Author: Steve Smith

Casa Oasis Todos Santos es su Casa

Esta Casa es su Casa – Casa Oasis is your Home Lately many publications are touting the virtues of Todos Santos for visitors. Among these, and hands down the best, is Casa Oasis. Located on the Baja California peninsula 1½ hours from the Los Cabos airport but a world away, this town’s bisected by a highway that anywhere else would be designated by the government as a “Scenic Drive”. Once I arrived in Todos Santos it simply oozed Mexican charm. Un Alquiler de Vacaciones – Your Vacation Home Patricia and Charles Shipman, owners of the vacation rental Casa Oasis...

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Circling the Tropics – A Baja Sur Road Trip, Part 2

Over the Baja Sur Divide My journey continues… Leaving my vacation home at Casa Oasis Todos Santos and the tropics after 4 days, I drive north and in about an hour reach the crest of my loop. Here the road intersects the Trans-Peninsular highway (BCS-1). A southern turn is taken and the four-lane highway abruptly changes into dual lanes. Looking back, this is probably my first encounter with the Baja of yesteryear. My path quickly climbs through a profusion of yellow and green flowering bushes and into the mountainous divide. At its crest is El Triunfo, a town that...

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Circling the Tropics – A Baja Sur Road Trip, Part 1

San Jose del Cabo Aeropuerto, Baja Much like the Conquistadors who sailed to the New World, the woman seated beside me came in search of gold – gold liquor from the legendary Baja watering hole “Bibliotheca de Tequila”. She readily admits to feeling no restraint whatsoever whenever tequila’s involved. However, my quest is different but also satisfies an obsession. I came to circumnavigate the southern peninsula by car, chasing the Baja of generations past. Even though it’s been years, I too feel little restraint. Still Baja, After All These Years? After an amusement-park style line winding through a large...

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Then and Now — Abu Simbel

Now in Abu Simbel, Egypt The Temples of Ramesses Uncovered From Cairo, I catch the early morning flight to see for myself the temples built alongside the Nile at Abu Simbel. These are the ruins hewn into a mountainside to serve both as a tribute to Pharaoh Ramesses II, but also a warning to ancient armies advancing up the river that a powerful kingdom lie ahead. Although a bit of self-aggrandizing propaganda, the perception they give is valid – Ramesses’ reign was arguably the greatest of the Late Kingdom period. Buried in sand by the 6th century BC and...

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Día de los Muertos in Todos Santos

Often confused with Halloween, there’s much more to Dia de los Muertos than parties and candy. Today, November 2nd, is All Souls Day by Catholic reckoning, or Dia de los Muertos in the local tradition. The day is celebrated by building ofendas (offering or alters) and visits to cemetary shrines to honor deceased relatives. As I walked downtown I witnessed alters being built with offerings of crucifixes, flowers, images of the saints, brightly colored fabics, and salt and water. Walking through the town cemetary I saw families honoring their ancestors by cleaning shrines and adorning them with freshly cut...

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Halloween It’s Not –
A Día de los Muertos Triduum in Todos Santos

The Fiesta at Todos Santos Día de los Muertos Clarified First off, Día de los Muertos is not just one evening’s celebration. This ancient Mesoamerican tradition sprang from religious ceremonies lasting a month. Second, Día de los Muertos is a solemn event honoring dead ancestors. Halloween today is a party mainly for children. Third, in Todos Santos today it’s a combo of both traditions. Halloween It’s Not The popular association with Halloween probably dates back to the Celtic celebration beginning the eve of October 31st. That honored Samhain, Lord of the Dead (most likely where the connection with Halloween...

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Learnin’ Creole in Antigua

Island Arrival I touch down at a modern airport that began life as a dusty WWII airstrip. The sole immigration officer present carefully looks over my paperwork, but waves me through with a full toothed smile and a few words in a thick local island dialect – “ya mon – have a good time “! It’s my introduction to Antiguan Creole – and after a third go-round I finally understand him. British – Antigua ties Until 1981 Antigua was a protectorate of the United Kingdom and among the final colonies to leave the shadow of an empire on which...

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Spring Bloom
in the Desert

Desert in “Superbloom”. Subtle – the word best describing this. I grew up in SoCal and trust me, even a subtle “Superbloom” is a rare and noteworthy sight. The same rains that soaked San Diego, make that all of California, gave Anza-Borrego Desert State Park nearly twice its average yearly rainfall this winter. All this led to an explosion of color. Although this year’s display is now beyond its peak, I ventured there to check it out. These are a subset of the images I returned with to share… Written by Steve Smith Photos by: Christine Johnson and Steve...

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Welcome to ITKT

I am Devin Galaudet the Editor in Chief of ITKT. I am asked all the time how I did it? Was it worth? Changing my life around to make travel a priority. The short answer is yes. It was really a lifestyle choice. It hasn’t always been easy but I have never regretted it. If you are like me, you might want to explore what I did to get started.

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