Saturday, December 25, 2010

La Ventana

distance = 53

After a good dose of city life we left La Paz to visit the wind people.  La Ventana, 'the window', is a mere 53 km away from La Paz with a 2000 ft hill in between.  Not so fun going up but lots of fun going down.

Some of the finest people Rob and I met as we traveled south have made a habit of wintering in La Ventana.  They come for the 'el Norte' wind that blows consistently from North to South noon until 5pm every day.  In the morning the wind people walk, jog, kayak, fish, snorkel, stand up paddle (or sup) and cycle and in the afternoon windsurf or kiteboard.  The window is set up such that the wind blows them into the safety of an L shaped bay.  That way, as said by one Ventanian, they don't get blown down to Panama.

Upon arrival we promptly rewarded ourselves with some beachfront drinks, a mojito and cerveza, sitting down at a table with two Vancouverites.  Many of the wind people hail from Canada and the States, usually from places where they sport the wind in the summer, spring and fall.  They make a tour of it from the Columbia river gorge, to the Texas coast to La Ventana, Baja California Sur.  They all know these spots and others.  My Dad, who windsurfed as I grew up, remembered word of La Ventana from back in the day.

Refreshed we set out to find Ian and Mo who we'd met while camped near the Mexican border.  Back in Potreiro we'd had a lovely dinner together in their RV, them anticipating their windy winter in Baja and us the warmer climes and desert riding.  We quickly located their camp where they have a nice hillside perch with ocean view.  After hellos and a tour of the property Mo invited us to join them and others for dinner.  Just a few days prior they'd connected with Rick, the fine fellow who took us in for Ben & Jerry's and tea at Playa Requeson.  A few days later, on a bike ride with Ian, we'd have an impromptu reunion with Rick on the intermittent La Ventana sidewalk.

Unfortunately the wind was down in La Ventana, the afternoons of windsports off for the time being.  Rob and I did what we've been doing here in Mexico.  We set up a beach camp but on the most occupied beach we've seen thus far.  We enjoyed a mix of dining out and camp food, cooking up jurel, a fish like tuna, bought from the local pescaderia (fish is called pescado in Spanish).

Our last day in La Ventana the el Norte kicked up and the wind people were out like spout.  Rob and I watched a Kite Boarding competition and saw some serious Mexican and Gringo talent. Boarders slicing water with jumps and spins while suspended from a kite in flight 50 ft above.  Apparently kiting is easier than wind surfing, requires less wind and has less cumbersome gear.  These chicos and chicas made it look really easy.

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