Sunday, July 8, 2007
Paddlesurfing Baja: Palapas Ventana
Cerritos was small but fun, I could have spent two or three more days paddlesurfing and hanging out there. Rumors of a new swell sent us on the road to Punta Conejo which ended up being surfable (you'll have to wait for the video to see this spot) but a little bumpy with some red tide in the water. Our good friend Tim Hatler, one of the owners of Palapas Ventana (www.palapasventana.com) met us at Conejo and with reports of good fishing and diving we broke camp and headed south to La Ventana.
La Ventana is a little town about half an hour outside of La Paz. In the winter the place is world famous for the steady thermal wind that blows down the channel between La Ventana and nearby Isla Cerralvo offshore. It's a perfect spot for winter time windsurfing and kitesurfing- the water is deep blue and warm. On some winter days a different wind can blow. El Norte is a brutal wind which can sweep down from the far northern end of the Sea of Cortez and just crank through La Ventana- creating the type of small kite and small sail riding that wind junkies dream about. It also creates some interesting surfing conditions which you'd have to see to believe.
Tim and his mother Karon own and operate the nicest place in town. Palapas Ventana is a small bed and breakfast/action sport resort. In the winter time the place is packed with kite and windsurfers who enjoy staying in the unique, round casitas that dot the compound. In the summer, fishermen and spearfishermen invade hoping to land a giant wahoo, dorado or amberjack that swim in the waters around Isla Cerralvo. Tim's operation has it's own private sand beach so fisherman roll out of bed and walk fifty yards to their waiting pangas each morning. Tough life.