Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Paddle Surfing Baja: Wrapping it up

Paddling at La Ventana was a great way to end our fifteen day Baja adventure. Our schedule was pretty much ridiculous on the fun-meter.

Standard Palapas Ventana Day:

5am: Pop up out of bed, walk down the arroyo and grab the SUP out of the sail shack conveniently located 15 yards from the water. Slide into the 80 degree, smooth as glass, clear-to-the-bottom water, wave at the pangeros as they make bait at the launch, wonder how the sky can light up like that as the sun rises above Isla Cerralvo.

7:00am: Walk back to the casita passing your buddies on the way as they jump into a waiting panga, wish them luck fishing, yell at them to come home with a dodo or don't come home at all- wonder if Lance actually packed enough cold beer with him.

7:30am: Rinse off in the casita, cross the arroyo to the restaurant, sit down to a fresh bowl of fruit and some hot coffee (real coffee, not the Baja standard Nescafe, which really should be called No-es-cafe), try to figure out how you're gonna finish the huge plate of chilaquiles that was just parked in front of your face, somehow work out your issue.

9:00am: Load up the rig with paddleboards and snorkel gear, head out to paddle Bahia de los Suenos (used to be Muertos but the PR on that wasn't so great).

9:45am: As your paddling over the reef ask yourself if that lightning blue streak that just passed under you was a dorado- realize that the place is full of fish. Smile.

11:30am: Finish the four mile flatwater, reef paddle. Decide that a cold margarita and some tacos sound pretty good- remember that there happens to be a brand new Cantina plopped down on the middle of this beach in the middle of nowhere- shake your head at Baja-logic but go all Pavlov at the thought of those tacos.

1:30pm: A nap is calling- head to the casita, turn on the A/C, drift off.

3:30pm: The fishermen return, two forty pound wahoo (eh brah, tastes real ono)- dinner could be interesting. Post up at the restaurant's bar, come to the conclusion that, yes, Tim wasn't lying when he said his beer cooler kicks ass: It's bottomless and sub-arctic in there (God gave us beer to show us he loves us- God gave us cold beer because he wants us to hang out awhile).

4:45pm: Fishing stories and beer.

5:45pm: Fishing stories (was the Marlin really that big?) and a round of ping pong on the restaurant's custom beer-pong table.

7:00pm: Load up and head out to the local taco stand- fillets in hand, time to negotiate dinner. Tim works his magic (they all love him down there)-the result: endless wahoo tacos three different ways (my favorite? a la plancha) and the price, for six hungry fat guys? Something like twenty bucks. Are you kidding me??? Hot tip 1: Bring your own beer and put it in their cooler- no problemo. Hot tip 2: Don't be afraid of the Torta Cubana (aka Torta Timoteo).

9:00pm: Baja midnight- head collides with pillow.

A day at La Ventana- not a bad way to go for a few days and I didn't even talk about the spearfishing (I personally saw twelve wahoo- didn't convert on them but they were there for those with better skills).

And so our Baja trip came to an end. We packed it up and pointed it north- the border and home were waiting. This was the trip that launched a thousand stories, good times with good friends- what more could you want in a Baja adventure?

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