Part Eighteen: Baja California Sur – End of the Desert


3rd January (Loreto – Ciudad Insurgente) (121km)

The road has turned inland toward the spine of the Baja peninsula climbing through a winding mountain pass (refer photo) and then back onto the long flat desert track for some more km churning. The climb of the morning (from the coast up to 430 metres) left me a bit weakened and I compounded the problem by not food fueling correctly so the afternoon became more difficult than it might have been otherwise.

Mountain Pass

There is only one hotel in Ciudad Insurgente and it barely justifies the name. The people there don’t really give a rat’s bot bot if the place falls apart and the building is obliging very nicely. Happily the bed didn’t fall apart during this particular night so had a good night’s sleep with the prospect of some more long flat road the next day for this last push to the end of the peninsula.

4th January (Ciudad Insurgente – Camping in Cactus Field) (132 km)

Long, flat and hot riding. Felt the energy fading away in the heat of the afternoon. In order to cope with the distances between water and supplies have been carrying a lot of water and the pack is therefore very heavy, which probably contributed to a flat tyre in the afternoon. Oddly, after the previous day  where there had been nothing in terms of shops etc along the road, there were restaurants a plenty spread along the way. It’s very difficult to predict such things so best to carry the extra water anyway. At the end of the day’s ride, I had to struggle through a fence in order to get into the desert to set camp in a cactus field just on dusk so as to not be seen hunkering down in the  field hopefully unmolested by any overly curious passers by. The question as to why someone would want to own and fence such a desert is one that remains, yet I imagine it is worth something to someone. To me this night it is worth a place to rest and is within a day’s good ride from the end of the peninsula ride.

Long & Winding Road

5th January (Camp Cactus – La Paz) (105 km)

Woke up early in order to break camp and get going before being noticed in my cactus field. Skillfully managed to get my self caught on the barbed wire whilst trying to shimmy back under the fence to the road; painful and ignominious. Such an experience gives one the opportunity for a sudden moment of clarity. This one going something like, “What the hell am I doing out here in the middle of this desert in amongst the cacti and dried goat shit about to pedal through the hot dusty day and now am bent over and caught under a barbed wire fence?” Don’t really have a good answer to that one right at the moment. Am confident that it will look somewhat different after the dust is extracted from the various orificia. These guys repairing the under side of their truck across the road didn’t help much (refer photo).

No Parking

Towards the end of the peninsula ride the familiar sliding away of the destination and once the road spilled down toward the coast I was well ready for the end of the desert run and a couple of days in La Paz reassessing d-deserting.

Here endeth the Baja experience. It’s been a ride alright down the peninsula and not while it has been beautiful out in the desert, I am happy to be out of the desert for a while.

6 thoughts on “Part Eighteen: Baja California Sur – End of the Desert

  • well done Buff,i definatly would NOT have enjoyed dessert cycling! I guess you’re not far behind Ian now? is the Rohloff still holding up ok and has your rubber chain/belt thingy melted yet?!

  • Hi Rob, Rohloff and belt drive still going strong. It’s the way of the future. In Mazatlan on the mainland now. Next are the hills north of Mexico City. Ian is on a bus somewhere I think.

  • Hi Hardcore Ciclist
    Cool blog, very entertaining writing. Could you find out anything about solutions to that US visa problem? If yes, great, if not, not a big deal, we sort of decided to just forget about Alaska and cycle up North in Canada.
    Good luck for the rest of your trip, Monika (we met you on that hill after San Ignacio)

    • Hi Monika, unfortunately the two people who offered information were not overly positive about your chances of re-entering the USA without a visa after such a short time in Canada. Sorry not to be the bearer of better news and happy cycling.

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