16 january 1999 - Tepic

Driving

Left our heavenly cactus field by the rocks at around lunch. Drove to Tepic, a lively town with few (any?) tourists. Played foosballs against the locals. Very entertaining as usual - we won mostly until the put on their best player, a fat manic guy with a serious punch. Then we lost.

17 january 1999 - Mazatlan

More driving

Drove to Mazatlan, just missed the ferry to La Paz, so we will try to catch it tomorow. We are staying at an old delapidated hotel, at the sea front which was probably the top-spot 30 years ago. It is in the center, but all the big resorts are now up north.

18 january 1999 - Ferry

 

Got our tickets without problems early in the morning. Boat leaves at 3 so we spend a few hours on the very cheap internet cafe and we have lunch at by the sea front - Mathias had oysters - relatively cheap and absolutely excellent.

Armando show

We board the ferry on time and meet a very festive Mexican guy who has a VW vanagon like us, full of his keyboard and amps. He is a musician on his way to performing in La Paz. His name was Armando, and his business card read "Armando show"! While we waited to board the boat the offers us little bottles of tequilla and he shows us a number of mexican classic ballads on guitar. He also taught us how to scream in mexican style whilst playing - AYA-YA-YAAAA! He points out frequently that you need tequilla to sing properly - with more tequilla he could even sing in English, he said. (despite not being able to speak it! :-)) He quickly demonstrates by downing little mini-bottles off tequilla and singing beautifully afterwards. He joined us on the ferry as well. We got a great laugh out of the fact that the boat was leaning to one side the whole way, by quite a lot. He said is was the damn government's fault. We spent all night in the bar/disco drinking tequilla and beer, and occationally making complete fools of ourselves on the dance floor. A few young canadian guys joined in as well. The foundation was laid for a severe hang-over the next day. "Armando show" was a riot.

19 january 1999 - Cabo San Lucas

Monty and Chris

We also meet an American couple Chris and Monty who has a sailboat in La Paz - retired and living on the boat. The are planning to travel the world and live of their savings. Very nice people - Monty spots several whales jumping in the horizon - we have never seen a whale before in our lives so this is obviously extremely exciting. Some 5 kilometers from the ferry we see some enormous splashes - we can't see the actual whales but they must be huge. Incredible.


We have never seen a whale before in our lives so this is obviously extremely exciting

Monty invites us to their boat as we arrive at La Paz and we come around after having said goodbye to our friend Armando-show.

Baja CaliforniaTheir boat is absolutely beautiful (lots of wood) and we listen to all their stories from the sailing and it really sounds amazing. A cheap way of living and so cool to have the time and the freedom to travel around the globe. Chris makes some excellent coffee and we spend an hour or two in their very nice company. We even get a chance to show Monty the complete HP Omnibook range as he was contemplating buying a new laptop after his old Dell broke and he tried to fix it himself. Pretty ambitious :-)...

Anyway - it's hard to leave, but we should really be going down to Land' End some 200 kilometers away, so we eventually say goodbye - but Monty offers us to go sailing and fishing if we come back to the harbour within the next couple of days. Whoa - that sounds pretty good, we might do that if we have time.

On the way out of La Paz we pick up four hitchhikers with a bob marley tape.

Whales!

On the way down the coast we spot several whales blowing - amazing, and so nice to see. Our map tells us that the waters off th coast reaches depths off more than 6000 meters - incredible and probably why the whales like it so much.

Cabo San Lucas

Now we are camped on a parking lot in Cabo San Lucas where we have spottet some great-looking sea cliffs (Granite) which we are planning to attempt to climb tomorrow. Cabo is a strange place. The harbour is filled with *huge* american motor cruisers. The biggest ones are "reversed" into the harbour promenade with their extravagnt interiors exposed to the public. These boats are seriously over the top: furnished with expensive looking rokokko furniture and old paintings on the walls. They all seem to say: look at me, I'm a rich bastard, and btw you are not.. :-) The town caters to the rich and mainly mid-aged, Americans. Not our cup of tea really, but it not an unpleasant place to hang out in. Much, much better than Cancun that we pretty much couldn't get away from quick enough.

20 january 1999 - Cabo San Lucas

 

Got up fairly early, had some breakfast, went for a swim in the ocean. Waited 'till the afternoon, racked up and headed for the granite faces of Cabo San Lucas. Great looking stuff - very sculptural rock formations.

Climbing the sea cliffs

Fred picks up the sharp end and start leading a VS'ish chimney on this new medium. It is fairly solid stuff - a bit like Cornwall in texture although this stuff is sort of crumbly in places. The pro is excellent. Good route.

Mathias turn to lead. We have spotted an anchor on a very exposed steep bit high up on the fron of the face. Not too conviced that the route is our league I start climbing the route - it looks like escape is easy over to Fred's route should the climb prove to hard for soft boys like us.

Whalers Dues

It's a bit tricky in the start but with good pro. Further up the route offers some excellent underclings and I decide to attack the steep face from the right. I spot a bolt and it looks like the route does g in from the right as I am now doing. There is an excellent line going past the bolt up to the anchor - a diagonal break fist jam size. It looks very hard though - not much stuff for the feet and the face might even be slightly overhanging. I consider abandoing it and going on easier ground to Fred's anchor all the way to the right. But then - I put in a CAM1 high up in the crack and it is a bomber. So there is no excuses not to at least give it a shot. So I chalk my hand well and get my hands in the crack jamming it with some difficulty. Once my feet are on the face the stuff proves to strenous though and I fiddle about a bit contemplating whether I should try to get a friend in further up (commit more) or make a controlled whipper in my camelot. I hang around a bit without moving and then -whip- I jump off. Fine fall - gear held and I try the move again and -whip- once again I fall. Then I pull out the camelot and go for Fred's sling. Maybe it was the tequilla a few days ago which affected the comitting attitude - I should really have gone for it hundred percent but sometimes you just don't have the "Yoor".


There is an excellent line going past the bolt up to the anchor - a diagonal break fist jam size.

It's good rock though - had the stuff been situated in England it would have had a lot of routes on it, but you would need a few days to adjust to the medium down here and even so there might only be a limited number of routes as the rock would be difficult to protect in many of the lines. I have never seen so beautiful rock formations though. And with the whales in the ocean close to you it makes a memorable location to have climbed.

21 january 1999 - La Paz

 

On the way back to La Paz we were still spotting whales along the coast. It is still fun to look at those amazing animals. From various sources we had heard that there is a good surfing beach just south of Todo Santos, down on a dirt road at kilometer-marker 64. We were not disappointed. Actually we now regret that we didn't stay a day or two instead of moving on the same day.

There were quite a few people at the beach, many camped out in their vans with stacks of surf boards on their roofs. There were little shacks on the beach with Tacos and surf rentals. Mathias rented a hybrid between a funboard and a long board, an "8.2 funshaped" they called it, and Fred took out the kayak.

Surf's up, dude!

Great waves out there! When we surfed in Cancun, the waves were so bloody close that it was very hard to get out there. Here they were nicely paced, and it was pretty shallow so you could walk most of the way to catch the waves. We played around mostly at the right side of the beach - further left was more expert territory with huge waves with tubes and all that. Mathias' board was a great choice - it seemed lively, but it was stable enough to catch a big pile of white surf, and stand up on. The kayak was loving this stuff too - full speed down the waves, side-surf the pile, spinning and backsurfing was fairly easy. Great stuff. On the board it was trickier to catch the big ones - most of them would just send us nose diving straight down into the troth and then crash on top of you pretty violently.

We bumped into the two canadians we had been partying with on the ferry to La Paz. One of them, Dave, was still sleeping in the van. The other, Matt, took the kayak for a spin but had to bail out when the first big wave trashed him about. Late in the afternoon we decided to move on, although we could easily have spent a day or two more getting the surfing techniques lined up. It seemed like the perfect place to learn.

We headed back towards La Paz and decided to swing by Monty and Chris, the american couple who is sailing around the world. They turned out to still be harboured in the same spot, and they invited us in and before we know it, the barbeque is going, and the wine is flowing. Delicious dinner and a very fun evening.

22 january 1999 - Playa Requeson

  breakfast at the boat
helping the sailors with fuel and water
driving north. cactus landscape, small mountains, pretty cool

23 january 1999 - Laguna Ojo de Liebre

 

Driving. The landscape is pretty much the same as yesterday. Had some brilliant Tacos in a cool little taco place. We drove into the whale-watching place in the Laguna Ojo de Liebre. We didn't feel like paying lots to take a boat out to see the whales close-up, but you could see them from the coast, spewing water and jumping out of the water in the distance. We also saw a small one really close to shore.

Car maintainance

Fred did some car maintainance - it hasn't been sounding too happy lately. Changed oil, some filters and cleaned some stuff. Found a serious leak in one of the pressurized air intake tubes - a little attachment thingy was broken off (probably from all our offroad driving) and left a big hole in the metal tube. We stuffed it up with epoxy and now Daisy sounds happier than ever!

24 january 1999 - Ensenada

Cold... Brrrr

Lot of driving. Ensenada is a quite a cullture shock - american style bars, live show places, people cruising the main street in big floaters etc. It is really cold here... The last three days we have driven over 1000 km due north, so the climate changes but for the first time in ages we cannot walk around in shorts and tevas. Had a great dinner in a semi-fancy place with a great view - they tried to screw us with the bill, though, so we ended up in a quick debate that we won. (The bastards added over 25% to the price on the menu - you just don't do that! :-)

25 january 1999 - Roselito

 

We wake up to the sound of, what??, is it raining?? It is pouring down, and it is freezing cold and we miss the nice warm south. The plan was when we headed to Ensenada to check out some of the surfing action, but it seems to cold even for a couple of vikings like us (ok, perhaps the viking blood has been diluted a bit - but there is still some left in Dad Willerup who chops a hole in the ice every saturday morning at the local lake in Denmark and jumps in for a revitalizing soak).

Looking for a big wall

Instead of surfing the cold Pacific we decide to head inland about 100 miles to a place where there is supposed to be some good granite, and a 1600 meter big wall. John Middendorf has described it as "a poor man's Patagonia". We assume this is because it has some great rock, but it turns out that it is because it has really savage weather! We arrive at Roselito, a little pueblo more or less on the border to the US some 50 km inland from Tijuana, and follow some very scetchy directions to the rock that we have found on the net. It starts with "take the main dirt road". Well, there are a bunch of dirt roads, so we take an important looking one and get immediately lost in a maze of dirt roads in a weird landscape of boulders, cactus and derelict little ranch places that has been left for the winter.


A weird landscape of boulders, cactus and derelict little ranch places

It is close to getting dark, so we decide to stop and camp in this wild landscape. While we find a suitable spot, mother nature tops things off with quite a severe little snow storm! What is happening, it is bloody snowing and blowing a mild gale from north-west!!? We are freezing our bollocks off in the little van, but furtunately we have some gammel dansk to warm up our extremeties. By now, the ground is covered with a thin layer of snow, it is still blowing but the sky has cleared up.

26 january 1999 - El Trono Blanco Campground

  Find route
Found the Big White Throne
Camp
Snow

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