On to Tecate, and then further south

Day two of Baja Divide riding brought us to the Mexican border town of Tecate. This is where, in my mind, it starts to feel real. After a quick breakfast and mug of coffee, we left Chicken Ranch just after 7:00 AM. Our initial destination was a restaurant called Barrett Junction, maybe 10 miles away from where we spent the night. It was there that we hoped we’d be able to have a more substantial breakfast with a second cup of coffee, and more importantly, fill up our water bottles. Alas, it was not to happen. What we didn’t realize is that the restaurant doesn’t open until 11:00 AM, and we arrived there just before 9:00 AM, far too much of a difference for us to want to hang around. So, on to Tecate we went.

She’s smiling for the pic but neither of us were too happy to find this place closed. 

Crossing the border was so fun that we did it twice. Yes, seriously! After unsuccessfully playing with the cars in the drive-through lane (they kept passing us, and cutting us off), we were directed to walk our bikes through the pedestrian area. We saw people putting their bags through an x-ray scanner like you’d see at an airport but with nothing more than a “No necessita visa?” (You don’t need a visa?), to which we answered no, we were funneled out onto the streets of Mexico, sans inspection. Of course, we didn’t realize that was what was going to happen, and after a moment or two of discussion, resulting in the conclusion that “Yes, we do need a visa,” and to have our passports stamped, we walked back to the United States side of the border again and started all over. Everyone was super friendly, and also curious about the bikes and our plans. The entire procedure was painless, and after paying only $27.00 US each, we were granted 6-month visas to explore the huge country.

Thanks to Chris, our last Warmshowers host, we actually had a destination in Tecate, the Hotel Paraiso. We were led to believe that it would be basic, but inexpensive, and the description held true. We received a single bed, no-TV room for only 17.00 US per night, and we were permitted to bring our bikes right into the room with us (not being able to do that would have been a deal breaker). Of course, we had to get them up the stairs, a fun challenge in and of itself!


First meal in Tecate!

Hot showers, a real bed, and a place to organize ourselves was all we really wanted. The relatively-speedy hotel wifi was a bonus. The combination was so good that we even decided to spend an extra night there, making sure that we had everything dialed in on our bikes before heading out onto the trails tomorrow.

Aside from the difficulty of the riding itself, the most challenging aspect of this trip, I believe, is going to be water management. Water is scarce, so we need to carry two, and sometimes perhaps even three days worth (keep in mind that I am slow). It’s also heavy, which is unfortunate. I now wish that we had followed what some others have done and shipped some of our heavier, lesser-used objects onto mainland Mexico. Things like this laptop, for example, which won’t get much use in the desert, I imagine. It’s too late now though, so what we have with us is what we’ll be carrying. I will say that we did do one final extreme, last-minute purge though, cutting unused straps off of bags, and removing objects that we hope we won’t have much use for (silk sleeping bag liners is one thing that didn’t make the cut).

Where we hopefully can find water, food, etc.

As luck would have it, just before we’re set to go off the grid, I received another cryptic French document from our lawyer. I phoned our broker friend in Martinique to find out what it meant, and also to let her know that we’ll be unavailable for the next little while, suggesting that if anything needs our attention, to please send an email and I’ll try to respond when we get a chance. As it stands though, I have no idea when that will be. Although our T-Mobile phones are working wonderfully right here (on roaming), I have little expectations that they’ll work when we get south of town.

Wish us luck… we may need it!

The post On to Tecate, and then further south appeared first on Zero to Cruising.

The Tiny House is Done!

The tiny house is finally finished and we’re ready to make our move south! As with any home project, we still have a few finishing touches we’d like to add at some point, but it’s complete enough for us to start living in it. So far, we’ve managed to find a place for just about everything we need. Some of our storage solutions aren’t exactly ideal, like the two surfboards on the ceiling and all the tools in the back of the truck, but it will work temporarily.

We’ll post a video tour and a breakdown of our expenses and final cost as soon as we get a chance. For now, we’re working on securing everything so we can hit the road tomorrow!

Why a small House?

Initially I remember discussing tiny houses was whenever we had been residing in Denver. It was the winter before we sold your house and I also needed one thing to accomplish the night. I saw that Dee Williams, composer of “The Big Tiny: A Built-it-Myself Memoir”, ended up being speaking at the Tattered Cover. I’dn’t read the book, however it sounded intriguing and like one thing Jon might enjoy too, so we went. On the floor of this bookstore, the author had taped down a life-size design of her small home. When I listened to her talk about the small household movement and gazed at taped down partitions for the kitchen area and toilet, I considered to myself: i’m never ever doing that. Jon however, ended up being exactly about it.


My primary objection was the trailer. We understood your point was to avoid needing licenses, nonetheless it just didn’t seem beneficial in the event that you must build such a small area. I love a tiny, cozy household, however the notion of limiting the size to a thing that could fit for a trailer would not interest me personally. Perhaps bureaucracy and rules just didn’t bother me quite sufficient to desire to go on a trailer, plus the whole concept of having the ability to move it appeared like more of a burden than a bonus.

Cut to a couple years later. Our tiny bungalow in Denver ended up being long gone and we’d gotten pretty regularly located in our 33 base sailboat. As Jon and I discussed what we would do when our cruising trip had been over, we kept bringing up the idea of developing a small household – which I would refuse to call a little house – on our very own land somewhere. I needed to produce one thing making use of alternate building materials. Something cool, artsy, and recycled. I needed it to be ridiculously inexpensive so we could *keep our choices open* regarding serious employment. Jon kept saying, “Yeah, let’s do all that. But with wood and on a trailer.”

One of many other choices we considered had been leasing an apartment so we’re able to get started immediately on building a home that could stay placed. But we rationalized reasoned that aided by the cash we’d be having to pay in lease, we’re able to rather have little house we will utilize for years and years. Despite we build a more old-fashioned home we could make use of the additional space into the small home for visitors, an exclusive work space, or holiday rental.  We’ll additionally be avoiding dedication – which constantly seems good to us- insurance firms the choice of either placing down origins or continuing to live like nomads dependent on exactly how things perform away.

Following a amount of serious conversations on topic, we weighed the alternatives and decided that the tiny home on wheels had been the way to go for people right now. Someday we nevertheless want my funky cob house or a yurt whenever we have actually the land together with time and energy to build our forever house. For now I’m very happy to practice on our tiny home, and in actual fact, I’m really excited about it. Evidently, Jon can be very convincing.


Give and receive

Five months in and my garden is thriving… blooming in every corner. Tomatoes, green beans and chili are ready for harvest. As is arugula, radish, basil, mint, lemon balm, dill and parsley. The fig tree is bursting with fruit. The orange tree is developing new ones as we speak. For so many years I was dreaming of having my own garden where I could invite friends and strangers for a good meal next to an old olive tree, underneath the Mediterranean sun. Does it mean I am in a dream dreaming now? So grateful that I’ve stuck to my beliefs. In all the many areas of life.
I had this lovely older Italian couple, guests, over for breakfast many mornings, and I almost had to pinch myself. Is this for real now? Are there actual human beings visiting the garden that I’ve spent so many hours making fruitful and cozy, eating the food that I have carefully prepared for them with not only good natural ingredients and love, but that which is the result of years of visualization and contemplation. All those nights at sea below a star filled sky when I pondered upon my purpose on earth. Where I solidified my truest intentions. I knew it would happen one day. Was just not sure when, where and how. I am humbled by what I can create and share, and for what we can do for each other. The little things with big meaning.
Four weeks left of my Holistic Health coaching school. As I sit down to read through the health diaries by the many test subjects that I invited for my final work assignment, another wave of humbleness and gratitude flushes over me. We all have our struggles. We’re all just human. Transient beings with a human body experience perhaps. But we’re all made of the same things, we all have similar desires. We’re all particles of the same infinite energy. Which is why we all could be teachers of one another. Once we open our hearts and realize we’re not alone in any of this.
So grateful for having found this path. Many years it took for me to understand my mission. And while I am still in the early stages of both gardening and health coaching, I see there is a higher purpose and profound meaningfulness in both. To give and receive. To nurture, aid and guide, while simultaneously receiving food and inspiration for my own life and soul. Things are the way they should be. It should be no other way.

Help put Pizza Pi back in Christmas Cove

When we ran charters in the Virgin Islands, we were always on the lookout for unique experiences to share with our guests. As it turned out, almost all the noteworthy spots, the ones that guests read about prior to their arrival, and looked forward to experiencing, were located in the British Virgin Islands. This meant that even though we picked up our guests in the USVI, and dropped them back off at the same location, they wanted to spend the majority of their time in the BVI. And what they wanted, is what we did.

There was one exception to this, a unique USVI business that guests actually did look forward to visiting. It was called Pizza Pi, a sailing boat in Christmas Cove where first-rate pizza could be ordered from a dinghy-up window. Cool, eh? It was such a special experience that we’d make a regular stop there on the day before our guests would fly home, and it always met with rave reviews.

The bureaucrats want to put an end to Christmas!

Sadly, as often happens with great ideas, the young couple who started this business have recently met with some bureaucratic struggles. Their permit to operate in Christmas Cove, their original location, has not been renewed, and they have been forced to move to a much less desirable location. Even though the pizza is still just as good, neither term charter boats, nor day boats, are likely to visit them there. And without this attraction to draw these boats back to the USVI, the fact is that they are more than likely to just spend their remaining time, and money, at one of the BVI hotspots.


You can help!

Pizza Pi’s owners are not giving up without a fight though, nor are their many fans. A petition has been started to demonstrate to the powers that be that having this positive attraction in Christmas Cove is desirable for everyone, visitors and locals alike. We have signed the petition ourselves, and are hoping that readers might take a few seconds to do the same. Will it help? I don’t know, but making our thoughts known can’t hurt. Even though we’re not presently there to enjoy the pizza ourselves, I’ll take pleasure in knowing that, if we succeed, they’ll once again be able to create some positive memories for tourists, and our friends in the charter industry. Thanks for helping!