(October 27 – written by Dave)
It was hard to tear ourselves away from our lovely cabana this morning but we had a longish day planned so we had to get over the urge to say “one more day” pretty quickly. We had brekkie early and were rolling away at 7AM. Even though it was before her normal start time, Joa, our host, was up and escorted us to the front gate. As Nancy mentioned yesterday, it was a nice spot and a great place to have few days off. Thanks for everything Joa (and Carlos).
We had a little city riding to get through but Loreto is not big and you’d be hard pressed to call it “rush hour” or anything close to it. We were back out onto Highway 1 heading south again in almost no time. We were on the road before sunrise but had our red flashers on and the shoulder was pretty wide for a good spell. Of course I stopped when the sun came up for a few photos. I hope that this is not too boring! Looking to the west towards the mountains, the sunrise is also pretty dramatic. The hills take on an almost red glow for a few minutes as the sun breaks the horizon. Honest, none of the photos below have been retouched.
The first 35k or so was out along the Loreto Bay and the Sea of Cortez. We were only on the water for short stretches but I still managed a few too many photo stops for our long day. I tried to balance photo time with riding pace to keep all travelling members happy.
Thanks to notes from riders ahead of us, we knew that there was a store at Ligui. We were surprised when we pulled into the little shop and saw a loaded touring bicycle parked there. Both Nancy and I recognized the bike as belonging to Martin, a rider from Switzerland we met back at the top of Mount Rose Summit on August 22nd. Martin came out of the store and we got caught up on the last couple months. He’s ridden a completely different route than us, on a completely different schedule – it always strikes me when these meetings out in the middle of nowhere.
In keeping with the theme of re-meeting Martin, I thought that today I’d provide an update on some of the other riders we’ve mentioned over the past few weeks.
- Three Canadian girls – Maya, Kendra and Sonya- now in La Paz – 5 day ride from Loreto
- Kendra’s shifting – Fixed by Frederik in Santa Rosalia – working well enough to get her to La Paz
- Seb – from Canada- in La Paz – chasing Canadian girls? – 5 day ride from Loreto
- Seb’s shorts– washed in Loreto by Joa, delivered to Martin and Nina on Wednesday in Loreto, and being delivered to Seb in La Paz
- Frederik – from Italy – in La Paz – keeping an eye on Seb to make sure shorts and Canadian girls are safe
- Martin and Nina – from Austria – in La Paz, took the bus from Loreto because they loved the ride to Loreto so much and they wanted a perfect ride to be the last they have in Baja. Also need to accelerate their trip to insure that Seb’s short made it before he departed La Paz
- Aled – from Wales – Probably still in La Paz – got there a couple of days ago with a couple other Brits – we hope that they leave some beer for the rest of us.
- The other Martin – From Switzerland – in Ciudad Constitution – young and strong, he rode another 26k after we stopped today.
We rode with Martin from Switzerland for most of the day. The first big task was to get up and over the Sierra de la Gigante mountains. There were some steep pitches in the climb but there were lots of switchbacks so it wasn’t too bad. It was much more pleasant in the shade, but because we hit the bottom about 9:30 or so we didn’t have as much shade as we would have liked.
We had a lunch stop at very small un-named restaurant at a road junction near the top. We were “attacked” by a pack of Chihuahuas but managed to fend them off – actually, I think they really wanted a pet but were a bit too frightened to get too close. The owner spoke rapid fire Spanish and didn’t slow a bit, even we asked him to in Spanish (obviously we need to practice that phrase!). We ended up shrugging our shoulders a lot and laughing. It was entertaining, if not overly informative.
After lunch we had bit more of the mountains to ride. After some up and down we had one more small climb before facing a 50k slightly downhill crosswind slog into Cuidad Insurgentes. It was really hot by now and the wind made us work, even with the downhill. Somewhere on the downhill we lost Martin from Switzerland. We got nervous later when an ambulance passed us with lights on and we were mighty relieved to see him in Insurgentes (not that we were wishing bad luck on whoever needed the ambulance of course).
Being young and strong, Martin from Switzerland rode on from Insurgentes – though to be fair, we did have 38k under our belt when we met up with him and had only done 8k or so by that point. Even with all her bold talk of making it to Cuidad Constitution this morning, we elected to call 123k more than enough for the day. The next 26k would have been downwind, but it would have been pretty hot as well. We are more than happy now sitting in our air-conditioned hotel room – showered, watered and now thinking about dinner. (Senior editor’s note – it wasn’t bold talk, just a possible option if we felt strong and had lots of time by the time we got to Insurgentes. And it would have meant we could actually have a day off tomorrow (again) as we would have been ahead of schedule. But it was too dang hot!)
We now have 200k to ride to reach La Paz. We have 3 days to do this in so we’ll probably have a short day tomorrow. It is hard to break the ride up nicely and ensure a shower both remaining nights. There are quite a few hotels in Cuidad Constitution so we will do a short day there tomorrow and then take our chances on locating a shower for the next night. I like a shower so I’ll be studying the maps carefully tonight.