“Please welcome to the stage, last minute speakers at Do Lectures USA…”

We were busy painting blackboards and making playlists for the lectures. There were two hours to go until Do USA would begin and Campovida was bustling with excitement. Duke Stump one of the founders just received a text from one of the speakers and his face was a little distressed.

“Hey Ross and Alice, could you speak at this years Do?” Duke asked

10 second pause, “Ah, sure. Tomorrow or Sunday?” we nervously replied

“How about 16:30? One of the speakers isn’t going to make it.” Duke replied

We glance at our watches, it was 14:30.

“Shit the bed Duke” Ross said. “Are you serious?”

“Yep” was all Duke said.

For those of you who know us,  you’ll know that we love the Do Lectures, we’ve volunteered at Do Wales every year since they started and every one has been a privilege. Many of the talks we have seen over the last few years have changed our lives, so to be asked to stand up in front of the Do logo and tell our story was HUGE.

We legged it to the Campovida office, sat down with a laptop, a big white board and started working on a presentation of our journey. At 16:22 we crept into the back of the hop barn, got mic’d up and took a few deep breaths.

16:31 Duke took the stage and with a heartwarming and emotional introduction we were live. On stage, bright lights in our eyes, 100 faces staring back at us and our first slide behind us that just said YES.

When our talk goes online we’ll be sure to let you know.

We are back on our bikes in the morning, 800 miles to go and we can’t wait, Mexico and more outstanding here we come.

http://dolectures.com/the-event/

Do USA

Do USA

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Doing the do

Our journey to Campovida, the venue of The Do Lectures USA;
Nosara to San Jose 5hr drive in a hire car for an overnight stay with old school friend Myfanwy Davies
San Jose to Los Angeles for breakfast
Los Angeles to San Francisco for lunch
San Francisco by bus and a final car journey to Campovida for dinner

We are back at the stunning winery and gardens at Campovida in Hopland, Sonoma, California. This is where Part One of our bike ride ended 6 weeks ago.

We are lucky enough to be a part of the awesome team organising and hosting The Do lectures USA . This series of talks will inspire the world to go and do something that they have always dreamed of. The speakers share their stories, the attendees get inspired, and the talks go online to the website linked above for the world to watch for free. We have both volunteered at The Do Lectures in Wales over the last four years, and when we found out we would be in northern California on our bike ride we made sure to time it with the Do Lectures USA. This is the third Do Lectures USA and we are so excited for the event to kick off on Thursday. Check out the 1 minute video which is a snapshot into the work it takes to get ready.

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An outstanding 25th Birthday

I had a fantastic three day fiesta for my birthday this year. And it was pretty outstanding to say the least.

On Saturday night a bunch of us had a pizza feast at Il Basilico with the Surf Simply team, followed by a pool party and massive cake fight at The Rancho.

On Sunday Jessie Carnes, a new friend of mine and I, along with 50 other horse riders including Ticos, Ticas and tourists; some experts and rookies, went on a ‘Cabalgata’ – a day trek on horse back taking us through jungle, deep rivers, and cantering up dirt tracks with a beer, food and music truck accompanying us the whole way. The ride finished at sunset at Olga’s bar on the beach for arroz con pollo, dancing and margaritas.

Monday, a little sore from riding started with a wonderful breakfast with my husband and a surf at Guiones beach. 3ft, super clean and heaps of waves. After an early lunch we headed to meet DK from Drifters Kayaking, an old friend of Ross’, we cruised up a mellow river in and out of the mangroves on sit on top kayaks, spotting two crocodiles, kingfishers, cormorants, and hawks. We had a spontaneous lunch and a ‘michelada style (lime, ice and salt) beer at La Luna restaurant, cycled the 20 minutes home in booming thunder and lightening that lit up the whole night sky. And then incase I hadn’t been treated enough already we went out for dinner at Dos Pochotes.

We leave Costa Rica in five days and will head straight to Campovida, Hopland to start getting ready for The Do Lectures USA (19th-23rd). After that it’s the Alcatraz swim on the 28th and cycling south to Surfrider for an October Internship.

I know there will be tonnes of ‘Outstanding’ to come so watch this space.

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Monkeying around

So, we are here in Costa Rica and I, Alice, am literally monkeying around. We spent our first ten days or so here looking at houses to rent from November to September, surfed every day and got to meet people in the community, get our bearings, sampled the local cuisine in Guiones and Nosara where we will be living this winter. Ross is shadowing the other surf coaches to learn the ropes here at Surf Simply, you can check out the video of his first week with customers here. I have been out and about looking for work in the area, there are a couple of options lined up for the winter season but for now am getting my pocket money through tips working in a couple of local bars and restaurants.

I don’t often campaign for wildlife specifically (with an exception of the marine life campaigns through Surfers Against Sewage) though like many, I am always disturbed to see polar bears starved to death through lack of ice to hunt on, or dolphins, whales and sharks killed for their fins, teeth, meat or oil. The reason I don’t tend to shout about that stuff is because I honestly just don’t know where to start, and there are so many campaigns to support. However this time I am directly affected by what is happening here in the jungle on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, Central America, so I feel the need to share with you all what is going down.

‘Monkeying around’ you say… I have been volunteering at the Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre a few times a week. It is a twenty five minute run up some higgledy piggledy steep steps into the jungle and along a dirt track to the top of the hill. By the time I get there I am drenched in sweat as it is 30˚c outside. It’s a fun way to wake up at six in the morning – that’s for sure. Straight into work; I chop lettuce, mangos and cook sweet potatoes, wash out the kennels and put the laundry out to dry. Sometimes if I am lucky I get to hang out with the baby monkeys (the size of an orange) in the sun so they can get some fresh air. They climb up your arm or leg to sit on your head or the back of your neck which makes me laugh. The Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre has taken in over 80 monkeys this season – when I say ‘wildlife’, it is pretty much just the monkeys that they care for. The monkeys are found crying on the road side or in the jungle because they have been electrocuted. You see what is happening in Nosara is new properties are being built, the area is becoming a popular tourist town, the jungle trees are being torn down, and replaced with power cables laced in and out of the mango trees. Mr/Mrs Monkey swings along with family in tow to get some fresh mangos for breakfast and bzzzz zap fiissss. They get electrocuted. Some die straight away and others loose limbs, tails and family. Their first stop is the Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre where they are rehabilitated before going on to SEBU the half way house, and then are hopefully released back into the wild.

The Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre are in need of old towels, unwanted bed sheets and antibacterial cream, so if you are visiting Nosara then save space for a towel or two in your suitcase. And of course, they are looking always in need of new equipment so donations on their website are always appreciated, to donate just click here http://nosarawildlife.com/donate-now/

To find out more visit their website http://nosarawildlife.com/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Nosara.Wildlife

Monkey photos by the talented Laura Florence http://lauraflorence.com

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What’s in Ross’ panniers…

Alice had a top 37 things in her pannier, I have a top 11 in order of most importance. You may notice there’s a lot of things that go in my belly, it’s hungry work this cycling lark.

1) Welsh Flag – Always representing! I have a Welsh dragon pair of boxers too, and if enough women (or men) like this post I’ll post a picture of me in them 😉

2) Lager – After six hours in the saddle, one of these little buggers caressing your dry throat is a almost as good as a thigh/arse massage.

3) Banana – If my mam were here she’d say “you’ll end up looking like a banana if you eat any more of those” But she also used to say my eyes would go square from watching to much TV, so I’m gonna keep at em.

4) Merino underwear by Finisterre – Lightweight, super comfy, I’ve actually ridden in them for a few days straight and they don’t smell, honest, ask Alice.

5) Coffee – Eye opening stuff! Black, two sugars (level teaspoon) in my own man cup is the perfect start to the day. I’m positive it’s helping me get up some of these hills.

6) Sunnies – Not one bug in the eye yet!

7) Head torch (Bear spotter) – I’ve scrambled round the tent on many spooky night looking for this bad boy to check out the noise outside. No bears yet though. It also helps with evening reading and doing other things in the dark.

8) Pioneer Mix – Man I go through some of these. Feels like I’ve got nuts in my mouth all day;) waahaay… Very nutritious I’ll have you know.

9) Finisterre Jacket – Early morning descents have been exhilarating and comfortable, campfires have been a joy and it’s a bloody awesome pillow.

10) Sharkies – Organic all natural energy sweets that remind me of one of my best mates cos he’s got an unhealthy love for the men in grey suits.

11) It’s low on the list because it hasn’t been super hot yet but I know it’s gonna save my forehead real soon. Smells like coconut.

Getting to know Catherine Bruhwiler

Catherine is a professional surfer, mother of two and co-owner of a family business: Bruhwiler Surf School in Tofino, BC and owns her own stand up paddle board school called SUP Tofino, yep she’s a busy lady.

Catherine grew up in Tofino and began surfing as a child on a piece of plywood, and at that time was one of the very few female surfers in the waves. Since then, she has championed the female Canadian surf world and travelled the world to compete and play.

We sat down with her on the west coast of Canada and asked her the IPOS questionairre…

Full name? Catherine Bruhwiler

Occupation? Full time Surf and SUP instructor

Where are you right now? At home, just got out of the shower after a surf. My daughter is playing the fiddle for me and my son is packing for a camping surf trip tonight.

What woke you up this morning? My alarm clock at 7 am. Good thing you didn’t ask me yesterday, I got up at 4:15 for a sunrise tour.

What’s stoking your fire today? Remote surf camp with outward bound kids tomorrow and camping with my kids

What scares you? My kids in danger, that’s it

What sound do you love? Waves and silence too

What sound do you hate? Arguing people,especially my own kids

Who or what is outstanding in your eyes? Humble generous and talented humans

If heaven exists, what would you like God to say to you as you arrive at the pearly gates? You can get lots of sleep here 🙂