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Hell of a last week

Hell of a last week

Starting from last Monday, it's been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I've been so busy getting everything ready that it didn't really give me the time to get nervous. Probably for the best. But when you combine the stress of selling a car, moving out of a house, and packing for a 4 month stay, safe to say the stress builds. But I made it to Thursday. I had one final dinner with mom, got to the airport in plenty of time, grabbed a beer with my buddy Ken, and took a deep breath.

We got into Chile early Friday morning and hit the ground running until I left this morning. It wasn't a city with a ton of major tourist attractions, but we got in a good mix of in-town hiking, sightseeing, and patio day-drinking. It was nice having Ken there to kind of ease into this solo travel, instead of jumping in head first. He left Sunday to go check out a few other cities before meeting back up with me in BA on Saturday. 

Arriving down here has also made me realize that my Spanish has a long way to go. The Chileans were really cool with it but I'm definitely limited. Best example: Yesterday I ordered some mystery meat (chitlins?) sandwich by accident. But to be fair, I think the gentleman was trying to tell me I wouldn't like it. I think. Anyways...I at least made it 3 bites in. Oh well, chalk it up to experience. 

Just got to BA this afternoon and am able to relax a bit. I'm in the Eco Pampa Hostel for a week before heading to my airbnb for a few. The Eco Pampa has been a really nice stay. The staff speak many languages and are very helpful with recommendations or booking reservations if Spanish is not your native tongue. They also have a cool patio and herb farm on their roof for enjoying some fresh air and getting a different view of the city. Check them out!

Transporting Kayaks

Transporting Kayaks

Mark that off the bucket list. I finally got the chance to do it. I took a kayak on an 8 hour drive to its (hopeful) final resting place.

When my mom said she wanted to take it down on her car, I laughed. She drives a Mazda 6. It's built for hauling soccer balls, not watercraft. She said "Don't worry, I saw on the internet where you can make a rack out of a pool noodle and some ratchet straps". Oh. Good. She's got it all figured out. 

So I showed up at her house yesterday at 10 AM, and well, we were on the road by 12:30. Two noodles, 4 straps, and countless offers of help from Mother later, it was on there. And I'll be honest. I was proud. That baby wasn't moving. 

My pride was short-lived, fading approximately 1.5 miles away from her house. The first time the car exceeded 40 MPH. That's when I heard it. The steady, constant, loud hum. Like bees. Lots of them. Aggressive stubborn bees that never retreat. I thought maybe it just takes a few minutes to settle in. Nope. Then you get on the highway. Louder. I made the completely unsafe decision to wear both headphones and listen to podcasts. Maintaining my sanity was worth the risk. But really all that did was make me think make me hate the kayak and the podcast. 90 minutes in, as we stopped at a rest stop, Engineer Appleton kicked in. I realized couldn't last 8 more hours. I went to school for this, damnit. And I had the perfect solution. Put a towel in the door crack. TADA!

Confidently, I start the car up again and cruise out of the rest stop, wondering if people truly appreciate the creative masterpiece they just witnessed. Then I get to the on ramp and the tears start to well up. It's back so soon. but now there's the added sound of the towel whipping against the door - I made it worse. What an idiot.

Two hours later, as I stared ahead a beaten man with no hope, I threw the hail mary. I phoned a friend. Google. My search history now contains "kayak on roof LOUD NOISES MAKE IT STOP". And of course, the first damn link has the simplest fix known to man. And this is the reason I make this post. If you take anything from this, just remember: When attaching a kayak to your roof with pool noodles and ratchet straps, apppppppaarently you need to put a simple fucking twist in the line where it isn't flat on the kayak or the car. That's it. One twist in the the strap and the sound is gone. I can comfortably say it's single-handedly the best thing the Internet has ever given me. So please learn from my 3 hours of Hell on Earth. And spread the word.