May 17 2015

Baja California

Chased by a horny bull in deep sand…

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Wonderful beach camp… but awful mosquitoes.

We rode about 2460 km (1530 miles) on Baja California in Mexico and we loved every minute of it. The scenery is beautiful with massive cactuses that are spread out over large areas on the peninsula, the people are friendly and they sell cold Pacific beers, yeah, what else can you ask for?

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Sorting out the temporary import for the bikes

The border crossing from US to Mexico, including getting the insurance and sorting out the temporarily import for our bikes, went surprisingly smooth. Although we had been warned about being robbed, killed and God knows what, the only thing we saw and experienced were friendly people. As I always say, “If you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time then it doesn’t really matter where you are.”

As usual we did not have a plan when we crossed the border, we just wanted to go somewhere were we could just chill for a while.

The first day, we only rode about 110 km to Ensenada where we stayed for a few days to get ‘acclimatised’ to Mexico. We had the first proper Mexican meal, which unfortunately wasn’t a hit. After a couple of days we really felt ready to move on and continued south. Next stop was a small and dusty town called Guerrero Negro where we arrived quite late. We found a hotel that let us camp in the backyard. It was at this place we got the ‘taste’ of the high humidity… haven’t had that since Asia. At this hotel we met a bunch of cheerful Mexican bikers who were super nice. We had a chat and the usual photo taken. So here I was surrounded by a bunch good looking Mexican blokes and I was not complaining 😉

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Mosquitoes and a scorpion on the beach

The following day we continued riding south and in the late afternoon we found a lovely beach, Playa Santespak. We pitched the tent just a few meters from the sea in the light of a magnificent sunset and the only company we had were a massive amount of mosquitoes. We had a night of bad sleep due to the bloody insane itching and the morning after we realised that we were completely covered by mosquito bites. I started to count the bites but stopped after 48 and that was only on one arm… so from now on we promised ourselves that we should wear long trousers and long sleeves in the evenings…. as if we would remember that in the future…

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The scorpion that we found under our tent

The next morning, we realised that there were not only the mosquitoes and ourselves on the beach but also a scorpion that had ‘slept’ under our tent. This, instantly, reminded me that I hadn’t checked my boots before putting them on… eeek…

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Just love these huge cactuses

Anyway we survived both the scorpion and the mosquitoes and continue the ride south. We rode through beautiful deserts
with huge cactuses scattered all over. It reminded me of the old Wild West movies I used to love to watch as a kid.

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Dave and his dad Bob

Next stop was at a campground in Loreto, where we ended up camping for nearly two weeks. Oh my god, it was so nice to just stay in one place for once. The first couple of nights were so hot that we had to get up, several times, in the middle of the night and have cold showers. It was nearly unbearable. We met a lot of very nice people in the campground so we spent the evenings chatting with them. Two very nice men, the son Dave and his 92 years old dad Bob, made our time in Loreto worth remembering. I really get impressed and inspired when I meet elderly people that don’t just
stop living because they become old. Bob loved wine and tequila and he used to buy a few bottles with him on the way back from his daily, about 20 km, exercise ride on a pushbike, astonishing.

In Loreto we were out walking a lot, but to be honest we didn’t do much more than that. I think we were quite exhausted and just needed to chill out and just do nothing.

By now we had realised that everything has a lot of sugar in Mexico. We had been trying to find yoghurt without sugar but without any success. Anyway one day we met an American guy who lived in Loreto since many years, so we asked him if he knew where we could find yoghurt without sugar. The answer we got was; “so you don’t drink Coca-Cola then?….” duh… what the hell do you answer to that? However, after that we actually managed to find sugar free yoghurt so we could make tzatsiki, which tasted like heaven.

After nearly two weeks in Loreto it was really time to leave. We headed for La Paz, but had one stop on the way in Ciudo Constitution (Villa Constitution) where we spoiled ourselves, staying in a hotel room where it was super nice to sleep in a bed again.

 

Stayed in wonderful La Paz for a looooong time

Next stop was La Paz, which we arrived to at lunchtime. We stopped at a cafe to have something to eat and to decide what to do. At the cafe we met an old and very interesting man, the artist, Rainbow Hawk. He helped us to look for a place to stay by reading and translate adverts in a local newspaper. While I stayed with Rainbow at the cafe while Anders headed out for a ‘flat hunt’. After some time, as felt very long, Anders came back and had rented a flat for a month… whoops this is what can happen when you let Anders on the loose. It was a doctor that owned a house and we could rent a flat for 5500 pesos ($300) for four weeks. Now after a very long time on the road we had a bedroom, bathroom and a KITCHEN for four long weeks. Wow I was so excited to be able to cook properly again. Just to have a fridge and a freezer is such a luxury nowadays. What a heaven to be able to ride to the super market and fill the pannier with lots of food, wine, beers etc.

After not been doing a lot of exercise since we started the trip we decided to catch up with that. Every morning for four weeks while in La Paz, we power walked about 15 km and some days we also went for a swim in crystal clear water. It was so good to get into the habit of doing daily exercise again. That is something I really miss from my previous ‘normal’ life.

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Ok I might not look so graceful when chasing the whale shark…

In La Paz we went out snorkelling and swimming with whale sharks, which was such an adrenalin kick and absolutely awesome. Just the feeling of being that close to these incredible huge beautiful animals felt magic. If we were scared, no, not me, but you can ask Anders 😉

  

Riding the south loop of Baja California Sur and chased by a horny bull in deep sand

Oh well, we just have to admit that after three weeks we were extremely restless and were climbing the walls. Though we really liked La Paz we were ready to hit the road again. But as we had paid for four weeks we stayed and ‘suffered’…. The day we packed everything on the bikes, we were incredibly excited and when we hit the road, it felt like coming back ‘home’ again.

Before leaving Baja we wanted to ride the South loop. We had been told that the road we wanted to take on the Southeast part was really bad with lots of sand and partly damaged after the hurricane, which hit Baja a month earlier. However, we decided to take that road anyway.

First we passed through Todos Santos, were we stopped at the famous Hotel California (from the Eagles song). No, we did not stay for the night in that hotel, too expensive for our budget. Instead we found a campground, Pescadero surf camp, which was full of surfers… of course… The day after we rode to Cabo San Lucas… holy shit, what an awful tourist place… couldn’t walk two meters until someone tried to drag you into their shop. We left that place as quick as we could.

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Hate sand….

We took the road from Cabo San Lucas towards Cabo Pulmo. The road started of quite boring but shortly boringness turned into hell. It was just a road with deep sand. We had heard from people that the dirt road was a challenge with some sand patches…. sand patches? For fuck sake, it was a 90 km long bloody patch with sand. Anyway I have ‘albatrossed’ my way through large sandy areas in Mongolia so how hard could it be?…. It was hard, and of course I dropped the bike, but only once, which, I guess, was a surprise for both Anders and me. Ok so if deep sand wasn’t enough, a horny bull also had to chase me… yes, that is true, a horny bull… I don’t think I’ve ever been so terrified. Anders was in front of me and the bull next to the road didn’t show any interest in him whatsoever so I continued my albatross way of riding in the deep sand. BUT when I was just passing the bull he just went completely crazy and started to chase me. He looked totally wild and I was horrified, not only for the bull but also terrified of crashing…. Surprisingly, I managed to keep the rubber down and I totally forgot to albatross my way through the sand… didn’t know I could ride in sand… Anyway the bull stopped after a while, turned around and jumped up on one of the cows and did his thing… I was shaking like a leaf and repeatedly said to Anders, -“did you see that? I was chased by a fucking horny bull”, Anders just laughed and laughed so much I thought that he would fall of his bloody bike…

Later on I started to get problems with my bike, it kind of rushed without me give it any throttle. And as if this wouldn’t have been enough, my headlight stopped working too. Anyway as is was late we didn’t have time to stop and fix that so instead we rode until it was too dark and luckily we found place in the wild where we could camp. We had to pitch the tent in the light of a very poor torch. Anyway we managed to get the tent up and before we fell asleep we both agreed that this will be a day to remember and laugh about in the future.

After a very good night sleep we replaced the light bulb on my bike and also got the throttle fixed so it didn’t rush. We were prepared to ride in deep sand again but luckily it was actually a bit better. We arrived to Cabo Pulmo a very nice beach with very few people. There was one restaurant, just on the beach, where we had a very nice meal. There were a group of guys at the table next to us that we had a chat with and they were very interested in our trip. They left before us and when Anders went to pay for our meal the guys had already paid for it. We never got the chance to thank these guys for the meal and we don’t even know their names so if any of you guys read this, a big THANK YOU for the meal. While on Cabo Pulmo we did some amazing snorkelling on the coral reef, which was just about 25 meters from the shore.

 

Leaving La Paz

After a couple of days in Cabo Pulmo we headed back to La Paz again for catching the ferry to Mexico mainland. We were supposed to take the ferry to Topolobampo, but when we got there we got the information that that ferry does not operate on Sundays… grrr… We quickly decided to take the ferry to Mazatlan at 5 pm instead. We talked to a couple on pushbikes who told us that they booked the tickets well in advance and thought we probably wouldn’t get a place on that ferry, oh well, we thought we should at least give it a try. Luckily we got on the ferry but there was no cabin for us, which we had no problem with at all. We slept in two chairs and honestly, nowadays I think we can sleep anywhere and in whatever position.

We are incredibly happy that we decided to ride through Baja California, which is a very beautiful part of Mexico. We had not only the time to relax for a while but also gain the experience of being chased by a horny bull while riding in deep sand. I think that definitely will be a memory for life. So will we be visiting Baja California again? Oh yes, we certainly will.

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Leaving Baja California Sur for Mexico mainland 🙂

 

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Charging station… lucky it didn’t rain 🙂

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Pelicans in La Paz loved to pose for us.

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Cooking at a camping place in Loreto

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Bugger…. 😉

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Petra on an evening walk in La Paz

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A bunch of guys from US who just raced the Baja 1000.

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Wonderful fruit trees in Mexico

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We walked to this place for a swim very often while in La Paz.

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Anders and a whale shark

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It is amazing how big these whale shark are…

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We had a lovely evening with Vincent, Julie, Mark and Carina… all bikers 🙂

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Can’t remember why I was standing on the bike in this photo…

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Anders, me and the Bandidos 😉

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Met Todd and Mark, two great bikers, in La Paz who we really hope to meet again somewhere.

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The famous Hotel California

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The view from ‘our’ flat in La Paz

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Anders is making the bed

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Fuck…

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Lovely people we met when camping. They invited us for some home made wine 🙂

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This was by far the best Mexican food we had during our four months in Mexico.

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So happy to at last reached the tarmac after a couple of days riding in sand 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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