I can’t say enough good things about the group of guys with whom I spent the last few days in Baja. Our host, Erwan, has a little Airstream on a cliff above a pristine beach, right next to some of the best wind surfing and kite boarding water on the Sea of Cortez. I had met Erwan once before at one of James and Ashley’s famous pizza parties up in Saint Francisville. But, only after I went on some rant about economics did Erwan recall that we had sat by the pizza oven and shared a few beers. What can I say? I guess I am most memorable when I am rambling about some subject that I probably have no business speaking on.
The tip of the Baja peninsula was socked in with the same cold front that had Dallas and the rest of the south in its teeth when we landed in San Jose de Cabo at around 10:30PM on Thursday. We rented two small cars to accommodate all of the kite boarding gear and then set out for a two hour drive, late-night drive through the Mexican desert. Only when the sun rose on our frosty sleeping bags the next morning did I get a full picture of what the fuss was about. The landscape and sea were stunning. The water varied from deep turquoise to the faintest blue-green. The saguaro needled desert ran straight down to the water, sometimes in dramatic cliffs and sometimes along the bed on dry arroyos. Erwan had found himself an acre or two of paradise. The area is unspoiled, largely owing to its isolation. A good, paved road had just been put in a few year back. So, the little bungalows and palapa toped cabanas there had been constructed by folks who truly wanted to be in that spot. One did not accidentally find themselves in La Ventana. A person had to make a point of seeking out this windy bay near the point where the Sea of Cortez flows into the Pacific.
Those that had found these beaches and waves just a few miles north of the Tropic of Cancer had come for the wind. Being a rather poor swimmer, I am not a kite boarder or wind surfer or much of one for water sports in general, but those who apparently know say the conditions around La Ventana are ideal. You can find a spotty internet connection, there are few roadside, fish taco stands and the occasional tiendita selling Pacifico beer in large, bomb-like brown bottles. But, this area is most certainly not geared toward the idle tourist. I could not even locate any postcards to send to the friends who are accustomed to my regular mailings. It just isn’t that sort of spot. And so much the better.
Down the road a bit, some enterprising soul has but in a high-end cabana hotel where the little outbuildings rent for around $400 a day but the folks you see flying along the water, attached to the lunatic combination of a parachute and a surfboard, are more likely to be living out of a camper or renting a bit of thatch for $45. The slow-growing saguaro cactus, a visual icon of the American southwest but now largely gone because of development, abound here. The salty flat between Los Barilles and La Ventana is a forest of these alien looking monoliths. Raptors and vultures rides the thermal winds cooked up by the combination of sand and sun. Laughing gulls and pelicans bob on the cresting waves. In short, its is about as un-spoiled an area as you can find that also provides running water. The throbbing clubs and all-inclusive resorts of Cabo san Lucas feel about a million miles away.
I could go on about how precious this spot seemed to me or about how much I enjoyed sharing coffee with Bob, Erwan and James as the sun rose, orange and purple, over these little fingers of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. But, I think you get the idea. I’ll just close by thanking Erwan for his hospitality and for putting it all together, Bob for his endlessly positive embrace of life and its questions and to James for introducing me to these fine folks and this lovely part of the world. It was a trip I won’t forget.
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Tagged: , Toycamera Analogcolor , La Ventana , Mexico , Baja , Hummingbird , Canon EF 135l f/2 USM , Canon 5D MkII , 365