Photos & Words by Sean Jansen
I don’t know what it is about this place. Every swell I’ve seen and chased, whether from the north or south, boasts pure adventure. That’s most likely what attracted me to the place over a decade ago. There is always the sense of the unknown; abandon, solitude, sun, and if you’re lucky enough, waves. But not before an abrupt culture shock, teeth grinding drives, and absolute immersion into a cacti army. Scorpions, wind, and dehydration are all bedfellows in this intense game of points. Points, with which in this game, are of the utmost value for any player that wishes to dig deep into the land of gems, deep within the desert.
I bid those ‘good luck’ who opt to give the peninsula a try. I truly hope you score. But if you ask any traveller that frequents Baja, we will all say the true reward is often just returning. Cops not really being cops, relentless heat, gale force wind, perfect waves and food so delicious that if you weren’t to head home, you’d be several kilos heavier. But at the same time, if you did so happen to score, all I can say about that experience is cherish it.
You are in the middle of the desert, hundreds of kilometres away from help. Your truck got stuck for a couple days in moon dust; you’re stressed about whether you were on the right road, wondering if the map is even accurate. Picked at your nails every time the road veered inward, and cursed at the top of your lungs when your car made a new weird sound as the latest rock bounced around down under the hood. But the second you realise all those things eventually lined up, so do the waves at the point you just arrived to. And the beers at the end of the day over a campfire are what it’s all about, as you lie about all the good waves your friends didn’t see.