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nomadic diary-one road leads to San Antonio…ONE! September 7, 2010

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image1342030687.jpgI really hate that (a) all my best pics are on the other camera and (b) im not in many of them. You see, this blog is done entirely from my iPhone, including the pics. And iblogger only allows one pic per post unfortunately. But i will do what I did yesterday, and upload a few pics to an online album.

The title of this post should be “long ass day”. It was looooong. The astute reader will have noticed that I actually didn’t check out of es Cana until yesterday. And it was really hard to do. Such a beautiful place with beautiful people, BUT, I didn’t come to Ibiza to live at es Cana. I came to play and unless I wanted to be a regular attraction at the, albeit, wonderful hippy Market, it was time to speed my wings and continue my adventure.

The previous day, I went back down to Ibiza town to get my trailer and gear which I had left at es xiringiuto. I had my requisite cheesburger with bacon and a fried egg, which knocks me out for about an hour, but afterward, gives me the energy to easily bike back to the camp ground. I felt strangely….powerful. I wasnt winded when I arrived. In fact, I felt really really strong. It is an intoxicating feeling.

Later that same night I participated one last time in the jam session. It was bitter sweet as I knew it would be a long time before I saw any of these people again, not just because i was leaving, but also because the camp closes in the next week or so til next summer. So we played and partied and ate and said our goodbyes.

The next morning, I started the sequence of tasks associated with packing up my tent and gear. The tent pitches were mostly empty, a sharp contrast to a couple of weeks ago. It felt as if I had been here for months. Hard to believe it’s only been a week and a half. On a side note, contrary to the vibe projected in my posts and by my recollection of my travels, I am sad each and every time I leave a place. This time was no difference.

I spent a bit of extra time packing the gear in such a way that it balanced perfectly over the wheels of the trailer, otherwise pulling that heavy fucker through those hills would kill me. I must say that I am very proud of the evolution of my packing/balancing technique. Although uphill, it was still a bit of a grunt, on level ground, there was no extra effort.

I said my final goodbyes complete with hugs and faux tears and headed back to Ibiza town to retrieve the heavy ass battery. The ride was hard-ish, but much less so than the the last time I made it. I was happy with the progress.

Arrived at es xiringiuto. Carb burger. Battery packed. Route mapped. On the road. Ahhh…oops wait…ahh…rrh…uhng…what the…

The road to San Antonio. Hmmm. Someone forgot to tell me that it’s (a) a 4lane highway and (b) uphill for about 8.5km out of 15, and (c) has a big scary ass underground tunnel you have to go either thru or over. Shit! Luckily, the shoulder was reasonably wide that i didnt feel like i was too close to the very highspeed traffic At about km 6 i seriously started contemplating going back. I actually had to stop 3-4 times for 20-30mins each, to gulp water and cry. Dragging my whole rig up that hill kicked my ass! Then when I did finally make it, I am greeted by an access tunnel with lots of fast moving traffic. My choices were either thru or over or back. Back wasn’t an option at this point. I had worked too hard to get here. Over? Haha, I had enough trouble with the hill I had just come up. Going over this tunnel was like mountain climbing. Not even slightly an option, so that left “thru”.soooooo…

I started reflecting on my life. I’ve done some silly shit before but racing into dark tunnels dragging a load of heavy shit was new. But by this point I was commited. So off I went into the abyss.

Funnily enough, there was more than enough space on the side of the road in there for me to be almost a full lane away from any traffic and it was the begining of 6.5km of glorious downhill riding. Yaaaaaay!!!! Apparently the fear was worse than the reality.

Finally made it to San Antonio. First impressions!? Very very English. But I lived in England and loved it, so that doesn’t freak me out. Also, they worship the sunset on this side of the island. I’ve heard that it’s more tacky than Ibiza town but I don’t see it yet. If anything, the setup is slightly better; cliffs for communal sunset worship, right next to the port and everything walkable, but I will report back.

I checked into a campground here called San Antonio camping. I got a bungalo for a couple of nights because the tent camping is starting to
Kill my neck. Es Cana this is not, but it’s close to the action and seems safe enough.

I sorted a gig at a nice place called villa mercedes for Tuesday night. Gonna sort a busking license today as I hear they hang you for busking without one. These should conspire to place me back in Berlin by late next week. But we’ll see. L8r

nomadic diary-row row row your catamaran wknd review September 6, 2010

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image456674377.jpgWhat a weekend!

Although I am to head back to Berlin, there seems to be a rapid succession of unfinished business to attend to here. “the island isn’t done with me yet” to paraphrase the oft used LOST quote.

Saturday was the catamaran party to Formentera. I’ve never been on a catamaran, so this was going to be interesting. I will spare you a weather description other than to say that it was slightly cooler than the last few weeks (weeks?!?). The demographics of the party consisted of mostly Germans, Italians, and British people, all ready to party but somewhat subdued at this early point around 5pm. I set everything up on what seemed to be the control area, which, scarily, Is where the decks were too. But upon a quick look around I noticed that the capt had staked out the rear right corner to do his skipper thang, complete with the big skipper wheel. All good.

We took off into the Mediterranean and I noticed two things; 1. The water is gorgeous the further away from shore we got and 2. all of the “islands” out there between Ibiza and Formentera look like big rocks sticking up out of the water. I guess I was expecting to see Maui or something.

The first dj did his thang til 7 which is when I and dj salvatore dropped in to the mix. By that point, we had dropped anchor off shore of Formentera. It’s beautiful, but from the way people gush over it, I was expecting Shangrila or something. By the point, people seemed to be waking up a bit and were diving off the side of the boat, so you know it’s a party now.

Salvatore played mostly techno and I added my herbs and spices to the mix and the whole thing was well recieved, although i must admit that I would have liked a bit of a solo spot late in the mix, but that’s what negotiations are for so i will remember that point for next time. The party was a raging success. So much so that we celebrated back at playa den bossa.

At this point, my recollection of events becomes spotty. I vaguely remember an after party, and after-after party, and everyone going to SPACE. I could have gone but seeing as how I am working to get back to Berlin, I have to be scupulous, so I elected to bike the 19km back to the campground, in pitch blackness, at 3:30 in the morning.

Did I mention PITCH black. No lights except high beams from oncoming traffic or highbeams from behind, wondering if they see your pathetic bike lights. Oh, and seriously inebriated. I vaguely remember starting the journey, and murmuring to myself, “do not die tonight” over and over like some sort of mantra. I could see about 10ft in front of me and when my blurry vision was trying to run me off the road or into traffic, iwas reasonably ok. All I remember was ending up in santa eulalia not knowing where I was briefly, then on the short distance to es Cana, safe and sound. Whew!

Yesterday, I didn’t do shit. Nothing. I sat in one place all day, chatted, and drank beer to mask my hangover. But even that was nice, and neccessary because…

Tommorrow I head to the other side of the island; San Antonio! I don’t know what to expect. Could be great…could be shit…guess I will find out when i get there.

Tommorrow will also be exactly 1 month since I arrived here. Things are cool and interesting, but I am ready to head back soon. As you know, I have to make the money to get back, so the quest is still afoot. So far, mixing busking and clubs has worked and has ensured that I will be able to come work here next season. My goal is to be back in Berlin within the next 10days but I have to see what the island has to say about that. Where is Jacob when you need him (ok, that was the last LOST reference) ciao!

nomadic diary-farewell escana September 2, 2010

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image976725079.jpg(hand drawn by Finley-8yrs old)
RIGHT! feeling a bit too chilled. Relaxation is good for the body, mind and spirit, and I am very relaxed but I feel that now that it is September, I must start snapping into that other me”mode”.

I revel in spring and summer. It allows the duality of my sign, libra, to be on display. Summer is relaxing, playing, socializing, loving, performance time. It’s like a memory that’s happening in real time. I adore that time. But there are consequences.

Studying anything? No. Studio work? Ehhh…some. Programming? Haha! Not so much. Writing a book? Not even slightly. Those activities require that one sit and dedicate valuable daylight or more valuable warm nighttime to accomplish them. Won’t say that I won’t happen, but it hasn’t happened and I don’t see it changing. No, the summer is stage time. Lights camera and all that shit. It’s playing at block parties and and impromptu jam sessions and, in my case, rinsing concepts that took all winter to work on like the iPhone-mounted-to-the-back-of-my-hand, gestural control concept.

But today, I am sad. I accidently happened upon the es Cana campground and it ended up being my favorite place on the whole island. The kind of place that makes you think that if your new friends were to meet your old friends, they’d instantly get along. A place full of children laughter and great conversations, nubbin (as in eddie murphys “wookin pa nub” and if you’ve never heard that before, then you’re too young to read my shit), and audiences that geuinely vibed on the beatjazz sound and concept. Pure relaxation. A true home away from home and I am very sad to be leaving, but…

When it’s time to go, it’s time to go and I will let the memories do what they are supposed to do; make me want to come back next year. Meanwhile, it’s time to do some playin because I gotta achieve escape velocity soon. On a side note, I added bar ends and, soon, pedal straps, to my brompton to allieviate some of the muscle aches I’m experiencing, and to get a bit more power to drag 60kgs of shit back down the 19km to Ibiza town, battery and all. Full report on these addition next post. L8r. Onyx

nomadic diary-chirincana was great and notes to remember August 28, 2010

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image258452828.jpgFirst, there is some insight I’ve gleaned over the last few weeks that I feel I should share at this point;

Insect repellant AFTER a shower works better and stinks less.

A bag of shitty coffee equals a week of so-so mornings

A bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide a second in value only to ibuprofen in absolute usefulness. And it’s better than toothpaste as it kills all mouth bacteria.

Wash anything that needs washing, in the first sink available to you (dish detergent works wonders) rather than waiting until enough stuff warrants a full “load” of laundry because it just make all you clothes stink otherwise.

Bike clothes look silly but work like magic when on a bike!!

Rolled up jeans do not a pillow make. Attempt at your own peril.

Water is your only friend. Everybody and everything else are just buddies.

I will add more as they come to me. Did the chirincana gig last night and wow, what a funky little place. Situated between a campground full of hippies and a rocky cove full of small boats, it was the kind of place you go to sleep dreaming about. When I arrived the sun was just dipping behind some far off hills and all I could think was, “come on! Give me fucking break! What’s next?! A flock of doves and two dolphins jumping out of the water on the horizon?!”. Needless to say, it was beautiful.

We sat the system up facing the water and I started reasonably confidently yet ambiently(sic) and went thru a range of Ibiza inspired expressions. Although it wasn’t a dancing crowd, people danced and grooved.

It is/was surprisingly hot here at night, which never fails to catch me off guard. Although this night I was happier than normal about it. After two days with neckpains, Christian, the camp
Maseuse worked a miracle on it. Him and the exceedingly strong cheap ibuprofen I was able to procure (2euro, 600mg, x40!!!). The night heat kept any lingering cramps at bay.

Finished my set, consumed my requisite post-set gin&tonics, came back to camp. Today I gotta bike down to Ibiza town to retrive my battery and maybe, just maybe, venture out to San Antonio just to finally see why no one-not one single person I’ve ever spoken to- has ever had a nice thing to say about it. I’d say that’s a reason to go in itself! More news at 11! L8r.

nomadic diary- the next generation August 27, 2010

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image1027930545.jpgHoly hell!! To have such a great memory of playing to a group of 5year olds distracted by the pain of some bad sleep position/slight dehydration-induced neck pain trauma, is sad, but still not enough to mute it’s glow.

Last night was very very cute. The children were all part of an overnight school camping trip. It’s hard to realize that children are so tiny. And that their personalities are so distinct even at that size and age. You could see the future doctors and the current bullies. Class clowns and princesses. Laguage barriers did nothing to cover these aspects up. Were we all so…predetermined, at that age?

Anyway, I was nervous because small children don’t tryto save ur feelings. If they dont like you, that’s it. You may as well pack it up. Last week, during my set here at es Cana campground, one of the little girls in attendance plugged her ears with her fingers and started to cry. Not the droid I was looking for. So I approached this weeks excercise with the same attention I would devote to any other gig and I determined that the easiest thing would be to give them the mic and vocode their loud high pitched utterances. I tested the idea on a couple the older kids that were camping at the camp, first and it was just what I theorized; make a kid sound like a robot and you are king!

So when the younguns finished eating, around 9:15pm, we did a little “show and tell” where I would play a sound and they would tell me what it was and they were always right, not because they were right, but because I couldn’t understand one word out of their collective mouths. Me no ablah espanol. So I simply screamed “SIE!!”each time and kept playing. It wasn’t until I let them lose on the vocoder that the party really began. What was, at first, a struggle to get the first child to approach the mic, became a spitty scream fight for vocoder dominance. They weren’t too bad but I had forgotten how mean small children can be to each other. My absolute favorite was a little girl that looked like a tine version of M. Night Shaymalan…she was adorable! She stood right next to the laptop and stared at me without blinking, face straight as a board. Then at the very end she decided that she wanted to step to the mic and see what all the fuss was about. She creeped up, I already had it engaged for her, she made the tiniest little noise…something like ,”reh…”, heard it sound funny, then back away quickly, looked a little confused as she retracted her little hand, and walked away, just like that. I wish I had a video of that moment.

All in all, the excercise went well enough that the teachers want me to do it again at their school next week, but unfortunately, I will be rocking out on a very large catamaran, sailing to an even more gorgeous island…the tyranny of it all. But I am seeing more and more that there is more to dance music and to electronic music than clubs. Here in Ibiza, it’s very telling that pacha has such a dominating presence because it seems that every single club I’ve encountered may as well just be the same club because the music coming out of them is exactly the same which is sad. But that’s a differnt post.

Afterward, I djed a bit and me and a few of the “grownups” had a little dance and a couple of drinks in the balmy hot night air. Mission accomplished. I discovered a new demographic and simultaneously bartered another week at the campground.

Today will be spent preparing to play the bar at “the other” campground, Chirincana at the laPlaya Ibiza campground. Very picturesque. I want some seriously “islandy” sounds for this set. Besides practice and some sound design, I will be downing ibuprofen like skittles and begging the camp
Maseusse(?) to dig this, what I feel is a, pinched nerve, out from it’s new vacation spot in my vertebrae. Til tommorrow. Onyx

Nomadic Diary-World Domination August 26, 2010

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image1759222758.jpgMy plan for world domination is proceeding as planned…almost. I must remember to read the can of the spray paint I intend to use for painting my CDs. I found a really nice tint of yellow for this batch, but i didn’t realize until after I had painted all 24 (the 25th cdr was used to create a RAM diagnostic boot disc to make sure the ram I bought was in good condition, which it was) that the paint was to take 2-3 hours to dry. WTF?! I guess I just assumed that all spray paint was quick dry paint…I was wrong.

I left them drying in this wooded clearing for an hour or while I went back to camp to prepare to play the hippie Market in punta arabi. This week I had my own location. When I went back to retrieve them, they were dry-ish enough. I signed each one, scribbled my logo on, and put a business card in each case and headed off to the Market.

From what I’ve gleaned, Ibiza has been a long time hippie haven. They don’t adhere to mainland politics. That vibe is evident at this market. I set up in a corner of a side street. People were genuinely vibing on it. And, surprisingly, people dug the spray-paint-drying-in-the-woods story that accompanied each purchase. (on a side note for another post, I find that the pay-what-you-want model doesn’t really work here. Too much to think about. They like a set price and not neccessarily the lowest one. Many recognize that they are not buying a cd (the box), but rather buying what’s on the cd (in the box). Nice. ) The only reason I eventually packed up and left was because it was like the surface of the sun, in the late afternoon. I am not the one.

So cut to today, I am preparing to do a english to Spanish translated beatjazz “show and tell” for a group of 4-5 year olds that will camping in the tee pee’s here on the campground. That should be cute. Then I prepare for my show tommorrow at a bar called Chirancana here in Es Canar. It sits aproximately 20m from the beach and is adjacent to the laPlaya Ibiza camground. This will be a great gig. Chilled out. When there is no impetus to keep people dancing, I feel free to explore different time signatures and rhythmic/harmonic constructs. I predict it will be as good or better than the Bachhund gallery mixtape (yes, I will be recording it as well as using many new sound designs)

Haven’t done as many club shows as I thought I would have wanted to do before I got here. The clubs don’t like to pay anything and the patrons only want to hear the latest commercial dross served up by whoever is hot in mixmag this week. Luckily, there are many many people here who love music and they tend to congregate in really interesting areas like here in es canar. For instance, next week, I am doing a set on a large catamaran bound for Formentera!! That’s MUCH better than a club! Pays better too. May actually be able to fly out of here the following week. Despite the amazing time I having, I am anxious to get back to Berlin and resume speaking my uninteligible deutsche, get started on the Berlin version of my Backlit Lounge parties http://www.myspace.com/backlitloungesf and start preparing for my 40th b-day party, which the few people who know the details, know is going to be insane, figuratively and literally. So I am slowly saying goodbye to paradise but “regular” life is just as good.

Ok, I have to take care of today’s task list. L8r. Onyx

nomadic diary-russian roulette; a lifestyle August 24, 2010

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image934590139.jpgLet’s clear a few things up shall we. I assume that some people think that I must have money. And some think that I have “some” money. I can understand why. Everytime I post, it is from some new location. And I am playing all these places so I must be raking in the dough. Those are fair, albeit wrong, assumptions. You would be amazed at how many places you can go and things you can do if you have a demonstrable skill.

There was a piece of advice I recieved the first time I left the US; learn to bartend. There are bartenders EVERYWHERE and you can always find work. Music is similar. You can barter So much! Travel, accomidations, jet ski lessons, cooking classes, etc. And always remember that money is simply a standardized means of assigning value. You can, at times, skip the promisory note and simply trade your goods and/or services for someone elses. But…

There are times when you need the promisory notes. Yesterday morning as I checked my email my laptop shut down and wouldn’t boot back up. Upon harried inspection I discovered that half my RAM had died. Which isn’t too bad when websurfing, but for music production it’s like trying to cook a 7 course meal with my camping stove: it’s possible, but not really useable or efficient. So suddenly, the free spirit vibe is jarringly replaced with capitalist neccessity.

I decided to take what small amt I had and fix the ram, but now other things get postponed. So I decided to get more blank CDs and invest a fair amount of artistic energy on making them look great for a show I am doing tommorrow. I was going to do that anyway, but now I must do it.

This life is very much like Russian roullette. There are so many variables that must be seen to but at a certain point, you take a deep breath and pull the trigger. There is a bullet in there somewhere, but you keep playing because the rewards are life affirming. There are days that I think “what the fuck were you thinking!?!” but each time you nudge forward into an uncertain future, and survive, you gain a bit more strength for the next challenge. Or that’s the party line at least.

So now I am off to dub some CDs and prepare to spin the barrel on another day. Ciao.

nomadic diary-russian roulette; a lifestyle August 24, 2010

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image934590139.jpgLet’s clear a few things up shall we. I assume that some people think that I must have money. And some think that I have “some” money. I can understand why. Everytime I post, it is from some new location. And I am playing all these places so I must be raking in the dough. Those are fair, albeit wrong, assumptions. You would be amazed at how many places you can go and things you can do if you have a demonstrable skill.

There was a piece of advice I recieved the first time I left the US; learn to bartend. There are bartenders EVERYWHERE and you can always find work. Music is similar. You can barter So much! Travel, accomidations, jet ski lessons, cooking classes, etc. And always remember that money is simply a standardized means of assigning value. You can, at times, skip the promisory note and simply trade your goods and/or services for someone elses. But…

There are times when you need the promisory notes. Yesterday morning as I checked my email my laptop shut down and wouldn’t boot back up. Upon harried inspection I discovered that half my RAM had died. Which isn’t too bad when websurfing, but for music production it’s like trying to cook a 7 course meal with my camping stove: it’s possible, but not really useable or efficient. So suddenly, the free spirit vibe is jarringly replaced with capitalist neccessity.

I decided to take what small amt I had and fix the ram, but now other things get postponed. So I decided to get more blank CDs and invest a fair amount of artistic energy on making them look great for a show I am doing tommorrow. I was going to do that anyway, but now I must do it.

This life is very much like Russian roullette. There are so many variables that must be seen to but at a certain point, you take a deep breath and pull the trigger. There is a bullet in there somewhere, but you keep playing because the rewards are life affirming. There are days that I think “what the fuck were you thinking!?!” but each time you nudge forward into an uncertain future, and survive, you gain a bit more strength for the next challenge. Or that’s the party line at least.

So now I am off to dub some CDs and prepare to spin the barrel on another day. Ciao.

nomadic diary- 23rd august August 23, 2010

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image1936760771.jpgSlight bit of stress today. Half my ram in my laptop died. Which means (a) I have to replace it BUT (b) I must first find a place that will sell it. Until then, I must chop my performance sound set in half so it will run at all. Couple that with the decision by the beach palace guys, to not have me play at the afterparty at Martini’s last night (although I did still play the pre party at Beach Palace and scored a phat gig on a catamaran), and marinate that in the wonderful viscous concoction of insect repelent, sweat and sun screen that coats every inch of my body when I wake in the morning, you could say that today was slightly less that ideal, although still on the high end of good

One thing that s freaking me out though is the intense interest people take in my bike and trailer. I’m going to get carpel tunnel from all the thumbs ups!! I don’t know if it’s the bike, the trailer, the Black dude riding them or all of thee above. The attention is positive mostly, but it’s constant. Especially when I have all the road gear on. People act like they’ve never seen a black bike-touring, busking, 2-speed brompton riding cyclist before…sheesh!

But now I’ve made it back to Es Cana for tonights jam session. Really just an excuse to hang out with some of the coolest people I have met on this island. And te campground is blissfully less mosquito infested than la playa den bossa. Those big bastards are like the flying Arachnids from starship troopers. It’s been a serious excercise in speed to pitch my tent, throw all my shit in there and hermetically seal myself in, without giving them time and opportunity to come in with it. My “in tent, search and destroy” technique has been to turn on the light once I’m settled, thus drawing them to it where I can ease their swift transition to the afterlife.

So I plan to play with these cats tonight and see what 1gb ram will mean to my playing. One of the cats is a dude named miko who used to tour with Prince, in the 80’s and was a close personal confidant to eddie murphy after that. Intersting dude with MANY a story to tell. But before that, I must go check out a local venue that everyone keeps telling me to go to, and then burn up some more discs for the hippy Market on Wednesday.

I would try to end this post with some Spanish but I know I’ll just spell it wrong and look goofy, so I’ll just say l8r.

Mobile Blogging from here.

nomadic diary-new rituals August 23, 2010

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image1455593168.jpgGreetings all. I have decided to post a bit before the big post as I have no idea anymore exactly what date I will be leaving Ibiza. Although I am axious to get back to Berlin, I am also excited by the possibilities that continue to unfold here.

Politics
I don’t know why the same story keeps repeating itself with me. One reason I throw caution to the wind and do what I do is because no one grasps beatjazz until they see it first hand. CDs don’t work as they are only audio. YouTube works a bit but you don’t get the sense that everything is being assembled improvisationally, live. And trying to explain it is about as attractive as explaining the active ingredients in laundry detergent and usually goes something like…”yeah, it’s like a digital sax thing and he plays all the parts and it sounds like anything…”no club owner/promoter wants some unknown freakshow consisting of shit they’ve never heard of and don’t understand, to send their patrons running, hands over ears, to te nearest other venue…no…if I can play for anyone for 30-40 seconds,live, no other explanation is neccessary. So it is in my interest to “be” as many places as possible. That said, the next stage in the game is politics. Onyx’s law of club politics states that not only will someone at every venue hate you for no reason, but it’s intensity will be inversely proportional to how much everyone else digs you. To them, the only thing worse than a freakshow that comes and kills off your night is a freakshow who comes and rocks the house, possibly upsetting the status quo.

Beyond this, contacts are being made and the sound is evolving. Been using more Bari sax and fretless bass with a massive increase in the usage and acceptance of cowbell! They dig cowbell in Ibiza…who knew.

I am feeling pretty confident as a camper now. I can pitch this bastard in pitch black darkness. Every little footstep doesn’t freak me out anymore and I trust my body to get me from point a to b no Matter the distance. The trailer is starting to scream for mercy, but I think I’ve patched it well enough to survive til I get back to Berlin.

Today I bike (the sane road…not the wagon trail I biked last week…) back to es Cana for a jam session with some really cool heavy cats. Before that, it’s the morning ritual of a swim in the sea and, a shower on the beach, after I pack up the crib. As long as i’ve got camping gas, rice and coffee, I should be able to remain somewhat sustainable as I chiP thru the layers of political beauracracy. Feel free to contribute to the rice fund thru my paypal acct.(onyxashanti@gmail.com) Every little but helps:-) Til tommorrow. Onyx

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