These Places In Between

the last push for Baja

So I’ve spent the last 30 hours or so in bed, vomiting and with a fever, so this post wont be the best ever.  We catch the ferry to the mainland today so I wanted to update before then.

photos that belong with this post here


4th June Loreto to Puerto Escandido  Every place you stop in Baja has a map of the penninsula on the wall.  I used to stop and pinpoint where we were, and then realise how long the road ahead of us was.  I stopped looking at these maps, instead just thinking about where we were and where we were going to be over the next few days.  I last wrote a week ago, we’d found ourselves in Loreto, and realising we had less than a week of cycling in Baja left.  We enjoyed the hospitality of Kathy and Nick and the comfort of their home.  We get excited about actual beds, sleeping in a tent you are always sleeping with one eye open, it doesnt give a chance for the subconcious to switch off, always needing to be aware of ones surroundings and belongings, so we appreciate nights indoors a lot.  We sat down with Kathy and Nick and planned our strategy for the last stretch of road.  There was about 30 miles to cycle from Loreto before hitting a mountain range, Sierra de la Giganta.  We made the plan to cycle 20 miles out of Loreto, camping at Puerto Escandido before tackling the mountains and a 70 mile bike ride the following day.  From there it would be a further 2 days cycling to La Paz with not very much but farmland and nothingness in between.  Leaving Kathy and Nick’s I honestly felt as fresh as I did when starting out the trip, it’s the first time our clothes had been in a washing machine (sink and shower washing so far), we’d slept, blogged, yogaed, rested.  I loved using their kayaks too.

Because of the short ride to Puerto Escandido we left late, on our way out of the town be bumped into Bill, an American living in Puerto Escandido, he had published a directory on Loreto and was keen to share it with us.  Bill lived on a boat on the marina, and he suggested we camp there, saving the cost of the official spot.

5th June Danzante Island Anyway, the next day we had planned to tackle this huge ride, however with some good fortune we ended up on a boat, The Alley Cat, with Ben Alley, the boat captain; we sailed to the Island Danzante.  The ocean was warm and clear as glass and spent the day snorkelling, and sitting in the boats hammock.

6th June – Puerto Escandido to Ciudad Concepcion I think it was the rest in Loreto and the day to remember on the boat which meant that we were so ready for the long cycle ahead, we woke at 5:30 and were on the road by 7am, and at the top of the  range Sierra de la Giganta by 9.30am.  Although arid this climate is different from desert, there are colours, there is grass, and although burnt oranges and reds it feels as though there is life, we were cycling along and butterflies would just fly past.  It was such a happy ride.  We got to the top and the road became flat and straight, we crushed the miles out.  That afternoon I am not sure why but I felt sick, there was nowhere to stop and no shade so I vomited from my bike and decided to keep on peddling, weird.

7th June Ciudad Concepcion to El Cien  We left late from Concepcion as we knew the road was fast and flat, and that there would be no where to stay in El Cien.  I skyped Sarah, my lovely best friend.  Before I came away we also worked together, and she was still at work, so I also got to Skype with all of the lovely people at the Hackney Ark, which was lovely. For my leaving present they gave me some padded pants which I have worn almost every single day, thank you so much for those guys!  El Cien means ‘The 100’ so called as it’s 100km from La Paz, we rocked up at a Café, did our usual thing of buying some food and starting a conversation with the family before asking if we could camp the night.  They said we should sleep behind the church, which was in fact just a front of a church with a breeze block back, we slept pretty apart from the dogs howling most of the night, and the cockerel’s early in the morning, all pretty normal to us now.

8th June El Cien to La Paz This days ride was like a little snap shot of all that Baja had offered us, there were hills, catci, and there was even a point on the top of a hill where if we looked in one direction we could see the sea of Cortez, and in the other the Pacific coast.  It felt good to end cycling in Baja like this.

9th -11th June La Paz Getting to La Paz was a bit of a shock, this is the first proper Mexican city we’ve stopped in, and we’ve become so used to cactus customs that it took a little while to get used to it.  We’ve been staying in a hostel called Baja Backpackers, where you can also camp in the garden.  We’ve been hanging out with some boys who are visiting from Mexico city, there are some amazing beaches in the area that we’ve been checking out…. and then I got poorly so that’s meant I lost a day to a sweating fever in bed and have just now reemerged.

So, it’s four weeks to the day since we crossed the Mexican border and now it’s time to go to the mainland.  I’m excited, but we’re also entering a new phase of the journey so of course there are some new apprehensions.  We feel as though we’ve achieved something by cycling this 1000 mile long peninsula of Baja California, we’ve certainly learnt a lot, about cycling touring, about staying safe, about ourselves and each other; and about being humble because we are at mercy to the roads, the weather, the landscape and the kindness of others. So now we look at the map of Mexico and this peninsula is merely like a thumb sticking out of a hand, the hand that is the rest of Mexico, and we begin to imagine new adventures ahead.

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