Friday, January 30, 2009

Puerto Escondido is fun but hurts (post updated)

Am I too late for Bejiing?
Well the reports looked good...but the swell was not really there and we are thankful for it. A few stood up to eight feet or so, but they were few and far between. We both got our asses kicked in the nasty shorepound over and over, suffering bruises (leg, head, jaw, throat somehow) and damaged surfboards. Much credit to those who surf this spot when it gets 20ft and up. The rides were fast, steep and very short. So we found a fun bridge to jump off instead.
Garen's front flip face slapper aqui:

We spent three nights at Rockaway hotel, which is actually made up of small, seperate bungalows. It had a nice pool in which we practiced gainers and such.
We went out big one night and hung out with new friends from Mexico City, Eureka, and Australia. There were also a fair amount of topless women on the beach, which I think is worth noting.
We are off to the inland city of Oaxaca next, where will get learned on some history and then probably back to the coast to surf south of Escondido.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Into Oaxaca!!

We borrowed this little book containing some good info on some waves we hadn't heard about, and left Acapulco with a few spots in mind. We read about a surf spot a ways below Acapulco called Punta Colorado and aimed for that, stopping at a few spots along the way. After another long day on the road, we ended up at Punta Maldonando, where there looks to be a great wave with the right conditions, but again, not for us. It was too late to move on, so we camped for free (so long as we bought dinner at Paulita's). Paulita, her husband Adriano, and their daughter all live there at the restaurant doing what americans call camping, except they run a business while camping. The people in Oaxaca are so short, we had to kneel to use their bathrooms and to walk into the place.
IMG_0997 A huge turkey gobbled at us all night and into the morning... Off we go!


Feeling the need to make a bit of a southward push, we put in the 4 hour push to Acapulco,
IMG_0985 were we stayed in a hotel for the first time since Cabo. The hotel had a tennis club integrated and we tried to pull the great tennis ball hiest of 2009 and failed, only netting dos pelotas. Sorry Camper. Went out on the town and met some drunken high school kids from Mexico City and watched some live music, hitting the sack when the bars closed.
Here we did a great bit of internetting, (hence the last flurry of posts), drank some starbucks, ate McDonalds AND Burger King (the latter is better) and Alex lost his wallet for about 15 nervous minutes.
We missed watching the mexicans do acrobatics off of huge cliffs into the sea, and came up short in finding the right cliff to put on a show of our own. Practicing now, and when we find it, we'll be ready...

Saladita brief stop

Saladita is famous for it's longboard waves, which weren't showing while we were there. We had to check it out, and wanted to stay because it'll be the last night with the swiss for a while, as they are traveling a bit slower than we are. We truly hope we run into them again further south; we'll miss them.
It was 100 pesos for a night of camping, which is pricey for us, so we stayed one night and are heading south. Boards never hit the water here, but Alex and I are 98% sure we camped right next to Allan Weisbecker, author of The Search for Captain 0 and a few other books; huge surfer guy.
PS: Denver, I don't have you email address, mine is email me!
that goes for the rest of you...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Barra de Nexpa

Cool little surf town. Again camped with the Swiss. The swell is so-so, and producing almost entirely lefts. Sooner or later this place will get a stronger wave and will, by all accounts, be cranking.

We have been here three nights and I have finally caught up to now.
Took a cycle ride on Rafael’s Yamaha DH yesterday. I rode sans shirt, helmet, or shoes down the freeway for a km or two, then offroad for a spell and through some rivers. Fun!
Heading sur manana,

La Ticla

Here is a place that a man could call home. For nine days before the waves shut off. The surf was consistent, and incredible, and the reason we have not posted for almost two weeks. Sorry about that!
We knew we would love this place as soon as we drove in and saw our old Swiss friends, Rafael and Jacqueline. We first met this couple at Alejandros in Baja and have happily run into them several times since. They are traveling in a specialized VW LT31 diesel camper, which they had shipped to Halifax and then drove across Canada and down the west coast of the States.
This area is filled with natural beauty complete with palm trees, a rushing river, falling coconuts and hikeable empty white sand beaches.
The swell ranged from 2.5ft to 12/14ft during our stay and we surfed usually three times daily, twice minimum. There were crowds at times, but always lone peaks a little ways down the beach. Garen and I have no problem surfing the shorebreak on shortboards and everyone’s surfing progressed.
San Blas bis Nexpa 321
San Blas bis Nexpa 135
We were exhausted at nights, but slept lightly due to an armed campground holdup by bandidos. It was a stickup and less than 50 yards away. No shots were fired thankfully, but the same victims had their surfboards stolen two nights later.

Met more cool folks from BC, SD, Tecoman (Juan the Hammock man), and Oregon, and were lucky enough to see April and Penny, two of Garen's friends from back home. We ate lots of tamales from the mobile tamale woman for 5 pesos each, and street tacos. So far, we have each put down 14 tacos safely in one sitting, although the record stands at 45. Minus the toppings that we liberally add, we both expect to score somewhere in the range of 30 next time around.
Onto Nexpa….
Note: After packing up our things on the last day, we were chatting with Juan, when all of a sudden our palapa came crashing down upon the head of his assistant Marcos. We helped pull the semi conscious guy out of the heavy wooden wreckage and iced his head, which looked like it had an anthill growing from it. He is okay now and we can finally laugh outloud about it.

La Manzanilla, Colima, Pasquales

We stopped to eat lunch and go for a quick swim at la manzanilla, a place where one should leash their dogs and mind their children. At one point there were six of these big hungry looking bastards lounging about, eyeing La Campera.
One day was spent wandering through the old section of Colima, which is nice looking with parks, fountains, and weird statues, but offers no waves because it is inland.
We spent that evening at Pasquales, known for excellent surf and heavy waves. We got there at sunset and it was double over shin high. Camped that night in an Aussies’s front yard for forty pesos, which included the use of a table and a bathroom. We woke early, brewed coffee and drove south.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pacific Mexico and Sayulita

Sorry for no updates, we're in the land of horrid internet connections again. After the one nighter at Stone Island, we headed to the famous Sayulita.. The surfing here wasn't as good as expected, but we managed to meet some great people, dogs:
Ryan, Park, and Coal, from CO..
Had a really great time hanging with these two.
I finally managed to trade my kayak for a surfboard. The board is water logged 8' long, and very, very wide. Really easy to catch waves on, but quite boring once you're up..
We spent 4 or 5 nights here at a little grassy campground sampling the food and bars of Sayulita, which is chock full of gringoes....
We were ready to move on when we did, and we headed south to Puerto Vallarta to search for our guide book.
Came up short, as usual, and moved south, into some waves!!
PS: this post took over an hour with this slow connection. We're behind, but as soon as we get the chance, we'll be filling in on here. But sitting here in this sweltering little room and trying to 'work' with this slow connection; well, it reminds me too much of home.. Can't do it. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mazatlan one nighter

Hi everyone
Blew through Mazatlan in one day. Cool place, but not much for us there. It is starting to get very humid. When we first drove in, there was a huge head-and-a-half left point cranking right in the middle of town, but by the time we found parking and such, it was over. sorry no pics of that one

Camped just south on Stone Island. Neat little place with delicious food and a beautiful 4 ft right at sunset but nothing in the morning. Got bored, moved south

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Boat Ride!!!

Our boat left at 3 for a six hour trip across the Sea of Cortez. We enjoyed the scenery until we were plain bored and went inside for beers with a bunch of Mexican truck drivers, which made up the majority of the boat's passengers. Find the Suburban!!
They pack a TON of lorries on these ships...
We had no idea where we were getting off the ship in the dark, and still don't have a guidebook to help us out, so after driving to and around Los Mochis from the port town of Topolobampo, we headed south towards Cuilican and Mazatlan on the foggy MEX15. By around 11:30 we were too tired and it was too foggy to drive, so we pulled off at a well lit Pemex gas station and went to sleep. Apparently, sometime in the middle of the night, the police came and told us to get out of there. I slept right through it and Alex simply ignored them, and they left! Nice to know!
Gas stations next to freeways are loud, so we woke up and drove 3 hours to Mazatlan
Just not the same:
The search for a guidebook in Ingles is on. More updates from the mainland on the way, but we're here, safe, and ready to kick some ass.
Hope all is well back home, send some rain!

Straight outta Baja

Alex and I headed north when James did, hungover. After a grocery stop we hit Cerritos for the third time on this trip.
IMG_0627 There was no surf on 1/1/09; we were up and on the way to La Paz early. This would be the second time in La Paz for us and it sucked again. Everything we try to do in La Paz ends in failure; be it simple or complex. After the most difficult coffee transaction ever, I backed into a tree (painted white even) and ruined a back window; major bummer.
For now, repaired in duct tape....
Finally, we checked into some trailer park for $16 a night; rip off.
Morning came and we set out to get the hell out of La Paz and found ourselves at the Baja Ferries ticket window with a fresh Vehicle Import Sticker (mandatory and $27.00USD) and a ~$300 bill for putting a huge Suburban, two tired Americanos and a pretty little dog on a boat to Topolobampo, mainland Mexico....

Farewell James and Feliz Ano Nuevo!!!!

James had to leave Cabo San Lucas on 1/1 to get back to work, so after waking up late on the 31rst, we got to work offloading gear we no longer need into James' van... Mainly a ton of fishing gear and a kayak; we're down to one boat! Before we knew it, it was party time again. We'd bought tickets to Cabo Wabo's new year's party, which was actually pretty fun. We met people from Canada, Tacoma WA, Philly, and a host of other places before calling it a night around 4AM...
James had went to bed a bit earlier and was able to get up and out by 8AM; pretty impressive. We'll miss having him around; he's a great guy to travel with. Hope you made it home safe and without troubles buddy, thanks for everything...