Desert type 1 – the demi desert- hot and shrubby and some cacti
This was our first desert, we had to climb up a mountain to get to it, and when we did there was just vast amounts of shrubs and small cacti and sort of rocky gravel and dust, in retrospect it wasn’t the most deserty of desert, but at the time it felt like it was. One frustration with the desert is the lack of shade to rest, but another you have to just keep on riding your bike, there is no where to sit on the side of the road, those stones really hurt your bum, plus there are loads of dead snakes (road kill) on the side of the road, so yes, think it’s not best to park yourself here.
Desert type 2 – dust, scrubs, expanse
I don’t know that there is a lot to say about desert type2, it’s the ‘we’re really in the desert’ type of desert, there can be moments of real beauty and quiet, and some quite striking Cacti. I like this desert.
Desert type 3 – the caricature of the desert
The landscape slowly changed from type 2 to type 3, boulders started to appear, and before long there were mountains formed of boulders, and cacti as high as the sky. This type of desert felt so pre-historic and like something out of the Flintstones. I will be Fred and Leah can be Wilma, or maybe she is more of a Bam-Bam or a Barney Rubble? I’ve just asked her, and she doesn’t know who she wants to be.
Desert type 4 – desert in colour
We’d get so excited when we’d see some evidence of dried up river, there would be green trees in a valley, and maybe even an animal such as a goat or a donkey. Seeing colours that resemble life really makes you feel sometime inside which I can’t explain, it’s like it feels easier to breathe.
Desert type 5 – flat and sandy
Think desert, think sand, right? So finally we have miles and miles of this stuff, and it’s flat, and the road is straight. We could crank out 50 miles in 3 hours when the wind was blowing the right way. It’s time to zone out in this type of desert (maybe even put some Fleetwood Mac Rumours on the speakers, although I would like to clarify that I would not put earphones in as I want to hear traffic at all times) as the road is totally straight and there is nothing to see. We couldn’t get hold of fresh food so would find ourselves eating things like tortillas with peanuts and jam, dry food for the dry terrain. I think cars like to speed on these flat straight roads, and there were plenty of road side shrines for the dead for you to stop and eat jam tortillas in front of, if that’s your thing. I don’t like stopping at the shrines, I don’t want to know who died or why, but there are some quite impressive gaudy ones, and then there are some where people have gaffa taped some newspapers together. Resourceful but pretty bleak . We did once see a ghost bike which was pretty humbling. You can see the telephone cables so it’s not exactly completely away from civilisation like the types above.
Types of dessert
Once we’d established our 5 types of desert we then moved on to talking about types of dessert we’ve been experiencing here in Baja California. I would love to get a photo album of these, but unfortunately I haven’t photographed many of these culinary delights. Here are some of the highs and lows of comida dulce here in Baja. We’ve even tried matching deserts with the desserts which fit their personalities, this lead to lots of debate.
Marshmallows – we camped on the beach and the owner of the campsite gave us firewood, he also came with beers for the men, and then marshmallows and coat hangers for Leah and I. Unwind the coat hanger and stick some marshmallows on the end, you don’t even have to leave your seat as the wire is so long. These are the types of marshmallows which feel like the expand in your stomach. Anyway, I am vegetarian so this isn’t for me.
Wafers – remember those pink wafer biscuits you’d get at kids parties? We’ve been eating loads of those. Until it started getting really hot and dry and we felt like these wafers were so dry we felt our insides shrivelling up. We haven’t eaten wafers for about 600 miles.
Birthday cake – if you read this blog properly you will remember the story of Leah and Renaldo’s birthday, the waterslides and the cake. This birthday cake as blue icing reading ‘Feliz Cumpleanos’ and the sponge has been made by a rotund housewife. Surprising and delicious, probably the best of deserts.
Mango-loco – Mexicans it seems love sugar and chilli. You kids buying actual doritos and then the shop owner squirts more chili sauce into the bag, and this stuff called ‘chamoy’ which is a bright pink oriental looking sugar-sauce. People love chamoy. One day we ate crushed frozen mango, then the guy put loads of chamoy on it with lime juice, chili and salt. Chamoy is one of those things that feels good at the time, but leaves you feeling a bit tainted and dirty.
I think I will continue this post about deserts, and food in general at another point. This is a blog about riding my bike after all, so think that’s what I should go and do right now.
- the desert, act 2
- the last push for Baja