Showing posts with label Mexico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexico. Show all posts

Video: Kayaking Along an Underground River

Kayaks can take us to some pretty amazing places that are often unreachable on foot. Case in point, in this video we actually go underground in Mexico to explore a cave with Rafa Ortiz and Leo Ibarra, who discover a waterway that is faster and more turbulent than they expected.

Video: A World Record Kayak Run on the Rio Santo Domingo in Mexico

Want to see a wild and crazy kayak run unlike any other? Check out the video below that features Rafa Ortiz and friends as they make six drops along a stretch of the Rio Santo Domingo river in Mexico, through Class IV and V+ rapids, setting a world record for running the toughest navigable part of that stretch of water. They had one wild ride along the way to say the least, as Ortiz continues to push boundaries in kayak exploration and adventure. Don't try this at home kids.

Video: Kayaking Through Underground Caves in Mexico

In this video, we join kayakers Rafa Ortiz, Jared Meehan, and Andrew Pollock as they head to southern Mexico to explore a system of underground rivers that pass through an intricate cave system. There aren't any massive waterfalls to drop, or Class V rapids to run, but there is a great sense of exploration and adventure as they paddle through this otherworldly environment. Catch a glimpse of a part of our planet that few ever get a chance to see, and marvel at what these intrepid kayakers find as they drift along.

Video: Yab Yum - Searching the Mayan Underworld (Part 3)

Today we have the third, and final, installment of a series of videos we've been sharing all week long that take us into the Yucatan in Mexico in search of some of the world's deepest caves. The series has followed explorer Robbie Schmittner and his team as cave dive into some amazing settings, where they discover remnants of the Mayan civilization that occupied the area centuries ago. In this episode, the crew descends into Yab Yum, a giant sinkhole where they make discoveries that date back to the last ice age.
(Note: If you've missed the first two parts of this excellent series, you'll find them here and here.)

Video: Just Breathe - Searching the Mayan Underworld (Part 2)

Today we return to the depths of an underwater cave in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, where explorers Robbie Schmittner and his partner Toddy Waelde continue to explore the sunken Maya underworld. This time out, not everything goes as planned however, and we see the challenges of trying to assist a diver who runs into trouble while deep within these caves. Scary stuff for sure.
(If you missed part 1 of this series, you'll find it here)

Video: Places of Fear - Searching the Mayan Underworld (Part 1)

A few days back I shared the trailer for a new series of short films coming our way from GoPro that followed a team of divers as they plunged into a cave on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico in hopes of finding the largest cavern in the entire world. Now, we have part one of that series which gives us an introduction of an entirely new kind of exploration – underwater, in mysterious caves, where there are remnants of the Mayan civilization yet to be discovered. It is a fascinating look at this incredible place that will definitely leave you wanting more. I'll have part two tomorrow.

Video: Diving into the Mayan Underworld

This video is a trailer for a much longer three-part documentary to come, but it gives us a great idea of what to expect. The film follows a team of divers – led by explorer Robbie Schmittner – who travel to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico in search of the world's largest cave. They discover an elaborate system of submerged caverns that the Mayans believed was a gateway to the underworld. They also find artifacts and remnants of that civilization that have been waiting to be discovered for hundreds of years. It looks like quite an adventure, and I'm already looking for the full series to hit at a later time.

Gear Closet: Kyocera Hydro Shore Waterproof Android Phone

Now days, most of us carry our smartphones with us wherever we go, including into the backcountry when we go hiking, camping, or backpacking. That's because those devices have proven invaluable just about anywhere we might travel, including places where cell network connections are at a premium. The problem is, most smartphones are also incredibly fragile, which means taking them with us on these adventures means putting our precious gadget in jeopardy, or shelling out extra cash for a case that is waterproof and rugged. But what if you could have a smartphone that is already designed to survive in that type of environment? Better yet, what if that device was also very affordable? That's exactly what you get with the Kyocera Hydro Shore, a budget phone designed to run on AT&T's GoPhone network.

First things first, it is important to note that in terms of onboard technology, the Hydro Shore features components that won't compete with high-end, flagship phones from competitors including the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S7. It's 5" high-def display is bright and colorful, but not on par with those found in more expensive phones, and its 1.1 GHz Snapdragon processor is under powered at this point of its lifecycle. Additionally, the Hydro Shore's 5-megapixel main camera won't win any awards either and lags behind the competition in performance as well. On top of that, the device comes with just 8GB of onboard storage and 1GB of RAM, which is underwhelming when compared to other smartphones too. As if that wasn't enough, the device runs the Android 5.1 (Lollipop) operating system, which is two full versions out of date at this point, with no clear upgrade path moving forward. Taken as a whole, that makes this a fairly average Android device to say the least, and well behind much of the competition in what has become an increasingly crowded market.

So what exactly does the Hydro Shore have going for it? For starters, it is very affordable. The device carries a price tag of just $79.99, which puts it amongst the least expensive smartphones on the market at the moment. It also has expandable storage capacity through the use of memory cards (up to 64GB), and it features a design that makes it easy to grip and use with one hand – something that we shouldn't take for granted in an era where smartphones continue to expand in size. Plus, the phone has solid battery life – up to 13 hours of talk time – which is better than most of the competition too.


But best of all, the Hydro Shore also happens to be waterproof, which is certainly not something you find at the $80 price point all that often. In fact, the device is certified IP57 waterproof, which means that it can be fully immersed in up to 1 meter (3-feet) of water for 30 minutes without harm. That means that it should survive rainstorms, kayaking trips, and accidental dunkings, which is not something you can say about most other smartphones on the market regardless of price point.

And since the Hydro Shore was built for use around water (hence the name!), its 5" screen was made to be interacted with even when you have wet hands. That means you can snap photos, make a call, or send a text no matter the conditions. I personally appreciate this feature after a long run, which is when my sweaty hands can sometimes make it a challenge to interact with my iPhone too.

The Hydro Shore's case is made from a soft, easy-to-grip material that provides a measure of protection from accidental drops, but isn't as durable as some other ruggedized phones that I've seen, including the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active.  Samsung's offering is bulkier, heavier, and costs more, but includes better waterproofing, a shatter-resistant screen, and a host of other tech features, such as wireless charging. That said, the Hydro Shore feels like it can survive quite a bit of punishment, although you may still want to add a case for a bit of extra protection.

In addition to its waterproof design and great pice, the Hydro Shore's other best feature may be that it connects to AT&T's GoPhone network, which is available through Walmart. Not only does this give consumers an option to purchase phones and services without a yearly contract, it offers affordable voice, text, and damage usage too. Plans start as low as $30 a month, although the top-end option runs $60 and includes unlimited talk and texts from the U.S. and Canada, as well as voice, text, and data usage while in those countries as well. That makes GoPhone and the Hydro Shore an intriguing and affordable option for anyone who frequents those destinations, even if they happen to own another smartphone.

As a self-confessed tech nerd, I have to say that there isn't a lot to get too excited about technology wise with this device. Its specs clearly lags behind the competition in nearly every way. But, as someone who travels a lot, and often visits remote places, the fact that they Hydro Shore is waterproof is certainly a major benefit as is the GoPhone options for use in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. If you happen to visit those places on a regular basis, and want a solid, reliable phone for use while traveling, this is a great option. It is tough, dependable, and has great battery life. Additionally, it is also so affordable that you can actually keep your high end phone and this one too.

Find out more at the Hydro Shore official website.

Did Canadian Teen Really Discover a Lost Mayan City?

We have an update today on that fascinating story that I posted yesterday about a 15-year old Canadian boy who claimed to have discovered a lost Mayan city in the Yucatan Peninsula. It seems that experts are poking holes in the young man's theories, saying that he didn't find a missing city at all, but instead spotted an overgrown agricultural field instead.

The original story was that school boy William Gadoury noticed that Mayan cities were located on a map in the same shape as several constellations in the sky. Looking at old star maps, the then overlaid the constellations on terrestrial maps and noticed that there were locations where cities should have lined up with the stars, but there were no known settlements there. So, William broke out Google Earth and started pouring over the images in search of manmade structures, discovering what looked like the remnants of a prior civilization.

Naturally, the story has struck a chord with the public, many of whom have been fascinated by this narrative, while also wondering why no one else had noticed this placement of Mayan cities in the past. Well, it turns out that there may be some basic issues with the teenager's general premise, as National Geographic explains, and the structures that he spotted in the satellite images may not be as old as he suspects or possibly not even man-made at all.

Archaeologist Ivan Šprajc says that the square shape spotted on the map is really an abandoned field that probably isn't any more than 20 or 30 years old. He also says that other potential structures are most likely natural shapes, and include a clearing in the jungle, which probably doesn't have anything to do with a lost Mayan city. 

As I mentioned in my original story yesterday, the only real way to confirm the existence of a lost city is to send a team of archaeologists out to examine the site. Considering the skepticism that is being raised from others in the field, it seems unlikely that that will happen soon. Of course, there are some who believe that trained archaeologists have also been caught with egg on their face by being upstaged by a teenager, so they have reason to cast doubt on his findings. Only time will tell at this point. 

15-Year Old Canadian Boy Discovers Lost City in Mexico

A 15-year old boy from Quebec is making headlines today for discovering a lost Mayan city in Mexico. The boy used knowledge of ancient astronomy and Google Earth to locate what appears to be remnants of the civilization that thrived across Central America 2000 years ago. 

While looking at maps of the locations of Mayan cities, William Gadoury learned that those cities lined up with the constellations in the sky as they appeared when the Mayan civilization was flourishing. Using that knowledge, he then began searching satellite imagery on Google Earth looking for structures in specific locations, discovering that one city that should have lined up with a specific star was missing. But after careful examination of a spot in the Yucatan Peninsula, he was able to identify what appears to be man-made object hidden under the dense jungle there.

The actual existence of the lost city has yet to be confirmed on the ground, but other researchers are hailing the discovery as a significant one, and are giving William the credit. Experts say that it appears that there are quite a few man-made structures hidden under a thick canopy of vegetation, including buildings, a road, a town square, and possibly even a pyramid. 

 The teenager has named the city K'aak Chi, which means "Mouth of Fire," and he will present his findings at a scientific gathering in Brazil next year. Meanwhile, archaeologists are already applying his technique of matching star charts to maps in hopes of finding other lost cities as well. 

This is another amazing story that reminds us that there are some things that are still hidden away from us, even in the 21st century. It's hard not to be impressed with this young man and his ingenuity. It's a wonder that no one else has discovered the connection between the stars and the Mayan cities before. 

Video: Dropping a 60-Foot Waterfall in Mexico

If you're looking for a healthy does of adrenaline to get you week started, GoPro is here to help. This short clip takes us to the Rio Jalacingo in Mexico where kayaker Edward Muggridge drops a 60-foot waterfall called Tomato 2. Thanks to his helmet cam, we get a fist person perspective of the entire event.

Video: Fledglings - Paragliding with Climbers Cedar Wright and Matt Segal

Climbers Cedar Wright and Matt Segal feel right at home scaling a tough route on a challenging rock face. But recently they both have gotten into paragliding as well, which gives them a new avenue for channeling their adventurous spirits. This video, which comes our way courtesy of The North Face, takes us on an incredible journey with Cedar and Matt as they hone their skills as paragliders before traveling to Mexico to climb and fly from the top of Pico de Orizaba, the highest peak in that country at 5636 meters (18,491 ft). As you can imagine, the views from the top, and the flight back down are amazing.

Video: Paddling Through an Subterranean River in Mexico

Ever wonder what it would be like to kayak through one of the famous underground rivers of Mexico? Than you'll definitely want to take a look at this video, which comes our way courtesy of Outside magazine. It features pro kayakers Jared Meehan, Andrew Pollock, and Rafa Ortiz as they navigate through a 3 km (1.8 mile) stretch of the Rio Chontalcoatlán found inside Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park near the town of Guerrero. As you'll see, they got more than they bargained for when they set out to explore the depths of this cave using nothing but headlamps to find their way. Looks like an amazing adventure.

Video: Into the West - North America

Take a two-and-a-half minute journey through western Canada, into the Pacific Northwest in America, and south to Mexico's desert in this short video that is simply filled to the brim with stunning scenery. You'll travel past snowcapped peaks, pristine mountain lakes, and lush forests as you explore some of the most stunning landscapes on Earth. This is the kind of video that will inspire you to want to travel to these places for yourself. Enjoy!

Into The West - North America from Mike Bishop on Vimeo.

Video: Dropping Epic Waterfalls with Dane Jackson

To shoot this video, pro kayaker Dane Jackson traveled to Veracruz, Mexico where he discovered amazing rivers to paddle, and some of the most epic waterfalls on the planet. As you'll see in the clip, he goes to great lengths just for the opportunity to kayak through this amazing setting. How far exactly? At one point he even leaps off a very tall cliff just to get into the water. This is two and a half minutes of pure adrenaline, and a good jolt to start the week.

Kayakers to Paddle 9000 KM From Canada to Mexico

A trio of adventurers from Canada has embarked on an epic journey that will take them from Montreal to the tip of the Yucatan in Mexico by sea kayak. Along the way, they expect to cover more than 9000 km (5592 miles) as they spend up to a year completing the expedition, which they call the Go Fetch Challenge.

Luc Labelle, Nika De Jocas-McCrae and Julien Granger are preparing to set out on their journey in the next few days as they have now reached the northernmost location of their route. From here, they'll be southward bound, as they paddle along the eastern coasts of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. They'll kayak along the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico, before ultimately reaching their goal at the Yucatan Peninsula. 

The boys say that they are undertaking this expedition at a crucial time in their lives, and it will help set them on a course both personally and professionally as they move forward. This is a journey that is as much about the adventure they find along the way as it is reaching a destination. The three friends have known each other for more than 10 years, and have been planning to undertake a challenge of this scope for some time. Now, they're ready to get underway at last, and it should be fun to see what they discover about themselves along the way.

You'll be able to keep up with their progress at the Go Fetch website, which features GPS positional tracking, a frequently updated blog, and more information about the team, and their goals. They have quite a journey ahead of them, and it will interesting to see it unfold. I wish them luck as they begin paddling south at long last. 

Video: Rey Del Rio Waterfall World Championships - Kayaking Competition at its Most Extreme

Kayaking competitions are nothing new, nor is paddling over massive waterfalls. We've certainly seen both over the years. But when you combine the two, you get the Rey Del Rio Waterfall World Championships, an insane event in which pro kayakers run three massive falls in Chiapas, Mexico, pulling tricks and stunts as they go. The video below captures the insanity of this competition, where some big names in the world pro paddling gathered to take on the waters of the Agua Azul. As you'll see, it was quite the event.

Video: Mexico Kayaking Vacation

The best way to describe this video is five minutes of pure kayaking porn. It was shot by paddler/filmmaker Ryan McAvoy and friends on a recent trip to Mexico, where they discovered some amazing whitewater. The short film shows the group paddling through narrow canyons, dropping waterfalls, and generally having a great time on some impressive looking rivers. It looks like they had a lot of fun along the way.

My Mexican Vacation from Ryan McAvoy on Vimeo.