Part Sixteen: Mid Baja California – Santa is Dead/ Santa Lives

23rd December (San Quintin – El Rosaria) (62km)

The traffic has become a lot lighter now and the ride 50km down the coast is a breeze. The road then cuts inland to El Rosario. Lobster Burritos at Mama Rosalita’s Restaurant (“world famous” reportedly) are not too bad at all. Have taken a motel room with a decent bed in the hope of knocking this cold on the head. Mama’s inexplicably has a tin dinosaur T-Rex out the front.

The whole story really
Prime Real Estate

24th December (El Rosaria – Camping) (85km)

This morning is what cycling is all about. A long desert road in the middle of Mexico on a cool clear sunny day with little traffic other than the odd truck or camper. What’s more there is energy back in the legs and breath in the lungs. Quite a long and gentle rise of 500 metres to start out of El Rosaria for 35 km and then an undulating plateau through the desert for another 50km. Lunch (more tacos) at an oasis cafe out in the middle of nowhere. Through the afternoon the wind picked up and and by 2pm was so strong that it was literally blowing the bike sideways off the road in places. Found a nice little shoe horse in the hills far enough away from the road to avoid attention in which to make camp and cook up the pasta, bed down and await the arrival of Santa. Oh, how the rest of the non-hardcore adventure cycling fraternity out there in their comfortable beds must be holding their collective personhoods cheap tonight for not being out here in the wilds under the stars with me.

T-Rex?
El Rosalita Taco Shop

25th December (Camping – Camping near turn off at lake) (94km)

No Santa.  Santa is dead and Christmas this year has been cancelled due to lack of interest.  Today started out as an examination of character.  With the prospect of getting across the remaining plateau before the wind starts up and before an anticipated long downhill to the flat seaside road beyond, I pedaled off early bemoaning the non-arrival of Santa, yet brim full of intent.  Ten minutes later I had a flat tire (a thorn gathered from my camping retreat) and then managed to pinch the tube twice while trying to fix it causing two more punctures.  Enough to prompt a quiet, considered and substantial dump.  An hour later and off again and it was not too long before the wind (Easterly) started in again only this time even stronger.  If the road turned east it was nigh on impossible to make headway into the wind. Turning South-East one could almost keep the bike from blowing off the side of the road yet forward motion was possible.  Turning South the wind became a tail wind.  The day’s progress therefore turned markedly with every twist in the road. At mid afternoon, a broken man, I found a boulder and huddled behind it to shelter from the onslaught for an hour.  To top it off I chose the worst camping site in living memory.  The wind then blew up untrammeled across the adjacent huge dry lake bed and blasted up and across my campsite lifting the tent with it. Through into the night I sat in the tent battening hatches thinking the next big blast would launch all and sundry into the ether.

More Desert
North Baja Desert

26th December (Camping – Guerrero Negro) (180km)

The wind must have calmed sometime during the night as I did in fact get to sleep after re-pegging the tent for so many hours. Was awakened by the start up and the renewal of the flapping of the tent. The day’s cycling was then something to relish. 180km, that’s right, 180km which is well over the old tonne in miles and a new record for your correspondent. Over the plateau and then blasted out onto the plain and into Guerrero Negro just on dusk. Checked into the place that has the whale watching tours (Mellimarro) and there, on the restaurant roof top is Santa. Yes, Santa must have given me this day. He does move in mysterious ways it seems. Santa is indeed lord of all.

Santa Lives
More Desert
Road Through Desert

27th December (Guerrero Negro)

Whale Watching out in the bay this morning was very nice indeed.  Loads of Gray whales migrate from Alaska to the coast of Baja each year to breed.  The whales came close and in one instance right under our boat (they like to use the boats to scratch I’m told).  The seals were a bonus.  They evidently have to build up a lot of speed in the water to make the leap up onto the buoy – where they can then luxuriate to recover from the exertion (I empathize as I  rest up in the hotel here).

Whale Tail
Seals