A Hard Post to Write

This is a hard post to write.  I don’t really want to write it.   I didn’t want to believe it.   Least of all put the bloody story on the internet.   Delayed doing that for a month now.. been a hard month.  A big hurdle.  Pretty stressful…   A month ago I crossed into Mexico.   They said don’t go to Tijuana.   So I went to Tijuana to see why I shouldn’t.   Found out pretty quick.   And on the second day there, my rig, on which I’ve ridden and lived off for the last 6 months, belonged to me no longer.   IMG_4162   Feels surreal to say it.  Feels worse to stew on it.   “How?”   I don’t really know.   What I do know is that I went for a walk down at the playas of Tijuana, bought a coconut and walked the foreshore.  Fresh tacos smelt bueno, so I detoured into a small restaurant and watched the sun set over the blue.   I’m guessing it was a professional job, with more than a couple of individuals involved – there must’ve been at least one watching my movements and communicating back to whoever was jacking my ride.  However the hell they managed to do that…   Because after 40 mins or so I returned to where my bike was parked 30 metres away and…   Was.   Wasn’t even dark yet.   Gone.  Nada.  Nothing.   And that was that.   Spent the first hour or so in panic mode, thinking that perhaps I’d gotten confused with where I’d parked it – searching rather manically through blackened back streets of TJ.   That sick feeling in the pit of your gut.   Then faced the reality of the situation at 3 different police stations. Plus the bureaucracy of the Ministerio Publico.  Even consulted the hardened Tijuana bikies to see if they had any leads.   Gone.  Nada.  Nothing.   Not many photos either in this post, partly because I haven’t really had the motivation, but mainly due to the lack of cameras.  Gone.   Pretty much lost everything.   Paraphernalia galore - MIA.   Photography, filmmaking, surfing, diving, all my tools, all my clothes, all my spare parts, hardrives (that hurt), backcountry gear, cooking, sleeping, all my navigation equipment.  Etcetera Etcetera…   Not even a clean pair of sox to my name.   I hung around TJ for another week – holed up in a windowless hotel, desperately willing the gods for a miraculous materialisation of my steed…  hoping that I wouldn’t have to break the news to family and friends.   All I got was a knock on the door on Saturday night from an eager prostitute.   But that stuffy hotel room gave me time to consider my options.  And it was there that I made the decision to continue the journey regardless.   It also allowed me to see a more attractive side of TJ and meet some great locals.   But to get things happening it was back to San Diego.  To the ever-generous good-vibesy pad of Jake and Katie.   I’m not going to go into detail of what went down over the time in San Diego, mainly because it just entailed the entire re-organisation and re-purchase of everything I owned prior.  I’ve burnt way more dough than what I’d ever anticipated by this stage in the trip… definitely cutting it fine.   Although it was in San Diego that I got to tee up with some good friends who I’d been planning on meeting in Baja – we spent our days working on the bikes.   Organised chaos for a month solid.   IMG_2293   Sleeping in the Aquatic Oddities shaping bay amongst the excellent company of Pat and Jake.   DSC04587   Went on a groovy trip with a real groovy gal out to Joshua Tree National Park – beautiful out there…   DSC04645 DSC04684   Painted a mural at one point to say thanks to the Aquatic Oddities lads.  First one I’ve ever done.   IMG_2299   Although used oils and burnt the back of my throat on the fumes – think I’ll switch to acrylics from now on – took me a couple of days to regain my sense of smell.   IMG_2302   Bought a cheaper, second-hand bike.  His name is Ned Si-Mon – and he’s tough as all shit.   IMG_3969-2 Photo Alex Doseff   Was hooked up by Givi for a full pannier system of the Outback Trekker range.  Best panniers I’ve ever laid my eyes on – they are quite simply, kick-ass.   Also hooked up by Trail Tail with a badass trailer.  An unreal addition to my bike, awesome on the long, fast stretches of pavement, as well as gnarly off-road creek crossings, mud and sand.   Feels amazing to be back on the road…   And although its been a rough one on the spirit and hip-pocket at times, there’s plenty of positive outcomes…   Not least of all the new steed.   DSC05564   But of course the amazing pack of friends to share it with.   IMG_0464 IMG_2339-2 IMG_2351-2 DSC05385-2 IMG_2695-2 Photo: Alex Doseff DSC05663-2   And the waves have been solid and pumping.   DSC05487   Even got to surf Killers on Todos Santos Island.  Something I’d dreamed of for many years…   the_howling_sea-17 the_howling_sea-7 And I still have my surfboards and tent that were tucked away in the hotel room in TJ during the robbery, safely awaiting some luckily-timed ding and tear repairs. IMG_4014-3 Photo: Alex Doseff   And now that I’m out of the predictable systems of the US and Canada, it feels like the adventure is only beginning…   DSC05577 DSC05568 DSC05566 DSC05576   I’m still determined to ride down to the bottom of the world… somehow.   Stoked on life.  Stoked on the year ahead.   I hope you are too…   Happy New Year.   DSC04821

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