Category Archives: Nicaragua

Visit The Integratron

Out in the desert  near Joshua Tree, if you look from the hills above Landers, you might wonder about the bright white dome out in the flat basin. Short answer: It’s a circular, sonically balanced room where people gather to listen to the quartz bowls, whose sound is a fusion of spinning helicopter blades and whale song.

Visit the Integratron

So here’s the lowdown from Wikipedia:

The Integratron is a structure designed by ufologist and contactee George Van Tassel. Tassel claimed the Integratron was capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel.

He built the structure following instructions provided by visitors from the planet Venus.

The Integratron’s workings rely on the generation of strong “intermittent magnetic fields.” Van Tassel claimed the Integratron is intentionally constructed atop a powerful geomagnetic anomaly and its construction is entirely of non-ferromagnetic materials.

Get that. Good. Now let it go. To truly experience The Integraton one must not question the practice but instead open your heart to the experience. Which is exactly what I set about to do.

Arriving is like finding a Mad Mex set: The white orb perched as if ready to return to outer space adjacent to an empty courtyard of sculptural seats constructed of repurposed trash. The setting creates space to focus the mind.

Visit the Integratron

Visit the Integratron

We enter the dome, our voices deepen with resonance echoed by the half-sphere above. We choose mats with a view to the perfectly blue sky. The wind outside had been driving me crazy, blowing in whistling gales so strong they can be heard while driving, inside the dome is silent other than the whispers of other time-travelers.

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When the quartz bowls begin, I close my eyes and turn my palms toward the ceiling. I begin a series of the most lucid dreams I’ve probably ever had. The magnetic fields do their work on me while I sleep. I wake a few minutes before the bowls finish their song, as though I’ve been summoned back to consciousnesses.  Do I feel different? It doesn’t matter. I participated and now I encourage you to do the same. Become one of us. Visit the Integratron.

Mission critical equipment – Evolved Surfboards

Take a look at these pretty ladies. Truth be told, I took my surfboard back. It’s the purple and pink one. I really loved it for the short time it was mine. But it was too big. Luckily for me, Eric at the Evolved Surfboards is a truly wonderful human and let me swap the board out for a smaller and shorter version which I have since ridden and is the best board that has ever been produced. AND it’s the exact same colors. This came about because my the first time at Evolved I saw my pink and purple beauty, but at the time I thought it was a little small for me. At 5’8″ it’s the shortest board I’ve ridden. I ordered the exact same board only a little bigger, and that was dumb because The One was right there. You live, you learn.

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Jo-Roxy’s board is Evolved’s FreakShow, you may be noticing a pattern from her bicycle that carries a similar aqua marine. When asked about how she feels about the board she said, “I look sick on it.” I agree, we scored some amazing waves at Trestles in Orange County with Jo-Roxy taking the last wave of the day all the way into the beach, hand in the face, while pretty much giving me a thumbs up. She looked sick.
It was down to the wire, I picked up my board on the first day of our trip and only got to surf it twice. Now I have to put it away as we drive across the country and it feels somewhat like we’re headed in the wrong direction, I’m too excited to surf the board.

Camper equipment check – The Box

Here is the solution to a year of hard thinking about how to best use the interior of our Honda Element. Inspired by a design I found on the Element Owners Club,  I cut, screwed, routed, and sanded The Box.

Vanlife camp kitchen

Why it’s genius is that it is both a platform bed and also gives clear daytime access to the space below the bed, this is achieved by piano hinged sections which stow neatly on the 42″ X 27″ box.

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In hindsight, I’ve probably spent too much time thinking about the box. But, now it’s here, I’m seriously impressed with how well it’s working. We haven’t spent the night, so in theory, the box is untested, but it looks fairly solid.

Behind the tailgate is our kitchen. Our main concern for the journey is a decent cup of tea, with the stove set up I can make a cup of tea while still in bed. Civilized, no? I’ve gone to such length as sanding the handle of our kettle to make it fit. We’ve also made a draw for pots and pans, room for a esky, a cutlery-and-more draw, and space for the surf gear.

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I took some old Ikea foam mattresses and had a custom mattress made by Paco’s Upholstery , it folds in three and covers the 73″ X 27″ platform. The platform is more stable than I thought it would feel, and it should feel firmer again once we shove all our clothes underneath.

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I slaved away on this thing, routed all the sharp edges, accurately drilled pilot holes, put on three coats of waterproofing polyurethane, in short, I made it with care and attention. It’s design and construction have focused my enthusiasm for the trip, thinking about The Box has meant thinking about the trip. And now it’s here. We leave in two days.  The next time you see The Box it’ll be in it’s natural habitat.

Announcing BIKEGANG! Nicaragua 2016

We’re getting out there again.

In our quest for an eternal summer, we’ve been planning and scheming what moves to make this winter. As readers may be aware, we spent the winter before last living in Sayulita, Mexico. During that time we met many like-minded surfing travelers who spoke of Nicaragua in hushed tones, as though they were concealing a secret, I intend to find what they are hiding.

Beginning at some point this September BIKEGANG! Will be back out on the road pushing much farther south than our last Latin adventure all the way through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and eventually to Nicaragua where we will find a base to live in warmth.

In the absence of good sense we have also decided to travel to NY state, and live in the countryside an hour or two north of the Big Apple in October to witness the epic colors of autumn / fall. Yes, we’re driving to the other side of the country only to return the way we came and drive south to Nicaragua. Ludicrous, maybe. FUN, indeed. The journey will look something like this:

Of course, plans change, routes can always be better planned, and adventure takes shape from day-to-day. We’re going surfing again and we’d take you with us if we could. In lieu of packing you in the car why don’t you go ahead and SUBSCRIBE (top left corner of the site) and we’ll give you the dirt as we discover it.

We’ve learnt many lessons from the Mexico trip, what is actually useful to pack, how to eat well on the road, what to expect when visiting remote cartel-infested surf breaks, Spanish, and what type of vehicle is appropriate for Latin America. The hope is our past experience will make this adventure equally as disgustingly enjoyable as the last. Time to see what’s hiding in Nicaragua 2016.