Glamping in La Ventana

Two of my children came to visit us for Christmas. They are young adults and we decided instead of a lot of gifts we’d give them an experience to remember for the rest of their lives. I told them to pack clothes for 2 nights and a swimsuit, and explained we were going on a fun adventure without telling exactly what.

Christmas Eve morning we rented a UTV from Black Sheep Motor Sports in Todos Santos and headed across the Baja peninsula. Being two smart kids they guessed we were going to The Sea of Cortez but they didn’t know we were “glamping” for two days.

UTV

Our ride across the desert

We were headed to La Ventana. La Ventana (English “The Window”) is named for the ‘window’ to the Gulf of California. La Ventana Bay is well known for consistent north winds that blow from November to April, and is considered one of the world’s top kiteboarding destinations and home to over one hundred species of cactus.

Ryan, the owner of BSMS suggest we stay at Chilochill and honestly it couldn’t have been a more perfect spot. After about 3 hours diving through the rugged terrain we arrived the afternoon of December 24. The crystal-clear waters between La Ventana and Isla Cervalo were chockfull with a ton of kite surfers, I later found out there were 300.

Kites

So, what does glamping actually mean? Glamping is glamorous camping = Glamping. It’s the best bits of camping – crisp night air, proximity to nature but not having to ditch ALL of the comforts of home. You’ll find yourself in the lap of luxury. Queen size beds, wifi, hot showers, oh how the list goes on and on. Really I could never have imagined the ultimate luxury that was awaiting us inside the small yurt tent. Each yurt had its own private bathroom with HOT water. There was a small outdoor bar and a campfire pit which made the trip even more fun.

It was when the sun went down that things got unexpectedly beautiful. Above us was the most incredible mass of stars I’ve ever seen. Clusters so bright that I thought they could only exist in pictures scattered the sky and it was this moment that stays with me forever.

Chilochill

Ryan at BSMS recommended we visit the hot springs near Chilochill. So Christmas Day we set off to find the hot springs or hot water beach. Just down the road from La Ventana, in El Sargento are natural thermal hot springs where you can enjoy free hot water right at the beach, just between the reach of the high and low tide at the beach. We all tried digging but never managed to find the hot water. We still had a great day at the beach, swimming and looking for shells. All-in-all in was a fantastic way to spend Christmas.

The experience was so much fun and a real adventure. I’d recommend it to anyone.

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Everyone Has a Story

I find myself in this small Mexican town of Todos Santos very much a foreigner. I look different, dress different, and don’t speak the language (yet). As I wander through a streets and eat at the restaurants, so many people smile, make eye contact, and say Hola. They are real and authentic and living their best life. The people are genuine and helpful, and show pride in their small community.

On a street with row after row of small stores I met the owner of the local book store with the most magnetic and happy personality. She cracked jokes with my husband and cracked us up.

At a local restaurant owner by two brothers, I met an older couple who have travelled the world and have so many interesting stories to tell. They are an inspiration.

I met two chefs at a restaurant on the beach. They talked about having passion for life and about the importance of being able to do what you love each day. They are living their best life.

Here’s the thing. I hear people say all the time that they love their job or that they are passionate about their job, but then the next moment they are complaining about it, looking for reasons to take off, or quitting and looking for the next best thing. These two young chefs really seemed to enjoy what they were doing. It didn’t seem to be an act. It’s kind of hard to describe, but you could feel the authenticity in these guys. They were real and honest and living life.

I remember thinking what a great way to live – waking up every day and doing something you are passionate about. Something you love. We, as Canadians, live in a society where happiness is often measured with money and cars and homes and things and power. Worth is too often judged on what you have and not who you are. Decisions are made based on what can we do for ourselves instead of what we can share with others. The lines are very blurred between needs and wants.

I want to remember everyone has a story worth hearing and I want to listen. I want to appreciate and learn about different customs and lifestyles. I want to recognize that coming from a place with more power, money and things doesn’t mean I know more. I want to appreciate how lucky I am. I want to focus on my needs more and wants less. I want to never forget how good people are. All people.

One of my children has been bitten by the travel bug. She backpacks around the world, by herself, staying in hostels, making friends wherever she goes. I hope my other two children will learn the same lessons that traveling has taught me. I want them to see that the world is a big place, that so many adventures await them if they have the courage to try new things, that you can find goodness and similarities in faraway places, that some of the most beautiful places and experiences are off the grid or tucked away, that finding what makes you happy may be the greatest treasure you discover, and that taking the time to meet new people will expand their thinking and open their minds.

The two chefs

The two young chefs

El Triunfo, BCS

Today we decided to drive to El Triunfo, BCS – a small mining community about 70 kms from where we are living. The picturesque drive took us though mountains, up and down twisting, winding roads – the perfect Sunday drive.

In 1862, silver and gold were discovered in the southern B.C.S. mountains, leading miners from Mexico and the United States to set up camp. Once the largest city in B.C.S, it was home to more than 10,000 miners.

In its heyday the town was a cultural center, where Francisca Mendoza taught and performed. Pianos and other instruments were brought to El Triunfo from all over the world and a piano museum still exists.

Another remnant of the past is La Ramona, the 35-meter-high smokestack designed by Gustav Eiffel (the same man who designed the Eiffel Tower in France). At the time it was built it was one of the highest brick chimneys in North America. The mines shut down in 1926 and most people left. The 2010 census reported a population of 321 inhabitants. It is located at an elevation of 483 meters (1,585 feet) above sea level.

 

Mining tower

La Ramona

Rusted mining equipment

Rusted leftovers from a time gone by

El Triunfo

Overlooking the town of El Triunfo, La Ramona stands tall