Our week-end was a blurr: our hosts spoiled us and really showed us why Ensenada is such a fast growing community. From two years ago, the city has grown exponetially and modernized in all aspect. In truth the new generation of leaders are university educated, well travelled and are ready to insure that their city is not left behind. They have a well articulated plan, an amazing energy and with that we have no doubt they will succeed.
Let me try to summarize what we discovered, and learned :
A decade ago, they were the first port of entry to bring in a customs centralized office in order to process easier and faster the pleasure boats visiting. We now learned that the next phase is already in the book, they are petitioning the governement (they even have their drawings) to have a dock dedicated specifically for this task. Soon, no need to leave your boat you will be welcomed and processed even more easily. On the marina front, no worry they already have all the tools to fulfill your every needs, from the 30ft sailboat to the cruise ship with spa and pool facitlities. Again, they don’t sit on their laurel in the drawing board, it is a megayacth facility. On the boat yard side, the large governement who used to run one had become complely obsolete, run down and bankrupt. Private entreprises took over 5 years ago, and the facity we toured today was first class the boat work was the crème de la crème from the west coast. And finally closer to our needs is Baja Naval, no much different that any boat yard we visited in USA or Canada: One difference is everybody is smiling, you could eat on the floor, all transactions are conducted in perfect english and the prices are very competitif.
Next time I need a BIG wrench Valerie, you know what I mean?
I know Daddy you are missing them. Pour toi cher pere, une pensee emue.
This part was for the boat related business on the agenda, the other side of the coin was a total surprise for us and a really good one. We were aware there was a growing wine industry as we had tasted some a few years back in Vancouver during some professional development days. In truth what we found was a thriving tourism industry, with boutique hotel, fine dining restaurants and some very good wines. Napa Valley 30 years ago, but trust me it will not take them that time frame to catch up! Baron Balche and Monte Xanic winery hosted us for a wine tasting, the second one delivered a range of amazing well balanced wines. Lunch was at Hacienda Guadalupe http://www.haciendaguadalupehotel.com/over viewing the valley, some delicious cevices were awaiting us and the second picture will show you the wine cellar, yes not what you would expect from the traditional tourist board image. Our second evening was topped by a tapas style dinner at Barra Azul http://www.barrazul.com/, talk about the next generation of entrepreneurs. The food and service could rival any without hiding their roots and dressing themselves in a veil that would not reflect the value of their country.
Going to bed that night we all wondered what was next? How could they top it? Easy enough just put the letitgo family in the hands of Victor and get us to Kayak around “La Bufadora”, a natural blow hole http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O02FhsuTI3I
Unfortunately this time around it was not as active as the video shows but enough to give us a good feel for the power of mother nature, we had a beautiful kayak ride all the way there, and we even surfed the wave like pros this time! Lunch was served on a terrace at Victor’s facility and served by his family. Talk about heirloom tomatoes on a bed of pizza type, flavourful cheeses and a refreshing dessert called the “pitaya” a fruit coming from a cactus similar to the kiwi in texture. You can see by the picture that Benjamin took time to reflect on the meaning of life.
As tasty as colorful, a few days earlier we tried the “tuna” the white version, it not as tasty.
No it’s not wine, just light sangria with a lot of freshly squeezed lemon.
Our last afternoon, was dedicated to a tour of two of the 25 artisanal breweries in the region. After 4 years of commercialization, they already have their beer festival and an array of offering in par with Oregon or San Diego best. The professionalism of the operation was evident and showing up in the glass. Of course we are sorry to know you are so far away Emma!… But no worries we were allowed to bring you a glass!
We have witness, that even the most fervent Mexican eats green tacos too.
All this came at a price, a televised interview. You can feel the professionalism of Valerie.
All we can say is:
Thank you Baja Naval and port of Ensenada! You are gracious hosts