When people heard of my plans to cycle in Mexico the consensus of opinion was that it is too dangerous and that before long I would be recruited as a member of a drugs cartel. As I haven’t experienced mainland mexico yet I can’t comment on this. But in Baja it has been an amazing experience and I have not met any drug lords or bad people.
I cycled from Ensenada for a few days on my own through vineyards and across mountains. I enjoy riding alone but also think it’s nice to share these experiences. I contacted Basti, a German Biologist, through a couchsurfing forum who is cycling from Tijuana to Cancun. He was only a few days ahead so he waited for me to catch up.
We met in Catavina which is the gateway to the Valley de las Cirios Desert. It is a biosphere reserve and we could tell why it was protected with such an amazing range of plants. There were Dr Seuss like Cirio trees, cactuses and other wonderful vegetation.
During the first day of cycling together we experienced the most powerful winds! In the morning we had extremely strong side and head winds which meant I could go faster up hills than down (aka very slow). The morning was tough but luckily the winds changed direction and in the afternoon we were blown along by the best tail winds I have experienced, covering 40kmp. We always think of this day if we are ever struggling and remember things will be great again.
We arrived in Guerro Negro a few days later, the start of southern Baja. We met up with another gruop of cyclists here. From that point our paths kept crossing on our way south, we became a real biking community and all decided to spend Christmas together.
We followed the mostly straight route through more desert for another few days and eventually hit the sea of Cortez. We enjoyed 4 days exploring the paradise of Bahía Concepción beaches between Mulege and Loreto. This was a great break from the desert riding. The area was populated by a large ex pat community , mostly Americans and Canadians who over winter there. They were delighted to let us share there paddle boards and kayaks. Out on the ocean we explored nearby islands and frolicked with dolphins.
After a few more days riding through the desert we reached La Paz in time for Christmas. By this time we were happy to have a rest from our bikes. We hired an air bnb house with the other cyclists and celebrated the holiday. The Christmas present I gave myself was a snorkelling trip with whale sharks . It was a truly magical feeling swimming with these giants of the sea in their natural habitat. They were over 10 metres long, the size of a school bus!!
Missing home over the festive time but it was great skyping the family and sending Christmas love!! Feliz navidad y próspero año nuevo