Trip to Sayulita, Mexico

Recently was away in Sayulita, Mexico. It’s a small surfing town that’s situated 45 minutes North of Puerto Vallarta. I had a great experience while out there: was surfing every day, took a day boat cruise that takes you to a beautiful island with a hidden beach (Marieta Islands), went out scuba diving to some amazing sites and ate tons of Mexican food! Watch the videos of the “Chica Locca” Tour and the scuba dives, the videos will speak for themselves 🙂

Even though I had tons of fun, I still think that this town has a few shortcomings compared to the recent trip I did to Nicaragua. I was a little disappointed that it had no motorcycle rentals. I would of loved to do some exploration on a motorcycle. Also the night life wasn’t really good, and the prices for everything were too high in my opinion. But besides the shortcomings, I still had a blast!

View from where we stayed

View from where we stayed

Just a little Pina Colada

Just a little Pina Colada

Cave diving in Sayulita, amazing dive!

Cave diving in Sayulita, amazing dive!

Bonding with my new Motorcycle: Riding Southbound!

Recently had an awesome trip on my motorcycle! Road 2100km over the long weekend, stopping at various locations for fun activities like surfing, and sand dunes ATVing. Here’s how my trip went:

Apr 02 3:15pm – 1 hour before my departure Decided to do a road trip on my motorcycle this weekend. Leaving today right from work, I will ride South as far as I can get the rest of the day. I don’t have any destination in mind, but I do have a few surfing locations in mind that I would like to surf at. I got my playlist ready with lots of music and a couple audio books. The weather forecast is a mix of rain and sun, so this trip could either be awesome or a nightmare. I’m still excited to see how far this trip will take me, and I will report my progression on this post along the trip.

Apr 02 9:55pm – First food break at BJ’S restaurant in Portland, Oregon 

After a long time riding, taking my first break at the restaurant. So far I was lucky to avoid the rain, but it is getting colder by the minute and all my layers don’t seem to help no more to keep me warm. I’m also super soar from this past few hours of riding. Not sure how much longer I can ride lol….

Energy drinks helping me with my ride :)

Energy drinks helping me with my ride 🙂

Apr 03 130am – 30 miles pass Eugene

It was getting very cold, so decided to get a room for the night. Will be up bright and early tomorrow morning to continue my journey. Night!

Apr 03 6pm – From Crescent City to Gold Beach

Woke up early morning, jumped on the bike and kept riding south until I got to Grants Pass. Took a  half hour coffee break to get some warmth back in my legs and hands (it’s hard to believe how cold it can get!). From there I took the highway 199 to Crescent City. Stopped at a seafood restaurant, where I was served the biggest breakfast portion, that’s what I love about USA, big tasty portions for cheap! I was going to surf there but the conditions weren’t that great. So decided to ride north up the Oregon Coast. Did a few stops to check the view and take pictures. I didn’t think I was going to get any surfing today because I was running out of time. And out of the blue, I found a rental place that rents good quality surfing paddle boards (my preference) at a hotel right on the sea – Inn of the Beach Comber. The staff was super nice and gave me one of the best rooms for the cheapest price, as well gave me a good deal for the board. It definitely made my day!

I went out surfing, it was a little ruff out there. Got caught in one of the bigger waves that crushed my face right into the sand down below. I lost some confidence and got a little scared afterwards lol. Now having a beer and relaxing. Will go to bed early to start the day early!

View from the hotel room to the beach

View from the hotel room to the beach

Highway 199 to Crescent City

Highway 199 to Crescent City

Oregon coast

Oregon coast

Oregon coast

Oregon coast

Oregon coast

Oregon coast

Apr 03 815pm – Mexican food 

One thing I might add, I love love love Mexican food! Just ate 3 delicious pork tacos, couldn’t help myself to order 3 more!

Apr 04 230pm – ATV at the sand dunes!

Just stopped at Frorance (the dune city) for a quick Mexico food break. And give my body a break from this morning ride up the coast and the atv that I rented on the way here for an hour. I gotta say, I had tons of fun exploring the sand dunes on an atv! The area that I was at is much more serious than the previous one I  rented the atv close to Pacific City. It has lots of unexpected drops, where if not careful could result in some serious injuries. But the area was unbelievably awesome! Will have to come back to explore more!

Oregon coast

Oregon coast

ATVing

ATVing

Sand dunes

Sand dunes

Sand dunes

Sand dunes – steep hill ahead 🙂

Sand dunes

Sand dunes

Sand dunes

Sand dunes

Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast

Apr 04 540pm – Quick stop at the Sea Lions Cave

After seeing an attraction sign, decided to do some touristy stuff and go check out a big natural cave filled with sea lions. Had to pay an admission fee, and take an elevator that takes you down into the cave. I found it to be very interesting to observe the sea lions, and my though was: ‘it’d be cool to take a paddle boat or a kayak inside that cave!’…. Perhaps an adventure for another day lol

Waves crashing outside the cave

Waves crashing outside the cave

Sea lions chilling in the cave

Sea lions chilling in the cave

Sea Lions Cave

Sea Lions Cave

Apr 05 9:30pm

Got home around 5pm today after a long ride home. My body was very sore from the past few days. But I missed the gym and my training, so decided to finish the day good by going to the gym!

It was an awesome long weekend!

Weekend Adventure – Snowboarding Big White, Riding FlowRider and Motorcycle Ride

A spontenous decision led me on a short trip to Kelowna Friday night. There were a few places that I felt it was time I go and check out, ne of them was Big White.  It is a ski resort that I’ve heard nothing but good things about! The other place was FlowRider; it’s an indoor surf that I was really curious to try.

The drive is roughly three and a half hours from Vancouver. Driving in the middle of the night, I was able to make it much quicker. This time I drove by myself, so I decided to spend the night in the back of my SUV.  Putting the seats down gives me just enough room to make a bed. Unfortunately I didn’t sleep that well because it was very cold. I had to wake up a couple times to turn the engine on to warm up the car. On a positive note, I woke up super early and was only 10 minutes away to reach the mountain to go snowboarding!

Big White

It was my first time visiting this place and my overall impression was really good. It felt like spring conditions, yet still a little cold to ride in a shirt. The mountain wasn’t as big as I expected it to be, but the terrain is really fun and playful. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to give it my all since I’m still recovering from my knee injury, so I had to take it a couple of notches easier. I will definitely have to come back on a good snowy day when I’m fully healed!

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FlowRider at H2O Adventure Fitness Centre

FlowRider is a company that makes artificial wave machines that one can surf on. With growing popularity it is becoming a sport on it’s own. It has been awhile since I have wondered what it’s like to ride it and if it’s anywhere close to riding actual waves. The closest flowrider we have to where I live in Vancouver is in Kelowna. And that location has only one of the simpliest designs that flowrider holds. Yet, I was still excited to try it out!

Here are my thoughts: flowrider, even though it’s fun, doesn’t feel anything like surfing real waves! But it was fun in it’s own way!  I could see this being even more fun once one got better at it! I also think that the skills learned from riding it could transer over to surfing, so it could be a good learning tool.  Now I am really curious to try out other flowrider designs such as the 10’ barrel wave; they have one in San Diego (Wavehouse).

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Sunday Motorcycle Ride

After a good night sleep in my own bed, which felt amazing compared to the sleep I had the previous night in the cold car, I decided to go on a motorcycle ride with an excited passenger, Carrie. We rode to Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway, stopping at various site seeing sites and exploring some dirt roads. After a day of riding we were both very sore and Carrie started to have muscle spasms, luckily by that time we were almost home. Despite the uncomfortableness of my motorcycle and the pain it caused from riding on it for too long, Carrie would still love to go for an even longer ride! 😛

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Tofino Surfing Trip During Christmas Holidays

The past week we have stayed in Tofino for Surfing over Christmas Holidays. We were supposed to go down to California, but because we were sick, we decided to do something more low key and go surfing in Tofino for a week.

The surfing and weather conditions were really decent, I had my share of fun. I feel like my surfing skills are slowly improving. I’m now starting to feel like I understand the wave better when I ride it. At times I feel like I am “one” with the wave and I’m starting to “play” with it a little more. The more I surf, the more I appreciate the sport. I still got tons to learn, but it seems like it always gets better!

Ferry Ride to Vancouver Island

Ferry Ride to Vancouver Island

Highway to Tofino

Highway to Tofino

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Weekend Surfing Trip to Seaside

Got a chance once again to get away over the weekend for another surfing trip with a couple of friends. We arrived to our hostel at Seaside, Oregon, late Friday night. Right before bed, my friend has realized that she had forgoten her purse at Safeway, which was an hour and half drive away. It was closed at that time, so she had to wait until the morning when she was able to make a call to find out if her purse was found. We were all in a bad mood, if the purse couldn’t be found, the trip would have been over for us. Luckily it was found and we picked it up the next day early in morning.

After a long morning drive, we arrived to Seaside beach where we were ready to surf! It was a very cold day Saturday morning, the air temperature didn’t rise above 5 degree celcius. Putting on and taking off our wetsuits wasn’t very pleasant, luckily this location has a warm shower that makes it a little more bearable to accomplish.

The following day, Sunday,  was such a beautiful day! The temperature rose to 15 degree celsius, a nice sunny day, with an offshore breeze. The waves weren’t very big, but they were perfect to have fun on! I caught dozens of waves. One wave in particular made this trip worth it. I was riding the wave and I squatted down low on my board so the wave was above my head level. I looked to the back and I saw the wave breaking right by my shoulder and when I looked forward I could also see the wave still forming in front of me.  At the same time I skimmed my hand through the wave… The feeling was unbelievable! I felt so connected with that wave!

The drive back was long and arduous, I felt very tired the next day at work too. But the trip was very fun!

Setting myself up for the next wave!

Setting myself up for the next wave!

Seaside Surf Spot

Seaside Surf Spot

Beach view from Seaside Downtown

Beach view from Seaside Downtown

Seaside Hostel's Backyard

Seaside Hostel’s Backyard

Warm shower at Seaside Beach... Made the cold experience more bearable!

Warm shower at Seaside Beach… Made the cold experience more bearable!

Surviving my First Attempt at Surfing Monstrous Waves

It has been a while since I’ve had a true “Ohhh Shitt” moment. This weekend I have re-experienced what it is like to really be scared. This time it was being in the ocean, having huge triple overhead monster waves coming towards me…

The excitement started at the beginning of last week, when I looked at the wave forecast and noticed 16 feet waves over the weekend on the Oregon coast. I was a little nervous since I have never surfed waves that big. The biggest I’ve surfed were 10 footers, and already I thought they were big! Little did I know then that once I get to Oregon, the waves would be as big as 20 feet high!

Wave forecast to be 16 feet

Wave forecast to be 16 feet

Friday morning, I packed my bag, got all my SUP surfing equipment, and headed on public transit to meet up with Carrie at her work.  We could then take her car straight across the border for the 8 hour drive from Vancouver, BC to Pacific City, Oregon. Taking all my equipment on public transit was extremely cumbersum, I’m sure I annoyed tons of people, but they were very polite and inquisitive about my SUP surf board and my upcoming trip.

Public transit with my big cumbersome board

Public transit with my big cumbersome board

The drive to Oregon was long as always, but a good old school playlist, anticipation of the next day’s surfing, and good company made it worthwhile.

The following morning, while checking into our hotel, one of the workers was telling me about the local warning that had been issued for the big wave conditions. It gave me chills, but I was determined to try to catch something big that day. After having breakfast at a buffet by the beach, we checked out the surfing conditions. The waves were as big as expected, but it was hard to judge their true size since they were further away from the shore.

First, we went to the surf rental shop by the beach so Carrie could rent her surfboard. Unfortunately, they refused to rent any surfboards that day due to the size of the waves. They told us that the waves could be up to 20 feet high at the moment, and they were only getting bigger as the day progressed. When I heard that I felt fear running through my body, a part of me was telling myself that I should stay on shore, and forget about surfing that day.  That’s what a smart person would have done, but I felt like I had to do it, especially when I saw a small handful of other people swimming towards the bigger waves. I knew that it was possible to surf those waves since others were going for it.  I also knew that my experience wasn’t good enough for those conditions, still I decided to go for it.

I got into my wetsuit, got my SUP board, and was ready to jump in! I noticed that one other surfer was on his way to go surf the big waves, so I followed and asked him if it was cool if he could show me the way to get past the white wash. Every beach has a way to get past the white wash. Most of the time this involves catching the rip current by the rocks that takes you out to the bigger waves, which was the case at this spot. He explained to me that once the opening was clear (no waves crashing into the rocks), I had to commit to it and just go and let the rip current take me out there without turning back. I was nervous following him, since the path we had to take was surrounded by rocks and boulders. Once in the water, we waited behind a big boulder for the waves to calm down, I was doing my best to keep my cool and tried to avoid being thrown into one of the bolders and damage my SUP board. As the waves became calmer, he gave me the sign to go, we paddled into the rip current and before I knew it I was out in big wave zone. I paddled out as far as I could from the rocks into a safer zone. My chest was pounding at that time from fear, but I kept telling myself to keep calm, panic doesn’t do anyone any good!

The spot by the rocks where the rip current takes you out into the sea...

The spot by the rocks where the rip current takes you out into the sea…

After a few minutes I was able to calm myself down and get myself excited to catch a wave! I saw the next set of waves rolling in, and was ready to catch the next one coming. I paddled as fast as I could but I wasn’t going fast enough to catch the wave. As I turned to look back for the next wave, I saw a wave that was much bigger than the one I was just trying to catch. Not only that, I was at the wrong spot of where that wave was going to be crashing! The wave was very big, it must have been bigger than 15 feet. At that moment I knew that I was in trouble, there was no way for me to avoid having that wave crash on me. I took a few deep breaths, and let the wave take me down for a spin. I felt my body tumble inside the wave.  I was trying to relax and conserve my oxygen, not knowing how long the wave would keep me inside. After what felt to be an eternity, I was finally able to float up and catch a few more breaths until the next wave took me for another spin.

After that set of waves passed, I was able to get up on my board and get back out to where I thought would be a good spot to catch the next set of waves.

About half an hour had passed by, a couple other people who had come out had already dissapeared, I’m assuming that they have caught their wave and went back to shore. So I was there by myself, which made me slightly nervous. Meantime I was trying to catch a few waves with no success. I looked out at the horizon and I noticed something big coming. At that time I was contemplating that perhaps I should catch any coming wave, and head back to shore. As that next set of waves was coming, I saw the first one that I was going to try to catch, and once again had no success. After that wave had passed, I felt the wind drastically picked up, and I saw the next set of waves coming…. Those waves were the biggest waves I have ever seen! They were slowly creeping towards me in the near distance, they were enourmous, at least 20 feet high! At that moment I knew that I had to get away from the breaking point, there was no way I wanted to get swallowed by that monster! I was paddeling as fast as I could to get away from the breaking point! Luckily, it barely missed me and it broke right beside me. I was able to feel the force of that monster that I nearly missed. I had to do the same thing with the next couple waves that were just as big, if not bigger… After those waves passed, I decided that I’m not ready to be riding in these conditions yet. I will need at least a couple more years of experience to ride monsters that big!

As I headed to shore, was feeling a little dissapointed not to have caught a big wave, but at the same time happy to have experienced that experience without drowning.

Coming back from the surf session...

Coming back from the surf session…

The rest of the weekend, we decided to go on a hike and watch the waves as they were crashing on the side of the cliff. It was a sight to be seen!

Trail hike we went on after the surfing session

Trail hike we went on after the surfing session

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Watching the waves go wild from the top of the cliff

Watching the waves go wild from the top of the cliff

Sunday night, we drove to Seattle to go to a restaurant called “Crab Pot.” I gotta say, the experience of eating there was amazing! I stuffed myself with so much delicious food, it was very painfully gratifying!

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Next day we drove home… Even though I didn’t get what I came to Oregon for, to ride a huge wave, I still think that the experience was worth it! Really fun weekend overall!