21st -22nd February
Distance – 155km
Total Distance – 1077km
After two big days, and as I am still trying to get rid of my cold, we decided to take it easy and make the most of the camp ground, good food and organise our return bus trip from La Paz to Tijuana, then across the border to San Diego. As long as we can arrive in La Paz in the evening of the 2nd March, the bus is a better option than taking a flight to transport the bikes.
The road south of Guerrero Negro was flat and completely straight over the coastal plain. The mountains to the east and west were merely faint silhouettes in the distance. The immediate landscape was featureless, making it more difficult to divert my mind from the discomfort of sitting in one position.
There wasn’t much land use, just the odd rancho with a few cattle and fences lining the roadside. After about 50km, the cactus forest returned. At 70km, we decided to call it a day and free camp an hour early. We wanted to make use of the late afternoon light so that Chris could take promotional shots for some of our equipment sponsors.
I wheeled my bike and Chris rode his weaving through the spiky obstacles until we found a spot amongst a natural amphitheatre of Cardon cacti, well out of sight of the road. I was worried about puncturing my tyres for good reason. The ground was covered with thorny balls that duly embedded into our tyres. Chris’s tyres were worse than mine because he had been riding over the terrain. This is where we are thankful to have tubeless tyres with a generous amount of sealant. As we extracted the thorns, a small amount of sealant would spurt out of the hole under tyre pressure and then solidify to block the puncture.
The area for each tent was thoroughly scraped to remove all of these giant burrs to prevent our tent floors and sleeping mats from being pierced. As I write, Chris is capturing a time lapse video of the beautiful clear night sky.
We awoke relieved to have our mattresses, tent floors and tyres still intact – no punctures. On leaving the site we were extra careful to walk our bikes, partially lifting the heavily loaded front wheel.
The road continued straight and deadpan flat for the first 50km, the mountains to the east were particularly spectacular. On the final 32km to San Ignacio were increasingly undulating as we climbed back to 250m. The area has a lot of volcanoes and red stony mountainous terrain, all evidence of the seismic activity caused by the San Andreas Fault, where the Pacific and North American tectonic plates collide.
In San Ignacio we decided to take a campsite slightly earlier than we would have normally stopped in order to make use of the town facilities and set ourselves up for the next two-day section. Missionaries settled in San Ignacio to build a mission because of it’s oasis. Our campsite is beside the oasis and as I write this evening I can hear the symphony of frogs, cicadas, water birds.
Tomorrow we leave MEX1 for the time being and head down the west coast. We’re diverting away from the more touristy, busier east coast. The first 200km looks to be more isolated, so we will be well-prepared before we leave tomorrow morning. The route is slightly shorter and flatter and yet there promises to be some interesting sections.