Without much stress, I use my own internal compass to find Highway 19 out of Cabo, and before I know it, I’m cruising along the BCS coast toward the town of Todos Santos.
It’s a little over an hour, and with the window rolled down and the music turned way up, I relish the tingling feeling of sun burnt skin.
The town, not without it’s subtle charm, doesn’t have the “it” factor I was looking for. The Hotel California stationed here seems more to trap tourists than having any historical or musical significance. I’m somewhat bummed, and start to head back….
Only a couple miles outside of town, and a car heading the opposite direction on the highway suddenly veers off onto a dirt road, and disappears. The urge to follow is a strong one.
I reason that if my head is to become severed and put on a stick by drug dealers and left in the Mexican desert for vultures, it will happen regardless….so I turn quickly down the same dirt road.
The other car is nowhere to be seen. I find old, abandoned buildings in various stages of decay. I can hear the ocean but can’t see it as the desert brush and cacti obscure all view. At a crossroads in the dirt, a weathered sign has the words “El Mirador” painted on.
I follow until the sand looks too deep for my little rental car to enter without getting stuck. I park and look around me….
The beach is perhaps fifty yards away. I cautiously step to avoid a chance encounter with a rattler, and find myself completely alone on a pristine sandy beach with massive ocean waves from the incoming tide.
I run like a wild horse, kicking my feet in the water and screaming to the pelicans overhead. Shoes leave my feet, and the freedom that only childhood holds floods my body, if only for a little while.
The smile from such an unexpected discovery stays with me the rest of the day, as I look for more little dirt roads to explore.