(October 11– written by Dave)
We had a great day today, a very hard, long day, but a really good one. I’m going to keep this brief and let the photos do the talking – mostly.
We left the hotel with Frederik at 7AM. We had debated taking a day off in El Rosario because we had such a nice room, with good wi-fi, for a pretty good price. But, there wasn’t much to the town so we finally decided last night to hit the road today and save our day off for a more interesting town.
We had a lot of climbing almost right from the start. In fact we had over 4800 feet of climbing by the end of the day. The scenery was simply stunning from the get go. Early we has small, pointy cactus. Later in the day it became a virtual forest of Saguaro cacti. Frederik and I both got the hurry on call from the senior editor for taking too many photos.
We arrived in Catavina at 4:30 to find our intended hotel closed permanently. This forced us to either stop at the fancy Mission Inn or to head up the road and bush camp. We were all pretty tired so we stopped at the Inn to check on the prices. Well, after hearing that they would give us a deal on a three person suite we voted for the room over camping. The Mission Inn is very nice, with a great courtyard – all very traditional construction, with arched windows, and lots of nice gardens surrounding it.
We cleaned up and went across the street to La Enramada, a nice clean family run restaurant, and had a great meal. We all pretty tired now but ready to get up and do it all again tomorrow with another 75 miles day planned. Tomorrow is more down than up so it should mean we get to the small burg of Punta Prieta, where we can camp behind a restaurant there.
I’ll close by saying that today’s ride should be one everyone’s bucket list – even if you can only do it in a car. You can’t get any more scenic, and you’ll never see so many Saguaro cactus in one place.