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The impetus for sharing cultural experiences in Baja and international trips has grown organically out of our personal experiences.
I had no intention of offering a Great Barrier Island trip commercially when I paddled The Barrier with my partner Henrick in 2015, but once I did it, I couldn’t resist sharing it! The people, the landscape, the fun coastline, the incredible blue of the water, the unique plants and birds. These are worth experiencing!
Going on a mule trip with Trudi Angell to see 10,000-year old cave paintings of the San Francisco Mountains of central Baja was an awakening. After coming to Baja for nearly 20 years, driving by the distant mirage of that mountain range and wondering what wonders it held, curiosity finally won out. I organized a group of friends to go.
The cave paintings were amazing, but it was the people, their way of life, and the experience of the place itself, that blew me away. When I come across a lifetime experience, I have this nagging question inside of how I can share it with other people. This “affliction” may be the reason I have a kayaking company in the first place!
A mule trip or a mountain oasis visit may not be so much of a stretch as you may think, for a company with “sea kayak” in its name. We’ve been weaving cultural interactions into the kayak trips whose routes make it possible to enjoy a meal with a ranch family. The local fishing family at Surf Camp prepares the day’s catch and other specialties for our dinners.
To take the concept of cultural tourism a step deeper, consider this. Because our trips are not assembly lines, our guides are free to express their uniqueness and their culture. We hire passionate, capable people, and turn them lose (within parameters of safety and trip definition) to be themselves. Each has a different combination of strengths and interests, each a different experience of being Mexican, and each is motivated to share his or her genuineness. This is deep cultural tourism, without being kitschy or paternalistic.
Our primary aspiration with the trips that we offer is to do something meaningful. With our lives, with your time, with our experience together. Sharing these one-of-a-kind trips to unique places with very special people certainly fits that larger vision. Besides, it’s all happening on a narrow peninsula between 2 oceans, and there are even pools of water that you can swim in!