Topes, if you don’t already know, are speed bumps. The north entrance to town (from La Paz) had three cement topes to slow down the highway traffic before entering town. When the road was resurfaced this autumn, the topes went away and did not return. The south entrance to town (from Cabo San Lucas) had one cement tope that also vanished with road work. The highway through town (Militar) used to have 2 topes until the Pueblo Magico refurbish job took them away also.
This week, the topes have returned, all but the south entrance one. They are not cement but rather the bright yellow hemispherical bumps that are nailed to the road. They cause a somewhat vicious jolt when run over at too high a speed so they will do a good job until they lose their attachment to the road, and this will eventually happen.
But for now, you can’t cruise through town at a high speed any more. And that is a very good thing indeed!
December 6, 2007 was the epic surf day up and down the west coast. But the swell didn’t just disappear overnight. December 7 was a stellar day also. I couldn’t get to the beach until near sunset. Of course the windless day changed its mind right as I arrived but still the light was wonderful.
Yesterday, I took a sunset beach walk with my dog Fiona. We hadn’t walked very far when we discovered this carcass. It appears to be a sea lion body. In the distance you can see a shrimp boat. When the shrimpers are offshore, we frequently find large sea animals dead on the shore, including dolphins, sea lions and pelicans. The shrimpers are very indiscriminate about the side effects of their work. They kill lots of other sea life. It washes up on shore. They disrupt the cycle of sea life also. It is a very destructive process.
I have seen more shrimp boats off the Todos Santos coast this year than any other I can recall. This is not a good thing.
The nights of January 18 and 19 have been cold. By our standards at least. Each morning when I awoke and took a peek at the thermometer, it was 45F! Doesn’t sound that cold but remember, most homes here don’t have heat of any kind. Days are fine, breezy, warm in the sun, cool in the shade.
Surf has been down this last week and tourism is taking its traditional post-holidaze break. Things should pick up in a week or so. I have been hard at work on the next issue of El Calendario, so once again the blog has suffered. I’ll remedy that this week.
On December 6, 2007, the west coast of North America enjoyed one of the larger surf swells in recent memory. All up and down the coast, 15-20 foot waves were common. In the Santa Cruz area, there were 7 rescues and all but one of the surfers survived. Here in Todos Santos, no one was harmed. The photos below speak for themselves. Enjoy!
The morning was overcast and grey. The waves had been breaking over the berm all night so water was in the arroyo and you were not able to drive to the berm. We had to slosh through to get to the ocean.
It was a bit hard to get out. When I arrived at 8 a.m. there were only 4-5 surfers in the water.
The waves and conditions were nearly perfect!
That’s the Colonel, right after he dropped in on builder Tom.
It’s not as bad as it looks. These two are great friends and burn each other regularly. Go figure!
In late November/early December, right before the first really large swell of the surf season arrived, the sierra (spanish mackeral) were running like crazy in the early morning hours. The beach in front of my trailer in Las Tunas was full of locals fishing. One day I counted over 25 men standing on the beach, trying their luck. And lucky they were as the fish were there and hungry.
It all changed after the huge December 6 swell arrived. Not that the fishing isn’t still good, but it was remarkable for about 2 weeks.
I love this photo. The soft texture of the light turns the sky, hills and ocean a wonderful pastel tone. Locals don’t usually fish with poles, but rather just use a line and a lure (crocs are good) and twirl the line overhead to throw it out into the sea. More and more of my Mexican neighbors are acquiring fishing poles, but the vast majority still do it the old fashioned, tried and true, way.
On November 14, 2007, the Baja 1000 road race came through the northern outskirts of Todos Santos. The race was supposed to hit Todos Santos in the wee hours of the morning but delays at the start and along the route meant the race arrived later, around 9-10 am. Some participants showed but there were huge gaps and delays so we did a lot of sitting around waiting. More than 12 hours later, cars and motorcycles were still running the route in Todos Santos. I heard some engines all the way through the night and into the early morning of November 15.
I won’t get into all the bad press the race is getting these days. The Baja Peninsula, while less populated than many places, is more populated than ever before. The race actually runs on roads that people need to use for business and general living. Many along the route are no longer happy about the race passing their way. It’s understandable really. I have a friend who refused to take his kids to school because he would have had to drive 3+ miles on the race route to reach the school. It just wasn’t worth it to him and he is not alone in his feelings.
Anyway, here are a few photos of some of the vehicles that came by while I was out viewing.