The viento has been howling throughout September and October, meaning that we will have a super windy season! So, leave all your worries behind, jump on a plane and come on down to windy El Yaque for the best windsurf/kitesurf vacation of your life!
Ok - on to the biking.
Well, actually, before I get to that, a little about our season so far. Our season here at Casa Nora began alot earlier this year, and we have had some lovely lovely guests stay with us. For example: Peter and Antra, both from Jelgava, Latvia.
Antra is the chief accountant for an agricultural firm, and Peter, originally from Holland, is an organ tuner.
What a lovely couple! These two were the busiest guests that we've ever had here. These two were on the go every day, what with the hiking,
.....the early morning, guided kayak tours offered by Vela Windsurf Resorts,
.....and yes, the contemplation of gas prices here.....
(No, the pump is not broken. Gas really does only cost peanuts . We pay US $2.00 to fill up our pick-up truck....and that includes a tip to the attendant! Love it!
One evening Antra and Peter offered to cook dinner for all of us - a traditional Dutch meal, with beef stewed in mulled red wine, and marinated pears. Just lovely!
The after dinner discussion was quite intellectual - about the Catholic Church no less.......
All of which makes this final picture, a little difficult to explain.
Okey dokey - biking. But before I announce last season's Killer Mountain Challenge Winner, I just want to comment on the State of the Union, here in El Yaque. Our surf village is undergoing some kind of a real estate and construction boom! World economic crisis be damned! In the last 2 months, 4 properties adjacent to Casa Nora have been sold, with 2 already under construction. Prior to that, another 2 properties were snapped up, with one currently under construction. Un-be-lievable! Seems to me that lots of folks want to own their personal piece of paradise! Can't says I blame them.... :0) One such lucky person is our friend, Nils.
Here he is signing his title documents at the Land Registry Office.
Yes, here in South America (or at least in Venezuela) all official documents require one's thumbprint. Odd? For sure. Effective? Who's to say?
For super happy Nils, and to welcome him to the neighbourhood, we hosted a well......a 'Welcome to the Neighbourhood Party', with champagne and 4 different types of home-made pizzas........Yum.....pizza....
Kathy, Lii and I prepared the pies......
.....newlywed Pele and his family......
....and Diego (manager of La Chiva Loca), Artis - in the awesome flowered shirt (owner of the new beach restaurant "La Chiva Loca").....
.....and old friends Emile and Stefan.....
...all enjoyed the champagne and pizza.
Meanwhile, Wim - owner of his own kite school and awesome kite instructor, as usual, is hangin' with the beautiful ladies - Lii and Maryluz.....!
Alrighty! On to the main event - the Killer Mountain Challenge 2009 Winner is...
Ai caramba - before I forget, I should really mention a phenomenal new event that has occurred in the windsurfing world. Anyone that is remotely interested in windsurfing needs to know about this. There is a new windsurfing movie out called "Four Dimensions". (An Andre Paskowski Production.)
This movie is to the windsurfing community what Warren Miller's movies are to the skiing/extreme sports community. This movie is phenomenal! I am not really going to tell you what is in the movie,
......suffice it to say that the four riders featured in the movie are awesome,
Victor Fernandez Lopez
the footage is breath-taking,
Victor Fernandez Lopez
the production value is slick,
Gollito Estredo - Current World Champion in Freestyle
and the sound track is groovy.
Of particular interest to those of us from El Yaque, is Jose `Gollito`Estredo, as the current World Champion in Freestyle is a native of this beach.
If you travel here for no other reason than to watch Gollito train, I guarantee you that your trip will have been worth it.
This guy is so good, that watching him sail takes my breath away. He is so much better than the rest of the field, that when the others do a trick with 2 hands, he does it one-handed. When the rest try it one handed, Gollito does it no-handed.....seriously....no-handed..... completely defying the laws of gravity...
And Gollito's segment in the movie is awesome!
Congratulations to all 4 riders, and a special congrats to Andre, the guy with the idea for this movie!
To get a copy of this movie, in time for Christmas, please go to http://www.fourdimensionsmovie.com/ and ENJOY! For those of you coming to visit us here, I still have a few copies left for sale.
Without any further ado, The 'Killer Mountain Challenge Winner' for 2009 is........ from the USA - an emergency medicine resident at the UMass Medical Centre.... Jose Dundee!Felicitaciones Jose!
For those not in the know, my husband, Big Al, offers guided mountain bike tours throughout the local countryside. He has developed three different tours, all of which offer spectacular vistas, single-track trails, riding through salt-flats or salinas, coastal riding etc. One such tour is called the "Killer Mountain Challenge". It is quite odd really, as the mountain isn't really a mountain at all - it is a 300 meter trail/old road, which at times is washed out by rain. The 'incline' is no more than 35 degrees, which I would say hardly qualifies it as a mountain. However, the length combined with the tricky terrain make technical ability necessary. Many many many have tried to summit......
....these Canadians have tried....
....as have these Swiss.....
.....as has this Latvian...
.....but to no avail.
Only 4 in the world, over 5 years of running this challenge, have summitted. We've had some unbelievable athletes attempt the Mountain, from German ski instructors, to French Iron-Men, to folks who train for triathlons. We've even had a few super heroes attempt the Killer Mountain Challenge. Which is why, with his single attempt summit, Jose has joined an exclusive club, indeed!
Here is Super Dave after one such attempt.
He appears possibly ......well.....deflated.....but by no means defeated. Super Dave will be back twice this year to launch another summit attempt.
Also returning this year, the man to beat himself, John from Norway! Or as we call him 'Superman'.