Recently the town of Todos Santos was visited. A wonderful historical town on the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula. Its architectural history is that of a sugar cane production town of the 1800s. Many of the buildings are constructed of low fire adobe brick with quaint courtyards that serve today as a respite away from the hustle and bustle of a vibrant town. In the 1980s, Todos Santos began its evolution into an artists’ retreat and spiritual center. Like nowhere else in Baja, Todos Santos has culture and a soul. How apt therefore that its name means “All Saints.”
While there we stayed at the very lovely Todos Santos Inn – a beautifully restored 19th century hacienda originally owned by one of the town’s sugar barons. Upon arriving, it was discovered that only one other couple was staying at the Inn. An inn where reservations are usually necessary.
A delicious dinner was sought at Cafe Santa Fe, an Italian restaurant that lives up to its reputation as one of the best eateries in the state. However on this evening, it is a restaurant devoid of any patrons. Many tables, but no one at them. And it may have been my imagination, but I think the scent of desperation hung in the air. A feeling set in that we were the last people left on Earth, aside from the very nice and helpful wait staff.
The following day a tour of the downtown area was planned. With visits to the many galleries full of art by local and visiting artists. But there is a problem with the plan. None of the galleries are open. Door after door is closed, locked tight. Even the wonderful El Tecolote Bookstore is not open at 10am.
The feeling of being the last people on Earth deepens. There hasn’t been a single case of Swine Flu reported in the state. Where has everyone gone? What if we are the only people, aside from the staff at the Inn and the restaurant, left on the planet? Perhaps Todos Santos should be renamed Pueblo Fantasmo (Ghost Town).
And then we see them.
They have been petrified and put on display throughout the town as some kind of warning. No wonder there is no one in this town!