La Ventana Mexico Kiteboarding vacation
La Ventana Mexico Kiteboarding vacation –
For the second year in a row we decided to organize our annual kitecation in La Ventana, Mexico. From North Carolina it’s a bit of a haul to get there, but we feel the long travel day is worth it once you are there. The culture, the landscape, and the overall aura of the entire scene have made a lasting impression, and we felt compelled to return.
Several of us arrived in Cabo San Lucas on January 23rd and rented vehicles to make the trek over to La Ventana. It is about 2.5 hours of driving, but certainly adds to the whole experience. In route from Cabo to Ventana you go through several small villages, cross a mountain range, and encounter many cows on the side of the road. It’s a good idea to make this trek in the daylight hours so you can have as much visibility as possible. There’s barbed wire along the highway, but it almost seems like it’s to keep the cows fenced into the highway area rather than outside of it. Despite all of the obstacles, we were able to cross the peninsula safely to La Ventana.
On this particular kitecation we had a total of 11 amazing people that were going to descend on the area from several different states. We chose the Down Winder Inn as our residence because it is affordable and the hosts are fantastically accommodating. Char, one of the owners is a retired nurse and performed a minor surgery on my foot at the end of the trip to remove a sea urchin spine, so I cannot say enough good things about them. If you are considering visiting Baja, I highly recommend staying with them. Not only are they great hosts, but also they are located directly across from one of the premier kiteboarding locations called Rasta Beach. We spent nearly everyday of our trip at Rasta whether the wind blew or not.
After getting checked in and acquainted with Char we made our way to Baja Joes, another cornerstone location in Ventana. A couple of our crew posted up there, and we set out to meet them, while taking in some of the local scene. After a round of hugs and hellos we sat down to discuss the most important aspect of the trip, what was going on with the forecast. We all set out to experience and connect with each other, but lets face it, our main goal was to do that after we were completely worn out from an epic day of kiteboarding. Looking at the forecast the first 5 days of the trip looked epic, and then it got a little worrisome. We decided to take it a day at a time and celebrate with a taco. Post taco session, we decided to head back for the evening to get ready for an epic day of wind.
The first day was everything that we had hoped for, it blew a steady 20-25mph and we were able to ride for several hours until we were all pretty sore. We sessioned and then made dinner plans to talk about the session we just experienced, which inevitably included the following days forecast and the sessions that would happen from that. From an outsider’s perspective, this may seem borderline lunacy, but to someone fully invested in the sport, it’s heaven on earth. It is what we live and breathe for and we were soaking it up experiencing this gift. We then shared what it meant to us each evening. We have made it a tradition during dinner to go around the table and tell your highlight of the day. It is just a simple thing, but it gives perspective and is helpful in positioning yourself to be grateful to be a part of an opportunity such as this.
Over the next several days the rest of the crew arrived and we continued to repeat the cycle of kite, post session dinner and conversation about the forecast, and future sessions from the next forecast. One day it did not look so good. We had caught a period where the high pressure fizzled out and the wind gradient fell apart for what appeared to be an unusually long period for the area. The wind stats are 15kts or greater 75% of the time in February, and we found the doldrums. Not to be deterred we looked into other fun things to do and booked a trip to go snorkeling with the whale sharks in La Paz.
We arrived in La Paz to meet “the whale shark diaries,” a marine scientist who studies whale sharks. Jay’s aim is to educate people and work with government agencies to identify individual whale sharks. He and other organizations upload photos to a worldwide database to monitor the population. Each whale shark has a distinct marking near the dorsal fin that is unlike any other, so they photograph that area to compare. The Sea of Cortez is the home of many whale sharks and they have a 100% success rate of finding them during their tours. The trip was thorough, well thought out and included lunch. As a group we experienced this interaction with a gigantic species that would normally be out of sight and out of mind. Heading to this location reminds us that we are surrounded by beauty that is worth protecting. As a group of kiteboarders we learned that engagement with natures elements does not have to stop when the wind does.
We continued in this state of light to no wind for the rest of our trip. We found activities, which included riding ATVs, hiking, and experiencing every sunrise and sunset that we could. Collectively I feel we all experienced some inner growth. We took this opportunity to travel together and experience life and we made it into something that we could carry for a lifetime. These trips help us to uncover why we work hard at what we do, it opens up our minds and allows us to see what is important in life, happiness. Each person has his or her own avenue to reach that point; we just feel that kiteboarding can take you there more frequently. After countless hours of reflection on this amazing trip I have found that the most rewarding aspect is the enhanced connection to the people who were there. We all know each other on a deeper level and will cherish our time in Baja. We will meet again soon on the water, but until then don’t forget to be good to you.