Sunday, June 10, 2007


A lovely cactus- unique to these parts (if you're at all interested)

After Choix, I went to Los Mochis to get my ferry ticket over to Baja although the ferry actually leaves from Topolobamba about 1/2 hour away. Neither town was particularly exciting I have to say and it was all I could do to save myself from utter boredom waiting for the ferry that night. I finally rode up to the ferry queue around 8pm, having been told it would leave at 11pm and to be there at 9pm. The queue was already pretty huge so I was kind of glad I'd turned up early, however, being the only bike, I was waved up to the front. Nice one, I pictured myself shortly relaxing in the truckers lounge watching Mariachi bands on the big telly.

4 bloody hours I sat there watching truck after truck after truck get loaded on to that ferry. Finally at around 12.30am, as I was wandering up to the ferry to take a closer look I was ordered to get my bike on board, about bloody time! I quickly gobbled up what was left of the restaurant food, and although I had been allotted one of those awful seat things for the 6hour crossing, I chose to try and sleep on deck. This would have been fine except with several hundred truckers wandering about, it was a bit tricky. Finally, the excitable truckers decided to shut up and bed down for the night. I managed to sleep outside till around 4 am or so and them reluctantly based myself inside the 'room of chairs', where unbelievably they left the lights on all night. Getting fed up of people tripping on me, I got up and went outside just in time to catch the sunrise over the sea.

La Paz

Ceritos, fun-ville

I arived in La Paz which was slightly warmer than the one in Boliva. It appeared to be full of retiring Americans so I didn't hang around long and instead headed for the south coast and Cabo, which turned out to be full of holidaying and etired Americans. Again, there wasn't much to grab my attention so I headed up to Ceritos, a beach up on the west coast. Michelle had been there a few days earlier and had said it was quite nice, but after a bit of surfing (even got up on the board on my 2nd attempt), I found it quite boring as it was just so quiet. I hung around till midday the following day and decided to go and catch up with Michelle who had been having chain problems further up Baja. I shot back up to Las Paz (you kind of have too, there's only one road) and from there, up to Loreto which tool me till around 6.30pm. I was on a mission by this point as I knew Michelle was leaving early that day to go up past the boulder field at Catavina and would probably keep going till she got to La Bufadora, one hell of a distance away. I rode at more or less 90mph most of that day and once I'd got to Loreto, I decided to keep going as long as there was still some light. I met a Canadian fellow on a KTM 640 in Loreto in the internet cafe who was going my way but I had to bid him farewell as I was in full speed mode and wasn't hanging around for anyone.

I made it to Mulege by 8pm and although I felt like I could ride all night by this point despite having just ridden 400miles, I decided to free camp on the deserted beach outside of town. Wanting to semi-hide the bike, I tried sticking it behind some bushes but got promptly stuck in sand. Without hesitation and for the second time this week, I hauled off all my luggage, laid the bike on its side, turned it around and somehow got it upright. Walking alongside it in 1st gear, I got it back on to exposed but slightly more solid ground. I still had a few things I could make for dinner but as I didn't feel even slightly hungry despite not having eaten anything other than cereal that morning, I opted for the next best thing. 2 cans of beer and crisps.

A healthy dinner

I pitched the tent without the flysheet as it was pretty hot and also so that I could see the stars. I'd taken a couple of sleeping pill but just couldn't get to sleep. As I was lying there looking up, I just caught sight of a bright orange meteor shooting across the sky and burning up. Amazing! I'd set my alarm for an early 5am start but around 3.30am I must have somehow dozed for a few minutes but was awoken by the sound of voices and a car engine. Sitting up in my tent with only the mesh for cover, I saw a car with its headlights on pull slowly past my tent. What the...! Then another car, then another until there must have been at least 10 cars. They had pulled up on the little spit of land about 150 meters along the beach. And they started to have a party with really bad accordion-based mariachi music blaring from the car stereos. Right, bugger this I thought to myself as yet more cars inched past only a few feet from my tent. I got dressed and packed my tent up in the dark to avoid drawing attention to myself in about 20mins (how come it takes longer in the daylight?).

I set off in the dark, something I never like doing but I was still fired up to do a lot of miles that day so an early start of 4am was no bad thing really. The soldiers at the first military checkpoint decided to be cheeky as I couldn't hear what they were saying with my earplugs in although I did hear 'inglatere' and a few 'ha ha ha's'. I had to stop after about an hour as I was freezing so I put on most of my thermal linings that I hadn't used in months. I had done 200miles by the time I stopped for breakfast and lots of hot coffee in Guerro Negro where I rugged up a bit more as I was still freezing. From there, it was several hundered miles of pretty boring desert. I rode through the boulder field at Catavina but didn't find it that inspiring so didn't stop. Just before San Quentin where I planned on stopping briefly to check my emails, I noticed a bike by the side of the road that I thought I recognized. It was Michelle having stopped for some roadside food! It was quite a reunion I can tell you and after a week apart, we decided we'd done enough solo travel by this point. It turned out I'd just ridden by lunchtime what she'd ridden in 2 days!

I was literally shaking as I'd just ridden 500 miles before lunchtime so after we'd caught up with our respective travels, I said I couldn't face much more so we pulled into San Telmo for a last nights camping before hitting the USA border the following day.

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