Veracruz- Travelog- EJ Notes:
November 27, 2011
Our flight from Nashville to the Port of Veracruz was not at all bad. We got into Dallas early on an American Airlines flight- AA309, and then got on a 7:10pm flight from Dallas to Veracruz. Small plane, three seats across, mostly full, 2 hour 45 minute flight.
We got a pick up at the airport with Rafa, Israel, and Eduardo. The drive through town to the hotel was not long, but long enough to get to see some of the city, drive along the beach, and end up in a small fishing marina where the Hotel Balaju’ is situated. Everyone is very excited about our different adventures coming up. I have been to Veracruz a couple of times, once for the first descent of the Alseseca River (Watch Hotel Charlie: Lost World) and once for Nick’s bachelor party trip where we headed back to do the river again now that it was all opened up and we knew the logistics for the “Big Banana” section, one of the best day runs of class 5 in the world. On this trip, we’ll be adding some new elements to the trip. Class 2-3 scenic runs, sea kayaking, kayak fishing, mangrove exploration, and general adventures with kayaking and the natural resources here as the venue.
It is early, still, and KC, Dane, Nick, Emily, and Rafa and the gang are still sleeping. Kristine is organizing our stuff, as we prepare for day one, where we’ll head to the mountains to Mexico Verde (our friend Mauricio’s resort where he does rafting, and kayaking) and where he has our kayaks. Mauricio is also managing the distribution of our boats in Mexico, making it the first time that kayaks are going to be available for purchase by anyone in Mexico. I am super fired up for my first meal here, and then my next one, and so on! I love the food here!
My first walk outside was a waker-upper! “El Norte” going on, in a big way! Winds from the North, blowing at huge speeds and relentless. The normally placid Port of Veracruz was like the North Shore of Hawaii in a big storm. Waves were being stopped and blown backwards, the tops blowing right off of them. Palm trees broken off at the tops, rocks the size of footballs strewn across two lanes of the Oceanside road as waves crash into the barriers and explode in a torrent of spray and noise. I am glad today wasn’t our day to go fly fishing for redfish or snook! KC was super fired up to run around in the wind, but had to learn to keep his eyes closed. It was quite impressive, really. No rain, just massive winds that lasted all day, and according to the locals, they have not seen anything quite like it.
Rafa and I were scheduled to do a national radio show at 12:45. We have three vans for our group and sent two of the vans up to “Expedicione’s Mexico Verde” while we did the interview and then went to lunch at an awesome seafood restaurant on the coast. The show was about kayaking in Veracruz. This state on the East Coast of the Southern Part of Mexico is a jewel of a kayaking destination, and they are just now discovering that. Many people are familiar with our first decent of the Alseseca River near Tlapacoyan, which is full on Class 5 and 5+, but few realize just how awesome the entire state is for every type of paddling. Sea kayaking, and kayak fishing are two areas that are unknown to the locals and to travelers for the most part. The mangroves are going to be a place I am hitting up with the team, including Drew Gregory for Snook and other game fish. To get in the spirit of it, I had Snook for lunch yesterday, my first time in 30 years. Just seeing the fish got me so fired up. If you are a bass fisherman, you’ll love snook fishing, as they are like a bass on steroids and you can catch them very much the same way, topwater, Zara Spook, exploding strikes, and a tough fight. Fish the cover… OK, so I digress. We are getting our boats from the Port today, we hope. I shipped a 40 foot container of kayaks from Sparta to Veracruz to Mauricio, our distributor for Jackson Kayak in Mexico now. We will be using these boats here over the next 2 weeks. I am hoping to get the boats out today, so we can begin tomorrow with some whitewater action. I am hoping to get the Rogue out on some fun stuff first. There are some incredible class 2-4 runs here, with plenty of class 2-3 runs that few Americans have ever seen to keep these people busy for a long time. The infrastructure is incredible here at Mexico Verde. I anticipate this being the next Costa Rica once people discover it. Awesome.
Well, the coffee was left on my porch while I slept… time to begin the day!
With internet beaming throughout the camp, here, I was able to do a little work before breakfast, just me, the morning, sun, a cup of coffee, and a tropical camp setting. Sweet!
Breakfast was a combo of fresh fruit, cereal, and an omelet station. Little Torillas with a red sauce and cheese grilled is one that I still don’t know the name of, but with the beans it was a good fresh new breakfast food for me. What is it? I’ll have to find out.
We are organizing our kayaks for our first day tomorrow. This gave us time to enjoy camp with swimming, ping pong. Fuseball, and pool. KC is having a great time. He fell out of this tree, however, and cried, momentarily, but wasn’t hurt.
I am getting super fired up to paddle tomorrow!
EJ- November 27, 2011