20,000 Leagues above the Sea

Trip Start Feb 25, 2010
Trip End Jan 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Pasada Campground
Abrahams House

Flag of Mexico  , Nuevo León,
Thursday, February 10, 2011

          One year ago today, I embarked on a life-changing quest through-out South-East Asia in search of happiness and knowledge, and now I am at the beginning of my exploration of Latin America. I have been in Mexico now for over 1.5 months and it is definitely one of my favorite countries that I have travelled to. I spent the first few weeks climbing as much as I could, the weather turned out to be a little bit colder than I had anticipated, so there were many wasted days off of the crag. The climbing that El Potrero Chico has to offer is, without a doubt, world class. Ranging from small easy pitches to gargantuan 23 pitch climbs (this is very high). The community, unlike Tonsai, is not multi-cultural and consists almost entirely of Americans and Canadians, which made learning spanish and discovering more of the local culture very difficult. In the first two weeks, my language ability suffered and so did my desire to branch out. Finally, with the help of a friend of mine, I met a group of friends from Monterrey (the nearby metropolis in Mexico) and began to split my time between Monterrey, learning spanish and discovering local culture, and at the crag, climbing

         The area in Neuvo Leon (the state in which I reside), is beautiful. Monterrey has so much to offer as one of Mexico's largest cities and El Potrero Chico has some of the most extreme climbing I have ever experienced. My Spanish has developed at an astonishing pace in the laziest and most effortless way possible. In the past month that I have been here, I have found the local population to be unbelievably friendly, trustworthy, and hospitable. Within 24 hours of meeting one of my friends from Monterrey, I was offered a place to stay and food to eat for the rest of my life.  I find that their traditional culture meshes with contemporary western influence in a much more seamless way than I had seen in the East. Spending time with my Mexican friends is so different than it had been in the States. There are parties almost every night but they don't consist of drinking, smoking, or any sort of mind-altering practices. It usually consists of a barbeque of delicious, home-made authentic mexican food and good company. Mexico has given me, for the most part,  the most real social interactions I have ever had. On one of my favorite days, a huge group of us met at a random spot at the park. There were about 15 or so that all came from different directions. One person brought a slackline, another person brought fire toys. The next four hours were spent playing, slacklining, and firedancing in the middle of a park in a crowded city into the early hours of the morning. In spite of the American Media's practice of sensationalism in regards to Mexico, Mexico is extremely safe for travel. Yes there is a drug war going on here, but as long as you aren't a drug lord or a soldier, you will be completely safe. I have a very difficult time even seeing signs that such a conflict exists. 

         A few days ago, I found an International Firedancing contest that asked competitors to take a photo of a performing art from an "extreme/obscure" location. Since I am currently living at the base of some of the tallest sport climbing peaks in the world, I figured I had the advantage. The other night I set out on the most dangerous and stupid stunt of my life. I gathered several climbing and photography groups to assist me. I climbed to the 3rd pitch of the Spires, just as the full moon made its crest. From there, I untied my rope, attempted to set up some sort of illusion of safety for the sake of my mind, and freeclimbed to the tip of the Spire. I was expecting some sort of a platform where I could stabilize myself, but instead all I found was unstable and loose rocks. I sat down, too scared to weight my feet on the unsolid terrain in the face of unrelenting gusts of wind. All I could do was straddle the rock for my life as I grabbed my bottle of gasoline with shaking hands. I doused my poi in fuel and lit them on fire. I struggled to maintain my balance as I spun my poi in a 3-beat forward weave. Managing my weight was nearly impossible with the shifting required to avoid the flame and the constant force of the heavy winds of the evening. I attempted to quiet my mind and focus. I stared straight ahead seeing nothing, slowly counting to 10 and back to 1 to keep me from panicking and doing something stupid. One of the photography groups was on the 2nd pitch of the other spire snapping pictures, while the second group was at the base. The pictures came out successful. Voting begins on the 28th of February, please get your friends to vote for me: http://www.homeofpoi.com/competition/view_all_entries.php/22_556

Special thanks to Hexar Anderson, Nyssa Knarvik, Richard Wilson (left photo), and Dan Ancog (right photo)

          I am enjoying this small vacation in Mexico climbing and exploring. I plan on staying in El Potrero Chico for a few more weeks as I still have a few climbing goals to pursue. Afterwards I will be traveling down to Puerto Vallarta to visit my Aunt and Uncle for a few weeks and then staying with my father who just moved into a condo 30 minutes south of Cancun. I plan on using that area as a base for my exploration around Southern Mexico before finally ending my vacation and moving to paradise in Honduras to pursue my Diving career.

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Journey on

So proud of you Q! Love hearing your stories!

Grandpa Jack on

Quest- The writing of your travels is more exiting than the book written by Gary Jennings "The Journeyer" about Marco Polo.

Dave on

Quest, it was really awesome hanging out with you here in Monterrey and Potrero Chico. Seriously, I'm going to miss the dynamic duo of Quest and Hexar. I'm glad we had the miserable experience of Estrellitas together, Mexican dating, TribalWars, and cactus together. Safe travels my friend - keep up the high spirits!!

JIll on

WOW Quest! You are most certainly living an extraordinary life! Seniding you lots of love. Hey, is this what I have to look forward to?

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