Wednesday, November 1, 2017
7:00 pm
Beckman Institute Auditorium – Beckman Institute

Alpine Club Talk

Three Caminos, from Hell to Heaven: El Camino del Diablo, el Camino Real and el Camino de Santiago
Vito Rubino, Research Scientist, Aerospace, Caltech
Palas Policroniades Borraz, Corporate Partnership Officer, Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships (OTTCP), Caltech

We will talk about our adventures and survival on a mountain bike tandem across three historical routes from the New to the Old World, featuring challenging environments including: the infernal heat of the Sonoran desert, along the "Camino del Diablo" in Arizona; the rain forests of the Pacific coast transitioning into the desert and otherworldly landscapes of Baja California, along the "Camino Real"; and the misleading beauty of the the wild and mystic side of Spain, along the "Camino de Santiago."

The "Camino del Diablo" or Devil's Highway is a sandy path from Mexico to California used by natives, pioneers, gold rushers and, nowadays, illegal immigrants and drug smugglers but really not bikers. We'll say how we managed to escape from snakes and drug smugglers but be almost arrested by border patrol agents and then how we got lost in the desert in the hottest part of the day with no water. The "Camino Real" is the original highway of California joining the Spanish missions; we actually started above it, in Vancouver, Canada and finished at the southern tip of Baja, encountering many surprises on the way down. The "Camino de Santiago", or Saint James Way, is a collection of pilgrimage paths leading to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. We started in France and took the Northern Way along the coast and then continued along the rugged and breathtaking Camino Primitivo – the first Camino to Santiago –  dating from the 9th century, for a total of over 650 miles and 60,000' elevation gain in under 10 days. Due the ruggedness of the route, we had to relentlessly and sleeplessly pedal to make it to Santiago on time. And then we continued, till the end of the (ancient) world, Finisterre. 

The talk will be followed by a reception with free refreshments.

Contact Cody Finke finkec@caltech.edu
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