Merry Christmas team and Happy New Year!!

I hope and presume that you are all having a great time in our lovely desert, have had a great Christmas, are enjoying your families, and riding your bikes.

Daniela, Damiano, and I are having a fantastic time. We are in Pattaya, Thailand. About 2 hours south east of Bankok, the capitol, right on the Bay of Thailand. The balcony of Daniela’s parents condo over looks the water and everyday we watch the sun melt into the water and the moon rise from it. We are part of a clan of 13 that has descended on this town. So in total in the house there are 15 of us. Damiano absolutely loves having his cousins around and they are helping him learn to do all sorts of things. He is going to seem “old” when he comes back for sure.

I have been lucky enough to do a few very fun non desert activities while here. I along with Daniela’s three siblings and husbands went deep sea fishing. We caught two large fish, a sun burn, and too many laughs. Then I went golfing at a club of unimagingable wealth. Heck I took pictures of the bathroom it was so nice and my name was on the locker that they had prepared for me before my arrival.

This country is an amazing place. For sure a developing country. Not the third world at all. All is here and readily attainable, if you have the money of course. This town Pattaya is the Las Vegas of Thailand and of South East Asia. It is heavily touristed by Russians, Japanese, and Koreans. We as American tourists are in the minority, however this is a playland of sorts. So it is quite akward, not the typical traveling that Daniela and I are used to, where we try and isoloate ourselves in places in an attempt to better understand them. Here we are in “Vegas” but yet not partaking in any of it and just enjoying family. A strange collision of place and time.

Have a great holiday break, ride your bikes a lot, relax a ton, and get ready for another fantastic El Grupo year. This year is going to be special and I am thrilled that you all want to join us for the ride.

Daniela in one of the pools at the condo. We get to swim everyday.

balcony shot looking north

Balcony shot looking south


Neil's big catch

Not as a big a catch

Not our fishing boat

Damiano is staying in shape too

Wings not needed for much longer

Daniela likes to bowl

Merry Christams

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