It has been another great stretch of riding since we last updated. Although the days blur together, our highlights include meeting and camping with four more touring cyclists, reaching the Sea of Cortes and spending a rest day in the small town of Santa Rosalia, and camping on the beach in one of the most scenic locations we could imagine. Of course, the next night Jason got stung by a stingray in a similar beautiful beach, but he is ok and we will tell you the story.
Leaving Guerrero Negro (where we last updated) the road took us southeast for the following three days. They were easy riding days along flat, straight roads through green desert. On our first day out we met with Menno, Kate, Spencer, and Tanya. They are from the Netherlands, Canada, Canada, and Germany respectively. Menno started in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska! We have been camping with these folks every night since. We stayed in a very nice campground one night, in front of a half-built hotel another night, in an actual hotel for two nights, and on the beach for two more. The company is great, and it’s been really fun to have so many cyclists around to share stories with.
We have a new term for the kind of rest we get here: Mexico sleep. It means that you mostly slept through the night, except for the random and unpredictable noises that woke you up all night long. For example, we almost always hear dogs barking or fighting, roosters crowing, car music, truck engine brakes, etc. We are getting used to it though, and it’s always fun to see what kind of animals visit the tent in the morning. Sometimes it’s a horse, and sometimes it’s a chihuahua.
During our day off in Santa Rosalia we spent as much time as possible relaxing. There were chores to do too, however. We bought a Mexican pre-paid cell phone to send texts and make calls. It was cheap, and will be useful to us. We shared a hotel room with Tyler for two nights, and it was a relief to not set up or take down the tent!
After we left Santa Rosalia it was a shorter day of 50 miles to Bahia Concepcion, our intended stop for the night. The sight of the perfect beach was a little mindboggling. Tyler negotiated a decreased camping fee for the group, and we all went swimming. It was stunningly beautiful and the water was warm. We had a moment where we realized we had just pedaled there from Alaska… we had arrived in Paradise!
We liked Paradise so much that we decided to stay on the same bay for another night, but move about 15 miles down the road and find a different beach. Our new beach was called Playa Buenaventura, and it had a little restaurant, an abandoned hotel, and another gorgeous beach. We were all a little low on food and water, but the lady at the restaurant was nice and made us all huevos rancheros. Then the owner got home from the store, and she was nuts. She came into the hotel yelling about all sorts of stuff and we almost felt like we were trespassers instead of tourists. She immediately made us tally up everything we owed, told us we couldn’t eat dinner there, and got upset when I asked if we could at least buy some eggs to eat later. Oops. Her husband came in and calmed things down a bit by telling us there were clams on the beach that we could go find and eat by shuffling through the sand.
Tyler, Jason and I all went out and started clam-searching. We found nothing, but Jason got stung by a stingray! It hurt him a lot, and we had heard that such stings can hurt for a month. He was pretty shaken up, but luckily the owner’s husband and some other patrons at the restaurant knew that the poison could be neutralized by holding the sting spot in very hot water. The cook was able to heat us some water, and we got a nervous Jason sitting down with his foot in a big pot. He was so tough! He held his foot in that hot water for a very long time until it was bright pink and waterlogged, but no longer hurting from the poison.
At one point we had to move him outside and heat more water for him on our camp stove because the owner had apparently hit her compassion maximum for the day and decided we couldn’t get any more hot water from the restaurant. We were blown away by her rudeness, but were happy to tip the cook for all her help. The whole group of cyclists rallied to help entertain Jason while he soaked his foot, and we pooled our resources to make a delicious group dinner. By the time we went to sleep, his foot didn’t hurt at all.
The next day Jason was able to ride to the town of Loreto 55 miles distant, and we took a hotel to let him rest a bit more. We are so grateful that the proper treatment was administered, and that he is now ok. We have less than a week left on the Baja peninsula, and we are glad Jason can enjoy it free of pain! Next stop: La Paz. We hope to take a snorkeling excursion with a tour company and take a few more relaxing days in Paradise.
There are ton more photos that I want to share that didn’t fit into our narrative. I will put them here at the bottom!