Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Donde Esta La Fiesta? Central Baja (19th - 27th Nov '10)

A snapshot of our time so far in Mexico: amazing, gracious people, a ragged assortment of dogs, Bimbo Cake, desert birthdays and swimming with phosphorescence.......
The amazing people I could spent hours rambling on about. All the people we have met, passed by, shared campsites with... all our memories are filled with smiling faces. While we can't communicate with ease with everybody the Mexicans are very patient with our faltering attempts to speak Spanish. They still smile and attempt to understand us, even though I get a little stressed when speaking under pressure and have a tendency to blurt out any old thing, such as asking for a room “drunker” (rather than “cheaper”). This tendency can get me into trouble sometimes... the pleasantries that I had been exchanging with the old lady in the laundrette over the folding of clothes (“It's windy isn't it!”, “Oh I like the colour of your t-shirt”) got a little strained when, instead of telling her I would take our friend Lorely's underwear to her, I told her “I touch the underwear of my friend”.
While the people have been wonderful the dogs have been... interesting. We have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the dogs of Mexico (and there is a lot of them). We often get chased by them as we ride along on our bikes and they keep us awake at night howling and barking when we are in towns. But we have also made friends with a lot of them, and they love love. Mexican dogs seem not to wag their tail but their whole body.
We had one black dog follow us for about 10 km one day, out of town and into the start of the desert. We kept trying to send her home but she would soon start following us again. Finally Aiden tried to give her some water and sent her back, then rode on as fast as possible to lose her. Luckily this last move was successful for as much as we enjoyed our black shadow we didn't want her following us all the way out into the desert!
Mexico has also been about the food. Fish Tacos and beer with lime and salt (interestingly good) abound. We have also discovered 'bimbo cake', a variety of cheap cakey goodness, including a delicious cinnamon roll type snack. Sometimes these cakes are almost the only food item for sale in the small, remote shops – but you won't see us complaining! Bimbo cake has got us through long stretches of empty desert.

Our cinnamon roll fuelled journey continued from Guerrero Negro, where I last blogged, down the Number 1 Highway (the only highway) through Baja, passing through lots and lots of desert. And then some more. Luckily we were still enjoying the unique cactus and desert landscape, because there wasn't much else to look at. For a few days our flat desert riding was also helped by some great tailwinds so we fairly flew along the highway.

The night before Jules birthday we thought we would be camping in the desert but we reached the town of Vizcaina which, despite not appearing on any or our maps or Aiden's GPS, was actually a town of some size with a lovely campsite in a walled orange grove. We decided to make full use of the town, go out for tacos and beers, and stay up as late as 9pm! Party on.
Jules birthday celebrations continued the next day with the treat of an exciting ride 70 kms through the desert (this was how I tried to sell it to her). Luckily we arrived that night at San Ignacio, an awesome little oasis town with an old mission and a river with water (something we had not seen for a long time!) plus a bar with cold beer. We camped beneath the date palms on the edge of the lake, and watched the sunset over the water. And of course no birthday celebration (or in fact any day in Mexico) is complete without the presence of Bimbo Cake.
With the desert birthday celebrations behind us we reached the coast again, this time on the eastern shores of the Baja peninsular, at the Sea of Cortez where the water is warm and the pace is slow. We slowed down the travels with a rest day in the town of Mulege and then three rest days camped by Coyote Beach. At Coyote Beach the waves lapped metres away from our tent, we swam and we watched dolphins play and the seabirds fish. We had a fire every night on the sand and toasted marshmallows and went night-swimming with the phosphorescence. The night swimming was a trip highlight, making us into giggling kids as we jumped around in the dark waters with the light from the phosphorescence shimmering all around us. Pure cycle touring bliss. A night swim, phosphorescence shining in our hair and then warming ourselves by the fire. Its a good life.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Who knew I could be so jealous. Thanks to yous for taking such beautiful pictures and offering such thoughtful, descriptive prose, even though it's like knives jabbing into my gut to think that we could possibly be there too!!! We miss you two out here in Colorado, fighting with the real world while also having some understanding that none of it really matters. You are beautiful beacons to us!
    <3, Team Krusti