Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ballenas en Guerrero Negro y Ciudad de Mexico

Hello to all,
Sorry once again for the long wait. You can blame it on the traveling I have been doing lately, however the good side of these trips, it has brought me many good stories and experiences to share with all of you.
The first big trip i have taken lately was a trip to Mexico City with Andre (from Brazil) and his host mother. I'm not going to spend too much time on this one, as I, one, don't remember all the details anymore and, two, have a more recent trip I want to tell you all about.
But to tell you a little about it, we went to Mexico City on an invitation from Andre's host uncle. we spent slightly over a week there traveling to all parts of Mexico City and near by towns. We spent time exploring the amazingly beautiful churches and other antique buildings, we saw the famous Monarch Butterflies, we saw a traditional bull fit, tried new foods, went to the national museum of anthropology, visited Mayan Pyramids, ate inside a Mayan mine. attended a small towns annual festival, slept very little, climbed to a snow covered mountain top, visited a castle, watched silver be worked, went to local markets, ate in a spinning restaurant, and visit downtown. By the time this trip was over i was completely exhausted and didn't make it to school for the rest of the week that i got back to Guaymas. i was incredibly pleased by the trip and hope to return to some of those places at some point in my life.
so moving on to the next trip that i actually just got back from. This past week i just went on one of the trips with all the exchange students. Starting in Tijuana Mexico we went to Six flags, Las Angeles, San diego and numerous parts of Tijuana. After a few days there we moved onto Ensenada, Mexico were we met up with even more exhcnage students. there we went out at night, got to know down town ensenada a bit and hung out with all the exchange students. After all the exchange students had arrived in Ensenada we head out for our final destination of Guerrero Negro. after about 7 hours in a bus we made it to our first destination (a super tiny town in the middle of the desert that i cant even remember the name of). there we went out on a walk in the desert at night for some star watching. after that we hung out in the hotel till late at night playing ping pong and pool. the next morning we got up earlier and went out to the desert to explore a canyon and check out these wall paintings in the caves. after that we had lunch and hit the road for Guerrero Negro, we arrived at the hotel after a decently fun 5 hours bus ride. That night we just hung out in the hotel, and got to bed at a reasonable time. the next morning we were up early and hit the road for the whale watching. It was such an amazing experience i know ill never forget it in my life. We went out in groups of about 10 people in small boats giving us a better chance to touch and get closer to the whales. as we got off the shore we started seeing the whales pop up every where with in 10 minutes. the water was completely full of whales. as we continued admiring how close we were getting to these amazing animals our boat was actually hit by one. the whale didn't make it under water in time and managed to lift our boat out of the water with its tail. although our group never got to touch the whales (i was an inch away from touching one) we were the only group to get tossed up in the air by one of the whales. (the captain of our boat said that, that was the first time he has ever seen that happen in the 17 years he has been working with that job). so we weren't lucky enough with touching one but i thought we were pretty lucky when we got tossed in the air by one. after coming back to shore we had a carne asada grill out, after that we headed to the largest natural salt factory in the world, where we climbed mountains of salt and walked across vast planes of pure sea salt (barefoot). after that we headed back to the hotel so we could all shower the salt off of our selves, after hanging around in the hotel for a while we had a little dance thing planned by the rotarians for us were we had food, karaoke, pool and dancing. it was a good time at about 1:00 am that ended and we went back to my rooms with everyone to hang out. then, because we thought it was a lounge area, we went to go to the down stairs part of the building only to find out it is a huge suit area and a man scared the daylight out us, we quickly ran away, then returned to apologize. as our apology didnt work him and his wife came back up stairs yelling at us. as the problems with them settled down we went to the rooms of other exchange students that were in a separate building. there we hung out until about 6:00 am when the rotarians asked us to all get back to our rooms. after only about an hour and a half of sleep we were up and eating breakfast, and then it was back on the bus, after about a 10 hour bus ride with lots of sleeping, music and hanging with all the exchange students we had made it back to Ensenada. With one more day of traveling i was back in Guaymas along with my friend Justus (Germany). Back in Guaymas and a little sad not to be with the other exchange students. the trip was a blast, especially the part of being with all the exchange students. Luckily the next trip (Ruta Maya) which is even bigger is only a few weeks away.
i hope you enjoyed this little story. forgive me for my bad english (as my spanish gets better my english gets worse). This probably wasn't my best blog post but i just wanted to write a little to get across the point of what I have been up to lately.
Best wishes to everyone

Monday, December 14, 2009

"El Aquario"

This past Friday, december 11th, I woke up bored and with an erg to get out on an adventure, so sure enough thats what i set out to do. Got showered, had breakfast and contacted my friend Teo. He replied to my message right away and came by my house to pick me up with in 40 minutes.
How ever our adventure got off to a slow start. We had made plans to go on a kayaking/snorkeling excursion and we were all ready except we forgot the paddles for the kayak. we only realized this after having already having driven 20 minutes almost at our destination. we thought for a bit and then figured we would have to borrow some, because we didn't have that much time to drive back. So after several phone calls and a bit of waiting around we borrowed a pair from Andre's family and a pair from Teo's old work.
We finally had all the equipment ready after about 40 minutes and were ready to go! we picked out the equipment we would bring along and we launched the kayak. As Teo was in the back seat of the kayak fixing up the fishing rods, I was busy paddling away towards our destination of "El Aquario".
As we struggled a bit against the strong ocean winds we admired the crystal clear water and dragged two fishing poles in the water behind us. While in the more open areas of the ocean we had to paddle hard to keep up any speed. As we kept moving i kept asking if we were there yet or where this place was, i just kept getting the answer of "oh a bit further" or "not quite yet".
Then we saw it, after a long while of kayaking we had arrived at "El Aquario". The water was crystal clear, the pelicans were out fishing and there were a few boats coming out of the harbor. the wind from the open ocean was now blocked by the cliffs and we easily kayaked in a bit further. Admiring the crystal clear water and all the surroundings i decided i had to get in and do some snorkeling. we parked the kayak and got on our equipment. I grabbed a bit of water to drink before getting in and then i went ahead and hoped right in, my friend Teo screamed about how cold he thought it was when got in but i enjoyed the refreshing water!
As i was blown away with how much i could see in the clear water I started seeing some amazing sites, a school of angle fish, billions of little jellyfish (that ended up stinging me a whole bunch) many fish i had never seen, beautiful plants and some really interesting star fish that moved like an octopus! how ever after being stung many many times by the little tiny jellyfish i decided to get out for a bit and but on my t-shirt. With my t-shirt on i felt a little more protected and the stings no longer hurt so i decided to get back in for some more.
How ever as i was fixing up my scuba mask and getting ready to jump back in, a giant eel swam past me! i screamed for Teo to get over here as fast as he could, this thing was giant (something like 4 feet long and real fat). we swam over real fast and i told him what i had seen, so we searched for it again, sure enough we found it under a rock, as we admired it it seemed to get scared and tried to scare us off with its big teeth. as we backed off a little bit it came swimming out of the rocks and we could see its great size again.
after it scared us a little bit more we moved on in the search of more cool stuff. we found tons of new fish, including a giant school of metallic fish, and an underwater cave. after practicing my deep diving and searching for a bit longer we started to get a little cold in the water and decided it was time to pack up, we got out of the water only after finding a puffer fish and a second smaller eel.
After back in the kayak we decided to do a little more exploring in the little near by caves and just to have a little more fun kayaking around. after tiring our selves out anymore we started heading back. with a long distance to cover we paddled calmly just chatting away, we finally arrived at the shore, packed it all up, returned the paddles to their owners and got back safe and sound.
It was quite the successful Mexican adventure!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I believe that in some of my past writings i have mentioned the canyon of Nacapule, but just to make sure everyone is on the same page Nacapule is a some what large canyon set back in the Mountains right out side my city. There is a small source of water giving the canyon a some what tropical appearance despite the dry, dry rocky cliffs that showcase the desert climate.
So now that we are all on the same page with the word Nacapule, I've got a small story i thought was worth telling. Just another adventure from here In Mexico.
This past Saturday, the 5th, after sleeping over at my friend Andre's house (from Brazil) Andre, our friend Teo and I headed out with a couple of water bottles and our good hiking clothes in hope to conquer the canyon of Nacapule.
We got a start at about 11:30, as we entered we got of to a slow start as we were goofing around and climbing the cliff ledges and getting of track. after a bit we picked up the pace, we we got further in we saw the first signs of water and then came to our first large obstacle, to continue on we had to climb upward a ways. but sure enough it turned out to be easy, we climbed through a cave and came out other wholes and ended up on top.
As we continued on the little streams of water got stronger and we started finding more wild life, after a failed attempt at catching a frog we picked up the pace yet again. After a good 30 more minutes of hiking we came to a more open area were our friend Teo suggested we take a bit of a side route and climb up this small peak. when we got up there we enjoyed the view for quite some time as it was utterly beautiful. On the way back down Andre and I attempted to catch one of the little Lizards that are all over the place and while doing so we encountered a small scorpion, really pretty animal!
we got back down on ground level and found more wild life which slowed us down before sped up again. As we hiked in further we heard Andre call out "se acabo!", which means its ended or over etc. So here was obstacle number two, very similar to obstacle number one but quite a bit larger. as we first tried rock climbing vertically and climbing the trees in attempt to get up to the next level we realized that was going to work. So we decided to walk back wards a bit and climb up the side of the mountain.
After maneuvering many slender edges and climbing some pretty freaky spots we passed the big road block and were able to climb back down and continue (we were essentially on the other side of a large rock formation that was basically a giant wall we had to climb up and around).
As we kept hiking we continued to enjoy the wildlife and other cool bits and pieces, and soon enough we came to another rock exactly the same as the first one. we had to climb vertically up what appeared to be a dry water fall to continue. So with a lot of care and very calmly we climbed out just to be disappointed by yet another of the same thing. At this point it was getting late and we were super thirsty as we drank all our water much earlier. I attempted to climb this one but it was a bit harder and didn't feel safe.
So we decided to turn around and make our way back. On the way back we faced the same obstacles, scary heights and skinny ledges, we crawled through a little cave and made a water break at a small waterfall (the water at the canyon is clean and drinkable). As i was filling the water bottles i spotted a tarantula, they really are beautiful! First our friend Teo carefully picked it up and then passed it on to me and after i held it in my hand for a bit i passed it on to Andre. It was awesome to hold!
After about 4 and a half hour of action packed hiking and climbing we finally made it back to the car were we packed up and hit the road. we were all exhausted but not with out a reason.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday's Trip

Today, Tuesday November the 17th, got off to a rather boring start as i woke up a tad sick and didn't end up going to school. As i finally got my self out of bed i decided to make the day productive and jumped into organizing/posting photos and other updates about my time here so far.
After working for quite some time i heard my brother get back from school and that's about when i got the call from my friend Teo. It went something like this "Hey Nick it's Teo, what ya doing right now?" "Nothing" "And what ya doing in a little bit" "Nothing" "well in that case you want to go kayaking with me" "Of Course!" "Ok ill come pick you up in 30 minutes".
So i saved all my work, changed into my swim suit and packed my little back pack with my beach/snorkeling supplies. sure enough by the time i had grabbed a bite to eat, Teo was at my door. we hit the road and drove to this little hotel area, where we had to convince the guard to let us be there. After a bit of talking with the guard Teo compromised to move the car to a public area. Then we got the kayak of the car and onto the beach as well as two fishing poles, a tackle box and our snorkeling equipment.
We wasted no time getting into the water. We hoped in the kayak and picked our destination, we were headed for a small island quite some ways out. As we paddled hard we crashed into and flew over the waves. after battling the waves for quite some time, we made it to the little island (quite the trip). The island was covered in pelicans, quite impressive birds.
as we paddled around a bit we decided on fishing over snorkeling, we paddled a little away from the rocky island and set up the poles. With the poles ready we casted our lines out just as the sun was going down (perfect timing). sure enough with in a few minutes i had a fish on my line. i reeled it in and Teo unhooked it, he showed me the fish and all and then we let it go. we set up the rod again and threw it out there, sure enough in a few minutes i caught another one, same kind (cochenito). only this time while Teo was unhooking the fish another fish bit the small line he was using and pulled it out of the kayak, we both went crazy and Teo dived in after it. He dove under water and had it with in a few seconds. After Teo was back on the kayak safe and sound one more cast got me a third fish.
By then it was getting dark and we had a long journey back to shore. we packed up the fishing poles and headed out. On the way back the waves were on our side and we made it the shore much quicker than the journey out to the island. on the way back we look at some crab traps but didn't see anything in the one we pulled up. At one point we thought we lost the car keys and had a good laugh when Teo remembered were he had put them. after a bit we were back to shore and nice and tired. Teo went for the car and i packed a few things up, he brought the car around closer, we packed up all the equipment and the kayak and we were ready to go.
the trip was a huge success and a huge change of pass to my uneventful tuesday of sitting in my room.

More stories coming soon.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another Weekend In Mexico!!!

So I'm sorry to all that i haven't posted in so long, i don't have much of an excuse besides that i try to post on the weekends and i've been getting caught up in these past weekends, i think you'll see how that could happen after i tell you about this one.
Alright so so getting on about my weekend, lets start with Friday. The weekend kicked off in a good way with an early release from school, i hung out with my brother and his friends for a bit and then headed for home. as the afternoon passed to the night, i started my search for what to do that night, texting and chatting with friends. Then about an hour before i had to be out the door i was told by my friend Andre (brazil) that we had a reunion with the rotarians. so i quick got ready for that and was ready by 8:00 (when they said they'd pick me up) of course after the transfer to mexican time i was picked up at 8:50.
We hit the road right away and headed to some beach front condos in San Carlos, where all the rotarians were meeting. we found them all and did our greetings and what not. at that point we where waiting for the other guests, we waited just talking and having snacks. then they arrived, more and more just flooded in, doctors from the US, medical students and the Mayor of Guaymas!!! so of course knowing english and spanish i was able to converse with everyone there, making it a fun night of meeting all sorts of nice and smart people. As i continued to chat with the group, I found out more about what the medical students and doctors where here for. turns out they had a project with the rotarians (I think it was hosted by the rotarians) to help out the poorer community that has hearing problems. they examined and fitted with hearing aids some where around 400 kids and adults. The night was just filled with chatting with friends, meeting awesome new people, eating great food and just building memories ill always have.
Afterwards i headed to André's house to spend the night there, we ended up staying up pretty late, but after a bunch of poker and bean tacos we called it a night. next morning we woke up with our alarms, ready for the beach! (this is when my weekend really got fun). so we got to our favorite beach (la playa de los condominios pilar) around 10:00 and were ready to have a god day. we walked down to the beach to the best part of it where the ocean forms a little lagoon like body of water. we started just swimming around and enjoying our selves. as time passed we just swam around in different parts, next we headed to a part where you can do flips and dive into the water, we had some fun with that and then got an idea. we took out my camera and started taking photos and video of funny stuff, including pictures of us doing dives, we look like super man in some of them!
after having fun with that for a while we where hanging out when we spotted dolphins not far off the cost. we dashed into the water in attempt to close the distance on the dolphins, as we walked and swam through the water we managed to get a bit closer to them, but nothing super close, but we were for sure close enough to get a pretty sweet view of them as the came to the surface! after chasing, and swimming after them for a while we realized how far our into the ocean we swam! it was time to get back to shore, as we swam back it felt like we would never make it, but of course we made it back just fine with out problems, and wow we gained some good exercise from that!
we were back on the shore but our day at the beach still wasn't finished! we checked the time and made sure we had no missed calls on our cell phones and then headed out for another adventure, this time we swam across a small body of water and made it to another sandy area where large amount of pelicans and other birds flock, at first they flew away but then as we waited in silence some started coming back, we sat around watching the birds eat and socialize, it was pretty interesting. after that we made our way, along a very big, long rocky coast, skipping rocks and finding sea shells, after filling up some pockets with sea shells and skipping a billion rocks we got back in the water and swam our way back. afterwards we checked the time again and found out we had been at the beach for around 5 hours and thought it was about time to head back, we called for our ride and they told us 30 minutes. we went to the pool at the condos to rinse off the salt and sand and to wait for our ride.
My dad picked us up and we headed back to out houses nice and tired, i ended up relaxing a bunch and then friends came over, and we were just hanging for a bit then went to on of our friends house for his birthday, where we hung out with his family and had some great food.
From there we came back to my neighborhood where we hung for a bit before we ended up heading to a party for a while, after the party i just came home and went straight to bed, being as tired as i was.
sunday started off with a nice amount of sleep, woke up round 11:00 made some toast for breakfast and then went to go relax on the computer a bit. then i just hung out for a while with Monica (finland) for a while, just relaxing on a sunday, then i decided i was time to relax and finish this blog post. sunday turned out to be a much needed restful day and friday and saturday where awesome active days with late nights.
(the two photos are from the day at the beach. One is me jumping into the water ad the other is the shadows of Andre and I when we are super happy at the best beach ever.)
the next post wont be as long as last time, stay in touch,

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hurricane Jimena!

So I was going to include this post in the other one I just made, but figured i'd give it, its own post.
This weekend has been a new and interesting experience, rather exciting but scary as well. On thursday September 3rd Hurricane Jimena passed through the area of my city. school was canceled both thursday and friday allowing us to watch, explore and experience the storm full on. Through out the day I wrote notes and took pictures of what i saw.
My thursday started off with waking up at about 3:30 into the morning with my mom screaming, turned out there was a gas leak to caused a little fire and she was putting it out when she was screaming. the police came to check stuff out and make sure it was safe, and my dad got home from Tucson. After watching the rain for a bit we headed back to bed. The woke up again around 8:30 or so knowing there was no school! One of the first things i noticed was our room was a little wet. went down stairs and got some breakfast. Starting early in the morning and through out the whole entire day, the electricity went on and off, as well as the internet, phone service, and water supply (the water cut out in the middle of my shower). After breakfast my brother and i rain around in the rain and crazy wind for a bit and then came back to shower off and warm up. As the day went on the same problems continued and the rooms such as our room and the bathroom started flooding, so we were mopping them every once and a while. After a while My brother, dad and I all went on a search to find some bread. While driving through the rivers (streets) and lakes (parking lots) we couldn't find any place that was open. So we went back home for a while only to head out again to explore the destruction and go get some drinking water. Thats when I saw dozens of uprooted trees, flooded everything, stuck cars, destroyed walls and fences, destroyed taco stands (at one there was a guy cleaning stuff up in a boat). Fire fighters and police were rushing around. roads were some what destroyed, it was a mess. After a bit of driving around we saw that some of the OXXOs were open and went there to get some basics for the house, since they were come of the only places open, lines were forming out side them to bye stuff (as seen above).
The strong rain and wind lasted for around 24 hours straight, including the weaker rain and winds it lasted more around 35 hrs. But the sight of destruction didn't end there, in these few days after i have seen cars stuck in mud off the roads, brand new streets torn up, concrete walls completely taken down and a lot more. I saw all of this close to my house but we got lucky, where i live we didn't get the worse of it. how ever surrounding areas weren't that lucky. areas surrounding us got it worse than us, and we got some pretty big damage.
I'm glad i was able to experience a hurricane from a safe spot, if you want to see more photos check out and if you want to here more about the hurricane just leave a comment with what you want and ill fill you in.
Best regards,
Nick Dykstra

Lots to say!

It has been quite some time sense my last blog post thus giving me quite a bit to say. I think ill just kind of go in order, like a time line and recap the things that are worth mentioning.
So first week of school! School started for me on Monday, August 24th and the first day was not easy. I was the new kid, getting all the weird looks, between not having a uniform and having blonde hair i didn't blend in very well. Didn't know anyone, didn't get how the school was run or how the schedule worked, and couldn't understand or communicate with others very well and the school i was going to was a completely different atmosphere, people and all. I didn't think i could do it, but despite my bad feelings about it, i got up the next morning and went again. Sure enough the second day felt a little better, still wasn't feeling great about it but I was glad it went a little smoother than the first day. I kept plugging away, and kind of dragging my self to school, then when i had to time to step back and look at it i could see it getting better, i have now completed 2 weeks of school and I'm feeling better about it. I'm growing more accustomed to the people and atmosphere, and over all I'm realizing that even though I'm not being academically challenged I'm going to learn a lot being in a different atmosphere I'm not accustomed too. On top of that I'm going to learn some amazing stuff, this semester i will learn and practice the basics of scuba diving and next semester i will learn and practice the basics of deep sea fishing! Can't learn that in Wisconsin.
So after a hard first week of school, I had a great weekend to help me recover! I started off the weekend with a party on friday night! It was the birthday party of a friend and by far the biggest birthday party i've ever been to. Held on a rooftop property, there was a dance floor and DJ, amazing tacos and drinks being served, around 100 people and just a great atmosphere! After a great night out with friends i got some good sleep just to prepare for another day out. Woke up saturday morning, relaxed with my brother, and enjoyed a lazy saturday morning. Around 2:00pm we hit the road, grabbed some lunch at a great sea food restaurant by the name of "Cachoreadas". After fueling up we headed to the beach. there we met the two other exchange students and some other family friends. The time was finally here to try wind-surfing! We dragged the giant sails and boards out to the water and set um up. Plamosa, being the only one that already knew how to wind-surf, hopped up on one of the boards and started teaching us. Being to excited to try this out, was the first to jump on the board, of course first thing that happens is the string for puling the sail out of the water snaps on my and i go flipping off the board, only to get right back on! the string was fixed and i was back at it, i went for a long time with little success then gave up the board to let the others give it a shot as i went kayaking around with my dad. after a bit of kayaking i got back on the wind-surfing board as the others got out of the water to rest on the beach. i kept going and going, and couldn't seem to get any where then as i was walking the board out of the rough parts of the beach i cut my foot open but still really wanted to get some where on that board. i kept going and going until i was told i had t get out of the water to leave, sure enough before i left i was moving on the board, it was pretty amazing! i didn't make it super far and do anything impressive but i was moving :-D
We then packed up and finished the night at the movie theatre! Next morning we woke up and got a bit of an earlier start by heading out to our ranch to get ready for company. we set up everything as people started to come, we hosted the other rotarians and there families at our ranch. it was a blast; we had great food (fish tacos), played soccer, hung out, went swimming and had a great time. it was that night that i learned that the older brother of a friend here is one of the exchange students i met while still in the USA, that was a great time. So that is about what my awesome weekend consisted of, i sure didn't want to go back to school after that one!
That is a bit about what i've been up to lately. having some good times here and trying some cool stuff, still loving the food and i can't wait til i have more to tell you!

Comment and stay in touch,