Just recently I’ve realized that taking photos sometimes doesn’t suffice anymore, for me. Most of my memories from the places I’ve traveled to, are captured in still shots – and they don’t always show what I might have seen or felt at the time. So I invested in a 4k GoPro camera just before going to Europe in springtime this year, and I loved that it was so easy to carry around with me. Here’s the video diary I made from our trip to Spain, Andorra, and Portugal. Enjoy!
Over the last few days, I had driven more than a thousand miles across different landscapes from Phoenix, Arizona to the borders of Utah. Along the way I managed to stay in a small motel along the historic Route 66 in Flagstaff, see the Grand Canyons from different angles in varying times of the day, breathe fresh chilly air up in Jacob Lake among alpine trees covered in snow, and walk through amazing rock formations and slot canyons in Page.
On the third day of my journey, I was driving somewhere in the afternoon about 11 miles away from Page when I saw a dirt road that I decided to turn to. On the map, it seemed that the small dirt road would lead me somewhere close to a portion of the Colorado River, although I knew it would require me to hike a long distance from where the road ends. I still decided to give it a try. Barely halfway through the dirt road, I was beginning to realize that my intermediate sized vehicle was not made for such roads, and I decided to turn back at the halfway point. But as I was just about to leave from the dirt road, all of a sudden my car couldn’t go any further. My feet pressed on the gas as far as it could go, but to no avail. I realized my car was stuck in deep fine sand.
This has never happened to me before, and I started thinking of ways to get out of my situation. I started digging the sand with my hands and throwing it to the side, and then tried to accelerate the car after removing enough sand from the front wheels. I moved about an inch. Frustrated, I tried reversing the vehicle, which didn’t really help but probably got me even deeper into the sand. I realized pressing on gas was probably not helping me in any way, so I put the car in neutral and tried to push it forward with what arm strength I had. Sadly that didn’t work one bit.
I sat back in the car and decided to call up roadside assistance. Luckily there was reception from my mobile network even though I was in the middle of nowhere! The agent said through the phone that it would take about an hour for a tow service to come, but that was not guaranteed and I might end up waiting longer depending on the availability of the nearest tow truck. I decided to wait it out, but was also strongly fighting the urge to pee. About 500 yards away was the main road, where cars were zooming past in high speed through the highway – and that didn’t really help with my situation.
Across the highway was a dirt lot that carried a sign saying Canyon X Tours, and I decided to cross the highway to ask for help. The family who runs that tour company offered to help, they were natives of Navajo Nation, and they showed me the canyons that they own. This video was the result of that afternoon – of the misadventures and later on realization that everything really happens for a reason.
Good craftsmen are a rarity these days. I had the opportunity to document Ryan Van Hoy, a potter from Indianapolis, as he shares his story on how he came about to doing pottery, and what influences him in his profession.
For the first time…the video came before the photos.
Mexico was just awesome. I got the chance to spend a few days with one of my sisters — (fyi, I have 5 older sisters plus 1 brother, all from the same mum and dad!). Our days started early and we had a great breakfast spread every day. I particularly loved the super sweet papayas we had every morning, and the fresh guava juice which was a refreshing change from the typical OJ. It felt to me like we were treated like royalty since really good service and hospitality is hard to come by in the US. But hey I’m from the Philippines, one of the countries where hospitality is a big thing that drives tourism so my perspective might be biased.
One great thing that came out from my experience was that I’ve loved Mexican food more through the trip. It was here I got to try the móle, a savory chocolate sauce which is a specialty from Puebla, and some really fresh and crispy tacos in Coyoacán. I’m already drooling now as I’m remembering our time there.
Before I dive into all of my experiences in Mexico, just check out the video first and see our journey through Taxco, Cuernavaca, Xochimilco, Puebla, Cholula, and of course Mexico City 🙂