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February 25, 1997

KAYAKING BAJA - update from John Weed

Hello out there in computer land! As the newest member of this trip I've been asked to introduce myself to all of you folks out there in webland who are following this undertaking. My name is John Weed, I'm a certified white water kayak instructor with additional training in first aid, CPR and swift water rescue. I'm forty-three years old and have been very active in kayaking for twenty-three years. I've twice qualified to be a member of the United States national wild water racing team which gave me my first trips to Europe where I raced in Italy and Germany in Pre-World Championships. Some of my other races have taken me all over the United States including a race across the forty mile wide Molokai Channel in Hawaii, the thirty-eight mile race from Catalina Island to Los Angeles (California), which I've done five times and numerous other coastal ocean races. I still enjoy competing in white water slalom races, wild water races (distance races in white water rapids around four miles long) and ocean surfing competitions in kayaks.

I work as an instructor and guide for Current Adventures Kayak school which is in Diamond Springs, California. I teach both white water and introductory ocean kayaking. Last season I taught about eighty children how to kayak; some as young as seven years old.

Kayaking competition in distant places has really opened my eyes to the world and hooked me on traveling with my kayaks to explore new places. Some of these explorations have been the Bio Bio river in Chile, the Colorard River in the Grand Canyon, the Katun River in Siberia, and the Snake River in Idaho.

Right now I'm traveling here in Baja, Mexico with my father, who also has a kayak. We've been on the road for over six weeks now and I've been doing lots of kayaking, exploring, fishing, fly swatting, sun burning, clam digging and other fun things. This is my second time here in Bahia de los Angeles ad I planned to spend three or four days exploring and camping on the many islands in the area. However, my plans have now been modified. The chance to join this small band of adventure seekers in crossing the Sea of Cortez just couldn't be passed up. My challenge is to teach these strong-willed, non-paddlers the skills to safely do this trip and to quickly educate myself in all of the variables of a ten-day kayak trip such as tides, winds, and safe havens to run to if conditions become too harsh.

Fortunately for all of us, a friend of mine, Ed Gillett, happened to be returning after a week long trip of kayaking the area the same day that Jason and I met. Ed is the most experienced, knowledgeable kayak expedition person that I've ever met, and for years he and his wife, Katy, have been leading trips here at Bahia de los Angeles. Ed has written numerous articles on kayaking and done some truly exceptional trips by kayak including a solo trip from Monterey, California to Hawaii that took him over sixty days in the open Pacific Ocean. Ed was kind enough to give us an excellent guide book and took the time to go over a map of our route with Jason and me and just stuffed our heads with information to help us with our trip.

I'm confident that this will be a wonderful trip with these exceptional people and I'm eager to get under way.

John Weed
PO Box 648
Lotus, California 95651
(916) 642-1397 (home)
(916) 642-9755 (Current Adventures)

Posted at 5:56 AM

February 24, 1997

KAYAKING BAJA - preparations

When we were planning our journey to Peru back in San Francisco several weeks ago, we looked at the rather isolated desert region south from Mexicali and decided instead to bike down Baja and try kayaking across the Sea of Cortez to join up with mainland Mexico. We arrived in Bahia de Los Angeles four days ago with no kayaks lined up, not more than 3 hours of kayaking experience between the five of us and no idea of how to get the bikes across and the kayaks back to the rental place.

Today ( Monday 24th) we are ready to go. In just four days we have put together a 10-12 day kayaking expedition that will take us 140 miles down the coast to San Francisquito and then across to Kino on the mainland side using a chain of islands as stepping stones (see 'Kayak route' picture). It became rapidly apparent on our arrival and talking to the local fishermen (always good for 'local knowledge') that the Sea of Cortez is a stretch of water not to be taken lightly; the currents between the islands can reach up to 5 knots between high and low tides due to the constricted channel, and the 'El Norte' - high speed winds from the north - can funnel down the gulf and whip the water into a frenzy of white caps in less than half and hour - a nightmare for inexperienced kayakers like us.

Adding the problem of taking enough food and water for 14 days (usual 30 % contingency) and we were beginning to wonder as to the reality of us actually making such a crossing. Then an amazing chain of events happened; we met a string of key people (as always people !!) who have made it possible for us to now have five fully equipped and supplied kayaks on the beach ready to roll (see 'kakaks on beach' picture); there is John Weed - an experienced kayaker who has kindly lent one of his two kayaks and will accompany us as leader for the crossing (see John's update and picture). We coincidentally met kayak-guru Ed Gillette (who Kayaked to Hawaii from the California coast) on our arrival in town who kindly gave us the bible for this region in terms of charts and local knowledge. That same day we secured a mega cheap deal with the local kayak rental place for hire of three extra boats for the 10 day crossing. And in the last couple of days we met Gil and Mario (see 'roofing_Bahia de Los Angeles' picture) who solved perhaps the biggest hurdle of all - to get the bikes across and bring the kayaks back to the rental place - by offering to take their 'Ponga' (motorboat) across as a support craft for the hazardous middle section and returning from Kino with the kayaks. As return trade we have spent the last two days helping roof their house with tar (see picture).

So I guess its just proof again that even though you have no idea how to do something and nothing planned in advance, just keep the faith, add the ingredients of people and mild stupidity and begin the process; before you know it you're not just dreaming about it, you're actually doing it!

...as Hagar the Horrible said 'ignorance is the mother of adventure!'

Remember 'click click' in 10 days to find out how we get on...!


Posted at 5:54 AM

February 23, 1997

Photo Montage - biking Baha

#43...Ollie about to cross over the border at Tijuana from the US into Mexico. The poster board to the left of his shoulder is advertising an electric car; the new generation of eco-friendly travel. The next morning we woke up in Tijuana (having been kindly sheltered for the night by a local sports institute) and things were very different - as you can see by the next picture...

#44...the difference between San Diego and Tijuana was very marked; the level of poverty, the amount of garbage that is everywhere - and I mean everywhere !!! and the junky old 'hand-me-down' cars from the US that everyone drives; no electric cars here for sure. The side of the road coming out of Tijuana to Rosarito was strewn with broken glass from broken wind-shields and beer bottles. In just one afternoon we clocked a total of five punctures (flats).

#46...garbage aside, the people have been incredibly friendly - like Pepe here in Rosarito who gave us some invaluable tips for biking on Mexican roads - like biking onto traffic to avoid being run over from behind. He used to be a doctor of medicine mending people 'before I went crazy' - now he's only allowed to mend bikes. 'Everyone in the world should go by bike' he says, 'more safer, more cheaper, more fitter, more time for life...'

With Pepe's words of wisdom fresh in our ears we biked a treacherous road to Ensenada with no shoulder and trucks skimming us by inches; we each have our own way of dealing with traffic - I for example prefer to bike onto the traffic whilst Jenny feels more comfortable going with the flow. Its a personal choice, indicative of how we work together as a group. As close as we can we all exercise personal free choice, and respect the free choice in others. Only when it is beneficial to all do we make a 'group decision' which so far we've had no problems with. We often spend days miles apart on the same road, regrouping only at night. We have some structure to avoid total chaos - like if someone peels off to explore something of interest near the road they leave a pile of stones so everyone else knows whether they are in front or behind - but not enough to kill the spirit of personal adventure. Its a fine balance, and one that is hard to reach and sustain, but we're working on it; maybe by the time we reach Peru we'll be experts!

#47...this picture was taken in a fish taco stand in Ensenada. We all had a caving for fish at the end of the day's ride (mind you we are craving any food all of the time now our bodies are burning so many calories each day), and stopped by the fish-market where you can pick your own dinner fresh off the boat and take it around the corner to be cooked on the spot; mmmmh - so good !! We wolfed down three or four fish tacos each, costing around 4 pesos (50 US cents), along with guacamole (avocados), cabbage, red-hot chili sauce and of course cervezas!

In Ensenada, we all had a craving for fish at the end of the day's ride (mind you we are craving any food all of the time now our bodies are
burning so many calories each day), and stopped by the fish-market where you can pick your own dinner fresh off the boat and take it around
the corner to be cooked on the spot; mmmmh - so good !! We wolfed down three or four fish tacos each, costing around 4 pesos (50 US cents),
along with guacamole (avocados), cabbage, red-hot chili sauce and of course cervezas!

The next day we woke to find four of our panniers (saddle-bags for bikes) had sprouted legs and run off in the night. Our stupidity really, sleeping out in an exposed area on the outskirts of town. Someone must have seen us in the first light of the morning when we were still asleep and crept up in bare foot and snagged the loot under our slumbering snouts. We we're all pretty amazed that they had managed to disengage the bags from the bikes so easily without any of us waking up. Nothing major was taken - mainly clothes, tools and worst of all some undeveloped rolls of film of Carol's from the trip so far. But at least the mayonnaise was safe and they hadn't found the M+M's! We consider this experience to be our wake up call to being in Mexico; now each night we find somewhere secure to put the bikes - like a room in someone's house that we rent for a few pesos. Either that or if we're stuck out in the open we literally make a giant bed out of the bikes and gear, and strategically plant plastic bin liners in amongst the panniers that rustle if anyone touches them.

#48 ...this is the road to San Vincente - our fourth day in Mexico. By this time we had overcome the trauma of our gear being stolen (aah - just stuff!!) and started to find more of a rhythm to our traveling. The evening before I'd taken a flat coming out of San Tomas and told the others I'd catch up. Turns out I strip out the thread on the left rear axle nut and spend the night in a disused chicken coop that Pablo (the town's store owner) let me and the Raleigh (my antique 3-speed bike) spend the night in.

The next morning, tire fixed, I set off at first light to meet up with others, walking the Raleigh part way up a long grade that the three speeds that I have at my disposal can't deal with. Then I hit this stretch of road that is dirt and gravel the last ten miles to San Vicente. The roads are frequently like this - good then suddenly turning to rubble. There is far less emphasis on safety in Mexico compared to the US. Due largely I suspect to the absence of the insurance liability nightmare that seems to be spreading through the US like a disease. There are no guard rails on the switch-back roads and mountain passes; its much more down to personal responsibility - you mess up, you're the one that pays. Not like in the US when if you stick your foot under a bus you can retire on the proceeds of the resulting law suit. If the road turns to dirt like this one and you fall into a pot-hole and come flying off the bike you just deal with it. You find yourself needing to be much more flexible to change in Mexico - adapting to fluctuating circumstances as and when they arise...

#49 In San Vicente we met a missionary called Dan - seen here reclining in a wheel-barrow he intends pushing across the middle of Baja one day as a kind of perverted gardening adventure. Dan took Jen, Ollie and Carol into his house for the night.

#50 ...we spent the night in this wee shack for a few pesos. We find this to be a good routine when in or near a town - preferable to sleeping out in the open where we are exposed and susceptible to being robbed.

#51 ...this is me plus Raleigh getting new bearings for the bottom bracket. The combination of weight, only having three speeds and the age of the bike (1969) adds up to a lot of strain on the bearings. I have learnt more about bike mechanics in the last few weeks than I ever did with my fancy 21 speed Ridgeback from England.

#53 ...while waiting for the Raleigh to be fixed Jen played hackysac with Jose - one of the local kids from town. The ball is a miniature globe - symbolizing the ability for people from different cultures who can't speak the same language to be able to communicate - in this case through a ball game. Who needs languages!

#55 ...on the road to Bahia de Los Angeles through the Catavinia Boulder field in the central desert of Baja; the diversity of cactus and other plant species is impressive bearing in mind the arid conditions. One common trait they all share though is prickles!

#56 ...often we see shrines by the road side like this one dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Many of the shrines and crosses mark the spot where people have been killed in car accidents.

#59 ...check out these trees with no branches; designed to prevent water loss from excessive foliage?

#60 ...the road to Bahia de los Angeles...

#62 ...the group - now five with Theresa who joined us recently - nearing the little town of Bahia de los Angeles on the eastern coast of Baha. Behind is the Sea of Cortez, a 60 mile stretch of water separating Baha from the Mexican mainland. This will be our next stage - crossing to the other side by Kayaks...see 'Kayaking Baja' next.

The group - now five with Theresa who joined us recently - nearing the little town of Bahia de los Angeles on the eastern coast of Baha. Behind
is the Sea of Cortez, a 60 mile stretch of water separating Baha from the Mexican mainland. This will be our next stage - crossing to the other
side by Kayaks...see 'Kayaking Baja' next.


Posted at 5:52 AM

Baha Mexico by bike

Yeah! We made it through the second leg of the journey: Tijuana to Bahia de los Angeles, Baja California, Mexico. The wind is gusting to 35 miles per hour and the Sea of Cortez is a choppy blue-green. Sand is blowing into my eyes and the computer as I sit on the beach soaking up the sun. I look like a workaholic tourist and another fellow tourist has already snapped a photo of me and threatened to tell all my friends. Little does he know, that because of the internet, you'll find out about it before he gets a chance to drop his film off for developing.

We arrived yesterday after bicycling near the Pacific Ocean, over flat farmlands, and through an incredibly beautiful desert. We've come about 700 kilometers down Baja. At our first glimpse of the Sea of Cortez, we snapped this group shot. Note that there are now 10 of us (5 people plus 5 bikes). Theresa sporting the latest in mountain bicycles: Steve's bike. She joined The Expedition a day ago, about 90 miles from Bahia de los Angeles. Look for a higher quality of photos in our updates with Theresa as the photographer! (yeah and I love you too Jen - Jason) By the way, she jumped in with both feet! We biked our longest distance since we started: 90 miles, including 2 hours by moonlight on an isolated road, and it was her first day.

Tomorrow, if the weather is in our favor, we will begin to paddle across the Sea of Cortez in kayaks. Between the five of us, we probably have a total of 10 hours in kayaks, but our determination and spirit got the attention of John, who happened to be camping near us on the beach and has been kayaking for 22 years. He's agreed to make the trip with us as our guide. We expect that it will take about 8 to 10 days first skirting along the coast to San Francisquito then island hopping to Bahia Kino.

Life in Baja has its own timing. No need for watches because things happen as people want to do them. Stores that advertise "Abierto 7 - 10" will have a "Cerrado" sign posted for 3 hours in the middle of the day. We have our own timing with biking, too. We stop at almost every taco stand and eat our fill of tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. One benefit of biking on major roads: lots of places to stop and eat! It takes us longer to get there, but we enjoy the trip.

Dogs. Are there ever a lot of dogs! Skinny dogs, dogs barking after the bicycles, dogs killed on the road, mama dogs with puppies fighting for milk. Two dogs have adopted us here. They sleep next to us and follow us to town when we run errands.

My favorite part of Baja was the desert between Rosario and Bahia de los Angeles. It took us about 3 days to bike through. We started on the coast and climbed the plateau. Ollie heard about a restaurant and pushed ahead for a hot cup of coffee. Carole, Jason and I biked to dark and were just about to find a place to camp without him when we saw a light at the top of the next hill. An oasis in the middle of the desert: a restaurant. No cooking rice on a fire that night. We feasted on chorrizo y papas (sausage and potatoes) and drank several sodas and coffees. The owners of the place let us sleep on the patio. The next morning we awoke to rain. Just our luck! We bike in a desert and get rained on. By the time we finished breakfast, the rain stopped and the roads started to dry.

That day, we biked through the Catavina Boulder Field. Huge granite boulders were strewn over the hills and surrounded by dozens of varieties of cactus. One type of cactus here looks like a tall, narrow tree without branches. The hills rolled up and down, and again, just as we were about to find a place to camp, we saw the light of another restaurant on the horizon. We stopped for coffee, and the owner, William, insisted that we stay the night in his restaurant. Carole cooked a fantastic pasta dinner and we sat around talking to William and drinking beer late into the night.

The next day, Theresa joined us and we biked a beautiful, gradual downhill back to sea level. At dusk, we couldn't resist biking by moonlight. The conditions were perfect: clear night, nearly full moon, cool temperatures, and a desolate highway. Biking by the blue glow of the moon without city lights is unreal (especially when you plus bike disappear into a pot-hole in the dark - Jason). Magical. We stopped a few kilometers before Bahia de los Angeles and camped under a prickly desert tree.

Now we're climbing mountains that line the town, eating tons of fish and clams, kayaking, and relaxing on the beach. Like I said, tomorrow we'll push our kayaks into the sea and paddle down the coast and across the Midriff Islands. Or maybe we'll just hang out another day. We'll see.


Posted at 5:51 AM

February 11, 1997

Mexico preparations and school visit in San Diego

11 Feb 1997:

Well, it's 1:30 am on Tuesday, February 11th. We've been in San Diego since last Wednesday evening, and you'd think that I'd have gotten the few things on my "To Do" list accomplished by now and I'd be dreaming of fish dancing in the Pacific and resting for our departure from the United States early in the morning. But, no, I'm awake and basking in the blue glow of a computer monitor, cup of java by my side, hammering out a tale of our trip from Malibu to San Diego. I tell myself that I get my best work done at night when my travel companions are snoring near me, but really, I can't stop procrastinating. This isn't the last of it, either. My panniers are attached to my bike, but the supplies are strewn around, waiting to get packed and organized.

Malibu seems a million miles away. Since then, we biked through Los Angeles, down the last stretch of California's coast, and into San Diego. Southern California is very bicycle-friendly. Bicycle paths were our Yellow Brick Road for much of the trip. I had heard a lot of horror stories from people across the country about motorists honking, throwing beer cans and swerving into bicyclists, but we generally had good luck with drivers. Still, a safe, smooth bike path is a welcome site after biking on the rugged shoulder of a smelly, dirty highway.

I was nervous about LA. I grew up in Minnesota where my only experience with LA was the movies, and they didn't paint a pretty picture. I was expecting choking smog, congestion, and mean people. As it turned out, LA was nicer, easier, and more fun than I expected. It was more or less like any other large city - cars circling though the arteries and people running, biking, roller-blading through the capillaries. It was fast, and we rode fast. We saw an amazing sunset on Manhattan Beach like a fluorescent pink ball blinking out over the ocean - LA had a beauty I wasn't expecting. Still, it was nice to be though it and back on the relatively quiet stretches of the Pacific Coast Highway.

While in LA, we veered off the bike path to see the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, and after we rode though an industrial part of the city. Semi-trucks rolled by, transporting goods from the port. This picture was taken from a bridge near the museum. We walked our bikes over the narrow span; it had been closed to traffic because of an accident involving a truck. A man waiting to cross said that the bridge was notoriously dangerous, but would be better when the other lanes were finished. It had been under construction for years, and would probably be years before the two lanes in each direction were completed.

Now we're in San Diego, staying with my aunt and uncle, about 7 miles east of downtown. They've generously tolerated the four of us, all of our gear, and our occasional guest. Jason gave a talk at my cousin's school, The Child's Primary School. He presented his slides and video to the entire school, and I laid out all of the gear I'm bringing to Peru in the next room. The Child's Primary School has a flexible program that permitted us to come in and present the Expedition on a day's notice. The kids seemed enthralled by his adventure over land and sea. It was my first talk at a school, and it was great to see the kids' reactions and to hear their questions.

Email us! Tell us what you want to hear about in our future updates. Send us questions, comments, news, your stories. We'd love to hear from you! And look here for more updates soon.


Posted at 5:48 AM

February 6, 1997

San Diego

6 Feb 1997:

Hello from sunny and warm San Diego! Yesterday, we arrived in our last American city. We'll spend a couple of days here working on bikes, doing paperwork and running errands before we cross the border to Tijuana, Mexico.

We rode about 60 miles yesterday, with some vicious hills at the end, but before that, our daily average was more like 40 miles per day. The sun and the ocean have been irresistable, and we usually spend a little time on the beach after lunch.

As we reach the end of week 2 and look toward week 3, I've noticed a few changes as far as bicycle travelling goes. Now, I've never done any bike touring before, so I didn't really know what to expect. At first the extra weight from all of my gear on the back of my bike made the bike impossible to park without the front wheel twisting and causing the bike to fall. My bike has fallen over more times in the last two weeks than it has in the last two years. And when it dropped, I almost asked motorists to stop and help pick it up. The bike didn't even come with a kick stand because the people at the bike store said that it was only "extra weight." Well, compared to the other 85 pounds of gear and bike, the 4 ounce kick stand is insignificant. So in San Luis Obispo, I decided to take my chances with the extra weight and bought a kick stand. Parking my bike was suddenly much easier, but I still have to pay attention to wheel placement, or the bike still falls over. My light blue panniers are already brown from mud splashing on them and from falling into the dirt.

Another great improvement is bicycling is getting easier, especially going up hill. On the first day of the trip, we had a hill that was so steep I had to hop off my bike and push it up. I wasn't used to hauling extra weight up hills and I didn't down-shift fast enough. I thought, "Well, I could just turn around right now and go home. At least it'll be downhill." I stuck with it, though, and now I don't dread hills (as much). Yesterday, we had a hill that was five kilometers (about 3 miles) long, and I made it all the way to the top without stopping every hundred yards for a breather.

We're learning where everything is packed, too. At first when I needed something, it was always at the bottom of the other pannier. I would unpack everything on the side of the road looking for a bottle of sunscreen. Gradually, the gear has sorted itself out into the different bags and it only takes a minute of reaching into a bag to find an item.

So we stand with one foot in the United States and one foot in Mexico and things are looking good for our first border crossing. We're working out the bugs in our bicycles, camping gear and touring in general. The trip has been quite an adventure so far and I'm looking forward to Mexico and Central America.


Posted at 5:44 AM

February 5, 1997

Leaving California - border xing next

The scene in the picture here is typical of the early morning when we first wake up (basically Jen and I have been up for hours slaving over the burner making tea and breakfast - Ollie and Carole just lie around in bed groaning and complaining - typical French !!!).

The guy in the background is Bill Mosely. We bumped into each other on the frontage road 10 miles north of Oceanside, California. At the time Bill was dumpster - diving for food - he'd taken a $100 bet from a friend that he couldn't bicycle from Santa Barbara to San Diego - a distance of around 300 miles. "He said the wrong thing at the right time" Bill told us, and he grabbed a bike and went to it.

That evening we shared space and time with Bill. One of the first things that struck me about the guy - apart from the obvious fact he was hungry and had little or no cash - was the neatness of the gear on his bike. That told me more about Bill than anything he later said or did. He had an aura of peace and centeredness about him; a sense of personal pride and quiet grace. This person needed nothing from us, and we needed nothing from him, except maybe companionship and the trade of stories and wisdom from the road. He had obviously lived a little and had some neat things to say on life; hey - some free consultation from an expert who's been through it !!! All we had to do was sit and listen....

"Yeah, I reckon I got me a guardian angel looking after me" says Bill after telling us about some of the bar-scrapes he's been in "He's working overtime though!". I ask about his time in Vietnam - what it was like to be an adolescent teenager dealing with death every day, totally and utterly **** scared the first time the enemy was engaged. The fear - what was it like? Bill mumbles and says nothing - looks away and I feel embarrased about making him feel uncomfortable. Its difficult for a young male like me to know what war is like - the inescapable horror of it all. Hopefully I'll never get to experience it at first hand; yet there's a secret longing to know what it would be like; being forced to accept death - it must be an ultimate emotion. Perhaps a gateway to greater understanding - like being on an ocean. Who knows?

...its getting dark...we sit around eating cold ranch style beans and chocolate chip cookies. We're still debating on riding the 12 miles to Oceanside to slake our thirst with a cheap bottle of Old Milwaukee. We hum and har but the decision has already been made in our hearts; its actually logic talking - there is no moon, we are tired and we have no idea how far it really is. Last time we struck off in the gathering gloom to find beer we ended up cycling for 4 hours in a storm and the pitch blackness because some joker had rubbed the 1 off the front of the 16 on the mile sign to San Simeon. We opt to camp and invite Bill to join us. We make a protective circle with our sleeping bags and bikes behind the toilets - that way the police can't see us and will leave us alone. The trick with camping is to find somewhere really dark that no-one sees you enter into. Then no one bothers you.

We ride with Bill down the coast into San Diego. He ends up staying with us at Ernie and Judi's house for a day, and when it comes time for him to head back to Santa Barbara to claim his reward, he takes Carole aside and modestly asks whether she would consider riding his bike to Peru - a step up from Jon's bike which is like trying to ride a shopping trolley. We're all pretty gob-smacked. Here's a guy that ostensibly has nothing - giving the one thing of material value he has to a bunch of kit-junkies that already have more gear than you can shake a stick at. Now that's really giving....


Posted at 5:47 AM

February 3, 1997

Update from Carole

Ollie and I come from France. As you can tell, English is not my first language. I arrived in San Francisco at the end of December, where I met Jason and learned more about the expedition, and I jumped in this bicycle adventure.

I decided to let you know a little bit more about me, trying to explain to you the different motivations I have to be a part of the team, en route to Peru!

First, I used to travel with my backpack alone or with someone because I have always been interested and curious in different cultures and peoples. I needed adventures and links outside France as to abolish the world's borders and the lack of respect of differences; and also to prove to myself I was able to face unusual situations. Until now, I've been satisfied with the continuity of links created between people I met. Except for a personal satisfaction, it wasn't enough.

Looking at the expedition's goals, the diversity of people involved and their reasons, I realise that I've found an echo for love that I desire to be spread all over the world. At a personal level, I'm looking for answers to my own dissatisfactions, trying to improve myself and realise things I want to be. And certainly above all, I believe this expedition will bring new changes, new directions that I don't even expect now.

I notice 3 important points for me in this bicycle trip :
Physical - Moral - Emotional
Physically, I had the same problems as every novice in biking : pains everywhere on my body (knee, bottom, back!) before getting used to my bike and efforts! As I 'm also the smallest of the team, my little legs don't have the strength to reach the first who is pedaling!!

To forget about all the pains, the mind is helpful. When you really want to, you can do it. However hard it can be, you can find a solution; even if you have to get off your bicycle and walk, no shame on you.
As well, I try to be more active and creative : translation in Spanish, repairing my bicycle with help of the team when it's necessary, trying to develop the objectives with everybody, opening myself to new things : computer, video, etc ...
All the people involved from now (whatever the level of their investment) open doors and create different interests which is very interesting to share and learn about.

Concerning the feeling, one of the very good points is that this expedition allows me to keep doing things I really like : travel, meet people, kids in their schools and propose an exchange school program, still opening my heart more and more, help when it's necessary and share this adventure by the links already created.
I learn more about myself and enjoy it and try to find personal project that I will realise.
Day after day, I feel more satisfied, try to realise my goals and dreams, which really makes me happy with others and myself.
Even if it's sometimes the hardest way to act, now it's time to follow this energy and the little voice inside - to do what can make me happier.
Anyway, why not try? just have to believe in it.

PS: I would like to thank all people I met along the Californian roads for their hospitality, kindness and help. Especially to Bill, who I met on the road near Ocean Drive and came with us to San Diego, who gave me his bicycle to be more comfortable, and also to the Leidiger family who really welcome us with open arms for our last days in USA.

Next news from Mexico!


Posted at 5:46 AM