Updated: Mar 21, 2022
Another morning, another gorgeous sunrise. I was getting used to this trend. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even get out of bed to take pictures of this one. I just sat up, shot a few frames, watched until the sun was higher than the roofline of my palapa, and then dozed off for another hour or so. Decompression achieved. After a nice long walk on the beach, I spent the rest of that first day in Bahia Los Angeles doing practically nothing. I read a few hundred pages of my book, built another fire, and thought about reorganizing the Jeep. I can’t remember being more relaxed than I was on that beach. The day ended as most of them have with another fire, more fish, and a couple of cold cervezas. The second day at Bahia Los Angeles started the same way as the first, and I was starting to wonder if I could possibly pass out from a complete lack of stress. I had planned on going paddling, but the wind started picking up just as I was unloaded my boat. Every book I’ve read about Baja warns about the strong el Norte winds that rip down the coast in the winter. I had no desire to work my ass off trying to paddle over to the islands that dot the bay, so I grabbed my book and waited to see what the wind would do. By late afternoon, the wind had picked up to about 20 knots, and it was time to break out the kite gear. I drove 7 miles or so up the coast to Punta Gringa and started setting up. Soon I had my kite rigged, my Jeep locked up, and my board waiting by the water’s edge. I launched off of the sand at Punta Gringa and let out a “whoo-hoo” as I boosted a nice air off the first wave I hit and started an 11 mile downwinder to the little town center in Bahia Los Angeles. The islands that are sprinkled across the bay are backed by a mountain range that makes up the point that separates me from the Sea of Cortez proper. The islands are white from the birds that roost there, and the mountains were glowing red in the late afternoon sun. With the deep blue water and my green and yellow kite it was a beautiful scene to be a part of. I didn’t try to push it too much. This session was more of a Sunday joy ride that anything else, but I couldn’t help ripping the top off of some of the little wind swells, and charging the flat water pools that sat inside the sand spits that poke off the sandy beach by the lighthouse at low tide. I was having a blast as I cut past the lighthouse and into the harbor to see the lights of the town start to flick on as the sun set behind the Sierra Gigantes mountains. After quickly packing up on the beach I was walking along the road for all of 2 minutes before a little Mexican family in an old Toyota pick up truck pulled over to give me a ride back up to my Jeep. I arrived back at my palapa just as night fell. All in all a pretty efficient shuttle for a lone gringo. By now the fish I had gotten from my friends on the boat in San Felippe had started to smell a little funny. I decided to try my luck in town and found a nice little hotel restaurant with an electrical outlet that I could use to write for a bit. I had a great meal, a perfect margarita, and managed to get a few days worth of notes worked up before heading home for the night. By day 3 in Bahia L.A. I had this place wired. Sunrise, coffee, walk, wait for the wind to turn on. Once again my paddling trip to the islands was canceled by wind, and I started rigging up the kite for another run. I met a couple of the other folks who were staying at the camp, and one of them offered to take some pictures while I was riding. We did a quick photo session and then I headed off downwind again. It was just as beautiful, but today I was ready to push the envelope a bit. Big jumps and new transitions were the recipe for the day, and I was gunning for it and having a blast. But when I turned into the harbor for some slick water fun at the end of my ride the wind just shut off. The land was still too hot this early in the afternoon, and the wind off the water wasn’t even coming close to getting to the harbor. I limped my kite back outside and felt the instant grab of 25 kts of power lift me back out of the water. I saw a little collection of huts a couple of miles down the coast and aimed for it. As I got close to land the wind started getting finicky again and I was barely able to drag myself into the beach. A quick look around revealed that I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Oh well, there’s a dirt road that leads back to town, and this is the kind of thing you have to be ready to do if you’re going to ride in new territory. It was just like our early days of kiting on the Eastern Shore, but with cacti and mountains instead of pine forests and crab pots. Once again, I had only been walking for a few minutes when I was offered a ride by one of the locals. This time he was a young guy named Eduardo on a 150cc dirt bike. So there I am with no shoes on hanging onto the back of a motorcycle on a bumpy dirt road with my kite strapped to my back, and my board under my arm. Back at camp I showed Eduardo how the kite worked and gave him a couple of cold beers for his help. About the time I got out of the shower (hot this time, but still just spitting) I heard the familiar roar of motorcycle engines pulling into the camp. Josh and John had made their way down from Puertocitos and once again I had company. We talked about heading into town to watch the Super Bowl with the gringo contingent that was packed into the local restaurant that has satellite TV, but never quite overcame the gravity at Campo Archelon. At some point Josh went into town to find some bolts for his bike. John sat by the fire and played the little Spanish guitar he had picked up earlier in the day as I cooked dinner and mixed up a couple of seaside margaritas. Josh eventually showed back up with a few shots of tequila in his system and mumbled something about Canadians before crashing out on the sand.
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