“…and we´re drinking drinking drinking drinking coca coca cola.”
Those are Modest Mouse lyrics that have been going through my head lately. The tiny cities made of ashes line applies to our travels here. The towns are usually pretty small and covered in Baja dust. I don´t normally drink soda but I´ve adopted the local custom. There cold and quite refreshing. Nice after a day of sweaty riding. Supposedly Mexico drinks more Coke per capita than any other country.
Haven´t posted a blog entry since Ensenada. Joaquin has been going first when we get to an internet cafe, and he does such a good job, that I haven´t contributed. We just rolled up to Mulege, the collest Mexican city we´ve seen so far. Palm trees, narrow streets, beautiful old buildings. Joaquin is sitting next to me making sighing sounds of frustration at the speed and or difficulty of uploading pictures to the blog. Slow interwebs in Mexico. We fond a place we can bring our bikes into and are both able to work at the same time as opposed to one person sitting outside with the bikes and bags.
We´ve ridden everyday since Ensenada. Almost two weeks. Starting to ride longer days. We made it from Guerrero Negro to Santa Rosalito in two days. Over 100 kilometers each day. The first day was hot and long and hard. We were about to camp in the desert brush on the side of the road when we happened to spot a farming plantation. Joaquin asked them if there was a place to camp near by. The guard said we could sleep outside by the security post. That would be pretty safe. Then our savior Steve drove up and asked Joaquin if we needed anything. 5 minutes later we had a place to put our tents near the farm´s employeee housing, a shower, a bathroom, a company store, tables to eat on. Amazing. He even gave us some samples of the grape tomatoes they grow. So delicious. We´ve been eating them since. Good travel snack. Also, it was the best shower we´ve had since the old U.S. It was pretty surreal when everybody got off work and came to their housing quarters and we´re there eating rice and bean burritos. There´s is such a contained world on the farm, that we stood out. One of these things does not belong. Hmmm… perhaps the gigantic gringo over there. Other than the curious looks, nobody bothered us. We stayed silent and tried not to attract any attention to ourselves we were in these peoples homes and were very grateful for what we had been given.
That has been the most interesting place we´ve stayed at so far. A close second was the horse stable we slept in in Chapala up in the high Baja desert. Other than that we´ve paid to camp at three places, and slept next to motels and hotels the rest of the time. Sometimes paying to use the showers, sometimes buying rice or beans from the restaurant if there is one. After yesterdays ride of 127 kilometers, we had some trouble finding a hotel that would let us pitch our tents, until we found an amazing hotel called el Morro just south of Santa Rosalia. Their pool was dry and we camped on the patio cliff side to the Sea of Cortez. We watched the sun rise this morning over the sea, after having seen it set over the Pacific to the west for so long. We´re surrounded by water.
The desert has transformed into greener pastures. The mesas are all a little greener, palm trees make appearances, and the air is not so arid. All welcome changes. We´ve ridden about 1000 kilometers since Tijuana and have a ways to go until we get to La Paz and start hunting for boats to stowaway on and cross the Sea of Cortez to the mainland and ontinue heading south to Guatemala, where we assume we´ll be for Christmas. Feliz Navidad.
Time on the saddle is spent thinking of story ideas, drawing in my head, looking at and asorbing the surrounding scenery, concentrating on my cadence, cursing uphills, cherishing decsents (there´s been some nice curvy ones), giving the Mexican customary peace signs to oncoming trucks, and wetting my chamois shorts getting passed (barely) by trucks coming from behind.
So far we´ve met 5 other cyclists all headed to Argentina. Just in Baja alone. Nicholas and Emmy we met in Ensenada, Parker and Seth (from San Francisco) in the middle of nowhere in the desert heading to Guerrero Negro, and today Chris from England. It´s a packed road on the Pan American right now. Hide your food.
The Soma Saga is smooth and strong. I could wear the Keen Commuters night and day (and do). The Action Wipes are indespensible. The wool gear from Rivendell is treating us fantastic. Off to the beach for a day off. My legs are throbbing.