We had rescheduled the trip twice before for various reasons…expired passports, lack of interest, shortage of funds, but the third time was the charm, for sure!
La Fonda Hotel and Restaurant, K59 in Baja is one of our favorite surf destinations
Josh, Vince, Sasha-doggy and I headed down to La Fonda at K59 in Baja on Friday afternoon around 2PM. We were in the water by 3:30PM even with a “devastacion” (detour) on the toll road that added some extra time to the trip. Also, there seems to be a new inspection going into Mexico by US authorities under the initials CBP (Custom’s Boarder Protection, maybe?) Other than a voluntary stop to declare any commercial items, I have never had to stop upon entry to Mexico before. I didn’t see anyone being pulled over by the CBP and we were waved through without any issues. Staying to the right immediately upon entering Mexico, we took the “scenic” road/Cuota to Ensenada turn off (second right, not the first one at the bottom, but the second exit at the top of the overpass. However, just a mile or so south as you begin to climb the hill to the coast, the two lane road drops to one lane and you we worked our way through a few side streets and traffic until we were back on the toll road and smiling again. Once we hit the coast and paid our first $2.35 toll, we were buzzing on toward K59, La Fonda, our destination for our weekend surfing safari. There was more construction on the toll road and we dropped to one lane in each direction with only cones separating the oncoming cars. Not bad in the daytime, but I don’t think I would want to drive it at night. We paid our second toll of $2.35 around Rosarito (K30 or so.) and reached La Fonda in less than 90 minutes from our departure from Vista.
Secure parking right beside the stairs to our room made unloading/loading really easy
We arrived early enough to get a parking place in their parking lot right at the base of the stairs leading up to our room (Sweet Two) that had three beds, plenty of hot water and a killer view of the beach. Total for two nights was $172.00, less than $30.00 per person per night. What a great value! We paid for our room, picked up the key, unloaded the truck and headed for the beach.
Just 60 steps to the beautiful sandy beach. But watch out at night, they can be trecherous!
Just 60 steps from the hotel to the beach and we were in the water. To our surprise the mix of swells was creating a non-stop onslaught of 5 foot whitewater, which made paddling out impossible for me on my longboard and more work than either Josh or Vince were up for on their shortboards. So after about an hour of trying to get past the whitewater on the inside, we headed back to the room for a game of spades on the desk overlooking the beach. With the sound of the waves crashing and the sun shining down, Josh pounded Vince and me at spades, then we headed to the restaurant for dinner around 6PM.
The restaurant at La Fonda is incredible! The food is consistently excellent, the service is terrific, and the views are incredible! From 7PM to 11PM, they have live music and the band is really good. A nice mix of rock and classical Mexican music with a small dance floor that gets a lot of use. I had the ribs, Josh and Vince enjoyed the lobster feast and we all shared. YUMMY! I had a four course meal for under $20.00, what a great value!
Back to the room for more cards until we noticed a large bon-fire on the beach below our deck. There was a wedding party being held at the hotel and they were having a bon-fire party on the beach. Not wanting to be anti-social, we decided to join the party. Sasha was an immediate hit and broke the ice for us with the bride, Christina, who had brought her new wedding gift, “boda” her new puppy. Sasha loves puppies and we were quickly included in the wedding party festivities that continued until the wee-hours of the morning. After helping those less able get back to the hotel, we finally got to bed anticipating an early morning session of improved surf conditions.
Crashing the wedding party's bon-fire on Friday night was quite "memorable"
That was not to be, however. Saturday morning brought slightly less frequent swells, but the high tide also created mostly closed out conditions. Again we tried to paddle out, got push back time and again, and decided it was time for breakfast. Vince selected the Chile Verde on my recommendation, Josh got the steak and eggs and I chose juevos rancheros all under $10/plate and delicious and filling with fresh made flour tortillas. Back to the room for a nap before what we hoped would be a more successful afternoon surf session. However, conditions did not improve with the dropping of the tide, so I enjoyed a great one on one chatwith Vince and a nice nap with Josh and Sasha-doggy. We decided to take an afternoon swim since the surf had not improved and found that the water temp had dropped to the mid-50s, which was a shock to our systems as we went swimming in just our board shorts. BRRRRRRR…ice cream headaches around, we headed back to the room for hot showers and more cards and another nap before dinner.
Saturday night at the restaurant is usually quite lively with many well to do local families and couples enjoying the great food, good music and fun dancing. This Saturday night was even more special as the wedding party took over a good portion of the restaurant. The food was excellent as always with Vince enjoying a rare fillet mignot with bacon wrapping, and the two of us having the mexican combo plate. We were stuffed and headed back to the room to watch “Venture Team” videos on Vince’s portable DVD player. We fell asleep crashed out on the big bed and awoke when the music stopped around 12:30PM and the wedding party headed to their rooms.
We were up at 5:30 and on the road by 6:05AM hoping to beat the traffic at the border back into the US. We did…our wait was less than 30 minutes and after stopping at the Starbucks in Solano Beach, we were back to Vista by 9AM. Josh and Vince grabbed their stuff from Tricia’s truck and they headed back to Vince’s for hot showers and a nap, I’ll bet!
Trish and I enjoyed a relaxing Sunday together (with another nap included). All in all, it was a FUN, safe and very enjoyable weekend of fabulous feasts, wonderful wedding parties, and cool connect time even if it was sucky surf conditions.
Can’t wait for our next trip to La Fonda, K59, Baja California Norte, Mexico.