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Cabalgatas

Posted on December 1, 2014 by No Comments

Postponed by the hurricane, and a few hundred caballeros short – we still went out to watch the cowboys come into town. It really is a beautiful event, even more so in a community so deeply affected by Hurricane Odile. Keep calm, carry on.

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There are usually demonstrations of trick riding, dancing horses, roping, forging, etc and it concludes with a blessing of the horses at the church. This year, it was mostly beer drinking and a slow ride through town. Still fun to watch – this is a small town after all.

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Turtles and Dogs

Posted on November 18, 2014 by No Comments

Aside from the turtles, we’ve pretty much had this beach to ourselves for last couple months. Now that high-season is about to kick in, we’re getting ready to leave it to the crowds and hit the road.

Even with all the new neighbors arriving, there still seem to be more more dogs on the playa than humans.

Note to dog owners who think that their dog would never eat a baby turtle: Yes, it will.

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Hortaliza Hierbabuena

Posted on November 16, 2014 by 4 Comments

Down a dusty road in what seems like the middle of nowhere lies one of the best damn restaurants ever.

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Our interest in rammed-earth architecture is what originally what drew us to this spot, but we were just as curious about the food after hearing about a farm-to-table restaurant outside of El Pescadero.  The owners are friends of friends, who were able to rebuild after the hurricane – and more importantly – offer a diverse menu made from stuff grown on-site.

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Jason discovered a new oil leak in the parking lot, but we were able to get his mind off of it with the excellent food. We even got Bob to eat a vegetarian dish, carrot ravioli in pesto, which he loved.

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Bob’s Turtles

Posted on November 12, 2014 by 2 Comments

Due to the hurricane, we’re now in a two-week lull for tortugita hatching. That’s how long it took to get the tortuguero back up and running and send out the nightly egg patrol. We encouraged Bob to do some last-minute schedule-shuffling and he managed to get here on the last night before the long break.

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As promised, Señor Bode gave Bob the facilities tour and a few pointers on digging up the little guys.

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Only two nests to dig up this night, and a few tourists showed up for the liberación.

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Sunsets on the beach. Baby turtle releases. It’s all part of the tour package.

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Day of the Dead

Posted on November 2, 2014 by No Comments

What a great weekend! Our friend Bob is in town visiting, just in time for Halloween.

There is no trick-or-treating here in Todos, but a local cafe held a Halloween fiesta complete with live reggae. There were tons of costumed kids running around everywhere having fun. Bode disappeared most of the evening with a few friends he’s met in town. They were overheard in the bathroom plotting where the best place to hide all the candy they’d gotten at the party. Consensus was that ‘in the mouth’ was the best place.

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By the way… Bode is a zombie, but not from the grave. He will tell anyone who will listen the long and complicated story of a virus that infects people’s brains and makes them eat flesh. Things sure have changed since his Luke Skywalker days.

Saturday night the local cultural center held a Dia de los Muertos show which told the story of Mictlan with dancers, aerialists and musicians. Pretty spooky- with great performances.

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Todos Santos Festival

Posted on October 25, 2014 by No Comments

The carnival came to town, and so did everyone in the southern Baja area. Brass music, gambling games for kids, questionable rides and tacos. Bode’s favorite: BB gun shooting gallery. Careful, the shooters line up several feet behind the game’s wall meaning lots of people walking between the gunman and the targets.

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El Tortuguero

Posted on September 25, 2014 by 6 Comments

It was our first evening at the casita and we walked to the beach to catch a phenomenal sunset. We thoroughly lucked out in that there was a turtle sanctuary right across the sand dunes. This was the first night of the turtle release.  I explained that we would like to help, and they told us to come back the next evening. We did, and we kept coming nearly every night.

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Grupo Tortuguero de Todos Santos A.C. is a family-run labor of love. Enedino (dad) has been collecting eggs and releasing turtles for 15 years. He’s a science teacher, and veterinarian. His son, Dario just got his degree in Marine Biology.

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With no regular funding, these guys completely rely on donations. The sanctuary must be moved each year to another location on the beach. The shelter is rudimentary, and a few more posts and shading only goes up when they get a donation.

But, every night from about 2 in the morning til 7 a.m., Endino, Dario or one of a handful of other volunteers search the beaches on a 4-wheeler and bring back the nests. The eggs are carefully counted, buried and information recorded on wooden markers that stick up out of the sand.

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Exactly 45 days later, the eggs hatch. Before sunset, we arrive and dig up the nests, sorting baby turtles into those that have hatched, those that are still hatching, the dead, and the eggs that won’t hatch. Everything is recorded and then the little guys are set free near the ocean. The get tumbled and turned over, and usually pushed back several meters by the big waves before finally making it into the sea and swimming away.  Then, we work on the structure until dark.

Each morning, I go back at 8 and 10 and check for turtles that have surfaced from their nests on their own and release them.

Occasionally, there are some tourists that come to watch and help with the release. I love seeing the joy in their faces as it reminds me of the first night I volunteered.

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Baby turtles and sunsets on the beach. Not too shabby.

 

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