And so the adventure begins

Our campsite

I thought I might have a hard time adjusting to living in a small trailer full time, and not having much of my own time.   We are just over a week in, and so far so good.  The trailer is comfortable and cozy, and already feels like home.  The only complaint is a small shower, which should only make me appreciate the luxury of a normal sized shower when I return.

Luckily, I like to travel light, and I didn’t bring much with me– just clothes, my bike and kayak, and some gear (life vest, paddle, camping stuff, etc).  I don’t really like to surround myself with stuff because I feel like I can’t breathe.  When I moved out of my little cottage in San Diego, I only kept about one full truck load of stuff.  Not a moving truck, but a regular truck.  When I return I will need a few things for my new place, but not too much.  I look forward to starting fresh.

Jorge brought way more than I did.  He has a lot of tools, solar gadgets, a few gps’, radios, spear guns, rappelling gear, and so on.  If I need anything, he has it.  He also had a bunch of cookware…several pots and pans, bowls, containers and whatnot.  I took half of it out before we left.  We only need one pan, one pot, one cast iron tortilla pan, and a coffee pot.  I should have brought the rice maker, but forgot it.  We haven’t cooked much, we usually eat out once a day and the average bill has been $14 for both, for food and drinks.  We have made simple things in the trailer – soup, quesadillas, etc. Probably as we go along we will cook outside more, on a grill.  We make popcorn and watch movies on our big screen TV in the “bedroom” at night.  If we have wifi then we can also watch YouTube documentaries (my favorite).

I’ve been able to have my own time too.  Jorge likes “adjusting” things around him, and can spend hours doing it. For example, he is constantly adjusting the level of the trailer at our campsite to get it perfect, or he will build something that we might need, or organize his tools, or rethink what he wants kept in the truck and what he wants in the trailer.  He’ll take something apart to figure it out, or make it better.  This gives me precious time on my own.  It sounds funny, but I’ve been taking long walks on the beach.  PJ and I have to climb up and down the bluff to get there and I love any beach.  The south beach is always deserted so PJ can run and swim free of distractions.  I’m not sure why I have never seen anyone there – it’s the most gorgeous place.  I still ride my bike a lot, and I started reading again.  I brought a few books, but I have picked up a few more since we’ve been gone.  I started reading Bill Clinton’s autobiography – because I don’t remember hearing about what his early life was like.  I’m not necessarily a Clinton fan. Jorge only wanted to read the chapter on Monica Lewinski.  He brought The Handbook of Knots, by Maria Costantino that he would rather read.  I’ve had time to research the places we will go, and what there is to do and see there.  Each day has gone by so fast.  I used to go to bed early, but now I fall asleep pretty late.

Jorge and I are having a lot of fun together too.  In the last few months before leaving San Diego, we were so busy we didn’t have much time together.  Now we have the time. 

We recently spent three days hiking in different spots.  The first day we traveled to Laguna Hanson, part of Parque Nacional Constitucion.  The landscape is an unexpected pine forest, with large boulders scattered around, and a lagoon.  It’s a beautiful place that goes on and on.  If you pay $5 you can camp there, or you can rent a 4 or 8 person cabin.  The dirt road leading in was fine the day we were there, but I can imagine there are days when you would need a 4 wheel drive.  We didn’t see many people, just a couple park rangers near the cabins, and two passing trucks as we were driving in.

The next day we tried to find El Coronel.  We got a little lost, and happen to come upon the police on a hillside.  Jorge asked if they knew where the trailhead was, and they said they would escort us there.  Well, okay.  We followed them a long way.  They drove us off the road and onto a wide trail, and just kept going and going.  It felt strange that they were going quite far off the beaten path.  Finally they stopped.  I thought it was really weird when both cops got out of their vehicle and walked over to our truck.  One officer had his hand slipped inside his shirt, between buttons on his chest.  They explained which way to walk from there, and then they left, thankfully.  It’s too bad you have to have your guard up when you are traveling, but you never know what could happen.  It was a wide open place with rolling hills of grass and flowers, and valleys where cows grazed.  On top of any of the hills you could see fantastic views of the ocean and coastal communities below.  The standard trail is a 6 hour hike, but we didn’t do the whole thing.

The third day was the best.  We found El Salto Canyon and waterfall.  It is known for camping, hiking and rappelling.  It was very clean and had really pretty campsites under the trees, each with a brick cooking station, a fire ring, and a picnic table.  We paid $2 to enter.  The trail starts in the trees, and as you walk in farther you start climbing over giant boulders and then suddenly you come to huge lava rock formations that are dark black and very smooth.  The formations form very steep and impressive walls, perfect for rappelling.  The waterfall wasn’t running, but there were pools of water at the base of the steep walls. It was a stunning place. 

Of course I was worried about PJ falling over the cliffs, especially because he would run right to the very edge and look below.  He loves the terrain of the canyon and so it was a great day for him too.