I've written before that I love taking random drives... turning down streets or trails that look interesting just to see where they lead. Last week, I was driving around an Ensenada neighborhood called Chapultepec.
My mission that day was to take a picture of myself in the Land Cruiser for a friend's blog about people and their cars. I wanted to use a spot with a scenic view of Ensenada behind me. I thought we could get a decent shot on a little turnout that I saw on a recent hike in Fraccionamento Chapultepec, so we headed up there.
The way to get to Fraccionamento Chapultepec is to drive to the north end of Segunda and go straight up a steep hill, and then left up another steep hill. The turnoff I was thinking of is at the top, in front of a gated development guarded by a pompous little man that threatened to call the police if we didn't move. After taking a look at the angle and realizing there wasn't much of a shot to take, we drove away, leaving the angry little guard to his regular duties. We backtracked down the hill about half a mile before resuming our climb up another hill to see the other side of Fraccionamento Chapultepec. We found a decent spot and took the picture.
Then we decided to do a little exploring.
We saw some beautiful homes. The houses range in styles. Some were Spanish haciendas complete with bougainvillea flowing over the entrances. A few looked like Tuscan manses, tall and austere. And then others were minimalist modern, graced with elegant straight lines. Even the lot sizes seemed random. Some houses were on three lots, while others were squeezed into a leftover pie shaped piece of land at the end of a culdesac. The fronts of the homes were sometimes hiding multiple levels of terraces that traversed the steep hills downward.
We eventually came upon an abandoned property that was so interesting to me. The vegetation was overtaking parts of the house. Piles of debris had been swept up into small mounds. Looking through where the windows once were, we could see murals and graffiti on the remains of the plaster walls. It was ugly and beautiful at the same time. The front gate was open, so naturally, I went in.
This is what I found:
Walking through the property, I tried to imagine it in its full glory. Before the fire. Before it was gutted of every copper wire. Before it had been used as a secret party place. We wondered who it belonged to and why they decided that it was just too much trouble to restore. That's the thing about abandoned homes. They beg you to tell their story, but there are so many more questions than answers. Like the mural in the first image says:
The floorboards hide the bones.
All images shot with Nokia Lumia 1520