I am on a 10 day holiday down south of the border on the Baja Peninsula. While Mexico is no stranger to me, Baja is a first and I can happily say that here on the morning of my 4th day – I am totally digging it.
While Cabo I am sure is wonderful and full of tourists, I am spending my time a little further off the grid – well, WAY further off the grid actually. Las Ventanas is a sleepy tiny village about 2.5 hrs north of Cabo on the Sea of Cortez. The village is one of many dotted along a beautiful bay overlooking a sizable island. Las Ventanas is one of just a handful of places worldwide that is a mecca for windsurfers. While it is now off season and the winds have calmed, you can still get a feel for what it must be like in full season with dozens and dozens of surfers out there. Charming beachside spots like Baja Joes and Captain Kirks off er equipment, accommodation and cold cervecas to the steady stream of young adventure seeking surfers in the high season.
But for me, here now, the winds are calm, the surfers are gone, the game is paddle surfing and the beers are still cold 🙂
My dear friends, Larry & Paige, have built a stunning casa high on the cliff overlooking the bay and I can’t think of one good excuse as to why it has taken so long for me to get down here and visit them when they are in residence.
We arrived on Friday just as everyone was returning from a fishing excursion and what good timing that was! Fresh dorado was the days catch and there was no shortage of it. A quick marinade of lime, garlic, capers, salt & pepper and they filets hit the grill. I whipped up a fresh papaya, avocado, lime, red onion salsa to top the grilled fish and Paige roasted potatoes with rosemary and olive oil. A not so local, dry white wine was chilled down and I was already seeing that this was going to be a good week!
Saturday found me beach combing and taking long lazy lizard naps in the sun as I decompressed and slipped into “local time”. Well, all that sun worshipping can stir up one mean appetite! Thankfully Rosie, our resident nanny (still not sure if she is looking after the little kids or the big ones?) had made a giant bowl of ceviche. Scallops, shrimp and fresh catch were “cooked” in lime juice with red onion, tomatoes, parsley and a few spices. Simple and absolutely delish. I did Dr. mine up a bit with the local hot sauce and almost can feel my bottom lip again. 🙂
Ceviche was followed by fish tacos with homemade guac & pico, queso and more hot sauce. They sell “uncooked” tortillas here that you just quickly pass over the grill before serving and WOW they are super and super fresh. Made such a difference in the flavor as they were almost crepe like. With all that hard work laying in the sun and then eating all that gorgeous food, the most I could muster up was laying on a bench and watching the stars fall out of the heavens. Not a bad way to fall asleep.
Sunday I got my groove back and hit the water. A long morning spent paddle surfing was fabulous as I not only felt really tall on my board, I saw all kinds of cool life swimming by. Turtles, rays, schools of sardines and bait fish, sea urchins and some unidentified fish all were busy with their Sunday schedules and barely paused for me to say hello as they darted here and there. One lazy old turtle did raise a hand to me before diving into the deep dark scary spot that I did not paddle over to. Dun Dun …Dun Dun
Sunday afternoon, Paige, Sage and I, grabbed a cerveca and went touring to see the “big ass baja cacti” that live a bit inland. There are no words for how cool these guys were. There were several varities and they all seemed to be racing to see who could touch the sky first. Awesome. However it was seriously hot in that cactus garden and we bee-lined for the beach just after. Passing by the salt farms we ended up at this amazing beach – perfect sand, perfectly clear water, perfectly empty. As expected, we swam, buried our toes in the sand and caught up on all the girl gossip we could squeeze in. Thirsty from all the chatter we headed over to the Giggling Marlin for a margharita.
Dinner followed and yet again I was not disappointed. Fresh catch en papallion with roasted bell pepper, onions and tomatoes. Driving to dinner I saw the sign below and had to stop for a click. Say no more, right?!