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A Road Less Travelled
Reg
12/31/2011, From Todos to La Paz

After Todos Santos we travelled by car to Cabo San Lucas and San Jose de Cabo to see the geography and architecture and we love road trips. Heading back to La Paz we decided to take a coastal road to Ensenada de los Muertos, one of our anchorages on our way north to La Paz weeks ago. On the Mexico road map it was shown as a modest road through two small villages El Cardonel and Boca de Alamo. Well it was paved as we left highway one at Los Barriles but as it went into the hills/mountains the quality of the paved road quickly deteriorated, with more than a few pie shaped wedges 4-6 feet into the road completely washed out and steep ravines on the sides. Reaching El Cardonel and returning to flat lower ground, the road improved and we became more optimistic. This quickly changed when we turned north and the road went to sand. We circled back only to confirm the sand road was our destination, even though it was now one lane it at least had broad shoulders if we met oncoming traffic. Ominously there was none. At Boca de Alamo it went downhill, where the road become a narrow jeep track through brush, and then quickly became a rocky narrow bulldozed ledge overlooking the Bahia Los Muertos from varying heights and none low, until the road plunged down to the few arroyos that fed rainwater into the bay in season. But then it was immediately back up a steep grade with large lose rocks and gravel, some the size of footballs and a return to the narrow ledge and steep slopes down. On two occasions Phoebe left the car, and I jokingly suggested she wanted to capture my demise as I plunged off the road, but in one case we could not get up the slope so I am sure the weight reduction helped however slight, and in the second case it was just to relieve the stress. We were getting very anxious, me quieter and concentrating on driving, Phoebe not so quiet and lacking the requirement to concentrate was focused on the fall. We were both very concerned we could get stranded there as it truly was worse than any road I have previously been on including the logging roads in the north. We were at least an hour covering 8-10 miles and greatly relieved to have made it without obvious damage to the car. The photos don't do it justice, just don't take this road to re-live our experience. If a person was driving anything other than a jeep or ATV they would had to have our luck to make it, and we were somewhat the beneficiaries of driving a narrow track vehicle. Never again, or at least until the memory fades......

La Paz and Surrounding Islands
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Todos Santos
Reg
12/31/2011, Todos Santos

We took a 2 day road trip to the town of Todos Santos (All Saints) due largely to a chapter in my past. At the conclusion of my high school years, six because I loved French so much, I was a friend of Dale Townsend. Dale is/was one of the locally famous Townsend girls, 2 sets of sisters, all blond, attractive, smart, ambitious and elusive. After high school Dale went to nursing in Kitchener and I went to university in Saint Catherines and we lost contact. I heard years later that she was living in Mexico, married with a family. I have often wondered how she was doing but never took the initiative to locate her. So, in Cabo San Lucas, Phoebe picked up a magazine or two, and a few days later sailing north to La Paz I was reading it and there on the back cover is a real estate advertisement with Dale's smiling face. Dale was the owner of her own brokerage primarily selling property in Todos Santos, and had lived there for 35 years. I emailed her and we got together for dinner on a Saturday in La Paz, with a little apprehension on my part at least, since we hadn't seen each other for 45 years and could have evolved into complete strangers. That was not the case, we had a great time (I speak on behalf of the three of us) and Phoebe and I agreed at Dales invitation to take a road trip to Todos Santos if the weather kept us land bound in the coming week.

Our road trip was in the smallest Dodge/Hyundai rental I have ever driven (this is important detail for the next chapter) but comfortable and air conditioned. Dale gave us a great tour of her community, she is obviously an important part. Being one of the first "gringos' and English speaking realtors in the area she has introduced many new people and assisted in a large proportion of the real estate development in the community, as well as founding a community organization to further the English education of the native Mexican population. The town is what you would expect of a traditional Mexican village, with the large church, picturesque town square, and many buildings of a much earlier period. It is well maintained, and boasts many restaurants, craft shops, hotels and a very attractive original main street, on which sits Hotel California. We saw many Hotel's California across Mexico and California and the local management deny this is the one famous in song, but controversy remains, and they play "Hotel California" at the bar as a theme. We stayed there and had a great room with a small patio.

It is apparent that Dale has made a good life in Mexico with her family, and graciously invited Phoebe and I to her home. We had the pleasure of sipping on more wine and sat on her patio overlooking a small valley watching the sun go down over the Pacific with whale smoke going into the evening sun. How does it get better than this? A beautiful home with a great, perhaps the best, view in the midst of a large but spacious development north of the original village. It contains many beautiful homes that reflect much of the traditional architecture in a modern design. There is at least one local architect with a storefront in the village and all of the homes are unique so I expect the character of the new community is a result of this profession. Dale's home and some she pointed out in our tour of the town were custom designs of owner and architect collaboration. We had a great dinner in a small outdoor Italian restaurant with more wine and the only casualty was a broken heel on a shoe and a small headache for yours truly. It was great to be reacquainted with an old friend and to be comfortable, and I hope we get a chance to do it again.

La Paz and Surrounding Islands
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Whale Shark 2
12/31/2011, La Paz Channel

Pics were hard to get above water. You can go snorkeling with the whale sharks via a tour guide but Reg decided that was not a good idea!!!!

La Paz and Surrounding Islands
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Cheers
12/31/2011, Ensenada de los Muertos

Merry Christmas all!!!

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Reg busy at emailing
12/31/2011, Ensenada de los Muertos

Reg sending out emails in the Christmas spirit

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Santa Came!!!
12/31/2011, Ensenada de los Muertos

Thanks for our stockings MJ - we put them to good use

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