Friday, June 17, 2011

RoadTrip '11 v3 Abstract, Analysis


It seems like so long ago, yet it has only been 16 days since we got back from RoadTrip '11 v3. Granted, there was another epic RoadTrip in between then and now, but that is another plot for later in the movie.

11 days of Sun, sand, fish, sun, tacos, snorkeling, sun, beer, tequila, sun, chillin' on the patio...did we mention sun? The sun was hot at like, 6:42am. By midday, it was hotter than 2 rats screwing in a wool sock. Our pasty-white AK carcasses never stood a chance, sunscreen or no. We spent a lot of time in our poly sunshields, diving in the water when things got too hot, then relying on the miracle of evaporation to cool us down.

Tacos have always been a love of ours, but something about set and setting (remember that from your trippin' days, hippie?) make even the most average tacos seem sublime. Throw in a cold beer with a little limon, and the universe seems a much better place. We managed to land in 2 or 3 exquisite taquerias that would have made the DEC choke...dirt floors, dogs wandering around, chickens fighting in the outhouse...but for the amazing food we were served in these places, there's a whole lot more we could have endured.

As some of y'all know, we loves us some snorkeling, and this trip didn't disappoint. A mere hop, skip, and shimmy over the hot sand from the patio put us right smack in the middle of the best reef for a few miles, and we wasted no time gettin' our snorkel on. Even after the local reef hunters sacked it, there were still more fish, eels, and rays than you could shake a stick at.

As an aside, this trip was more than the everyday ordinary Neil Creek Traveling RoadShow and Beer Fountain...Us n' The Wife happened to celebrate our 10th anniversary mid-trip, a day made memorable by some bitchin' chorizo tacos and a long snorkeling session, capped off by a siesta after some arroz con frijoles with fresh maize tortillas. For those of y'all that didn't send anniversary gifts (symbolizing Ideas and Symbols, traditionally expressed by Diamond Jewelry...c'mon, keep up, you heathen), feel free to post them to the Neil Creek Center for Anadromous Salmon Research, c/o G_Smolt. Remember, it's never too late.

At any rate, enough blathering. The following is a non-chronological series of photographs, some of which will need some explanation - in these cases, we will provide some background using spanglish, ameslan, or birdcalls and various jungle noises. For your viewing pleasure, we also recommend a Mariachi album, or a good Don Julio side, if you are into that sort of thing. And a cold beer.

Going in style. "If you are gonna go, might as well go in the Big Seats" is our new motto.

First day in-country, and we're on the program. Breakfast of champions.

The digs...640 sq ft of living space, 800 sq ft of patio over the water...our kind of priorities.

Flora and fauna from the patio

Combs, about 200 yds off the beach.

DIY Ceviche, in 3 easy steps.

Speaking of Ceviche, the jacks and assorted reef fish tore our little 5wt reel a new one. After one spectacularly bad grinding noise followed by an interesting spell emanating from its innards, we decided to investigate. Pliers? check. Butterknife? check. Something big to use as a hammer, if necessary? got it. Doctor, the patient is ready.

So much for the sealed cork drag. However, we have a 2nd degree black belt in Ghetto Engineering, and saw the proper fix a mile off. We repurposed a water bottle to a higher calling...problem solved.

Night ops

"103 pesos? sweet!"

Did we mention the tacos de desayuno con batata, chorizo, huevos y pico de gallo?


More bloggers than you can shake a stick at

The Mexican got hisself a big ol' tuna one day, and we managed to weasel an invite over to his place for some serious eatin'...scenes from an all-out fiesta.

Before the carnage

Love from the Blue Water

Atun Aguachile - concombre, cebolla, serrano, y jugo de limon. Smashing.

Searing the Sea-Beef


Images from a reef


"¡Oiga! ¿Como esta?"
"Bien, bien.¿Que desea ordenar?"
"Quisiera un kilo de bisteca para la brasa, por favor."
"No problemo."
"¿Donde esta el jugo de naranja?"
"Seis pasillo, a la derecha."
"De nada."
"Nos vemos"
So even though we still can't conjugate our way out of a paper bag, we still remember some middle-school spanish and had sufficient pointing and grunting skills to convey at least a modicum of information...The result? Steak tacos. Winning!

Hazards to barefoot beachwalking - these things were everywhere.

We had a standoff with this guy out front one day, a mexi...nevermind.

The only good cucaracha

So big, he needed shoes

The Mexican took us for a boatride one day, and that's pretty much when our paradigm shift occurred. Salt fish are now part of our lexicon, and we see combs in our dreams. We will be back for more of this, sooner or later.

We'd be nervous too if we knew what was in store.

Pelecainos, workin' for their sardina

The Wife, makin' sure that Capitan Marcos got his ceviche fixin's

El Tiburon

Not sure when we will get back, but we know that we made the most of the time we had there. Many thanks to Martz the Mexican, Crumptastic, K8, and all the other folks that we bumped into on our anniversary trip.

We'll leave you with our 2 favorite images from the trip.

Hasta luego, amigos.

Monday, June 6, 2011

One down, one to go

RoadTrip '11 v3 is in the can. There is still a bit of PTDD (post-trip depression disorder...c'mon, keep up) lingering, and while we haven't openly wept while browsing through the trip photos, we'll admit that we get a bit misty-eyed and have a sudden lust for tacos and ceviche. We haven't done much editing, but after chopping up a few pics, we figured there was a little too much story to tell and not much time between now and RoadTrip '11 for now, here's a little taste of the tropics.

That was then, this is now. RoadTrip '11 v4 commences in 23 hours, 52 minutes, and 18 seconds. We're makin' a list, but we're pretty sure that we got the basics covered - Babywipes, Scotch, 7133 & 7132, huge-ass flies, Darth Vader mask, bail money, and a baggie for our pride when we get crushed by Walter...'cause you know it's gonna happen. 5 Days in the Holy Water, a week in the grease, 120 hours with the the peddler of Hope, the crusher of Dreams...we've been there before, and like a fool to his folly and a dog to his vomit, we're goin' back to get sunburned, chapped, chafed, schooled, and humbled. The last time, we pulled off a few wins, took a few from the home team - we're hopin' for a repeat performance this time but we know how fickle lady luck can be, so we ain't holdin' our breath.

Can't wait, fisha.