Paddle Baja :Surfski and SUP training and rentals in La Ventana, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I'm back on the beach in La Ventana after a few days away on the Pacific side of Baja at Scorpion Bay (San Juanico). The surf wasn't big but I had a moment I'll remember for the rest of my life. The sun is setting and I'm riding the same wave as two locals on their surfboards - I'm in the Think Ion.
The beach was a hard packed sand and excellent for a bike ride the next day. The Knolly was more of a bike than I needed for a beach cruise but it will be perfect for tomorrows training session on the local La Ventana trails. Race coming up in a month...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day two of travel. Guerrero Negro to La Paz. 13 hours with stops.
Since Odile hit Baja 5 days ago I've seen a lot of "I heard" posts. Two of the best so far are "I heard the arch at Cabo San Lucas collapsed" and "I heard the prison at Cabo was damaged and all the prisoners escaped". I've stopped reading "I heard" posts. Here are the facts from today: I left Guerrero Negro after filling my tank at 5:00am and headed south. All the reports on the problems south of GN come from  the undercutting of the elevated roadway between km 27 and km 28.5. We were stopped for ½ hour waiting for heavy equipment working on the road. It's a little sketchy here as this is where the tractor trailer fell sideways off the road because the pavement was undercut. You're driving on a single lane road with 6 foot drop offs on one side or the other. Minor detour at 260 km. Probably 20 washouts in arroyos but no detours. Gas was available at both stations in Vizcaino. Stopped for breakfast at Rice and Beans in San Ignacio at 7:45. They have a generator running. Going down the hill from Rice and Beans water was flowing across the highway. Up to running boards on the Xterra - just over a foot deep (on Friday morning 8:30am). I bought gas at Vizcaino, Santa Rosalia, Mulege, Loreto, Ciudad Insurgentes, and La Paz. Arrived La Paz 6:00pm. 
Mex 1 at San Ignacio

Santa Rosalia

La Paz
I think the toughest part of the drive was the last 10 km into La Paz where they're working on a new four lane highway. Starting at about 100km north of La Paz I noticed a few of those big four legged transmission towers knocked over. By the time I arrived La Paz I'd seen probably fifty.  Arriving in El Centenario it was amazing to see the damage. Most of the street lights are not working but everyone is doing the four way stop. No horns blowing and drivers waving each other through.
If you're driving down stop in Ensenada and pick up a weeks worth of groceries for a local family. Here in La Ventana there is no water and the stores don't have much on their shelves.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

This year will be my 6th time driving down the Baja peninsula and having just arrived at Guerrero Negro it is, so far, the fastest.
I crossed the border at Tecate at 7:00am and pulled into Guerrero Negro at 5:30pm driving a Nissan Xterra. (No need of 4 wheel drive at any point.) This is four days after Hurricane Odile hit and other than a little water beside the road in a few places there are few signs here in Baja California of the category 3 storm. Tomorrow I cross into Baja California Sur which took a direct hit.
I passed through three military checkpoints and was waved through without inspection. No line ups. No warnings to turn back. I made a point to ask if the road was open all the way to La Paz and was told yes three times. One soldier told me it would be slow just south of Guerrero Negro.
The arroyos south of Catavina were flowing with only about two inches of water. No detours.
Just in case there was a gas shortage as reported I stopped at the next Pemex station whenever the gauge got down to 3/4 full. There were no shortages until I pulled into Guerrero Negro where I was told to come back in 3 hours when the tanker arrives. No problem as this is where I'm staying for the night and the station at Jesus Maria 20 minutes outside of town has gas. Talking to someone here at the restaurant at Malarrimo Hotel there is presently no gas in Guerrero Negro (7:00pm Thursday)
In the last hour as I approached Guerrero Negro I saw 6 full size Aguila buses going north. Tourists being bussed north?
This post will be added to throughout the night. Photos too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another season of downwind paddling

It's September 2014 and another season is starting. I'll be on the beach in La Ventana, Baja on or around September 20th weather (hurricanes) permitting.  
 This year I will have Think Uno Max, Ion, and Big Eze and Epic V10 skis available for rent. $30 for two hours. I supply paddles and pfds so if you're flying no worries about damage to your paddle!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Start of a new season!

I'm returning to La Ventana, Baja in late September. This year I will have Think Uno and Epic V10 skis available for rent. $30 for two hours. I supply paddles and pfds so if you're flying no worries about damage to your paddle! Ask about weekly deals.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome to the Washington paddlers

Duncan and Kim of Bellingham, Washington are here to paddle for a few weeks. Looking for a good deal on a Stellar ski. The one on the right is for sale...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Eurochallenge 2012
Wednesday May 2, 2012
Following is my report on the week leading up to and including the race. It's a work in progress and will change daily.  For anyone thinking of doing the race next year use this as your reference as I find out what works and what doesn't.

Coming from the west coast of North America there's an eight hour time change. It took me four days to adjust to this so either arrive just a few days previous to the race before your body realizes what's going on or give it a week and see some of Spain and France as I did.
 I flew United at a cost of $1300. I booked the flight about 10 days before leaving and there were still seats available on each of the three legs - either it's a low travel time of the year or there really is a recession going on.
I rented a BMW 116 from Hertz at the Madrid airport. Cost was $        Luckily this vehicle was cheap on fuel as I wasn't ready for the highway tolls which amounted to about 40 euros each way for the  drive to France. The tolls cost more than the diesel. This small car was ideal for travel and more specifically parking. The on street parking is crowded and some of the hotel parking spots (most of which charge 10 + euros / day for a spot) required work to get into.
I stayed at a variety of hotels from an 18 € / night pension in Villajoyosa, the race sponsored Allon Hotel (212 € for 4 nights) and two paradors (don't ask €).
Thanks to Daryl of Think for arranging a boat and paddle for me. The race site listed boats from 60 € for the two days of the race and 120 € for the week. Think, Epic and Fenn boats were available. If you're thinking of doing the race next year the first thing to do would be to reserve a boat and paddle. The hotel and flight and car weren't such a priority.

Spain is taking some getting used to as I'm having trouble finding a few things. Food for example. More to come.......