Monday, 3 February 2014

Blog Numero Uno

And we're off!
“With a heart attack on your plate, you were looking back on your days, how you spent them all in a blur.”
The view coming back from the mountains

Beep beep! Beeeeeeep! Beep Beep. Our hippy van fully equipped with a queen size bed, table and more climbing stickers than one could count raced along the traffic filled street weaving in and out of cars like we were escaping an apocalypse. Ulric and his Chihuahua had thankfully waited till our plane arrived at Monterrey Airport to drive us to our destination. It may have been saver trying our luck with a bus, but that argument is up for debate. Nevertheless we are sitting at the kitchen table, beer in hand food in stomach, fire roaring and most importantly alive.
We keep ourselves occupied
 Let me rewind a bit. It Tuesday night, and the tequila shots are being poured left right and center. “Its boom boom time!” It’s the night before I left for 3 weeks. What? Expect us not to celebrate a bit? By the time Joe and his legendary father Karol pick me up at 2:30am there was booze oozing out of every single pore in my body. I was wasted. The hour-long drive to the airport in Toronto went by with the snap of a finger. Going through the whole routine at the airport wasn’t too bad, till I decided not to read the computer screen and selected that “yes” I am carrying more than $10,000 cash on me and a number of other “yes” answers that would raise some eyebrows and further questioning. Other then this honest mistake, the rest of it went fairly smoothly. Our irresistible charm got us out of paying for our over weight luggage, even after my partner in climb had to pinch me twice not to blow spoiling it. As a result of drinking all night long, the second I hit the seat of our first plane, I was out. Gone. Besides a barely conscious drink of orange juice mid way through the flight, and giving Joe the evil eyes for trying to take my blanket, I was passed out for take off, landing, and the flight. Impressive.
departure time vs actual departure time
            Tyler!!! Wake up!!! We here brother!!!! My eyelids slowly open to the sight of Joe standing in the aisle of the plane hitting my shoulder to wake up. We had a limited amount of time to make our flight from Chicago to Monterrey…or so we thought. Turns out our flight got delayed due to a missing plane…. How do you lose a plane? It first started out as a 2 hour delay which then turned into a 3 hour delay, which then only after a gate change to the other end of the airport finally turned into a 4.5 hour delay until we were boarded. Our delay time however was used effectively for sleeping, eating and more sleeping with a few games of iSpy in between. We boarded our last flight only to be told the door of the plane was of course broken and doesn’t shut properly. Yet another delay while they wait for the mechanic to come. After the door was finally fixed we proceeded to the take off. 20 mins of driving later, we were on the runway ready to take off. Joe and I honestly thought we were driving the airplane to Mexico. Oh boy.
            The flight was fairly uneventful. Time went by so slow! We did our best to sleep, but with the seats being so close together it was uncomfortable at best. We finally began the decent into the valley, mountains to either side of us, as far back as the pollution allowed you to see.
            There were no cell phones or pictures allowed in Mexican customs, so we’ll skip this part of the story. Let it just be said that the border guards are not like the ones in Canada or US. They were super super joyful and didn’t give you any reason to be nervous or scared to walk up and confront them. When we mentioned this to the guards, they replied its because the Canadian border guards are cold. HAHA great joke. Ulric later told us it was because it wouldn’t make any sense to smuggle drugs into Mexico, due to their ridiculously cheap prices. Makes sense.
The view from our porch
            We were incredible grateful that our baggage made it, and that Ulric had waited the 4 hours for us while United Airlines found the “lost plane”. He drove us to a super market where we picked up enough food for the week, and than stopped off at Sierra Madre, a local microbrewery. You can pick up a liter of beer there for 77 pesos, which is roughly just under 6$. If you buy 3 of these you receive a 4th one free. Once you place your order, they go to the back where the beers are stored in their giant urns and freshly pour the liters of beer you order. The freshest beer you’ll taste.
            The hippy van puttered up the old mountain road through curtains of darkness as Ulric gave us the 411 on the area. By the time we reached our cabin Joe and I were beyond starving and even more tired from the long day of travelling. We cook up a quick meal, started a fire and hit the hay. Now being in Mexico one would think the nights are some what warm. Not here. We sleep fully clothed including long johns with our down jackets and toques on. Despite our best efforts to stay warm, we woke up numerous times because of the cold and once because of a retarded rooster who kept “cocka cocka doooo’ling” even though the sun wasn’t close to rising.
Joe in the kitchen where he belongs
            The sun rose sooner than we would have liked, and the whole morning was spent cuddled up in blankets drinking hot tea and eating warm porridge. By 10 we were ready to start our first climbing day and Ulric showed us the way to the Boka, which is a newly developed area but with some classic routes. We warm up on an 11d which Joe onsighted and I nearly flashed but couldn’t figure out what to grab the crux. Bummer. By now the sun had reached the wall and we were starting to feel the warmth of the Mexican sun. Another classic 11d resulting in an onsight and flash got us feeling quite good about this area. Joe picked the next route, which was a 12a, and turned out to be super technical and slabby. I decided to pass and pick yet another 11d climbing up this arête which had only seen one ascent so far by Ulric. I got my ass kicked on it. Could barely make it bolt to bolt, due to the different style of climbing it involved. I still believe it is harder than what graded, but that could be because of my lack of experience on routes like this. A couple more routes summed up our first day of climbing.
Ulric giving us the lowdown at The Boka
            On our hike back we bought some freshly laid eggs from Kika’s for our breakfast in the morning and proceed to cook dinner. Our evening consisted of a movie, guidebook research and reading. The night was spent freezing once again, waking up to frost on our porch. Today is a new day.

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