Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A few funny things

One thing I forgot to write about jose in my last post was that after a week of traveling with us back to his house in Cabo San Lucas, when we arrived there were people staying there that he didn't know. We showed up, he went in & argued with them some of which I understood and then he left to sleep in the back of my truck for another night. Only in Mexico, well maybe. I guess he paid someone to take care of his place & he came back earlier than he said since he got a ride with us. He's not like on email or chat or anything so nobody knew he was coming back & the guy he paid to watch his place rented it out to some other people. And becuase he doesn't email or anything he came back & was asking around for his girlfriend who apparently went to Acapulco for "1 months or 2 months" as he said to me. Funny stuff. Speaking of funny, I'm traveling with 2 central american guys who don't eat mexican salsa, ever. If it has "picante" (spice) in it, they won't touch it so they ask for ketchup & mayonnaise at every taco stand which, of course, gets them odd stares & smiles. Then the gringo guy, me, eats the mexican salsa on everything. I can't get over it & have to give Ricardo crap every time he puts salsa tomate on shrimp tacos which is like 10 times a day because he eats a lot of tacos, I've got pictures to prove him pouring ketchup on them. Speaking of pictures, I have so many good ones but haven't been at an internet with my laptop to upload. I just got lucky to find wireless once with my iphone to upload a couple but I hadn't taken many with that. Yesterday morning the waves were tiny so this local fisherman took Ricardo & I out on his boat to go see whales, something I've been wanting to do. He brought a couple serious fishing rods and we fished first. The second my line hit the water, I had a bite & so did Ricardo. We pulled in like 6 mackeral (sp?) each with in about 30 minutes which was a lot of work. Then off to track down some ballenas, whales, which were amazing. They are so huge, breaching and spitting, and we got within about 10 yards of a bunch of them. Good pics to follow for sure. After that we decided to leave San Blas & head south in search for better surf options. We drove through Puerto Vallarta which is gringo central, has like outback steakhouses & I think I saw 10 senior frogs while driving through. Ricardo drove like fast & furious because we're not doing any driving at night and we had a timezone change & were trying to make it to Pascuales, we're I'm at now. But we ended up having to stop in Manzanillo which has walmarts, boarger king (as pronounced by my travelling buds) and places like that. We went into walmart which was funny & the other thing about my non salsa eating friends is they want to go to bourger king or mccy D's the couple of times (cabo san lucas & here) that we've passed them. Which I'm so against. But last night it was already dark, we didn't know where we were going to stay & everyone was really hungry so I got convinced to eat at KFC. It was terrible, I ate about half a sandwich to suppress the appetite & tossed the rest in the trash. Guess what next, I woke up at 4 am puking my guts out, or the kfc out, and have been sick every since. I've been vomitting all morning, had to stop the car on the way here to vomit on the road. Seems kind of strange I've eaten octapus ceviche made on the beach by a guy who didn't shower all week, have eaten at taco stands on the side of dirt roads daily & the place that ruins me is KFC. I will not be doing that again, if they want booarger king I'm just going to wait it out for a dirty little taco stand on the side of the road. Anyways, we got to Pascuales which has heaving barrels that look pretty hard to make & I'm stuck in the bathroom while the boyz got to surf. I even ran a fever that I've just recently sweated out. Atleast this room, on the beach with air conditioning is only costing us 27 dollars for the night....I didn't want to camp being sick & 27 divided by 3 is something I think we can splurge on, and the amigos agreed. Hopefully I'll be back in action soon, I realllllly need exercise because it's been about 2 or 3 days now with nada. Oh & to add insult to injury I've been dealing with kidney stone pains while being sick all night & day. Oh well, I'll survive I guess. We're going to head south towards a surf camp spot called La Ticla, probably tomorrow, hopefully I'll be ready to get back into action. Mas tarde

Monday, January 26, 2009

blogless blog

man, getting to this blog thing has been tough so far. i´m more concerned with trying to find a bano or ducha, much less worried about updating a blog. And now, what 10 days later or something, I have so many stories I could write a novel. I´m pretty sure it´s safe to say we´re the only car with a usa├ín, venezuelan, costa rican and mexican driving down baja or driving anywhere. so to start, we met a guy named Jose in ensenada on our 1st day and he surfs, lives in cabo san lucas and we hung out surfing and skating with him and his friend. he needed a ride to cabo so we decided to bring him with us since he seemed to know where to go. one thing you learn in mexico is that nobody knows where to go. everyone says different directions and distances and jose always says in his broken english ´¨it might takes 2 hours o 4 hours¨to get anywhere. we drove the roughest terrain possible in baja, always lost and always worried about gasoline. camping under more stars than ever seen, waking up only to see giant pelicans gliding on huge swells with not a soul in sight and eating more shrimp & fish tacos at 10 pesos a taco than you can imagine. the surf has been good, the weather really nice, the driving good some & mostly bad and have met so many nice people. We were offroad, like 4 hours off the only paved road and didn´t know when we´d see people or gas again and stopped a shanty shack to ask for some help. these people gave us gas out of a tub and fed us fresh caught fish and lobster in their back yard or should I say dirt in the back of the house, not really a yard...and of course with homemade tortillas. I gave them maui surf and skate hats for the hospitality and got some classic pics of the old mexican lady rockin of the hats. Haven´t been able to upload any photos yet. Everyone everywhere has been so nice, people driving in front of us to show us where to go, being helpful, letting us use their bathroom or whatever. All the military checkpoints were easy and eventless and the only policia action has been us stopping to ask them for directions. Jose brought nothing with him other than surfboards, skateboards and a back pack. I wondered if he´d try to eat our food but no, he jumped in the water and got clams and abalone and even an octapus....made ceviche and I even ate all these things with him. we borrowed a fishing line from some nearby fisherman at el conejo and caught fish off of our surboards after finding bait in the low tide rocks (hermit crabs). Surfed with whales breaching in the background, huge jellyfish which stung the hell out of me, seals, jumping fish and really really good waves with no crowds. We met a guy pablo and camped in front of his families trailer in san pedrito. He & his wife and kids were really nice and cute, they have a laid back lifestyle that I could see myself doing. He hooked us up with the guy we just met today, on mainland mexico in san blas who runs this surf camp. This guy is telling us all the safety tips, which we ask everywhere and is already going to link us up with someone to stay with further south when we leave. last night we rode the 15 hour ferry from la paz to mazatlan. whew, I know that´s a lot but maybe nobody is reading this ...I was going to put a smiley face there but I can´t figure out how to do it on this spanish keyboard. My spanish is coming along but not fast enough, I guess I need to be patient and not expect to learn a language in 10 days but if john travolta could do it a day in phenomena, then why can´t I in 10 days¿¿¿ I also am realizing that the spanish my friends from costa speak is a little different than the people in mexico, different slang I guess and john travolta didn´t have to deal with that. mas tarde. salud

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jumping off

Well the time is actually here that I'm leaving. Leaving for this trip isn't like any other trip I've left for. Not because of the destinations being new or potential length of the trip but because I've just packed up everything into storage & I'm hitting the road. I'm essentially homeless & jobless, both of which have mixed feelings for me. I've been anxious wondering if I was really going to do this, I even had a great job opportunity pop up at the last second to tempt me to be "sane" & just stay stateside. In the end I couldn't let that potential job opportunity prevent me from doing this, this trip was already happening. So I feel like I'm at the edge of a cliff, how I might feel if I was bungee jumping. I wouldn't want to jump, I'd be scared & excited but I wouldn't want to do it. And I would make myself do it anyway, out of my comfort zone, & surely I'd be so stoked on the results (barring the rope didn't snap!). That's where I am tonight, the night before leaving. I'm so excited & so prepared but I'm also really anxious and I am going to have to throw myself off the ledge. Except the difference is that I don't know what what lies beneath this ledge. Anythings possible, adventure is guaranteed & I'm ready for the good and the bad as best as I can be. If you saw my packing list, you'd know I have way too much stuff for any potential disaster along the way. Ultimately I don't know what's going to happen, I guess that can be said for anyone but in this case I won't have a regular routine & a comfort zone, it's all unknown territory. All I can say is that if you're reading this (you're bored j/k :), you're probably someone close to me & I hope this will inspire you to put yourself out of your comfort zone some time this year in hopes to gain personal growth & experience more. All you have to do is jump!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Truck Bed Platform


On NYE 2008 Rob & I started brainstorming the million ways we could put a platform in the back of my truck. And Rob does have a million ideas. The theory behind it is that the platform will act as a security feature, you won't be able to see anything in the back of my truck & if I want I can also sleep on top of it. The considerations on how to build it had to do with how many pieces, how to support weight & how to save enough room so that my surfboards can still go in diagonally under the platform bed which makes the support thing a little more tricky. Plus I wanted this to be easily removable & not a permanent fixture. I could not have done this without Rob's help. He has the tools necessary - skill saw & circular saw plus some other power tools needed - and he's creative with building & this project took a little creativity. After 2 days, a few design changes, couple of splinters & a couple of trips to Home depot, we have it finished. The only thing left for me to do is paint it black. The platform was built with 4 removable pieces of ply wood & a support cross bar underneath. And at the end we ended up adding doors so that it was a complete box. It came out pretty good.
If interested, you can see the platform photos in my gallery - http://gallery.me.com/jessec#100037&bgcolor=black&view=grid