The Daily Gusketeer

Baja Trek's daily blog.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baja Trek Meets Couchsurfing! - Thanks Lilia :-)

Hi Guys!!

I am inviting anyone out there on an eco-friendly trip I am going on down Baja.

These guys:

they have a bus...Gus the Nomad Bus, that runs on vegetable oil. Gus is leaving from the border, and heading down the peninsula for 8 days...beach camping, hiking, kayaking, hot springs, bar hopping, hostel stays, and backpacking random adventures etc...down the pacific side and over the land to the Sea of Cortez and its warm beautiful water and pristine beaches... ALL sustainably, without a carbon footprint, and all helping the local economies and communities. Responsibly.

Here is the info on the Trek, and the costs:

I recommend this to backpackers and adventurers ...most Couchsurfers would fall into these categories :P But if you cant camp or like to travel only to stay at resorts, etc...this is not the trip for you :P Lots of beach camping, good vibes and meeting new people!! Communal meals..

Couchsurfers in the past have gone on trips with Gus the bus, haha. Here is the facebook!
The price is still damn good for an 8 day trip all the way to Bahia de Los Angeles. I think the other company, green tortoise costs more than twice as much for something similar:

P. S. They have camping gear for you, you just need to bring a sleeping bag, clothes and a good attitude.

Hope some of you decide to come!!! Its going to be a blast!

Get in touch with me, I'd love to know if you're coming, we can get together beforehand.

Oh and one more thing, do not listen to the media's satanization of Baja. These guys have been doing this for years and never had an issue. I will be happy to show you this area for a day if that is the only thing holding you back!



yay sustainable tourism.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Riggy Named Official Baja Trek Mascot!

Riggy Wins!!!!

The tabulation of the ballots has been completed. No recount is needed even though several candidates have expressed concern that the election was rigged(no pun intended). After an unbiased official confirmed the election results today it was determined to be a landslide victory.

Yes Kids! You read that right A LANDSLIDE VICTORY!!

Baja Trek is proud to announce the new Mascot for 2010/2011 Trekking Season is (insert drum roll here) ...................... RIGGY (a.k.a. Riggy the Power Pup).

Riggy won on the merits. He's never in trouble, he's a teetotaler, quiet as a church mouse and a heck of a good driver :-) So Kids, you may not see Riggy on every Trek but when you do, know that Riggy rules the Mascot roost... Roof Roof

Friday, September 17, 2010

Protecting the Wild

It's infographic hour!

This infographic to the left compares all kinds of wilderness metrics in North America.

Mexico wins on the Ecological Footprint front, but loses on the Wildness front, surprisingly.

And that's something we've been concerned about over here at BT for years... We'd love to find a way to funnel some funds into supporting Protected Areas in Baja. We've got a few National Parks already, San Pedro Martir and Parque Constitucion being two you'll recognize if you've been on a few treks, and also some Marine protected areas, both in the Gulf of Californias and on the Pacific coast of Baja.

But that's not enough! Not for us. We know (and you've probably seen) some of the incredible wilderness areas that Baja has to offer, and we certainly think there needs to be more resources put towards protecting them. Don't you?

The map also highlights Mexico's water problems. Although we've got the smallest per capita consumption, we've also got the smallest availability and the least margin for error! That's why innovations like Cuatro Casas hostel's passive solar water distillation system count with every drop of water they help us save.

Anyway, check out the party responsible for this cool image, The Big Wild, which is based in and focused on Canada and has all kinds of fun ideas going on.

Next, check out this awesome new interactive map of Marine Protected Areas in North America, part of the North American Environmental Atlas. They also have this hilarious, soundtracked promotional video of their map. Look for Baja!

We can still eat tacos!

grazing calves at WareaWell, maybe.  Check out this article by George Monbiot, in which he boldly issues a retraction of his statement that veganism is the only ethical way to eat, due to the social (oh yes, it doesn't just affect the beasts) and animal justice issues that underlay our meat production systems. Monbiot goes on to review a new book by Simon Fairlie that serves as "an abattoir for misleading claims and dodgy figures, on both sides of the argument."

If you can excuse the awful, awful, and inappropriate slaughterhouse puns and get through to the meat of the article (Did I just say that?), you might clear up a few of your own misconceptions too. I certainly did!

Like, for example, you know how they always say it takes a huge amount of feed to produce a smaller amount of meat, to feed an even smaller amount of people? Comparatively, they say, eating the greens ourselves wastes a lot less energy and feeds more people.  Well, it turns out that's true only when talking about "concentrated feed", not about grass.  Actually, cows are terribly efficient at converting the energy in grass into edible energy for humans. Huh.

Also discussed is how pigs are excellent converters of grain waste and slop into food. Basically, in their natural eating habits, they turn things we can't eat into things we can.

Tons of other misconceptions are addressed, as well as some remaining ethical/environmental issues.

Overall, say Monbiot and Fairlie, the root problem isn't the very fact that we're raising animals for food, but the way we're raising them.  Feedlots and commercial slaughterhouses have got to go. But local production and low-energy and -waste farming could be an ethical way to go.

Here at Baja Trek we make most of our camp meals vegetarian. We also try to shop at our locally-owned grocery stores instead of the big commercial chains. When we eat seafood, we've usually bought it off a fisherman we know or dug it up (clams)/caught it ourselves. I'm interested to see if we can start chatting up our favorite taco stand-owners to see if they know where their meat comes from and under what conditions it's raised.

Perhaps it's time to get in touch with your sources of meat!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Up Some Road

Up Some Road

Jack Kerouac would have been proud. It wasn't long after the Baja California map was folded and placed in it's case that the decision was made to scout out a new beach landing for this winter's up coming Baja Trek.

The next day the backpacks were packed, loaded and away we went. Without a plan and limited supplies we carried mostly a general idea of where we wanted to end up. The best places aren't on the road map. They never are. So we thought we would explore an area that the map left off. Baja California maps are notoriously bad to begin with so we eased our scout vehicle to an interesting area and started exploring every dirt path that could possibly lead to the beach. In three hours we managed to get our scout vehicle stuck in the sand three different times. In Baja California getting your ride stuck to the axles requires more than just a shovel. It calls for special assistance. Thanks goes to the kind local rancher and his family dressed in their Sunday best that pulled us out with their pickup.

By the end of the day though, the reward would be ours. A road! Not a real road, but a hard packed dirt track that seemed to lead to the warm ocean. We slowly meandered through a small canyon to the waters edge on the beach of the Sea of Cortez. The hill crested to the sight of sandy beaches for miles in either direction. There wasn't a human soul in sight. Three coyotes walked the water line undisturbed by our presence. A warm breeze slid across the bay and our tents found their home in the beuach's deep sand that still held its warmth from the day's sun. We set up camp, started a glowing fire and marveled at the mountains across the bay that seemed to jut from the ocean herself. Home, Heaven and the ol' Kerouac spirit.

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” - Aldous Huxley

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mexico celebrates

bicentennial with

special performances

Reprinted from the Imperial Daily Press

CALEXICO — To commemorate Mexico’s bicentennial independence day, the Mexican consulate has planned five hours of music, dance and theater.

The celebration will feature performances from ranchero music singer Mary Carmen Reyes, folkloric ballet by the Instituto de Bellas Artes de Baja California, Mariachi Serenata and norteƱa music group Insignia.

Consulate representative Luis Delgado said throughout the event Mexican independence scenes will be performed by Mexicali group Tramoya. Actors will be dressed as independence heroes Miguel Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama and Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, the “corrector.”

This year’s celebration will have a 13-foot-tall Angel of the Independence replica onstage. The replica was constructed from wood and foam especially for the event, Delgado said. The actual monument, located on the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, is special to Mexico as it was ordered by President Porfirio Diaz for the centennial celebration.

Tacos, sopes and quesadillas will be sold by local vendors.


WHAT — Grito de independencia

WHEN — 6 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE — Crummett Park, Calexico


6 p.m. to 6:25 p.m. — Ranchero music singer Mary Carmen Reyes.

6:25 p.m. to 6:35 p.m. — Folkloric ballet by the Instituto Bellas Artes de California from the pre-Hispanic period.

6:35 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. — Ranchero music singer Mary Carmen Reyes.

6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — Folkloric ballet by the Instituto Bellas Artes de California from Veracruz and Baja California.

7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. — Mariachi Serenata with folkloric ballet by the Instituto Bellas Artes de California from Jalisco.

8:35-9:00 — Ceremony of the grito de independencia.

9:00-9:30 — Mariachi Serenata.

9:30-10:30 — Grupo Insignia.