In Banff, AB
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Bikes: Cannondale F400, Worksman Trike (customized for hauling)
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10 Days into Baja
After 10 days of cycling, my fourth shower, second night about to be happily spent in a bed, and a belly full of tacos and chocolate milk, I am eager to share the experiences of cycling Baja California with you. We’ve made it to Guerrero Negro, the front door of Baja California Sur, which is a different state than the northern part of Baja, different time zone even. During our first few days on the road we dealt with the busy roads of northern Baja California between Tijuana and Ensenada. From the beginning, our legs were tested with some tough inclines, only a sample of what we were going to be experiencing throughout our journey south. As we pedaled on, we were treated with some spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, spacious valleys, and tall mountains. Every day the scenery has changed a little bit and sometimes drastically. The past few days we’ve experienced countless varieties of cactus plants, from the miniature kind you might grown in a tiny cup on your windowsill to ones that grow up to 30 feet tall. The only thing that remains fairly consistent is the intensity of the sun. Our skin rarely has a moment without being covered in SPF 50 sunscreen, a reality of cycling through a desert climate. Shade is as rare as fresh water. We have heard countless warnings of the road, the trucks, but they are not too bad. The trucks are pretty kind and patient for the most part. Many wave and give supportive honks. The people of Mexico so far have been inquisitive of our trip and very supportive. We have met some very interesting and kind individuals. Speaking Spanish has been pretty easy also. Mexicans seem to be appreciative of our willingness to communicate in their language and help us along. I imagine travelers like us are a refreshing change from the average gringo screaming down the road in their SUV to the most popular beach resort or surf spot. The food is pretty simple, tacos and tortas (sandwiches). Roadside taquerias are popular in larger towns. They hand you some meat in a soft tortilla and you load it up with salsa, guacamole, hot sauce, lime, onion and cabbage. In small villages it is typical to have only one restaurant or cafe with a limited menu. During the heat of the day, we like to stop in and get a juice or orange soda. Camping has been easy and safe. We cycle until 6 or 7 in the evening and then find a spot off the side of the road to pitch the tent. Most places are quite peaceful as long as they are away from the road.
Now we prepare for Baja California Sur. We’ve been hearing lots of wonderful things about places like San Ignacio, Mulege, and Loreto. The last two being on the Gulf of California and places we might want to spend a few days chilling out. We’ve yet to swim in the ocean and are looking forward to the warm water of the Gulf. I expect positive relations with the locals to continue, and look forward to more new and amazing scenery and experiences!
Highlights: Tastey tacos, cacti, seeing a rattlesnake, wild donkeys, awesome views, lunar eclipse, and nice people flashing peace signs and waves from cars.
Downers: Busted rim, busted tire, lost sunglasses, sitting on a cactus, and unhealthy dogs seriously in need of rescuing.
Thanks for the support and encouragement!
Peace and Love from Baja,
Prudoe Bay, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina by bike...eventually. (2/3 done!)
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