1 Year on the Road!

Buenos dias amigos!  Today is a year since I left for Alaska.. certainly feels like a while ago... funny little milestone, but it feels good... yew!   In Nicaragua now… pretty bloody lovely I’d say, as I type I’ve got a beautiful tropical beach to look out across, although the swell’s easing up for the next few days – so time to get on the admin!   We left El Salvador a while ago now, but before departing managed to score pretty epic waves at Flores and Mango… was hanging out for the latter, hoping to see those dredging thick round ones we’d heard about – but the wind was a little suss in the best morning… so never really saw it all time, although definitely tasty enough!   C0003.MP4.Still002   On the best day, rode there with only my gun in the rack, thinking it’d be solid, but the swell never really filled until later, and so took out the side fins and rode her as a single.. lots of arcing fun.   C0015.MP4.Still001   We had Flores pretty damn fantastic – should’ve taken some pics on the good days, but here’s a bit of b-roll for ya… I’ll never make a decent surf photographer for the simple fact I hate missing out on the action..   IMG_5416-2DSC03767 DSC03696 DSC03808IMG_5337 IMG_5348 IMG_5455 DSC03843 DSC03838 DSC03833   On our last day there Boma got a bomb across the whole point, ripping on her 5’8” twinnie, whilst I on the other hand got tangled up pretty bad.   I dropped in on a set with heaps of speed, but there was a guy stroking for the shoulder in front of me, and to make the section I had to bottom turn hard and fast.  I dragged my hand on the surface behind the dude’s flailing legs as he duckdived, and somehow managed to get my arm wrapped up to the elbow in his leggie.   I’ve never seen anything swell-up so quickly, I burst multiple veins in my arm, couldn’t do anything for a day or two and was out of the surf for a week.  By the time I surfaced from the wipeout my arm looked like something out of a science fiction movie.  Weird lumpy burst veins beneath the skin.   One guy asked if I was ok, but I was so embarrassed about the gross state of it that I didn’t want him to see - just told him all was sweet and let the waves smash me into shore…   Here it is all lumped up under the bandage…   IMG_0955.MOV.Still001   When the arm was good enough to ride again, we jumped back on the bikes and set off for Honduras…   DSC03870   Made it there alright (after some bureaucratic frustrations at the border) but halfway across the country I hit the most gnarliest of dirty deep potholes I ever did hit, shit, sent me wobbling and warbling all over the place - smashed up my trailer badly.  Cracking the chassis seriously and shattering some of the fibreglass body…   So back to the roadside repair shop it was.. gotta love that about Central, when you’ve got a problem there’s always someone willing to give it a go… I guess it’s the workmanship that comes into question instead of enthusiasm.   The guy below was solid.  Thanks mate… definitely beyond the tubes of liquid weld I’ve got in my pannier!   IMG_0982   Camped on a Honduran farm that night, and the next day split for Northern Nica. Hung up the top end for a week or so whilst the arm recovered…   Next we rode a couple hours further south and camped in the backyard of a great local family - quite conveniently their backyard was also the beach, so it was smiles all round for a week or so there too…   DSC04559 DSC04545 DSC04613 DSC04576 DSC04590 DSC04616 DSC04693 DSC04713 DSC04723 DSC04707 DSC04704   Bomma found a sweet outer-reef bombora that we surfed together alone for a few days – super fun little jacking barrel into a wall.  We called it Bomma’s Glory.   DSC04782 DSC04751   Then it was off to Southern Nica, to San Juan Del Sur specifically.  A famous party town sort of thing, on the way there we rode up to Masaya Volcano, which still bellows and coughs sulphury gases…   DSC05147   The local indigenous populations used to sacrifice babies and young virgins by throwing them over the lip of the crater into the fuming lava below (not very nice) to please the Gods.   DSC05101   Then the Spanish sailed over the seas and told the remaining indigenous people whom they didn’t slaughter, that their traditional religion was all wrong (also not very nice) and that Catholicism was the only path to God and eternal nirvana.   The Spaniards then heard about the volcano and called it ‘The Mouth of Hell’, and so some monk fellah built a gigantic cross on top of it to keep it from erupting.   Miraculously, Masaya Volcano has only erupted 19 times since building the cross.   Thank God.   Sometimes I wonder that perhaps the world’s gone crazy, all this fanatical sacrifice and slaughter stuff – especially these days, you'd think we'd be over it by now.   Maybe we should just respect the volcano for what it is – a mildly dangerous and rather fiery mountain – but then again, what do I know?!   It was fun to balance on the edge..   DSC05069   I guess I get a bit fanatical about waves sometimes, and I do think there’s a bit of spiritual reprieve in the ocean.  And the sun.  And the forests and animals and other stuff too..   DSC05782-Edit DSC05800 DSC05847   But that’s also the beauty of the world, we all think differently, and we’re richer for it..   DSC06054   I spent a week in San Juan Del Sur, proactively studying Spanish for the first time, whilst Boma road solo off to learn more about a permaculture farm on Ometepe Island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua.  My Spanish is still pretty rough, but I’m slowly getting there…   20150527_120323   Unfortunately, whilst in SJDS we were provided with a stark reminder of the vulnerability of motorcyclists on the road when a local guy and girl were killed just up the road from us.   11355541_1007901692562682_727292111_n   Sad stuff.  Hope their families are dealing with it as best they can.  

NB. I didn’t take these photos, not sure I could…

  After I finished my classes, friend Dean whom I’d travelled with through parts of Mex turned up, and he was keen to get a tattoo.  He’d seen a couple of ancient Aztec figurines in Mexico City Museum (below) and asked me to sketch up a design that could be tap-tapped.   11356098_10204031945951167_2134085449_n   So I did… and we began.   DSC06306   Dean sat through about 11 hours of traditional Mentawai tattooing in 2 sittings, pretty long by anyone’s standards I’d imagine, but he handled it without a single real flinch.. first tattoo he’s ever had too.. brave fellah.   I’d imagine the triceps can be a little sensitive..   We made the ink together from the Agave plant of Baja and some Nicaraguan hardwood…   DSC06342   We were both really stoked with how it turned out…   DSC06339   Also did a small one for new mate Dave, a great fellow..   DSC06351 DSC06354   After all the intensity and pain, it was time for a beer and some good food - we walked out the door of the lads’ hostel and noticed the Aztec Gods were rather happy with our offerings - put on a bloody good electrical show they did…   The rainy season is now almost in full swing - it is pouring with rain and lighting the skies with electricity every single night... for those that have ridden motorcycles a little you'd know that this isn't exactly perfect - but whatever, we'll make it...   DSC06646   We had a great dinner, then Boma and I split the next morning, arriving into Popoyo in the arvo.   IMG_1155   The International Surfing Aassociation finals were on that weekend which meant Popoyo was chockas and the swell was rising.. we didn’t watch any of the competition, but did manage to score some quality surf…   DSC07247 DSC07222 DSC07203   We’d actually come north to Popoyo from San Juan Del Sur (an anomaly for us considering our end destination is very much in the opposite direction) because I was hoping to score Popoyo Outer Reef.   It never really turned on properly, maybe because the swell was too west..   But luckily after a chance meeting with Dave and Skylar we hunted down another, rarer outer reef that none of us had surfed before.  The first day we paddled the kilometre or so out, on the second we rented a little panga to store lunch in the channel.   C0248.MP4.Still001   Had some cracker backhand tubes out there, just the 3 of us, proper waves with real juice… a couple of scary ones even… a session to remember.   C0239.MP4.Still001 C0221.MP4.Still001   Great way to end Nicaragua… off to Costa in the next day or so, looking forward to getting into the jungle to meet some colourful critters (fingers crossed for a sloth!) whilst the swell is down…   Hope you’re well…   DSC07409   Hope you’re well…   DSC07503   Hope you’re well…   DSC07431   Hope you’re bloody well… aaaaaarrrk!!  

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