With three weeks off work over Christmas and New Years, we were quick to make plans – quick plans! Over the course of three weeks we celebrated Christmas with my family, Norwegian Style. We then proceeded to hop over the pond to Canada in time for some Canadian Christmas cheers and celebrations before venturing on to some fun in the sun and reunion with friends in El Salvador.
This past Monday was my birthday! I love birthdays and my incredible husband knows this all too well. He also knows that I love competitions and therefore invited friends and family to the Super Intense Recreational Invitational 2013!
The next stop on our Great Alaskan Adventure was a trip to a real, legitimate, no nonsense back country lodge. The lodge is located on Skilak Lake on the Kenai Peninsula and is surrounded by one million acres of designated wilderness! It is only accessible by boat and was built in the 1930’s as a hunting lodge. Today, it serves as a wonder-destination for people who want to experience true Alaskan beauty and wilderness. The season has not yet started, but knowing Brent, we were let into this little piece of paradise pre-season.
Our first destination in Alaska was Cooper Landing. It is a small place 160 km South of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. Cooper Landing has 289 registered residents (a number that explodes in the summer!) and is set in beautiful Alaskan nature at the confluence of the Kenai Lake and Kenai River. The drive from Anchorage is beautiful and the weather was still on our side.
The further North we were getting, the colder the nights were getting. When waking up, it did not seem tempting to cook up breakfast and coffee, so instead we drove on until we found it.
Time has simply flown by here in Edmonton. Since last update, this is some of what we have been up to:
Just before dark, we arrived at our friend Ben’s condo in Dillon, Colorado. We were welcomed in with great hospitality by Ben, his brother Max and their friend Jennie. We had a fun night with a board game, tacos and rum. Good times!
Whenever Ellie is around, I tend to take (and especially be in) a whole lot more photos than when she is not around. Ellie is the master of jumping photos, silly faces and whetever photos I do not think to take. She used to travel with a disposable camera. Every single shot mattered and we put all our efforts into every attempt. Maybe that’s why we still manage to get some pretty kick-ass shots, even though Ellie has up-graded to the digital world. Add Todd’s waterproof camera to the mix and all our activities can be covered.
Updates since last update:
– Ping Pong Tournament: the Mopelia Ping Pong Tournament is a weekly event and consist of sixteen competitors. I finished my winning streak in the semi-final after being defeated by reigning champion Brent. Kyler and Brent met in the grand final. After an intense and exciting game Brent brought his trophy (that he actually made too!) back to his own window cill for the fourth time in a row. We will see where it sits next week.
– Yoga: I have been going to yoga classes hosted by lovely Sunny who moved to El Tunco from London three years ago. We meet Monday and Thursday mornings in a big palapa building that serves as a restaurant at night.
– Surfing: Kyler has been putting in lots of time surfing the Sunzal point break just down the beach from where we are staying. He is doing really well and is catching waves like they are going out of style. I have been out a few times and even caught a wave or two. After a couple close calls with death I am fighting a big scare and am carefully working my way back in the game. One event that scared me happened back in 2007 in Mizata (El Salvador) where the waves got uncontrollably bigger as the sun was setting. The waves were breaking into a bay and I did not know how to get back to shore. Luckily a local came out of the blue and helped me out of the situation. The other event that really scared me happened on Rainbow Beach (Australia) back in 2009. I had been out surfing when I got caught by a current and got drifted towards a jetty of large rocks. I eventually got helped out by Kyler and another friend. They swam out to grab my surfboard so that I could swim out of it the situation without my board. The ocean is powerful and must be treated with respect. The past couple of days the waves have been too big for most people here, I have therefore focused my energy elsewhere.
– Hammock time: In between surfing, yoga, swimming and meals we still have more than enough time to get comfortable in our hammocks. The building where we are staying has four rooms with four hammocks. This area is a great for socializing, reading, sleeping and listening to music. I have finished five books since we got here. A few books I enjoyed are: The Secret Lives of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.
– Day Date to the Big City: Kyler and I left peaceful El Tunco and went on a day-trip to San Salvador in search of Bond. James Bond. The capitol city is only a 35 minute drive away from El Tunco. We watched the new movie Skyfall at a fancy movie theater in a mall that looked more like America then America itself. After months without a tv or movies we might be easily entertained, but we loved it! I think Daniel Craig does a great job as James Bond. After some popcorn and ice cream we drove back to the calm of the ocean and El Tunco.
– Hotel Mopelia: The place where we are staying is part of the reason why we keep staying. Hotel Mopelia is a Belgian/El Salvadoran family business with great people and a great atmosphere. Gilles from Belgium has traveled all over the world before moving to El Salvador. The hotel is named after Mopelia in French Polynesia – look it up! It is beautiful. Next weekend is Hotel Mopelia’s five year anniversary and we don’t want to miss the big anniversary party!
– The People: We have met some incredible people and made some great friends here. They are a big part of the reason why we keep staying. El Tunco has a number of travelers coming through, some expats who live here and a lively group of locals. All come together to form a cool vibe. An interesting fellow we met answered that he has got: “Thirteen left” when asked how long he is traveling for. Turns out his life goal is to travel to all 194 countries in the world. He has thirteen left.
Then what do you do?
– Get a cookie?