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Kite U.S. Forums _ Travel _ El Yaque

Posted by: jlatino May 12 2006, 02:56 PM

After 3 planes, 3 taxis, 1 hotel room without a toliet that flushed, no hot water, and a tv with no remote and most of the buttons to make it function pushed into the set, and about a dozen ´´louts´´ i made it. Lout is an Indian word for those guys that want to do everything for you from taxi driver to changing money.

One of those louts actually said gimme your passport and i¨m help u out... F·"!&er! the nerve of him.

So, El Yaque, the city is no big deal, it´s from what I can tell about a block long. I have to go into Palomar to go Salsa dancing and see the more cultural artsy fartsy stuff. but I imagine is has nothing to do with the town but the water and wind. As for entertainment American style.... nada. btw, speaking spanish is quite handy when coming here.

No wind today so no riding, though i do plan on putting up the 05 fuel 11m slingshot. Just becasue i have never flown this kite and because i i want to check it out.

btw, the people that work at the bar at Velawind have no concept of how to make a drink! each one was so watered that after 3 i hardly noticed a buzz. i think either i´ll have to buy my own bottle and spice things up, do shots (yuck) or just stick to the beer.

I´m staying at the room and location is new and it´s clean. for $40 a night ya´can´t beat it!

anyway, i´m here and safe.

peace out


Posted by: jlatino May 13 2006, 08:53 PM

They say it´s going to be another couple of days before it blows;however, the wind picked up tonight and there is one KBér and a hand flull of WSérs out on the water. Flat water with a Full Moon and and very few clouds.

spend the day in palomar. The women here are incredibly Gorgeous!!!

Got a few more days here then I will be going to coche to stay there for a week

Posted by: SaulOhio May 17 2006, 01:49 PM

Looks like things have really gone downhill since you-know-who took control of Venezuela. Dictatorships suck.

Posted by: jlatino May 18 2006, 02:31 PM

The mornings have been back and forth but mostly need to put up the 11. mornings are lighter wind than afternoons. once did i put up the 16. this morning i put up the 11 and flew full power. I weigh two bills. no problems... perfect

official hotel kiting time is 10 am to 12 and 2 pm to 4 pm. though if ya ride well. whenever you want.

basically if you are a consistant rider one can go to the end of the beach and back and forth there. If not ya catch a taxi from one of the local hotels, pay like 20,000 Bs. exchange at hotel california for TC´s is 2144 with a 5% comission. today i exchange 50 buck and got back $101868 Bs.

You then get dropped off at kitebeach which is about a 15 minute ride up wind where one can set up w/o your lines getting all hooked up on crap on the beach. It´s pretty much all beach sand.

Once you move away from the bay the winds are s t e a d y. waves are simply white caps . water is warm. only seen a few great whites up close ACK! just kidding....

The taxi will keep and eye out for you if you ask, tip the driver say 10,000. the other option is ¨supervision¨ which costs 70,000. a lesson is around 170,000 for 2 hours.

unless your like me, got in good with the locals, speaking spanish helps, and flashed the camera, ...oh sure i can take pic´s, have somewhere to download them?. today i had a two hour lesson for free.

basically the boat stays around you more than supervison but remember that the boat normally takes about 1 to 4 people. so they, drivers and instructors, are back and forth between riders.

Though it was a qucik lesson it was good. a few simple pointers on the water and on land. The best two things I did today was learned to look where I´m riding to, don´t stare at the kite. kinda like dribbling a basket ball. ya´always know where it is without looking. Unfortunateñly for me i never learned that skill :=)

and the other, remember i started with X2 14. relaunching could be a bit of a workout. with both the boxer and fuel, i´ve learned not to work too hard and just follow the directions. both work great.

lastly after hanging out with an australian who started to lose his vision while in the water, after the board nailed him just under his gath helmet. yes he had a board leash. I decided to wear a helmet and life vest.

the life vest is a big help especially after drinking in a mouth full of ocean water. one can lean back cough till tomorrow and just fly the kite. there really is nothing here, that i have yet to see that is like harsens island in regards to depth. it´s mostly all deeper than being able to stand up in.

speaking on board leashes, in my position, very handy, especially out here. a few times the leash disconnect from me and in two cases could find it again.; though the boat showed up and tossed it towards me.

oh... one thing to remember while here. many things that sound like a favor, later you´ll find out it was service and they will expect payment. remember to ask. I am fluent enough in spanish to sound like i know what i´m doing, but the accent here is differant than i´m used to. like southern english to that from someone from scotland. I understand about 80 percent.

Well it happened to me once. was it worth what I recieved in return? absolutely!!!! I flipped him equivelent to 30$ for services rendered, fair price, and said hasta la thats ok, don´t need anything else from you.

weather is pretty fabulous. doesn´t get much better than this. cosidering i almost went in india instead of this trip where it´s been around 40 to 44 and peaking to 48 degrees. I was looking for the biggest backpack to take with me there. here is 32 with lotsa wind and i´m still sweating like a white guy :-O excellant decision.

accomodations, though i may have mentioned this are very good. I saw someone´s apartment the other day and it is nicely laid out. bigger than the hotel room i´m in, about 3 times, maybe 1100 sq ft for the same price: no breakfast, dvd player and tv, fridge stove, contemporary furniture, wi-fi... 40 bucks split 4 ways... thats cheap.

though i thought about moving to the apartment, the breakfast where i am is good solid fuel! i would rather due without the others for the food! speaking on food. local fish and such all naught what is fabulous!

the locals... the riders are pretty amazing. do this 7 days a week for 5 years... wow!

there are alot of germans, swiss, french, australians, and canadians. Meed a canadian from toronto matter of fact. They just stay at the hotels and drink at night.

speaking of night. some of the best sleep i´ve had in a long time, though, there are these tiny ants that bite. so far i´ve been bitten alot. bring hydrocordizone and ask them to fume the room for you before you arrive or whatever

thats it for now.

peace out

Posted by: jlatino May 19 2006, 07:57 AM

winds were blowing pretty decent this morning at 7 am

just riding today and for tonight have plans to go into palomar. hanging out with the french and hittin some clubs.

for tomorrow have got a trip to coche organized, err somewhat... most people agreeded, some locals and some europeans, for riding, pics, fishing and BBQ on the beach, a bit of drinking...

Oh! and did I mention we have some models coming along. .....F%$! it´s tough down here.

Posted by: jlatino May 21 2006, 09:47 AM

there were 5 of us. the australian, french, and two locals who work as instructors.

To get there ya´load up all the gear onto this open air trolley for lack of a better word. the trolly picks you up right infront of the hotel and costs $20,000 Bs. the equipment, hardly fits, becasue there are so many people all trying to get to coche as well. from there it takes you on about a 5 min ride to the boat.

boat is about 24 feet in length with two outboards, and is covered with a canopy on the top and sides, the ride back can be a rather wet one. passengers sit on the side and equipment goes in the middle. there were other kiters going as well so there was a s"% load of stuff in there. the boat takes you across the ocean to coche which is about a 20 min ride.

coche is pretty much a a desert. there are a some trees but mostly wind blown ground cover succulents, cactus, and other things to stick into your flesh whence walking around; however, there is a resort there with hotel. other than alot of eye candy such as on the main land there isn´t much to do there but kite, which is cool. the only problem with that is that the sun seems to be 3 times stronger there. at the end of yesterdays field trip i was definately feeling the pain. there was so much sun that last night i noticed crows feet on my face, which i have never had. btw, i´ve been wearing nothing but 60 SPF. frenchie, didn´t put crap on and within an hour had developed blisters all over his shoulders.

i think partly the reason is because, and the locals agree, is that the sand there is white. even when you do find some shelter there in the shade i imagine without the wind it would be sweltering there. i don´t know how someone decided to start to build there, kinda like vegas, who would have thought.

anyhow, the reason that coche rocks is becasue the wind that crosses the ocean hits the island, remember no trees to get in the way of the wind, crosses the small strip of land, less than a qtr mile, and heads back over the water again, providing great wind without the choppy waves, though is is not glassy like you´ll see locally or in hatteras but is is flat enough to notice how the board is riding. also, the wind blows off shore staright into the great blue yonder. there are boats that patrol, err... park till you´ve gone too far, that keep an eye on and come get ya. of course this is only if you aren´t doing much upwind... which i have gotten a bit better at when going regular not goofy.

one sad note is that i walked over to the other side of the island where the wind comes onto shore i started to notice empty oil quart containors like the ones to use for filling your car. first there were 5 or 6 then when i looked up at the beach line, it was covered, though not a solid layer, with plastic bottles and all naught what that had been blown over from the mainland, carried on the water, and found it´s place on the beach.

another mentionable note is that bestkiteboarding has set up a small shop there and has installed some sliders into the water

speaking on riding, yes i continue to progress, the muscle memory continues to developè. i never was much of an athelete. but i can say with pride that i know i´m doing my best becasue i seem to have just as many, though not as severe, cuts, bumps, abrasions and all naught what not from the sport as others with the occasional travel hazards... i had to warn the guys yesterday to look out for slicks on the water when riding, montazuma´s revenge finally hit. gross! too much information?

today i´ll be doing the afternoon session. i´ve got to clean up my lines and do some other crap.

peace out

Posted by: KyleK May 21 2006, 09:29 PM

Outstanding travelouge Latino! Sounds like everything you hoped for. Keep us updated. Looking forward to riding with you upon your return.


Posted by: jlatino May 22 2006, 08:47 AM

i still remember looking at some of the wounds u guys have had on the bottom of your feet and thought, ¨that hurts.¨ 5 days later the cut on teh bottom of my foot hasn´t healed at tal! fortunately it only got cut through the dermis and not the epidermis which would really suck. ahh the comfort of having sand grind into your foot all day long with salt water!

as I awoke this morning the thoughts of home are starting to return, yikes :-( kinda of a bummer. I´ll be leaving wednesdays and arriving wednesday. so thursday i´ll be expecting some some reports on where ya´ll are gonna be riding.

gonna go and do a morning session and later today headed to palomar with with some locals.

wind is already blowing pretty good. up with the 11 again. this afternoon such as yesterday i imagine about the only things flying will be closer to 9´s unless your totally awesome. " hey man, unzip it, put up the 17 meter!" LoL!!!

not sure what it is but i noticed that either i continue to gravatate toward hanging out with younger peeps or it´s just the demographics. most of those i´ve been running with are all in their early to mid twenties, including the girrrrrrls.

as always i have a crap load of photos; however the connection here is not too fast and would take way too long to upload. individual photos sure but beyond that ixnay.

got some more tips yesterday on my ridng skillz and will be trying them out this morning. i´ve been using a north vegas board? sound right? it´s a bit shorter than the hazmat that i have and a bit wider with deeper fins. it´s good. I think i´ll be sticking with that until i leave. it´s been good to me so far.

peace out

Posted by: jlatino May 22 2006, 03:24 PM

... which literally means its blowing hard.

another morning session and more attempts. each morning and some afternoons i´ve been spending as total of 2-4 hours out in the water. broken down for today comes to about an 15 riding on the water, 45 attempting to ride ( get up and go real slow or super fast for some ungodly reason) and an hour of of just general attempts.

i went out with the 11 and needed to depower it by the time i was done about to half. i didn´t think that i had downwinded too quickly but i suddenly found myself near the end of where the launch typically picks up the bobblers. my word for those who are not technically adept enough to land the kite on a certain part on the beach and thus "bob" in the water till they are picked up.

the wind was a bit gusty this morning. it picked up quickly after i had gotten out of the water at around 1:30 . already there were mostly 9´s and some crossbow style kites which were bigger.

i´ve got more things tuned in in regards to kite position, been scolded for looking at the kite, posture.

If i had known, 4 summers ago that my progression to perfection would be more like the windsurfing learning curve, long and steady rather than the straight up then horizontal... i would i would have still done it.

as for this afternoon. just a good dinner, conversation, begin collecting emails addresses, and a photo shoot after the windsurfers comes in

Posted by: jlatino May 26 2006, 01:24 PM

on the last night there i had a blast! just name the vice and it was certainly there. it was one of the best i had had while there even though i was majorly C#$% blocked!

that same day of course i went riding and once again by the time i got out of the water even those that were in my weight range were on 7's and 9's. i on the 11 again.

flying outta maragarita was very nice. the plane circled el yaque, the beach and the hotels. it didn't look like anyone was out yet. it was a nice way to say goodbye.

all in all the trip was great. I'll give it a 9.12.

all the people i met, not just the locals but the germans, dutch, swiss, french, australians, russians, canadians were fun to hang out with. lotsa interesting convo. and laughs.

maybe some of you have already experienced a trip such as this, but this was my first where i went somewhere and just stayed for a number of weeks. relationships develope. interests are peaked. getting a global perspective on us in the states, beliefs, values, and visa versa was good.

though i have traveled to other countries before this was just differant. here in one spot, 3 bars perched next to each other for people to talk each night, that have a common interest created a temporary community.

i only have one regret and that is that i did bring more than a single gig of memory for my camera. i had planned on 7 but just ran out of time before i left. so i had to do some serious editing with that which i did take and to make sure i had enough space remaining i had to to shoot small files which gave me a lower resolution on the photos. as i write the photos are being uploaded. i will be placing a link on this page as soon as they are all up.

i arrived home last night, 24 hours after expected. my flight from caracas arrived late. after having to go through customs i missed the flight by like 10 minutes. oh well, i had a good time in miami and the airlines put me into the sheraton hotel.

btw, if ya'll haven't gotten a nsi golf bag, i recommend it. it worked great. the kites, 2 of them, and the board along with other gear fit nicely, were well protected, and it paid for itself completely on this 1st trip. my understanding is that the airlines charge 75 each way for board bags unlike golf bags.

well i guess thats about it. it's looking pretty crappy today for any wind. perhaps later this week will be better.

i'm looking forward to hooking up with ya guys later on.

props to Joe and Tim for getting this site up and going.

peace out

remember to cehck back for the link to the photos. promise you won't be disappointed.


Posted by: jlatino May 29 2006, 06:34 PM

... well most of them.

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