Joe Morley in Mexico
Firstly, Iʼd like to start by bigging up Volaris airlines!
As we all know, the biggest case of anxiety in life if flying with a kayak, the people at Volaris didnʼt weigh, measure or bat an eyelid when I showed up at Denver airport with my boat. It wasnʼt in a bag or sock, just sat there in all its glory and they treated it like an everyday occurrence.(Maybe it is or maybe most Mexicans fly with totally out to lunch stuff so it wasnʼt out the ordinary). Once I got down to Aventurec, the kayaking hostel in VeraCruz, I met the big man Sam Ellis and we cruised about the jungle getting scared, sick and cheap tacos.
The set up down there is too easy, the kayak hostel / raft base is a chill little oasis with a pool, bar, shuttles and even kayak rentals if you donʼt think your choice of airline is as cool as Volaris! All you do is wake up on a morning, have some breakfast and tell the driver what you want to paddle that day!The drivers will drop you at the put in, wait for you at the takeout then stop anywhere on route home if you want to stop for a anything, say a haircut or snacks! The white water is pretty abundant and well fun! There are the obvious huge waterfalls but in between them are sweet rapids, slides and smaller drops to get stuck into as well assome bigger volume class 3 or 4 rafting sections with cool Aztec ruins to check out if you can handle the bugs.
A lot of the white water is in deep gorges and the rest cuts straight through some real thick moist jungle! Some of the access is a little harder than first thought, quite a few of the runs require a cheeky hike in but nothing over 40 minutes and, given the setting, nobody was complaining. One of the classic runs ‘7 sistersʼ which is a short but real high quality gorge run requires an even cheekier 160ft abseil with an amazing view of the Tomato 2 waterfall. (Unless you fancy just running Tomato 2...) Given the 3rd world quality / safety standards of everything els in Mexico, this was one of the times you have to put full faith into someone els going first. I was forced to have a couple rest days from sickness which was pretty upsetting. Not that if anything against relaxing, Iʼm just disappointed my gut wasn't strong enough to handle the germs!
It was the day after we came across a dead pig floating in an eddyat the top of a real low volume run so Iʼd be happy to say the food was of a satisfactory standard and itʼs more to do with water quality. Still a day of vomiting and watery baño stops reminded me of the good old days at Holme Pierrepont. All in all a cracking little holiday and last little bit of warmth Iʼd recommend to any paddler! Iʼm currently flying back into Denver which had 16 inches of snow overnight and is -5. Hopefully they are better equipped than English airports because Iʼm sure 0.16inch of snow at any of them would see me stranded in the air for days!
Until next time, keep it upright...