The last desert ride – Baja Sur by bike

The "mushroom" is Balandra Beach's landmark

The “mushroom” is Balandra Beach’s landmark

The last desert ride – Baja Sur by bike

Country: Mexico
From Loreto to La Paz
Lesson learned: Even the prettiest landscape gets boring after 1500 kilometers
Most wonderful miracle: The big sandy bathtub
Animals we saw: a huge red cat (puma?), vultures, seagulls
Days on the bike: 4
Kilometers cycled: 367
Average kilometers per day: 91.75
Total kilometers cycled: 27,575

Baja Sur by bike.

Missed the last entry? Here it comes: Beach Hopping – Cycling the Bahía Concepción
Blog auf Deutsch: Die letzten Tage in der Wüste – Baja California Sur mit dem Fahrrad Teil 3

 

Loreto was the perfect little break and it wasn’t easy to leave this jewel of a touristy town. It was a hot day, so we decided to make a little loop through the beach town of Nopolo, where we wanted to swim in the sea. It’s always easier to cope with the heat if you ride in went clothes.

Loreto's historic center with the mission church

Loreto’s historic center with the mission church

We expected to reach a little fishing village, but in reality Nopolo was a collection of high-end villas owned by foreigners who enjoyed the warm climate during winter. In the summer time they all returned to their home countries, that’s why there was not a single soul in any of the houses, on the tennis courts or in the parks.

Nopolo near Loreto is deserted during summer

Empty villas

The roads however were anything but deserted. Workers used the low season to fix roads, lanterns and walls. Everything had to be perfect when the first settlers returned from their home vacation. We decided to take our bath elsewhere and biked back to the main road. A little later we watched back towards the sea and saw a fancy hotel with an artificial lagoon and a golf course.

We spent our break with Juan who worked in a hotel nearby

We spent our break with Juan who worked in a hotel nearby

Whoever had the idea of constructing a green golf course in the middle of the desert must believe that climate change was just a myth. There we were washing our hands with the smallest amounts of water possible for the last weeks, while some idiots poured liters and liters of water to keep the golf course green while there was not even anybody visiting during the hot summer months. It was so sad.

Tortilla with cheese, avocado and salsa

Late lunch in Lingüi

We stopped again in Lingüi. The temperature had risen even higher and salty sweat dropped from my eyebrows into my eyes, from my nose into my mouth and from my chin onto my legs. So much about “an easier ride” when you’re wet. We extended the lunch break until 5 pm, hoping that temperature would have dropped by then, despite the heat, we continued. We had quite a climb to do and didn’t want to get caught by darkness on the road.

Cancun in Baja California Sur

Looks like there’s another Cancún nearby!

Half way up two young men stopped and handed us a bottle of water. It will never stop to surprise me, how strangers empathize with us.

We reached a little shop and asked for permission to spend the night there. Tonight we didn’t even bother pitching the tent. It was so hot, we would have been baked inside. Instead we slept under the stars and enjoyed the fresh wind.

By sunset we had finally found a place to stay

By sunset we had finally found a place to stay

We continued early and soon reached the valley, where many of the region’s oranges came from. That was why we got so cheap fresh pressed orange juice back in Loreto! The morning clouds disappeared much too early and soon we found ourselves under the hard sun again. There was one shop after 15 Kilometers, then nothing all the ways to Ciudad Insurgentes, where we finally stopped for a very late breakfast after more than 60 kilometers nonstop.

This little guy was too hot at night too. He spent the night in the back of a parked pick-up truck.

This little guy was too hot at night too. He spent the night in the back of a parked pick-up truck.

The hardest were the last 27 kilometers to Ciudad Constitición. It was a flat and short ride, but we biked right under the noon sun and I was all exhausted when we finally reached the town where we were going to stop for today. I guess I must have drunk about ten liters of water today and sweated out some 15.

Flat and easy desert cycling.

Flat and easy desert cycling. If only it wasn’t so hot!

Do you remember José Carlos from Santa Rosalía? Turns out he had organized us a hotel to stay in for today. My energy was going towards zero, I had just enough left for a quick shower, then I fell onto the bed and spent the rest of the day watching series. This had been too much sun for a day.

Pepe y Su Hermosa Familia

Our friend José Carlos even invited us for dinner with the family!

 

It was a relatively boring ride from Ciudad Constitución to La Paz. Flat at first, hilly later, with desert to the left, to the right, at our backs and in front of us. I had been impressed during our first desert days. The landscape was still rather fascinating until Loreto, but now, after more than 1500 Kilometers, I was tired of the desert.

Desert road in Mexico

Road, sand and plants all day every day.

Fortunately there were some shops and roadside restaurants situated along the way. We spent the lunch break at the Restaurant “Kilómetro 128” (situated at kilometer marker 128), where owner Guadalupe found us an empty space to lay down for a lunchtime nap. We were the only visitors anyways. Business had been bad for Guadalupe as well as most other shop owners, ever since an Oxxo (Mexican Seven-eleven) had opened some 20 kilometers further south.

Nap at Guadalupe's "Kilómetro 128"

Nap at Guadalupe’s “Kilómetro 128”

Guadalupe del Kilómetro 128

Guadalupe has been a great help to us

We spent one last night under the stars in the desert, before we headed to La Paz. The traffic was a lot denser down here and drivers were less bike friendly than usual. The amount of drivers who made space for us and refrained from overtaking while there was oncoming traffic, sank from good 95% to maybe 80%.

Construction before La Paz

Lots of construction and hills just before La Paz. I envied Roberto for his glasses, as my eyes filled up with dust and sand.

Preparing dinner before yet another night under the stars

Preparing dinner before yet another night under the stars

Sounds like still a good cut, until you realize that in every 100 drivers there are 20 who seem to have drunk or be busy sending texts or generally seem to not care too much for other living beings on the road, as long as they can keep up their speed.

Desert nd lonesome cactus at night

I might have been too harsh there. Guess I might miss the desert after all.

In the outskirts of La Paz it got even worse. We had finally left the desert behind and I already missed the deserted roads. Well, you can’t always get what you want.

La Paz Bike route

La Paz Bike route

We spent some days with warmshowerers Tuly and Jesús, whose four adult daughters had moved away to study. They had plenty of space at home and were happy for some visitors during low season. Tuly organized us a talk at the CICESE (Centro de Investigación Cientifica y de Educación Cientifica – Scientific investigation and education center – of Ensenada).

One of the many statues along the boardwalk of La Paz

One of the many statues along the boardwalk

We spent the afternoon “at home” and I prepared a big bowl of “Bratkartoffeln” (German fried potatoes with onions and bacon) and a couscous salad, while Roberto prepared a chicken dish. It was hot inside and even hotter at the stove.

Palm trees

The view of palm trees seems to instantly make me happy

The dinner was ready and I was ready for bed. All the sweating had given me a fever and stomach pain. Just like back in Ciudad Constitución and Santa Rosalía, all I wanted way lay down and not move all day. Tuly had the glorious idea that some electrolytes might help. I guess after all the sweating, the purified water and some sugary drinks, my body had lost too much salt and decided to quit sweating – resulting in a fever.

La Paz by sunset

La Paz by sunset

I felt much better next day and we had a good time with all the experts at the presentation. We spent the rest of the day with Tuly and her friends at the beautiful Balandra beach, 30 kilometers North of La Paz, where we enjoyed fresh mangos and watermelon and just relaxed in the water.

Tasting Travels Presentation at CICESE La Paz

The CICESE team after the presentation

The bay was perfectly protected by rocky landscape and as a result the sea was perfectly calm and clear. It was like swimming in a giant sandy bath tub full of fishes. The water was perfect and we enjoyed every moment until sunset. What a perfect farewell from the Baja California Peninsula!

Balandra Beach

Balandra Beach

Warmshowerer Tuly from La Paz

Our friend Tuly

Balandra Beach bird

So much to explore and so few people!

The fun team

The fun team

The "mushroom" is Balandra Beach's landmark

The “mushroom” is Balandra Beach’s landmark

Perfectly clear beach in La Paz, Baja California Sur

It’s safe to say “no place I’d rather be”

Balandra Beach

What a fun day!

Perfectly clear water

Perfectly clear water

Clamato at the beach. A perfect day.

A Clamato just before sunset. Can this get any better?

Sunset at a Baja California beach

Perfect goodbye for the Baja. We’ll be back some day.

Read more about extreme amounts of mangos, hot and humid cycling and iguanas. Sinaloa and Nayarit by bicycle. Cycling from Mazatlán through Tepic to Ixtlán del Río in the next blog: Geckos and Mangos – Sinaloa and Nayarit by bicycle

3671 Total Views 15 Views Today
  1. Pingback: Geckos and Mangos – Sinaloa and Nayarit by bicycle - Tasting Travels

  2. Pingback: Geckos and Mangos – Sinaloa and Nayarit by bicycle - Tasting Travels

  3. Pingback: Beach hopping – Cycling the Bahía Concepción - Tasting Travels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*