Colorful houses and restaurants, cell phone shops and mechanics fill block after busy block. Mid-afternoon fills the sky and Mexican children flood the streets as school lets out. The one way streets are narrow and we share the road with bicyclists, the school children and pedestrians darting out of every available corner. Topas, speed bumps, slow traffic to a crawl and all of it provides ample entertainment and danger.
An actual coffee shop, the first one we’ve seen in Mexico, anchors a block where lives a library, some good carts, and a hotel restaurant where we choose to eat. Now, filling ourselves with more tacos, we can people watch without the ever present threat of running some man, woman or stray canine over.
Santa Rosalia feels like the most authentic town thus far in Mexico. Tourists have little reason to come here, it’s an ex-mining operation with a church built by Eiffel (as in the French tower), but otherwise it’s a bit industrial and generally just doesn’t feel like a tourist trap. We’ll here other tourists, weeks from now, call it a dump and urge folks not to bother, but this is exactly why I love the town.
Ten miles south or so a small community of snowbirds lives in an RV park along a pristine bay, full of sting rays. We claim the last available waterfront spot, really a fish cleaning station, and discover a dead pelican which had been tossed into the trash along with the fish guts.
An old Mexican man and his wife circle the park, stopping in front of our spot. They say nothing, but wait for us to approach.
One hundred seventy pesos, about $9.45 USD, for a night of sunsets and oceanfront camping, no electric but a little WiFi. The kids play with flashlights into the night, until Luca, the youngest of the MaliMish crew whom we’re traveling with, starts crying and saying “I saw people with no feet flying around.”
His mom then reveals that their oldest, Ava, said she heard voices coming from inside the closed restaurants. I’m reminded of the dead pelican, and suddenly the entire place feels a bit eerie.
Still, the nights are now warm and the days hot, and Mexico is just getting better and better.