In the early 90s the little town of Todos Santos (where we observed totality) was a sleepy fishing village; just look at that “arcade”. It was also said to be the alleged home of the original Hotel California of the Eagles song (but so are a dozen others, including the Church of Satan in San Francisco, the Camarillo State Mental Hospital, and, most reasonably, simply the Beverly Hills Hotel that’s pictured on the album cover and where the band hung out).
Since visiting 26 years ago I hear that Todos has gentrified into a tasty little artist’s haven, like Bisbee, Taos, and Jerome, Oregon—with prices to match.
We were lucky to be allowed to camp at El Zapote, a gentle, substance-free co-op where the residents raised organic produce before it was called “artisinal” and puttered around administering acupuncture to their pets and whatever else sweet reclusive hippies do. We never met any of the inhabitants; most were busy practicing the drum circle ceremony they’d perform on eclipse morning, or had fled in terror of the annual aerial malathion-spraying helicopters that were scheduled to fly over that week to bomb their crops.
We pitched a tent on the property and paid for access to the bathroom and shade palapa, where we sorted our gear and prepared our packs for eclipse day.
Above: El Zapote campsite
Todos at night
Kids playing Mexican Pong
Main street corner
El Zapote farm
Margs at the bar, Hotel California
Centerline near Todos Santos