What is your dream destination in the world? Ricardo presents his, and it may just as well be the dream destination for many other people in the world. Read Ricardo´s story of his recent trip to Los Roques in Venezuela, a virtually untouched paradise archipelago in the Caribbean. Words by Ricardo Campello. Pics by “Fukajaz”
I have been coming to Los Roques since I was 13 years Old, I have Scored amazing conditions for a long time but never really did an article about my trips over here. I think now its time for me to show you around my dream place in details .
So there are only 2 ways for you to come to Los R0ques, either on a private boat or on a small Plane. But I mean real small , almost impossible to bring your windsurfing equipment.
My journey on this trip began on carnival holidays over here, normally some really cool people come and good friends and I was just in South Africa before this trip. A few days before I asked some friends to come with me on my boat and of course “Fuka”, my friend who´s been filming and taking pictures of my recent trips was in. As you might have heard from my social media on my way from Cape Town to London I lost my passport and of course my trip to Los Roques got delayed by 2 days as I had to get a new Emergency passport in London to fly back home.
My boat was at Puerto La Cruz city, 150 miles from Los Roques. Normally from where I live ( Isla Margarita is a 200 nautical miles ride) but the boat was there doing some detailing and work.
One of the friends I invited is a Pro Surfer: Francisco “Lolo” Bellorin. He has been National Champion and Latin American surfing champion multiple times. Last year he was 4th place at the Surf Worlds and every time I come I try to invite him.
Normally the ride is rough, and could be up to 9 hours of sailing. My boat is a power boat powered by triple Yamahas 300 Hp 34 foot Wellcraft and it’s a pretty comfortable boat. We can sleep up to 6 people inside and basically have our “floating Home“. Before you ask yourself 900 Hp? How much money is that on fuel? Well luckily enough for me, the Fuel in Venezuela is cheaper then water, seriously! I fill in 1455 Liters of gasoline for less then ….. wait ? Its less then one cent , so to explain it easier, with 1$ I can fill my tank about 80 times. Yes you got it right, its ridiculously cheap, and that is why I have the opportunity to have so much power on my boat, otherwise it simply wouldn’t be possible. For a few days we were lucky enough that this time the ocean was on our side, it wasn’t fully glassy but it took us 5 hours and half to get there, honestly it was one of the fastest trips i’ve ever done to Los Roques. We were cruising from 25 to 30 knots which is a pretty fast cruising speed.
There wasn’t any real good forecast for wind and waves or at least waves to get some surfing going on but just to be around here is a dream. Los Roques has all kinds of tones of blues. With over 300 islands or keys and Sandbars, the variety of blues and places to visit is infinite. The main Island Called Gran Roque is where most of the 1300 people live. There you can find the Air Strip, All of the “ Posadas” ( lodges ) and of course where the life is. It is a super small town where pretty much everybody knows each other and where all the locals are really cool. There are no motor vehicles on the main islands, you might see a truck or two for services like trash, water etc. but all the streets are beach sand so when Im here Im just walking barefoot all the time.
There are lots of kids around and my local friend and windsurfer Oscar Cisneros has been doing an amazing job teaching the local kids to windsurf on the little lagoon behind the shop where he works at. He´s one of the nicest persons I know always being positive and always helpful to everyone. He surprised me showing me the kids sailing and there are over 30 kids learning to windsurf over here . Lets see if soon we will have a local World Champion in windsurfing to replace myself and Gollito.
We came to stay for a week. Then we checked the forecast and there was some waves coming, and to be honest, to have waves here is magical, There aren’t many swells with lots of frequency but when it hits proper its amazing, and probably my best videos and pictures are from here. So looking at the forecast it didn’t look amazing but we decided to stay for a few more days, score some waves and do some fishing and go to the far islands which aren´t visited very often. One of the reasons why I come with my boat is that I can go anywhere when ever I want. Normally you have to take a little Penero ( local name for a typical Boat) and then they take you where they want but normally this trip is not very far.
We finally got some waves, and we sailed in a place called Cayo de Agua, the furthest Island of the whole Archipelago, also one of the most impressive for the turist as there is a sand bar right in the middle so you basically have a bridge of sand bar with a blue lagoon on both sides.
It is the first time some one ever windsurfed there and also my first time Surfing there. For windsurfing it was very tricky as the wind was super light and almost cross offshore. The wave was powereful and beautiful, it wasn’t huge but the size was more then enough to have fun. I managed to get a few waves but it was super hard to turn. I think if the wind was a little bit stronger I would have a better time riding. I got a few waves and decided to go for my surf board and surf with my friends. I was the only one windsurfing and later my Friend Vrinda went kiting on the waves too. I have never broke a surf board in my life and that day for the first time I went for a little barrel and the lip hit my neck and then my board, as you can imagine the wave is quite powerful, the reef is sharp but it was worth it.
A few days later there was another swell coming, again nothing amazing on the forecast but it looked like we could have some fun. Federico Morisio wrote me telling me that he was invited by some travel agency and that he was coming with his photo and filming crew and asked me if I could take him to the spot to sail. I Said of course, I would be more then happy to show you my paradise so we went again 2 days in row to get some sailing, The wind was lighter then the previous days and the waves were a bit smaller. I tried to sail but it was a mission, super light and again super offshore so I wasn’t having fun . Federico was out for over 2 hours and caught 2 waves but couldn’t do much. I gave up in half an hour so got my surf board again while he and my friend “ Oscarcito” were floating and floating and pumping to get a wave. Actually when I tried to sail I got one that broke on me and had to go out from the rocks !
Next day, no wind no waves so we went for some trolling and get some fish for dinner. Fishing over here can be really good but pretty much every time I go its super windy and rough so we stay inside the archipelago. You need a lot of patience for trolling and you can be there for hours and hours and get nothing. A few days before we went for some trolling as well and got a few Barracudas which is also very tasty but I really wanted to catch a wahoo. We were trolling for hours and right at the end of the session we caught one, around 20 Kgs so we had dinner for a few days. On that same day one of the 3 engines of the boat just turned off by itself and it wouldn’t start, It was already getting dark and we needed the sunlight to see the reefs and shallow waters as we were quite far from gran Roque and if we don’t have sunlight we wouldn’t be able to see the shallow places and believe me, there are lots ! We still had two engines left and we could barely make the boat top get planning. So as soon as we got to land prepared the wahoo and it was amazing!
Looking again at the forecast we saw something never seen in a long time 2 ground swells with over 16 seconds period. I couldn’t believe it, it was still far ahead and it could chang. I was looking at it everyday and it was getting more solid them ever, like I Said, to have these kinds of conditions over here is very very lucky. Federico was really lucky to even get one day of wind and waves, even though he couldn’t catch much waves , my friends had to go back home and I tried to convince them to stay, one really had to take a plane back and work, Lolo My surfer friend decided to stay and check what was coming!
The engine problem was the Fuel Pump , I took it down my self with another friend, tested it and yes it was the fuel pump, lucky enough I called all my Yamaha mechanics and managed to get a new one and make sure I got the boat ready for this amazing swell .
The Waves finally came and it was a dream. I´ve never seen that place like that before. Unfortunately the wind was really light except for one day but the wind direction changed and the only place where I could sail was weird because of the direction I managed to get 2 OK waves ( with no pictures) but I did get some amazing surfing sessions !
Los Roques impresses me more everyday. It is for me the most beautiful country in the world. Many people are afraid of coming to Venezuela but honestly Los Roques is probably one of the most safe places on earth. Im planning on doing another windsurfing / kitesurfing Camp at the end of the year because I really enjoy showing people my paradise. So keep connected to my social media for the dates and I really hope you can join it with me!!!