May 31, 2017

West Baja California Sur Peninsula

The last leg of our Baja California Sur trip was spent on the Pacific Coast. We stayed in El Pescadero, but started our day in Todos Santos. Both are about an hour's drive north of Cabo San Lucas. They sit in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains with rich farmland where a plethora of produce flourishes.

Todos Santos is the more popular of the two. It has recently had a tourist boom thanks to upscale restaurants, art galleries and boutique shops. Hotel California is at its hub, it was made famous by the Eagles song, but has no ties. Though, the band did file suit a few weeks after our trip for trademark infringement and they're seeking damages. It'll be interesting to see what comes of it.

We grabbed breakfast at the highly rated La Esquina, it is situated in a lovely setting, but the niceties stop there. Service and the food were subpar; my chilaquiles were littered with egg shells and the acidity was overkill. Frank fared a bit better. Still, it was a bummer.

Next we took a ride out to raw land near the beach. The area is primitive with gates in the middle of the desert to mark the dirt road. It is mostly untouched with a few lots being cleared for those with big dreams. It'll be interesting to return in a year or two and see how it's changed.

We decided to check out the beach. However, the sand was much to deep to risk taking the jeep so we were left to drudge through the sand under the hot sun. The beaches in Todos Santos are like most on the Pacific coast, which are not safe swimming due to the undertow, riptide and steep drop offs. There wasn't a soul around. The waves were fierce and echoed for what seemed like miles. It was a much longer hike than I anticipated. But we made it.

We dawdled long enough that we were able to check in so we made our way to our Airbnb in El Pescadero. What a wonderful find in this sleepy village! The owner lives on site and rents out multiple rooms. She has carved out quite a paradise near the sea, for her, and her lucky guests. We were especially fortunate since no other rooms were booked; we had the shared spaces all to ourselves. We positively adored the rooftop terrace. It was equipped with a kitchen and bath, plus offered a shady living room area. It won't come as a surprise, but we spent a great deal of time there. The view was simply stunning and I'll never tire of sound of waves crashing on shore.

Our host recommended Hierbabuena for dinner. We loved it so much we ate there twice. Farm to table? So, yesteryear! In these parts they bring the table to the farm. Literally, you dine where your veggies are grown. It's beautiful, fresh and mighty delicious. The first night we feasted on hummus, chile relleno and the catch of the day with veggies, and we shared a chocolate tarte for dessert. The tuna was really fantastic! The following night, we started with guacamole and butternut squash soup and finished with eggplant parmesan and veggie calzone. The veggies are so fresh and delicious we didn't miss the meat one bit.

The sun setting over the Pacific was such a treat since we started the day by watching it rise over the Sea of Cortez. Now, we can cross that one off the bucket list.

The next day we took the dirt coastal road to Cerritos. It was quite misty from the marine layer, but scenic. We had brunch at the Cerritos Inn & Restaurant. It wouldn't be a trip to Mexico without meeting a dog that wanted to be friends (that day, we met two). Our omelet and enchiladas were tasty, the view was lovely. However, I was chilled from the dampness in the air. I didn't care to linger long. The weather was similar to Southern California. A bit too wet and cool for my liking. I needed full sun to keep warm.

We stopped for coffee at Baja Beans. It's a local gathering spot. A couple times a week a market is hosted there and it draws a good crowd. Sipping on my iced coffee I couldn't help but wonder if I was in SoCal or Mexico? The feels were just the same.

One last sunset slips into the sea as the moon quietly rises. It was our final night in Baja California Sur. I felt a flutter in my gut. It was a familiar feeling, I felt it before ages ago on trip to Las Vegas. I recall it as it were yesterday... We stood in darkness with neon illuminating the sky, and, it was then, Frank and I vowed that one day Las Vegas would be home. This night under the moonlit sky, toes deep in the sand and my skin damp from the ocean mist - that flutter, I knew it meant I felt right at home in Baja Sur.

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