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Published: December 20th 2007
They hold an annual off-road race down the entire peninsula of the Baja of Mexico. I always wondered why it was here and not somewhere else. Now I know. The 1000 miles that the Baja stretches is some seriously scrubby, desolate desert bordered on all sides by some beautiful water.
The whole idea of this trip started back in Costa Rica a year ago where I met Dave. He had just finished telling Nastassia and I that we should definitely come stay at his place in California and do a road trip down the Baja with him sometime. “The Baja’s my backyard, I’ve been down there surfing at least 40 times,” I remember Dave saying to us. And knowing Dave as the surfer he is, I don’t doubt it one bit. And so it worked out that during discussions this summer, a plan was hatched to do a Baja road trip. What resulted from it is this…
Put four dudes in an extended cab truck together and drive it for 2400 miles. What you get is an experience like no other. While no one was ready to kill each other by the end, it definitely is a trying experience.
But with lots of time in between to break up the monotony of all that driving it truly was an awesome time. Our plan was to get far south, where the water is warmer, the sun is hotter and the crowds are smaller. And that’s what we achieved. We drove two days non-stop zig-zagging the peninsula from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Cortez, crossing some extremely desolate desert landscapes on the way. Our destination, a remote point break about 200 miles from the southern tip of Baja called Punta ________.
The following 16 days were spent surfing 5 hours a days, fishing for our food and living the true definition of ‘beach bum’. I wore sandals exactly 0 times over the next two weeks and by the end, it was hard to tell whether the bottom of our tent actually had a floor or not. It was pretty relaxing I must say. The point we were camping at had no facilities apart from a very small fishing camp comprising of a few ramshackle shelters that about 18 locals lived in. The area where the ‘Gringo’s’ camped was owned by a rancher and we paid a modest fee
Jordan, Matt, Dave, Ben
celebrating with lobster.
($2/day) to use his land. His camp manager was an interesting Mexican hippy by the name of Nardo. Apart from his blatant homosexuality (which also inspired some huge laughs), he was a pretty funny guy and took care of us while we were there; for example making us a huge lobster taco feast on one occasion. It was good to be able to talk some Spanish with someone who can actually speak it.
The surf turned out to be pretty good for the time we were there. Talking to some guys who had been there for 3 months already, they told us that the two weeks we were here was the best period they have had which was great to hear. We also caught a big swell that came in for 3 days bringing waves with it that were 8-10 ft. Big waves. Now combine this with a rocky point that is fairly shallow with lots of sharp rocks/barnacles. We all suffered some wounds in some sort of way, nothing serious but lots of little cuts and scrapes, not to mention board dings. But it was worth every bit of the punishment, as we were surfing some great waves
Shreddin the Knar
Ben just KILLING it. haha
with no crowds.
Other notable events that occurred at the point:
-Some seriously sweet air by the truck (affectionately known as ‘El Torro Blanco”)
-Almost getting airborne a second time when we almost hit a sleeping cow
-Fishing for our daily source of protein (everyday someone else had the title of ‘hunter’ and ‘gatherer’)
-A freak rainstorm in the desert in which we realized that our tent fly had been conveniently unpacked at the house to save room. After all we were in the ‘Desert’ right? What an enjoyable night that was…
-Going from feeding the cute little kangaroo mouse on the first night to trying to kill them after they took full advantage of us and decided to take up residence in the truck, our campsite AND in our tents
After not showering for 16 days, it was agreed upon to drive to the infamous Cabos San Lucas, land’s end at the tip of the Baja. A huge Mexican resort destination, the development of this place is crazy. 5 star hotels line the coast and new condos are going up everywhere. Costco, Home Depot and Walmart also exert a strong presence here. But despite the ugly development,
El Torro Blonco get hangtime.
it’s a beautiful place and also a world class partying destination. We spent two days in huge style after getting hooked up by Dave’s friend to stay at the Hilton Resort. We partied hard and definitely relished the luxuries of a five star hotel that none of us could possibly have stayed in under normal circumstances. We also went out on a sport fishing charter to tap into the world class marlin fishing that Baja is famous for. Unfortunately for us the weather was poor and the fish were not attacking. We saw tons of marlin but they just weren’t biting. We managed to get one, a nice little guy at a mere 85-100 lbs (they get up over 1000lbs) and they are amazing creatures to see. Of course the photos are missing (I swear) on a camera that we left at the hotel so they will be coming later.
So, with our bodies tanned, our muscles sore and our wallets drained, it was time to turn around and head back north. A lot of driving on a winding highway with NO shoulders makes for an intense ride, especially on mountain curves with huge semis bearing down on you
and cattle hiding behind the next corner. But we made it. Actually according to Dave we had the easiest time he has ever had regarding road conditions, police and military hassles (zero), and checkpoints that normally are a thorn in traveller’s side. Trust us, we were grateful.
Once again, Thank You Dave, our intrepid guide and maker of great memories for your brothers from another country. So after an awesome fall in the land of Sun and Surf, it’s time to return to that cold, dark, freezing country of Los Canadianses. But it’s also snowing like mad and creating a white winter wonderland that is also waiting to be surfed…
Hasta Luego Amigos
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