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The Baja Odyssey, Pt 5

To better see what Zack and I were doing, check out da map Day 7 - Woke up on the shore to see a rising sun going over the massive Punta el Pulpito, a major point, rising 200m above the sea, jutting out a kilometer from the mainland, like a pulpit or a fortress. This is said to be one of the most dangerous places to kayak in the Sea of Cortez, and Ronaldo told us that in the 70's several members of another NOLS course died there. Lucky for us there were no waves that morning as we coasted along the cliffs and admired the birds and fishies swimming around giant under water boulders. There were two huge arches, one more like a 40' tall tunnel, that made this a highlight of the Odyssey. Around the point we beached and climbed up for fantastic views. Spent the rest of the day heading further south and stopping at a beautiful protected cove with a sandy beach. Met some local sand and sea bums who fed us clams and fish they caught and gave us pointers on how to catch both, which we

The Baja Odyssey, Pt 4

To better see what Zack and I were doing, check out da map Day 4: Go up early beach and headed south east along the coast. Like the day before there was no wind for a while, and occasionally I'd look back at Zack way back there. Then the wind picked up, and today we were going with the wind and waves. Soon it was getting big. I didn't relish the prospect of going around big and exposed Punta Santa Marta. We cut wide out to sea so we'd save a little distance and stay clear of the nasty shoals off the point, but the waves there were still the biggest I've ever been in, yet still Zack managed to look like he was still back there, sometimes paddling, sometimes not, sometimes surfing. Once past the point we headed straight for the beach on the opposite side of the point and sheltered in the wind shadow and wave eddy there. There was a lone palm tree, and we relaxed under it and explored the headlands. We went no further that day. There was evidence of recent NOLS (National

The Baja Odyssey, Pt 3

Sea Kayaking, the recreational activity where sometimes no matter how hard you try you achieve less. I'm talking about paddling into the wind, which is pretty much all we did on days 2 and 3. It was good though, all part of the challenge. Also, paddling into the wind is a convenient excuse for only paddling 3 or 4 hours a day, as opposed to the 6 or so originally planned. It is easy to overestimate one's ability/motivation... Quickly we settled into a routine - get up early and get out before the wind picks up. Generally Zack would get up first, reluctantly wake me up, do our morning stuff (occasionally we would explore a bit around our campsite), then paddle for a couple hours, break for 1-5 hours, then usually set out again for 1-3 hours. Things move a little slower and more erratically in Baja , but you get used to it (' tranqilo hombre! were in Baja ! '). The kayak trip reflected this go with the flow attitude, but we were still intent on finishing the 200km (o

The Baja Odyssey, Pt 2

Following San Jose de Cabo we found ourselves on a bus back to San Lucas fully loaded for a sailing trip only to find out there'd be no sailing trip, so we sulked the rest of the day mostly drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and hanging around the beach and eating tacos. The next day we marched over to the bus station and headed north, to Mulege (pronounced Moo-leh-hey; population ~5000), where we hoped to get the kayaks we were promised. We were a little worried about that, as some of our recent experiences reflected the opinion of our couchsurfing host there, the locally infamous 71 year old gringo Bill. He believes people only tell you what you want to hear in Mexico, if you know what I mean... We got off the bus after driving through desert vistas and mountains and nervous military check points. We were greeted by Bill, the first thing he said, in a raspy loud American accent, was "Fuuuck!". He was complaining about his knee, though that didn't seem to slow him

Revelstoke: Where No Man has Been Before!

Here's the post about my time in and just before being in Revi, BC: So I left Calgary in early August, heading back mountain way, the first stop being Revi, dropping some stuff off, then Vernon. There I began the search for the ultimate hippy job, fruit picking. After a day of that, I found out cherry season had ended and apple season hadnt begun. No biggie, and the numbers didnt work out either if I wanted to afford to go to Baja in November, so I decided against fruit picking. So in the mean time I figured I'd hang out with my old friend Andris, from my LSH (Latvian School in Hamilton) days, and maybe check out Silver Star mountain bike resort. Silver Star was right outside of Vernon. It was a Wednesday, so the lifts ran late, until 7. I started super early and got in like 30 rides (some serious vert). I progressed a bit, especially following this crazy kid from Enderby, hitting most of the jumps and tables he did on Rock Star, the black diamond jump line. Also saw a bear!

The Baja Odyssey, Pt 1

Well I skipped over in my blog the part of my life where I lived in Revelstoke for two months . Ill fill that in soon , I promise ! But now Im in Mexico ... Originally the plan was to drive down here with Zack and hang out in Cali and Las Vegas at a conference . But due to circumstances outside of my control I could not do that and we got some cheap flights and are now here . And it is HOT . So, from the beginning of the Odyssey - I met up with Zack at Lussier Hotsprings . He was driving accross Canada with our awesome skiing and sailing friend Robyn . Because we couldnt drive south anymore we went on a little hot springs road trip . We hung out with our LU friends Sarah and Angela in Nelson and went to the Nakusp hotsprings . Also chilled with Andris there . Then we came back to Revi . I had a couple days to kill so I decided to go back down to Lussie

To Ontario and Back Again

So far, here are some of the highlights of my random summer since last time: -Continued driving home to Ontario, picked up a hitchhiker named Alfredo who stunk up my car a bit but was nice. -Probably the biggest news was my Krustmeitas (Goddaughter's) Olita's christening. The ceremony was at Sid and we had a big party at the Homestead house. We put of tarps, banners and made a feast and generally had a good time with tons of family (and I mean TONS) despite the heat. -Spent Jani at Sid, which was awesome this year, probably my favorite Jani for a long time. Had a little bit of everything... -In Ontario had a couple camp fires at my place with old friends. -Met most of my old friends in general, Steve, Brian, Geoff, Matt, Meg, Jesse, among others. -Went to a party at Pat, Franc and Pierce's place. Got roudy and fun, but my car got broken into. Thankfully the only thing they took was my old but great digi-cam. Ohhhh Hamilton... -Worked for Nikolas painting and renovati

Road Trips

So since Colombia I went back to work for a little while. Went on two road trips to Kamloops with Yuri to get some early season riding in, staying with Alex (from new-years) and Max out there. Its about a 6 hour drive from Calgary, which might seem excessive just to ride a bike, but the riding was good, rode a trail that was in a bike movie AND met legendary mountain biker Matt Hunter! We’ve met a lot of new riders this year, a lot more than other years. We rode out at Canmore a couple times, where we met our new rider friends Dave, Terry, Cody, Jenny and Travis. At work I was put in a labour job due to circumstances outside my control, hurt my back and decided enough was enough and finished. Right after I quit I went to Idaho... Now, Idaho sounds like a strange place to go, but that was one of the main reasons we went – because it’s so under the radar. Let me tell you its great, totally recommend it. So Tanis, Steve and I loaded up Tanis’ little Suby and set out. Along the way w

The Colombian Era, pt. 3

Ahhhh, to be away from the heat. Again, a night bus in Colombia. They say most kidnappings and police searches (where they plant drugs on you and demand a bribe) happen on night buses, but Colombia's safe now. At least it was for me. Mostly... Well, San Gil was nice, and we met lots of nice people, and did lots of nice things. yeah. nice. We get there, looking for a specific hostel, and a nice dude invites us in english to stay at his and his brother's new hostel. Good enough. The first day we didn't do much: Steve passed out and I went and go fried chicken that you eat with plastic mitts so your fingers don't get greasy. I also tried un-ripe mango with sugar. And later I tried giant fried ants. They tasted pretty much as you would expect. That night we played rock band with some Israelis. They didn't know the words, but just (very effectively) "Wooo-ooo-ooooed" the words into the mic to Guns 'n' Roses and Boston. Also a whole bunch of people ar