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Sunday, October 15, 2006

This will be the last post on blogger.com - I have moved the blog over to here:

El Calendario Blog

Just click on the link above and then bookmark it for future access.

See you there!

Friday, October 13, 2006


HALLOWEEN PARTY AT SANDBAR!

Following in the hallowed footsteps of Santanas, the Sandbar is having its first "Halloween Fright Night Costume Contest" on October 31. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 costumes. The method of judging and the prizes have not been announced. It will also be an open mike night with Sean and Cowboy and there will be 30 peso cover charge. This information was not released in time to make the print issue of El Calendario.


MIDWAY AT NIGHT!

This festival (unlike the Art Festival in the winter) caters solely to the Mexican spirit. Many locals go out every night and drink and eat and dance until they simply cannot continue. In one big blowout, they get most of it out of their systems for the entire year. By foreigner standards, it is messy, it is dirty, it is loud, it is raucous, and it is crowded. But for those who live here, it is a blast.


Kamikaze - for the brave at heart with strong stomachs.


Kids on the carousel.


Carne is a crowd favorite.


Even more carne at Tio Lupe's.


A typical booth selling plastic trinkets.


The newly crowned royalty enjoying the rides.


Corn is another big seller.


Less scary rides for the little ones.


Impromtu street band #1.


We have bumper cars too.


Impromtu street band #2.

Thursday, October 12, 2006





There are serious bugs in blogger.com as pertains to photos. I almost have them figured out.

Here's the guv doing the coronation and then dancing with the lovely Queen Cintia I.

As a final note today, Highway 19 is again passable. Who can say how long it will last?




The "Fiestas Todos Santos 2006" fireworks that pleased the crowd. There were others also, including high flying multi-colored bombs. Smiles were everywhere.



The crowd in the plaza looking up at the fireworks after the coronation of Queen Cintia I.






Two photos from the dance (blogger.com is still having troubles accepting photos and I have no idea why.)


ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!

The deed is done. Last night, the governor of Baja California Sur,
Narciso Agúndez Montaño, did the honors and then opened the dance with the Queen as his partner. It really was a rocking night. The show began with various dance groups from La Paz performing dances from around the world including, Hawaii, Tahiti, Cuba, India and Arabia. This was followed by the coronation. Finally the dancing began, with music provided by "Llaneros de Guamuchil" who played Mexican ompapa style. The old and young folks danced "tango-ish" glued to each other at the hips, some moving quickly and others very slowly. It is a sight to see.

Today the governor dedicated the newly remodeled park and the work on calle Militar, Highway 19. We have 3 more nights of celebration during the festival, after which the energy of the town will be depleted for at least a day or two. This annual festival is full of local color and tradition. It is a Mexican affair for Mexicans - but everyone is welcome to attend.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


No sooner than I announce the highway is passable (and put my foot in my mouth) and the situation changes for the MUCH worse. Tonight the annual Todos Santos Festival opens and today massive work on the highway is occuring, so much that very few side streets go across the highway and there is no warning of where you can and cannot use the highway. The parking that the highway usually offers for festival visitors is not accessible so tonight is guaranteed to be a holy mess. There are not enough places for people to park. Traffic pattern are totally disrupted at one of the busiest times of the "non-tourist" year.



Tuesday, October 10, 2006


It's been a busy day of posting but here's one last item about the street construction - while the asphalt is down and traffic can move on the highway again, the gig is not over yet. Workers are building new curbs and putting in medians between the sidewalk and street where new trees are being planted. New light posts, antique in style, are also being installed at regular intervals on the highway. All in all, calle Militar should look very classy once the wires and cables are underground.



ONE LAST DAYTIME PHOTO OF THE MIDWAY!



EVEN MORE PHOTOS OF THE MIDWAY!





PHOTOS OF THE MIDWAY!





For whatever reason, blogger.com is now accepting the photos I couldn't upload yesterday. In the background you can see the not quite assembled ferris wheel as well as the Hotel California. Vendors are beginning to setup tarp booths and some food is available as well. By October 11, everything will be up and running and calle Juarez will be closed to traffic to allow even more food and crafts vendors to setup shop. On the first night, October 11, it is customary for the coronation of the queen. Normally the governor of Baja California Sur or the mayor of La Paz performs the deed. Then the dignitaries dance with the young ladies, i.e. queen, princess and consort. After that the real party begins and there is a public dance in the square until the wee hours of the morning. Many workers simply don't show up the next day as they are sleeping off their hangovers.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Okay, I give up. Just spent 1 hour trying to upload midway photos and blogger.com simply won't complete the upload. Maybe it will be better tomorrow. I might have night photos by then also.



ASPHALT IS DOWN!

The asphalt on Highway 19 is on the ground and the street is open for traffic without interruption. This is a HUGE improvement over the situtation that existed nearly all of the summer. It is hard to see how additional concrete could be added on top of the asphalt, but one never really knows, especially here in Baja.


MIDWAY RIDES ARE ROLLING!


Last night, Sunday October 8, the midway was all lit up and the rides were working. No other aspect of the festival is functioning yet, but the big opening night is Wednesday, October 11 and the festival runs through Saturday, October 14, at least according to all the posters and banners around town.


Sunday, October 08, 2006


THE WATER CAME BACK!


Sometime last night, the municipal water returned. At least in the Las Tunas area it did. It's still hot and muggy during the day, and the first activities of the Festival del Pilar begin today with a horse race at La Predera on the far north end of town.

There were lights on at restaurant Tres Galline last night. They did not yet appear to be serving clients, but someone is home so the re-opening can't be that long a wait.

Already, the empty lot next door to the Hotel California is being setup as the "midway" for the coming Festival del Pilar which officially begins on Oct 11 this year. Perhaps the rides on the "midway" will be available earlier.


Saturday, October 07, 2006


WHERE'S THE WATER?

For over 36 hours, there has been no municipal water here in Todos Santos. Silly us, we thought it was just the Las Tunas area, but no, it's the entire pueblo. Word on the street is that something happened to the main well and sand has been filling it in. With luck (con suerte) we might have agua potable back tomorrow, Sunday. See what you are all missing! Oh yes, it is still hot and very humid. Perfect weather for multiple showers a day, except for the missing water.

RESTAURANTS REOPENING

If you have ever spent the long hot humid summer in Todos Santos, then you know how tedious the dining out scene can become. By the beginning of August, many eateries have closed or are within days of closing for the summer. There is very little fresh produce being grown in the area and it's almost too hot to cook anyway. Salads are wonderful but the only lettuce usually available in town is iceberg or romaine. Of course, Costco has good stuff from the mainland and some imported from the US, e.g.
packs of multicolored peppers, romaine lettuce and vine ripened tomatos. But it requires a trip to Cabo to purchase such items.

Restaurants that take a hiatus during the summer months include Cafe Santa Fe, El Zaguan, Tres Galline, and Miguels. Since the departure of Santanas and Canada del Diablo, most nights after 9 pm, the only place to get a sit down dinner or an alcoholic drink is the Hotel California or take a drive to Pescadero and visit the Sandbar. Hopefully this new season will see more dining and drinking options right here in Todos Santos.

Happily, El Zaguan and Miguels are both open again. Tres Galline will be open very soon, a matter of days. Cafe Santa Fe won't open again until early November. Miguels underwent considerable remodeling while closed, and the sitting space is larger and more open.

There are persistent rumors of new eating and drinking options opening soon, including a tapas bar, a pizzaria, a sushi bar/fish market, and sports bar. We should know very soon which of these will actually become reality.

Friday, October 06, 2006


More info about
pueblo magico and the ceremony on October 23.

The head of the office of tourism (from Mexico City) will be in Todos Santos along with the governor of Baja California Sur, the mayor of La Paz, our own mayor and up to 20 other dignitaries.

Sometime in the early evening/late afternoon, they will arrive at the plaza. There will be art, crafts and other displays both in the theatre and outside in the plaza. Regional food boothes will be on display as well as a booth showing how local sugar cane is turned into saleable products.

After viewing the various displays, the group will head to the stage and a brief ceremony officially announcing Todos Santos as a "pueblo magico" will commence. Afterwards there will be folkloric dancing and a guest musical performer. There will not be a public dance.

And the construction beat goes on and on....

The work is continuing on the highway. The goal is to have the asphalt all back in place before the Oct. 23 ceremony. Today we learned that the asphalt is not the end of the story. There will be concrete laid on top of the asphalt at a later date. Tubes have been placed under the road to handle current and future electricity and
telephone cable needs. The new cables should be put into place in the near future, perhaps before 2007.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


It's a little hard sometimes to understand the way things are done here in Todos Santos. Last April, a "beautification" project began on Calle Militar (Highway 19) here in town. Crews arrived and began building and repairing sidewalks up and down the highway. It was bit disruptive but the end result would be worth it. Jump forward to the summer. Todos Santos is now a pueblo magico and federal development money is available for projects.

Remodeling begins at the old auditorium and at the park. Heavy equipment arrives in town and begins to dig up Calle Militar. All the new sidewalks are destroyed. Clouds of dirt and dust are everywhere. The street turns to mud in the many summer rains. Sewage and water pipes are replaced. At last, the street is filled in, smoothed out and ready for paving. But no, once again it is ripped up. Tubes are inserted for underground electricity and again the street is filled in and smoothed down. The first layer of asphalt is put down. Then, you guessed it, they ripped up most of the road again to lay down even more pipes. This time when they filled in the road, they began repairing damage to sidewalks and curbs.



So today what you see is the beginning of the re-asphalting process. As one part of the road is prepped, digging continues in other parts. Day to day here in Todos Santos, one never knows which side road will actually allow you to cross the highway in a car. It's totally hit or miss. Meanwhile all the heavy traffic, semis and load haulers, are cruising right through the middle of "tourist" Todos Santos, right past the Hotel California with all the dust and noise that big rigs bring with them. Traffic is terrible and it can be quite a wait to make a left turn.

It will all be worth it, but sometimes one has to wonder if the right hand even knows the left hand is there.

Saturday, September 30, 2006




In the evening of September 15, all of Mexico celebrates "El Grito de Dolores", commemorating the cry to revolution raised in 1810 by Padre Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. In Todos Santos, most of the town gathers at the main square, "el zocalo" and has a celebration. The town founding festival, "Festival del Pilar", is one month away, October 12, and the vote for the Queen of the Festival happens after the grito. There is also a dance until the wee hours of the morning in the zocalo. In an odd system, women dance for free, but the men must pay 50 pesos (about $5 US) for a badge that allows them to dance. In the photos, the mayor shouts the call to arms while waving the flag, the candidates for queen are on stage, and the zocalo is full of people awaiting the results of the vote and the ensuing dance.


On September 7, we had a little flash flood here in Todos Santos. A LOT of rain came down very fast and the ground was already thoroughly saturated with water from previous rains and Hurricane John. The foot hight water in el callejon rose to 3-5 feet in a matter of minutes and some people were trapped. The entire huerta was flooded from side to side and water ran like a river out to the ocean. It lasted several hours. Thanks to Dan Binetti of Ricardo Amigo Real Estate for this dramatic photo. Dan and the owner of the white 4Runner suffered no lasting harm. But you might want to reconsider building a home in the huerta area.

One of the most frequent complaints we receive at El Calendario is that we don't update information and news about Todos Santos often enough. This BLOG is our attempt to post news more rapidly so that you don't have to wait for the latest El Calendario to find out what's really happening in Todos Sanots. Enjoy!

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