Saturday, November 21, 2009

Made it to Malibu.

A hard rain and strong wind accompanied us on the drive down the coast yesterday, blowing the van all over the road, but the storm subsided in the evening and welcomed us to Big Sur with some awesome views. And a highlight of the day was stopping off to see the elephant seals, some of whom enjoyed picking fights.

We rolled into Sand Dollar beach campground in the evening, made some dinner in the van, pasta and steamed veg. laughed and shared late into the night. In the morning it was back on the road to make it down to Malibu where we were going to meet up with Alex's sister for the night. It was great weather, and driving along the california 1 I realized of all the places I have traveled to, this piece of coastline is as beautiful as anywhere else in the world.

Tomorrow- meet up with the group in San Diego, a 4 hour drive from Malibu. And then across the border to begin the week of bulding cement homes in Tijuana.

Friday, November 20, 2009

let the adventure begin.

7. 7;30. 8:30. time has little meaning to a 1978 VW Van. it was torture waiting for my friends to arrive. but alas, close to nine at night i stood on the corner of parker and california street and watched as the brown beast rolled to a stop.

we laughed and i listened as they told me of all the mini adventures that took place on their drive down from Vancouvor B.C. to the bay area. and where else would we go to drink but on the corner of Haight Ashberry. If you start to notice my constant name dropping of life in a VW van it is because i am awakning a surprising desire i have always had to travel, without reservations and/or restrictions in such an iconic mode of transport. life is good. today we are headed for Big Sur, yes, in a VW Van. oh yeah, and for music we have a radio (shown in photo) that you have to crank for a minute to play for 20 minutes, something useful out in the wilderness or in a VW Van.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

reading material

As one might guess Lonely Planet Mexico city is tucked safely away in my backpack. I fully intend on putting its information to the test when I walk the streets of that quaint city of 20 million. But as I make my way south via VW van, I have aquired some reading material that is proving to be very informative. Written by David Lida "First Stop in the New World" is a fasinating indepth look at the under belly of Mexico City. Most interesting part so far: ficheras, women who linger in bars around Mexico City with the intent to provide lonely men some much need companionship. Like it is described in the book "a women to whom he can recount the various misadventures and misunderstanding of his life; a women with whom he can dance to the familiar ballads on the jukebox." I find this to be such a novel idea, that women, for a tip (and a percentage of the drinks the man orders) serves to fill an emotional void in a man's life, if only for a few hours in a bar. I will make a point of seeing this "only in mexico city" phenomenon at some point during my stay.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On the road (again).

My destination was Mexcio but I had one good reason for making a stopover in San Francisco. Tickets to see Ray LaMontagne. His voice, perpetually hoarse and distincly orginal had an element of intrigue that drew me to see him live. would he live up to his persona, saying little to the crowd, hidden away on stage without a spotlight? I expected all these introverted rumors to be true. As it turned out it none of them were. He talked at length about his songs, made jokes, and played with a level of genuine passion one rarely finds in music today. It was an amazing performance.

A chilly San Francisco night greeted everyone who poured out of the small venue, the brisk sea breeze whipped across California St., my arm drapped over Tess, (a friend of mine who joined me for the show), we both agreed it was a spiritual experience. A moment when one's existence seems to make that much more sense thanks in large part to the power of music.

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