues. The best view is from the hill just before the ocean (see pics). It's about a 2km walk from the town on a winding road. The Pacific's treacherous currents makes it unsafe to swim but awe-inspiring to watch.

Skillful local fishermen are able to fish here. Juan's patience had paid off. When we passed him again upon our return he proudly showed off the one that DIDN'T get away. He told us they'll use it to make ceviche at his brother Miguel's restaurant, opposite the gas station. Yes, I now know enough Spanish to have this conversation!.

I found out the hard way that the fish was still alive! Either he failed to mention or that bit was lost in translation. But hey, I guess it doesn't get any fresher than that!
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